University of Bergen

Department of Physics and Technology

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

PhD position in ocean technology – marine optics

There is a vacancy for a PhD position in ocean technology for development of optical methods for effective environmental monitoring of coastal and arctic waters at the Department of Physics and Technology. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Department). The position is subject to financing by grant.


About the project/work tasks

Transmission of light in water, changes significantly with what is present under the surface. If the ocean only contained pure water, the blue light would for example travel in average over 200 meters without being absorbed, while the light would only travel a few centimetres below the surface at some estuaries. Important information can be found by studying in detail how far the light travels before it is either absorbed or scattered, what new direction the light gets after scattering, and how these optical properties vary with the wavelength of the light, depth, and time. These measurements can be utilised together with numerical models for finding the amount and type of materials, including living microorganisms within the water. Similar methods can be used under the ice in the Arctic for finding the content of organisms in the ocean, and the characteristics of the sea ice, such as thickness, particle content, salinity, density, and energy deposition of light. The PhD candidate for marine optics in ocean technologies will work within this type of research, which more specifically can include the following:

  • Automation of systems measuring depth profiles of optical characteristics and spectral irradiance in the water column, from the surface to the seabed.

  • Find methods for avoiding or correct for problems where the spectrometer sometimes measures light contaminated by the meters own shadow, or light contaminated by frames and other mechanical parts.

  • Study daily, seasonal and yearly variations of microorganisms and other material at all depths in the water column.

  • Validate optical satellite measurements for remote sensing of chlorophyll, dissolved organic material, and mineral particles in the upper part of the water column.

  • Develop methods for measurement of light and optical characteristics under the sea ice.

It is expected that the PhD candidate is willing to reside for shorter and/or longer periods abroad with our international research partners if beneficiary for the project. It is also expected that the PhD candidate can participate on research ships at sea. The PhD candidate will also participate in supervision of master students with projects related to marine optics.


 Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in physics, geophysics, ocean technology, optics or measurement science, or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • Experience from measurement science, experimental optics or equivalent is a requirement.
  • Experience from programming and automation, in addition to good mathematical skills is an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • It is an advantage that the candidate has good command of the Norwegian language (for teaching duties).

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.


About the PhD position

The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed across the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department, and will be decided upon appointment.


The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).


About the research training

As a PhD candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within three months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.


We can offer:

  • a good and professionally challenging working environment
  • salary at pay grade 51 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 9) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 449 400. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • a position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise)
  • good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • relevant certificates/references
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.


General information

For further details about the position, please contact Associate professor Camilla Sætre, phone: +47 55 58 83 08, e-mail:, Department of Physics and Technology.


The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Further information about the employment process can be found here.

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About this job

  • Deadline
    Thursday, January 10, 2019
  • Employer
    University of Bergen
  • Website
  • Municipality
  • Jobbnorge ID
  • Internal ID
  • Scope
  • Duration
    Fixed Term

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Academic CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!

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