UNIS is a state-owned limited company with five of Norway’s universities represented on the board. We are located in a modern working environment in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and are well equipped with both technical and scientific equipment and laboratories. The institution has an infrastructure for both marine and terrestrial field, lab and experimental research. The studies at UNIS are marketed internationally and all classes are offered in English. Approximately half of the staff and students are from abroad. 

Professor/Associate Professor in terrestrial biology/vegetation ecology


The department of Arctic Biology seeks candidates for a full-time, permanent position as Professor or Associate Professor in terrestrial biology. Currently the department consists of two professors, six associate professors, seven adjunct professors, five PhDs and two technical/administrative staff. The department conducts research and education in Arctic marine and terrestrial biology, and currently provide 22 courses on bachelor, master and PhD level. The department focus on an integrated approach to High Arctic biology, and field studies and field safety are important in research and education. Additional information about the department can be found at www.unis.no


Description of the vacant position and qualifications

We seek candidates for a permanent position of Professor or Associated Professor in Arctic terrestrial biology with focus on vegetation ecology. The candidate must demonstrate evidence of high-quality field-based research and teaching ability.

Research experience with Arctic or high-latitude ecosystems and fieldwork are necessary. Good taxonomical knowledge of important components of Arctic vegetation (vascular plants, bryophytes and cryptogams) is expected. Integrated approaches to Arctic ecology and evolution will be regarded as advantageous. Such approach may include relationships between plant and animals, plant and fungi or an integration of different biological fields. Possibilities and willingness for collaboration with other staff members will thus be emphasized. It is equally important that the person that is appointed has the ability to work independently and in teams, and has a positive attitude and flexibility. We seek candidates with polar field experience, a well-established international network, and a good knowledge of Norwegian or Nordic educational systems. The research field and expertise of applicants will be evaluated in relation to the research profile and strategic plans for the department. Applicants for the position are encouraged to send in an outline of a research plan for a 5-year period with a focus on the topics mentioned in the announcement.


The appointed person will be responsible for several undergraduate or post-graduate courses, and are expected to supervise students at master or PhD levels. The candidate is encouraged to develop teaching at UNIS further in his/her field, within the framework of the department´s educational strategy. The candidates must have well documented teaching experience at different academic levels, and formal pedagogic training is an advantage. The department have a focus on educational quality in a Centre of Excellent Education (SFU, see www.bioceed.no). Experiences from, or motivation to focus on development of teaching practices and the interplay between teaching and research are required. Our education is research based both in terms of content and in the way we teach. Applicants for the position are encouraged to send in a teaching portfolio or similar, outlining a teaching and learning philosophy, teaching experience, and own developments in teaching and learning.


Applicants for the position must be able to document their qualifications as Full or Associate Professor. To be considered for the position of Associate Professor a Ph.D. in an appropriate field, or its equivalent, is the minimum requirement. Professor qualifications must be documented as UNIS does not evaluate applicants for professorships.


Employment conditions for faculty positions at UNIS

At the time sixty per cent of the working time of full-time faculty at UNIS is reserved for research and professional development. In addition, staff is required to be involved in teaching, administration and be willing to contribute to the development of UNIS in a more general sense.


UNIS offers:

  • Free arrival passage for you and your family, and relocation expenses associated with initiation of the engagement
  • Annual holiday travel grant, in accordance with current regulations
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Pension Fund.
  • Favorable conditions for sabbatical leave



All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government’s University salary scale. The position as professor follows code 1013, and is normally remunerated with a minimum gross salary from NOK 609 300 to NOK 789 700 per annum. The position as associate professor follows code 1011, and is normally remunerated with a minimum gross salary from NOK 488 900 to NOK 636 200 per annum. In special cases a higher salary step can be considered.


The salaries are depending on experience/seniority. As resident of Svalbard, an annual allowance of NOK 32 000 (Svalbardtillegg) will be added to staff salaries. A social Security contribution of 2 per cent to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted from the salary. Income tax on Svalbard is 8 per cent, plus 8.2 per cent toward National Insurance coverage.


Selection and appointment

A scientific committee will evaluate the applications. Based on the report, an interview committee will invite the top ranked person(s) for a trial lecture and an interview. The appointment will be made by the Board, based on the recommendation from the committees and an appointment committee. As UNIS would like to increase the percentage of females in academic positions, women are especially invited to apply.



Inquiries about the position may be directed to Head of Department, Professor Børge Damsgård, e-mail borge.damsgard@unis.no, phone +47 79 02 33 45, mobile +47 93 00 33 14



Extended deadline for applications is the 01.09.2017

Please apply online on www.jobbnorge.no


At the end of the form, please attach:

  • a full list of publications & previously held grants
  • education, pedagogic or teaching certificates (including a list of previously supervised graduate and PhD students, where applicable)
  • five publications (authored or co-authored by the candidate) that you want to have evaluated for consideration for appointment to this position


The committee could ask for further documentation or copies of parts or the complete scientific production described by the applicants.


You can request to have your application kept from public access cf. the open files act § 25. The request must be explained. UNIS will determine if the application will be kept from public access or not, based on the explanation and the regulations from the open files act. If the application will not be accepted, the candidate will be contacted.


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    1. september 2017
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