The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) have a vacant 3-year PhD position within its PhD program “Environmental Sciences” for the academic session 2021-2022.
This PhD project aims to study plant-soil feedbacks for selected grassland species and mixtures to identify effects on soil quality, carbon storage and nutrient cycling.
|Scholarship Sponsor||Norwegian University of Life Sciences|
|Scholarships level||PhD Scholarship|
|Award Amount||NOK 482.200|
|Fellowship Period||Three years|
|Study area||Environmental Science|
|Opening date||February 18, 2021|
|Closing date||March 14, 2021|
The Research Council of Norway funds the position through the project “Perennial grassland mixtures: a novel approach to forage and food production, land restoration and climate resilience in Ethiopia (2021-2024)”, led by the Norwegian Institute for Bioeconomy (NIBIO ).
The PhD candidate will study soil-plant interactions in Sub Saharan forage grass mixtures in infield and greenhouse experiments to identify species and mixtures that improve soil functions and quality. The successful candidate will work with an international team consisting of grassland ecologists, soil scientists, agronomists, social scientists and statisticians,
Livestock is paramount for Ethiopian farmers’ livelihoods and central to the Ethiopian economy, but also part of the problem of land degradation. The land is scarce, and most of the feed intake by livestock occurs during free grazing on highly overgrazed natural pastures.
Well-managed grasslands, used for forage production with improved forage species can counteract soil degradation in several ways: by improving feed provision, which alleviates the grazing pressure on land used for food crops; by directly improving soil quality through reduced soil erosion and increased amounts of organic matter returned to the soil; by building soil quality and fertility over time, thus supporting increased food crop yields once they are ploughed (legacy effect)
This project will seek to identify grassland species mixtures for more stable and improved feed crop production and determine their legacy effects on food crops.
- Periodic fieldwork in Ethiopia
- Follow up field experiments run by Ethiopian partners
- Plan and carry out greenhouse experiments in Norway
- Measure soil properties and functions
- Collaborate with a postdoc in year 2 & 3 to collect and process data from smallholder surveys
- Publish peer-reviewed articles
The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment to complete a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.
- MSc or a comparable degree (5 years; 120 ECTS) in biology, ecosystem ecology, soil science, agronomy, environmental sciences or any related subject
- The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and document proficiency in both written and oral English.
- For more detailed information on the admission criteria, please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD program description.
- Knowledge of quantitative research methods and statistics
- Experience with soil-plant systems (field and/or greenhouse)
The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:
- Expertise and interest in agroecology of the tropics
- Documented experience in fieldwork
- Strong scientific capacity and analytical skills
In addition, you need to:
- Be motivated to work with ecology under tropical conditions and across scientific disciplines
- Have enthusiasm for research, be encouraged to learn new things and show the ability to work independently while being an active member of a research team
- Have good communication and collaboration skills
- Be prepared to carry out fieldwork
The deadline for applications is March 14, 2021
The position is placed in a government pay scale position code, 1017 PhD Fellow. PhD Fellows are usually placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 482.200, -) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.
Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.
For further information, please contact Dr Peter Dörsch, research professor, email@example.com
- To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply for this job’ button above. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.
- Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses).
- Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline. The relevant NMBU Department may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.
- Printed material that cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) PO Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 14.03.2021.
- Please quote reference number 21/00968.
- If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution to publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.