PhD scholarship within hydrogeochemistry

The position is funded through a collaboration between CERAD Centre of Excellence for Environmental Radioactivity and the new Centre for Research driven Innovation Rescue of earth materials and wastes in the circular economy (earthresQue).

As a PhD student, you are expected to perform both experimental and theoretical work within your research studies as well as communicate your results at national and international conferences, in scientific journals and for collaborators involved in the projects as well as stakeholders interested to follow the research outcome. Most of your working time will be devoted to your own research studies.

You are expected to be able to plan and conduct both fieldwork and laboratory work in collaboration with internal colleagues and external partners. Presentation of your work orally and in written form is an important part of the work.

Main tasks

The main tasks of the PhD will be:

  • Numerical simulations of subsurface transport of radionuclides and metals, including geochemical/hydrochemical reactions and kinetics, utilizing numerical models, including programming, if feasible.
  • Laboratory experiments to provide relevant chemical speciation data in order to understand processes such as dissolution/precipitation kinetics, redox, sorption and remobilisation dynamics at relevant time scales as well as colloid transport for modeling purposes.
  • Production of model parametrization data, utilizing advanced technologies in collaboration with CERAD and earthresQue scientists.
  • Field and laboratory experiments to validate models of flow and transport processes in the subsurface. This can for example involve porewater sampling, and geophysical techniques for characterization and time-lapse measurements. Combined in situ size and charge fractionation techniques will also be applied.

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, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.

The research will be carried out within CERAD and earthresQue in close collaboration with relevant scientists at the MINA faculty as well as at other national and international institutions.  Models could include: MODFLOW, FeFlow, SUTRA and Hydrus combined with geochemical models such as PhreeqC and HP2 to simulate flow and transport under saturated and unsaturated conditions, different temperature and pressure regimes as well as degrees of heterogeneity.

Results are expected to be published in peer reviewed literature as well as being presented at national and international conferences.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to 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 programme description.

The successful applicant must have a MSc degree in environmental chemistry, hydrogeology or geology, which is preferably obtained within the last five years. Experience with relevant numerical models as well as work with metals/mineralogy and ionizing radiation or radionuclides is an advantage. Knowledge of chemical speciation concepts as well as experience with relevant models such as PhreeqC, or related extensions such as HP2 (Hydrus) or piChem (FeFlow) or similar programs is an advantage.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • The grades on MSc degree work.
  • Competence within hydrogeochemical transport of metals and/or radionuclides.
  • Competence within speciation of metals and/or radionuclides.
  • Experience with numerical models and programming.
  • Experience with ionizing radiation and radionuclides.
  • Dissemination skills.

In addition, the candidate must have:

  • Good knowledge of the English language – both written and oral.
  • Good communication skills, both related to research and presentations in general.

For candidates without competence within radiation, the Radiation protection course KJM350 will be mandatory. 

Read more and apply here

Published 5. February 2021 - 11:14 - Updated 5. February 2021 - 11:14