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PhD scholarship within bio-economic modeling

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About the position

Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) at Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3-year PhD–position related to bio-economic modeling for a sustainable management of dry forests.

The successful candidate will be part of a team of researchers in the project “Towards a climate-smart policy and management framework for conservation and use of dry forest ecosystem services and resources in Ethiopia”. For more information about the project, please visit the following link.

Dry forests, on which millions of the world’s poorest and most marginalized people depend, are among the most threatened and neglected ecosystems globally.

These forests are the dominant features of the landscapes of most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. Dry forests are under constant threat due to human, natural and climate change-induced factors. On the other hand, conflicting demands for their ecosystem services have been growing.

The aim of this PhD project is to design an integrated analytical framework and develop a decision support tool that enable ex-ante assessments of policies, management measures, resource use plans, and trade-offs and synergies between global environmental, national economic and local livelihood objectives related to dry forest ecosystem services in Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly Ethiopia.

Main tasks

  • Collecting both primary and secondary data from national and international data sources
  • Designing and setting up integrated analytical frameworks
  • Developing bio-economic models
  • Developing a decision support tool
  • Performing statistical analysis
  • Writing and publishing of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • Presentation of project results in workshops and conferences
  • Collaborating with project members

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.NMBU


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 applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required Academic qualifications

  • MSc level degree in operational research, economic modeling, natural resource management, applied economics (e.g., agricultural, energy, environmental, forest or natural resource economics), or related disciplines
  • Basic knowledge of forestry
  • Knowledge in numerical modelling

The following experiences and skills will be considered advantageous:

  • Experience in forest or natural resource modelling
  • Experience in dynamic programing/optimization
  • Experience in the application of integrated assessment models
  • Programming skills in GAMS, R or similar programming languages

In addition, the applicant should have the following:

  • Capacity to work across scientific disciplines
  • Good communication and collaboration skills
  • Interest to travel to Ethiopia
  • Excellent oral and written command of English
  • Strong quantitative and analytical skills

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow. PhD. Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 479.600,-) 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. Meley Mekonen Rannestad) (Researcher)

E-mail:; phone +47 (96656375)

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants



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.

Application deadline: 23.10.2020

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 which 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), P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 23.10.2020. Please quote reference number 20/03892.

If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

About The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management

The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management (MINA) works with nature and the environment, sustainable use of natural resources, biological and geological processes.

MINA’s employees undertake teaching, research and dissemination within the fields of geology, hydrology and limnology, soil science, environmental chemistry, forestry, ecology, natural resource management, renewable energy, and nature-based tourism.

Our vision is to be a key actor in knowledge production and dissemination, and our goal is to deliver research of high, international quality, and varied and excellent teaching. The faculty’s employees are significant participants within their respective fields of expertise, both nationally and internationally. The faculty is dominated by a vital research culture and high levels of scientific production.

The faculty has about 200 employees, 90 PhD students and 650 students.

Read more about MINA here.

Bilde av Tårnbygningen og parken

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,800 employees and 5,200 students. The university is divided into seven faculties and has campuses in Ås and Oslo. We will be co-located in Ås from 2021.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.noApply for this job


23rd October 2020


Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)






Fixed Term

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