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Holocene sea-ice variability around Greenland

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Geoscience programme. The position is available from 1 August 2019 or later.

Title:
Holocene sea-ice variability around Greenland

Research area and project description:
The PhD project will focus on investigating variability in sea-ice in the Greenland region. The overall purpose of the research project is to improve our basic understanding of processes determining sea-ice cover and variability, which is needed for a better prediction of the fate of Arctic sea ice in a warmer world. This will be done through establishing longer time series of sea ice over recent centuries and millennia from the study of marine sediment cores, linking these to modern and past ocean and atmospheric conditions. Within this framework, the specific approach of the PhD project will be decided in collaboration with the successful candidate, but potential studies may include a combination of micropalaeontological (e.g. diatoms or dinoflagellate cysts), sedimentological (IRD) and/or geochemical (e.g., biomarkers, XRF core scanning data, stable isotopes, CaCO3, TOC etc.) analyses. Including sea ice algae ecology and experimental approaches as a minor element of the project is also an option. Comparison with historical and instrumental/satellite data series may provide the link to modern ocean and sea-ice conditions, also identifying the level of uncertainty in the palaeo-reconstructions.

The PhD project will be part of a larger research project, G-ICE, which has the purpose of testing the linkage of sea-ice variability to ocean and atmospheric circulation. The PhD project will thus contribute to the objectives of G-ICE:

  1. Define the baseline of Greenland sea-ice cover under pre-industrial climatic conditions.
  2. Document the natural variability of sea ice around Greenland through time, at decadal to millennial scales beyond the instrumental period.
  3. Identify natural trends, range of variations and extremes conditions, and test their relation to e.g. solar forcing, precipitation, bathymetry, ice-ocean heat exchange, and volcanic activity.
  4. Evaluate the short- and long-term response of sea-ice cover and ocean circulation to Greenland ice-sheet melt.
  5. Develop and test scenarios of sea ice and ocean conditions under a future “warm climate” from intervals marked by climate optima, such as the mid-Holocene and the medieval warm period.

The project receives financial support by the Danish Council for Independent Research as well as from the Aarhus University Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change iClimate. As part of the duties of PhD co-funded by iClimate, the successful PhD student is expected to participate in public outreach activities, among other relating their results to societal needs. The candidate is also expected to relate their research to the needs of society.

Qualifications and specific competences:
The PhD candidate should have a Master’s (3-year PhD programme) or 4-years studies (4-year PhD programme) in Geoscience. A degree in Biology, Chemistry or Physics may also be considered; but in this case, the student will be required to partake in courses in Quaternary/Marine Geology during the course of the PhD studies. Experience with sediment core analyses, micropalaeontology, organic geochemistry, and sea-going experience are considered advantageous, but not required.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to enclose a letter of interest stating their own specific research interests and how their background and experience would fit into this project on palaeo sea-ice reconstruction.

Place of Employment and Place of Work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is the Department of Geoscience, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.
For further information on the research group in Palaeoceanography and Palaeoclimate see:
http://geo.au.dk/forskning/forskningscentre/paleoceanography-and-paleoclimate-group/.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Professor Marit-Solveig Seidenkrantz, Department of Geoscience - iCLIMATE Aarhus University Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; mobile phone +45 2778 2897; Email: mss@geo.au.dk. (main supervisor)

Dr. Christof Pearce, Department of Geoscience - iCLIMATE Aarhus University Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change, Aarhus University, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 2, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark; mobile phone +45 9350 8915; Email: christof.pearce@geo.au.dk. (co-supervisor)

Professor Alexandre Magno Barbosa Anesio, Department of Environmental Science - iCLIMATE Aarhus University Interdisciplinary Centre for Climate Change, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark; Mobile: +4522568980; Email: ama@envs.au.dk (co-supervisor)

 

Application procedures

Before you apply

Information and attachments:

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:

The English language requirement at GSST is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From the August 2019 call, GSST will no longer accept the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. Ask the test centre to send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate  with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to sphd@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at Aarhus University for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section” Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:

1)      Find the application form:
Go to www.phd.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here - Note, the online application system opens on 1 March 2019.
Choose May 2019 Call with deadline 1 May 2019 at 11.59 AM MET.
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme ‘Geoscience'

2)      Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Holocene sea-ice variability around Greenland"
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3)      Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page). The motivation letter should state your own specific research interests and how your background and experience would fit into this project on palaeo sea-ice reconstruction.
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. You are allowed to add personal suggestions, but you are not required.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. If there are any significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made. 
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST Application Guide.  

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • The project will only be initiated if final funding (from GSST/the faculty) is secured.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

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