Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Innovations in Satellite Altimetry for Studying Polar Sea Ice

UiT Norges arktiske universitet
Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Innovations in Satellite Altimetry for Studying Polar Sea Ice


The position

A Postdoctoral Research Fellow position the area of satellite altimetry for studying polar sea iceis available at the The Department of Physics and Technology, Faculty of Science and Technology. The position is also connected to the Norwegian Research Centre (NORCE) in Tromsø and to the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) in the United Kingdom.The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The position is a fixed term position for a duration of two and a half years. Appointment to the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is mainly intended to provide qualification for work in top academic positions. It is a prerequisite that the applicant can carry out the project over the full course of the employment period. No person may hold more than one fixed term position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

The position is funded by several projects, including the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) grant INTERAAC which is a collaboration between UiT, the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) and the University of Tsinghua, Beijing. Funding also comes from several ongoing European Space Agency (ESA) projects focused on the application of new altimetry processing methods and machine learning for the CryoSat-2 mission and upcoming Copernicus CRISTAL mission. The position is within the Earth Observation Group, UiT Department of Science and Technology, and the research will be linked to the Centre for Integrated Remote Sensing and Forecasting for Arctic Operations (CIRFA).

The INTERAAC and affiliated ESA projects focus on developing innovative new techniques for extracting geophysical information from satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) altimetry observations of polar sea ice. The projects aim to generate more accurate time series of polar sea ice thickness, with special emphasis placed on the extension of ice thickness data into the summer season, following exciting recent developments in this area. More information here.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway with its main campus located in Tromsø is the northernmost university in the world. Its focus on climate and environment is clearly dictated by the geographical location at the edge of the Arctic. The main task of the Faculty of Science and Technology is to conduct research and teaching at high national and international level. Prioritized research areas include energy, climate, environment, maritime, marine, nano-, space-, and information technology; addressing both general topics and topics relevant for the High North.

The Department of Physics and Technology consists of six research groups: Earth Observation, Renewable energy, Machine Learning, Complex Systems Modelling, Space Physics, and Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics. The department provides education at the Bachelor, Master, and PhD levels, and comprises 21 permanent scientific employees, and a technical/administrative staff of 12 persons.

The position’s field of research

The position will be 100% devoted to research and development tasks. The candidate will be required to take on a leadership role within the associated NFR and ESA projects, including collaboration with project partners, participation in project meetings, communication with funders, and contribution to reporting. Their research will target the development of cutting-edge new techniques for processing satellite SAR altimetry observations and their use in studying the changing polar sea ice covers.

The candidate will participate in research towards some of the following:

  • New techniques for classifying, interpreting, and retracking SAR altimetry observations from CryoSat-2, Sentinel-3, and simulated data for the upcoming CRISTAL mission
  • Understanding dual-altimetry radar altimeter backscattering signatures from Ku- and Ka-band signals of polar sea ice
  • Application of deep learning methods for classifying altimetry observations during the challenging summer sea ice melting months
  • Precise determination of year-round sea ice freeboard from satellite altimetry
  • Development of new methods for improving ice freeboard to thickness conversion in summer months, tackling open questions related to melt pond loading, sea ice density, etc
  • Dissemination of prototype sea ice freeboard, snow depth, and ice thickness datasets to project partners


For further information about the position, please contact:

  • Associate Professor Jack Landy (UiT) by email
  • Senior Researcher Robert Ricker (NORCE) by email
  • Professor Anthony. P. Doulgeris (UiT) by email


This position requires a Norwegian doctoral degree within a field relevant for the research theme of the position (i.e., environmental remote sensing, physics, signal processing, mathematics, or computer science), or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree.

We are looking for a strongly motivated person, who has an excellent academic record and potential, with analytical and problem-solving skills. The suitable candidate should be an expert in satellite remote sensing, ideally experienced working with satellite radar altimetry data for applications in the polar regions. The candidate should have a strong background in computer science, and good programming skills, to meet the technical requirements of the position. It is preferred that the candidate has experience with MATLAB and Python programming languages to work with our existing code base.

Other required qualification skills include:

  • Independence and self-motivation
  • Creativity and ability to think outside the box
  • Excellent work ethic and commitment to the job
  • Good command of English and orally and in writing
  • International experience is an advantage

Knowledge in Norwegian or another Scandinavian langugage is considered an advantage. Emphasis is also given to personal suitability.

At UiT we put emphasis on the quality, relevance and significance of the research work and not on where the work is published, in accordance with the principles of The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Inclusion and diversity  

UiT The Arctic University i Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity is a strength, and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.  

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics. 

We offer
  • The chance to work on cutting-edge projects funded by ESA and the Norwegian Research Council
  • To collaborate with the leading European scientists on satellite altimetry for polar sea ice research through ESA consortia
  • Opportunities to travel, independence in work, and a fantastic work environment with nice colleagues
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement  
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund  
  • A cosy hometown of Tromsø surrounded by the stunning landscape of Northern Scandinavia

Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard. As an employee you will become member of the National Insurance Scheme which also include health care services.

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here: 


Your application must include:

  • Introduction and motivation letter (max 1 page)
  • CV (max 2 pages)
  • Description of your past research and its relevance to the advertised position (max 1 page)
  • Description of your academic production (track record) including highlights of the three works you consider most relevant to the advertised position (max 1 page)
  • List of academic works, up to ten. The doctoral thesis is regarded as one work
  • Diplomas and transcripts (all degrees)
  • Two references, preferably including your PhD supervisor
  • Documentation of English proficiency (if applicable)

Having a PhD degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are in the process of completing your PhD, you must document that you have submitted your PhD thesis by the application deadline and attach a statement from your supervisor concerning termination of your PhD studies.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.


The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee's mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants' qualifications based on the written material presented by the applicants, and the detailed description draw up for the position.

The applicants who are assessed as best qualified will be called to an interview. The interview should among other things, aim to clarify the applicant’s motivation and personal suitability for the position. A trial lecture may also be held.

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants. 

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment.

The remuneration for Postdoctoral research fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1352. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted. You will become a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which gives you many benefits in addition to a lifelong pension: You may be entitled to financial support if you become ill or disabled, your family may be entitled to financial support when you die, you become insured against occupational injury or occupational disease, and you can get good terms on a mortgage. Read more about your employee benefits at:

The successful candidate must be willing to get involved in the ongoing development of their department and the university as a whole.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. 

Hansine Hansens veg18, 9019 Tromsø
Forskning/Stipendiat/Postdoktor, Ingeniør, Annet
Sist endret
12. apr. 2023 02:35