The NGI is a leading international centre for research and consulting within the geosciences. The research will be done within the Environmental Engineering division, one of four market sectors where NGI is operating (

Reducing the impact of fluorinated compounds on the environment and human health (PFASs)
Application due: 15.10.2017

The candidate 
The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI) is seeking a PhD candidate for a 3 year position on the project ” Reducing the impact of fluorinated compounds on the environment and human health (PFASs)” funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The candidate will hold a masters, ideally within environmental geochemistry. Experience related to the fate and transport of organic chemicals in the geoenvironment is desirable. In addition, experience of planning and executing laboratory and field work will be viewed in a very positive light. The candidate will have good inter-personal skills, having worked independently and as a member of a team previously. They will be highly motivated and not afraid to take on new challenges. The candidate will enjoy working in a dynamic environment and will have the ability to adapt to changing situations. The position opens the possibility for extended research visits to project partners in America and the Netherlands. Fluent spoken and written English is essential, Norwegian is advantageous.
The project 
The project is a collaboration between NGI, The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, The Norwegian Institute for Water Research, The Colorado School of Mines and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The project focuses on the fate, transport and effects of poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) in the environment and potential effect on human health. PFASs are a diverse class of compounds characterised by a high environmental persistence and ubiquitous environmental presence. Their unique physico-chemical properties including; hydrophobicity, oleophobicity, resistance to chemical, biological and physical degradation processes, high potential for bioaccumulation and biomagnification and toxicity to organisms at environmentally relevant concentrations have led to increased regulatory demands in recent years.
The overall aim of the project is to investigate how the level of pollution of “first generation” and “future generation” PFASs affects the environment and human health. The project is divided in to 5 work packages and the project involves users, regulators, industry as well as scientific experts in the area. WP1 will establish a user group and an expert group. WP2 will focus on the analysis of PFASs in soil, water and biota leading to optimized methods and a better understanding of the physicochemical properties governing fate and transport of the substances. Using case study sites for which a wealth of monitoring data exists, mass balances of PFASs in the environment for point source and diffuse source inputs will be constructed in WP3. In WP4 the effect of Norwegian specific conditions including i) freeze/thaw cycles, ii) variable infiltration rates and iii) variable organic matter (DOC) contents on PFASs mobilization and transport will be explored. WP5 will investigate the in vitro PFASs-like toxic potency of the complex mixtures present in samples from the case study sites. Effect-directed analysis will be used to discern the compounds leading to the greatest effect.
The PhD candidate will contribute to all WPs depending on their qualifications, interest and experience. They will carry out laboratory based work in Norway, with the possibility to carry out work in America and the Netherlands and will organise and execute field experiments in Norway. The PhD student will have to qualify for the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo and must carry out one semester of courses as part of this program.
The successful applicant is envisaged to commence studies in the middle of November 2017 under the primary supervision of Dr Sarah Hale and Professor Gijs Breedveld and other team members in Norway, America and the Netherlands. This date is negotiable.
All applications should be submitted electronically by clicking the “application button” below and filling out the required information. The application should include: (i) a cover letter summarizing qualifications and motivation for applying, (ii) a Curriculum Vitae, (iii) a publication and conference presentation list if applicable, (iv) an example of one publication if applicable, (v) copies of relevant masters certificates, and (vi) the names and contact details of 1 to 3 references.
For further information about the position or questions about the application, please contact:
Key dates: 
  • Application deadline 15th October
  • Interviews End of October
  • Final decision End of October
  • Start date Mid November


Apply for the position here: