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  • Doctoral Candidate, full time, 3 years
    Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    University of Iceland

    The Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering seeks applicants to fill a Ph.D. student position for 3 years for the project Carbon Sink Cities (CSC).

    Research unit and academic program:
    CSC provides an excellent opportunity to produce a dissertation while working with important themes as a member of an inspiring research team of high-performing academics. In addition to the dissertation, the doctoral candidate will get to produce novel scientific evidence of issues with high societal relevance. The research group includes 5 other PhD students and ~10 researchers overall focusing on different aspects of sustainability in the built environment. Depending on his/her background and interests, he/she will place to the “Environmental studies” doctoral program or to the “Environmental engineering” doctoral program.

    Project background:
    Currently the built environment is a huge source of emissions, but it should rapidly transform into a big carbon sink and storage. In present, almost all construction uses synthetic materials with high emission intensities: concrete, steel, asphalt, glass, aluminum and so on. In the main projections to remain under 1.5 degrees warming the only option is to reach below zero emissions overall, and this is unlikely to happen if there is no deep and rapid transformation in the built environment sector. Changing the built environment from a source to a sink is a realistic possibility, but requires a major paradigm shift. The built environment should in just 10-20 years become first carbon neutral and then a huge carbon storage by growing the construction materials, and then storing the carbon in built environment structures.

    Applicants should have an MSc degree with good grades in architecture, engineering, economics, ecological sciences, planning or from another relevant field. Knowledge about environmental assessments are considered assets, but are not mandatory. Skills in statistics and mathematical modeling are also valued, but the will to learn the necessary skills is the most important. The applicant needs to be able to work independently and have strong communication and interpersonal skills. Good oral and written language skills in English are required as well. Above all, the applicants should have the will to commit to producing a high-quality dissertation during the next three years.

    Application process:
    The application deadline is 30.5.2021. The Ph.D. student position is for 3 years and the expected starting date is 1.8.2021. The application shall include, written in English i) a letter of motivation, ii) CV, iii) degree certificates and study transcripts (BS and MSc degree), iv) two reference letters. The application should be sent to All applications shall be sent electronically including all the required appendices. All applications will be answered and applicants will be informed about the appointment when a decision has been made.

    Job percentage and salary: 100% position. The salary for the position will be in accordance with the current collective wage and salary agreement between the Union of University Teachers and the Minister of Finance, at the time of appointment approximately 375.000 ISK per month.

    About the University of Iceland and the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences:
    The University of Iceland is a growing community of knowledge and is a very dynamic and interesting workplace. Our values are academic freedom, professionalism, and equality. The University strives to provide flexibility and encourages participation in the progression of the studies and research in all fields within the realm of the University. The University of Iceland is the largest teaching, research, and science institute in Iceland and is ranked among the top 300 universities in the world by Times Higher Education. At the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences about 400 people are employed in research and teaching. The School offers an international environment, with the number of international employees and students increasing each year. Currently about a quarter of all employees and graduate students are international. There are around 2000 students at the School, divided into six Faculties, including approximately 340 Master’s students and 180 doctoral students. The research institutes at the School are the Engineering Research Institute, the Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, the Science Institute (subdivided into the Institute of Earth Sciences and Institute of Physical Sciences), and the Institute for Sustainability Studies, which is an interdisciplinary institute under the auspices of all five Schools of the University of Iceland.

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