PhD candidate in meteorology on use of machine learning in extended range weather forecasting

at University of Bergen
Published August 31, 2023
Location Bergen, Norway
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


PhD position

There is a vacancy for a PhD position in extended range (10 to 30 days) weather prediction at the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen, Norway. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4 th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Institute). The position is associated with the research group in climate dynamics at the Geophysical Institute and the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.

About the project/work tasks

The PhD will be a part of the Centre for Research-based Innovation - Climate Futures ( funded by the Norwegian research council. The main goal of Climate Future is to produce new and innovative solutions for predicting and managing climate risk from 10 days to 10 years ahead. The Center is a consortium consisting of seven research partners and almost 30 user partners that represent industries such as agriculture, renewable energy, disaster preparedness, shipping, insurance, finance, risk management services, and public organizations.

The task of this PhD position is to explore new methods for optimal use of extended range forecasts (10 days to 4 weeks), by investigating the possibility of using new innovative machine learning approaches for user-oriented extended range forecasts utilising state-of-the-art available dynamical extended range forecast simulations and other useful information.

Focus will be on advancing the use of extended range weather forecast information within sectors such as renewable energy and agriculture.

  • The candidate will start by gaining knowledge on the reliability and accuracy of selected state-of-the-art extended range forecast predictions systems.
  • The candidate will further investigate new strategies for using machine learning methods to improve forecast skill.
  • An important aspect of the work will be to investigate methods not only for increasing the predictive skill, but also methods for better understanding of why machine learning models predict as they do (so called Explainable Machine Learning).

The work will be done in close collaboration with the Norwegian Computing Center, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and stakeholders in Climate Futures. The University of Bergen is part of the Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium and the candidate will work in a highly international working environment as part of the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (BCCR) co-located with the Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen. BCCR is the largest climate research centre in the Nordic countries and among the leading centres in Europe with around 200 scientists from 37 countries.

Qualifications and personal qualities

  • The applicant must hold a master or an equivalent degree in meteorology, statistics, machine learning, applied mathematics or other related disciplines. Master students can apply provided they complete their final master exam before 15.10.2023. It is a condition of employment that the master has been awarded before employment.
  • Documented knowledge within the subjects meteorology/atmospheric physics and machine learning is required.
  • Experience and proven knowledge in scientific programming using Python, R, Matlab, Julia, C/C++ or similar.
  • Understanding of and experience with meteorological or climatological data analysis will be an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English
  • The project involves several Norwegian user communities and proficiency in Norwegian will be an advantage.
  • Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

Special requirements for the position

The University of Bergen is subjected to the regulation for export control system. The regulation will be applied in the processing of the applications.

About the PhD position

The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25% compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed over the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department and will be decided by the head of department upon appointment.

The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

About the research training

As a PhD candidate, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. The deadline for applying for admission to the PhD programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is 2 months after you start your position. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer

  • a good and professionally stimulating working environment
  • salary as PhD research fellow (code 1017) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 532 200,-. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • good welfare benefits

Your application must include

  • an account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of both the bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not yet completed your master's degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming the expected date of award of your master's degree. Your master's degree must be documented with transcripts and/or diploma, alternatively a confirmation from your institution on completed degree and your grade, by 15.10.2023.
  • relevant certificates and references
  • approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

General information

For further details about the position, please contact Professor Asgeir Sorteberg, Geophysical Institute.

For HR related questions contact Maria Svåsand

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here.

About UiB

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.

There are seven departments and several centres at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.