Postdoctoral Fellow in numerical ice-sheet modelling


Ref. No. SU FV-1705-22

at the Department of Geological Sciences. Closing date: 1 July 2022.

Stockholm University is a leading European university in one of the world’s most dynamic capitals. The University has more than 29 000 students, 1 400 doctoral students and 5 700 staff members active within the natural sciences and humanities.

The Department of Geological Sciences is a department within the Faculty of Science with courses at master's, bachelor's and orientation levels. The department supports a broad range of basic research within marine geology, geochemistry and classical geology.

Project description
Assessing the sea-level rise contribution from the North Greenland Ice Sheet in a warming climate.

Sea-level rise caused by global warming is a serious threat to society and vital economic infrastructures concentrated along the coastlines. Melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet is currently the single largest contributor to observed global sea-level rise, and its contribution is expected to increase. The northern sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet holds over one meter of global sea level; if its outlets glaciers lose their buttressing ice tongues they can begin to flow as rapidly as their more southerly counterparts of the Ice Sheet, and discharge ice formerly grounded on land to the ocean where it contributes to accelerating sea-level rise.

This two-year post-doctoral project is aimed to carry out a detailed investigation of the development of the North Greenland Ice Sheet and its contribution to global sea-level rise until year 2300 under a range of IPCC’s climate scenarios. The goal is to provide lower and upper limits of the potential contribution by the North Greenland Ice Sheet to global sea-level rise, considering different ice–ocean–atmosphere feedback mechanisms, using a state-of-the-art numerical ice-sheet and sea-level system model.

The project will capitalize on new constraints on physical conditions and knowledge on the ice-dynamical processes and ice-ocean interaction based on field data acquired during the successful Petermann 2015 and Ryder 2019 expeditions with Swedish ice breaker Oden. The Ice-sheet and Sea-level System Model (ISSM) will be used to simulate the North Greenland Ice Sheet, and the interaction of its marine outlet glaciers with the ocean, to quantify contributions to sea-level rise under different climate scenarios. Special emphasis will be placed on the dynamics and stability of the outlet glaciers’ floating ice tongues, and the implications which their partial or complete disintegration have on ice discharge from the upstream drainage basins. This two-year postdoctoral project is funded by the Swedish research council FORMAS and the study forms an integral part of the North Greenland Earth-Ocean-Ecosystem Observatory (GEOEO) Research Theme adopted by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat. Information about GEOEO can be found at:

Main responsibilities
The goal is to obtain improved knowledge of the northern sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet's contribution to future sea-level rise. An important task for the candidate will be to set up the ISSM model for the North Greenland Ice Sheet, to and carry out simulations to quantify its global sea-level contributions while making optimal use of available field data constraints and available relevant model output for future climate scenarios. Results from the project work shall be disseminated through peer-reviewed research articles to be published in international scientific journals. The possibility of participating in the North of Greenland Expedition 2024 with Icebreaker Oden can be investigated, depending on the applicant’s qualifications, interests and results obtained during the first 1.5 years of the project.

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria
The degree must have been completed at latest before the employment decision is made, but no more than three years before the closing date. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances. Special reasons refer to sick leave, parental leave, elected positions in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical attachment or service/assignments relevant to the subject area.

We seek candidates with a strong background in geophysics, physics or applied mathematics with an interest to develop expertise in the modelling of cryosphere­–ocean­–climate interactions. Documented previous experience of numerical ice sheet modelling, glacier modelling, ocean modelling or Earth System modeling is meriting. Likewise, it is meriting to have documented experience in using High Performance Computing infrastructure, and in pre- and postprocessing input to and output from numerical simulations.  The candidate should be fluent in English, and be able to work independently and in groups, as well as towards deadlines as the project has specific sub-goals.  

The selection among the eligible candidates is based on their expected capacity to complete the project tasks. The following criteria are used to assess this capacity: the applicant's documented knowledge and skills within the subject of their proposed specialization, capability to express their work orally and in writing in English, creativity, ability to take initiatives, capacity for analytical thinking, independence and ability to work with other researchers. The evaluation is based on previous education and experience, quality of previous published research, ambition expressed in the motivation letter, description of the proposed project direction and potentially interviews. In the selection, great emphasis will be taken on personal qualities.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date as per agreement.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Martin Jakobsson,

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, and (SEKO).

Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. We recommend that you submit your application, including the necessary documents, in English.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for at least 2 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter including
    • Why you are interested in the advertised research area and project
    • What makes you a suitable candidate for this project including previous experience of ice-sheet modelling
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Research proposal (no more than 3 pages) describing:
    – why you are interested in the field/project described in the advertisement
    – why and how you wish to complete the project
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Closing date: 01/07/2022

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