PhD fellowship in spatio-temporal statistics

A new PhD fellowship in spatio-temporal statistics is available at the Department of Mathematical Sciences

About the position

A new PhD fellowship in spatio-temporal statistics is available at the Department of Mathematical Sciences at NTNU. The successful candidate will be offered a three-year position. The Department may offer a twelve-month extension as a teaching assistant. The workplace will be Trondheim.

Main duties and responsibilities

Spatial and spatio-temporal statistics encompass applications in a wide range of areas from environmental and physical sciences to epidemiology and demography. Current methods in spatio-temporal and computational statistics are being pushed to their limits by the recent desire for extensive spatio-temporal continental-scale surfaces of health indicators such as prevalence of diseases and mortality rates. In the setting of low- and medium-income countries, the available data is sparse, has complex structure, and comes in diverse forms from diverse sources. Providing new methods for expanding our capabilities are essential for the advancement of statistical methodology and answering society’s need to track progress towards the United Nations’ sustainable development goals on child mortality and disease.

The goal of this project is to develop new statistical models that jointly can model diverse sources of spatio-temporal data, and to develop the computational methods required for fitting the new models to realistically sized data sets. Particular emphasis will be put on accounting for jittering in observation locations (due to data anonymization), combining point observations and areal observations, and combining quick, but limited, deterministic methods for statistical inference with general, but slow, Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. A key focus will be to produce software that allow the results to be reproduced and the new methods to be used by other scientists.

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Statistics or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

Master of Science students who expect to complete their master’s degree studies by summer 2020 are also encouraged to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the master’s degree is finished.

The applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must document a thorough knowledge of English (equivalent to a TOEFL score of 600 or more).

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Other qualifications

  • Some background in spatial statistics is required, and experience with spatial statistics is an advantage.
  • Background or experience with computational statistics is an advantage.
  • Knowledge about and interest in programming is required.
  • Experience with the programming language R is an advantage.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Personal characteristics

We are looking for someone who

  • is highly motivated for the position;
  • has a strong interest in methodological work;
  • has a desire to contribute to solving real-world challenges.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017 and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. The Department may offer a twelve-month extension as a teaching assistant. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Mathematical Sciences ( As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and 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 to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Geir-Arne Fuglstad, phone number +4745270806, e-mail .

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas, certificates (including documentation about language skills) and contact information for at least two references. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2019/35908 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.11.2019.

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