PhD positions in Interdisciplinary Sustainability Initiatives at NTNU

Application deadline has expired.

43 + 1 PhD

43 new PhD Positions

NTNU is announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary sustainability projects with 4-7 PhD positions in each project.

Find project pages below. Application deadline has expired.

1 new PhD Position

In addition, NTNU has allocated 1 PhD position in interdisciplinary cooperation for sustainability. The purpose of the position is to develop new knowledge about the role and impact of interdisciplinary cooperation in projects for sustainability. The candidate is to investigate if and how interdisciplinarity in projects leads to increased sustainability.

Find project page below. Application deadline has expired.


Projects and calls 1-2

Nature-based solutions for land use transitions towards more sustainable societies

A reduction and reversal of the loss of nature are prerequisite to solve the ongoing biodiversity crisis that, directly or indirectly, affects all UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). The «battle for land» to meet many SDGs greatly compromises the goals that are primarily related to biodiversity, and underpin all life on Earth.

Application deadline has expired.

HolE-LIB – Developing a Holistic Ecosystem for Sustainable Repurposing and/or Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries (LIBs) in Norway and the EU

From a Norwegian perspective, the battery value chain can be seen as an exceptional sustainable value creation opportunity primarily based on Norway's comparative advantage with a competence-driven materials sector based on renewable power.

Application deadline has expired.

Projects and calls for applications 3-4

SWELL – Sustainable Built Environments for better Health and Well-being

The motivation for SWELL is the need for a new environmental conceptualization of public health. The main objective of the project is to nurture health and well-being in urban environments, by addressing the complex interaction between individual humans’ well-being and the built environment and through technological and space innovations.

Application deadline has expired.

Sustainable digital transformations

Digital technologies are often hailed as enabling tools for sustainable transformations. Digital technologies can help save energy, connect people globally, and inform decisions through big data. While digital technologies have great potential, they are not neutral. In fact, the digital transformation of our societies might in many cases act as a roadblock for sustainable transformations.

Application deadline has expired.

Projects and calls 5-6

SusHydro – Sustainable hydropower development and reservoir management as an enabler of the renewable energy transition and an accelerator to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Hydropower is the largest producer of renewable energy globally and its global production capacity is expected to still double by 2050. In order to reach the sustainable development goals related to environmentally friendly and accessible energy production, other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power will also need to increase.

Application deadline has expired.

Triple Deep – The Deep Dilemmas: Deep Sea Mining for the new Deep Transition

The deep ocean floor contains vast deposits of minerals that are necessary in renewable energy technologies. These minerals are expected to be in high demand due to the de-carbonization of the global economy and the transition to a net-zero economy. But while the «blue minerals» may hold the key to a greener future, mining the deep seas raises many questions and dilemmas. Can these minerals be mined without causing massive and irreparable harm to the unique ecology of the deep oceans?

Application deadline has expired.

Projects and calls 9-10

Circular City

The Circular City project is an interdisciplinary collaboration to better understand the role of existing buildings as a resource base for a future circular economy. Specifically, the project aims to develop the necessary quantified models, qualitative approaches, domain knowledge and methods to develop a Circular City Information Infrastructure (CCII) that details the quantities, qualities and potential of materials and building elements at a large scale.

Application deadline has expired.

Interdisciplinary cooperation for Sustainability

There are interdependencies between the SDGs which is an argument for interdisciplinary collaboration. Results for sustainability are anticipated to be better when specific competences are present or developed within the team. This project will primarily look into the competence of working interdisciplinary, systems thinking competence, and normative competence.

Application deadline has expired.

Projects and calls 7-8

MAPLE – Marine Plastic Pollution: Environmental Impact and life cycle scenarios

Oceans are very important for humans, but are severely affected by many different human activities. One of the biggest issues for marine ecosystems is the battle against plastic pollution and its effects. Plastic is a very diverse material and can be found floating on the surface, suspended in water columns but also on the seafloor and has the potential to affect very different biological communities at these different locations in the water column. 

Application deadline has expired.

Combining skills to identify the «Sweet Spot» to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway

Estimates suggests that 8 million tons of plastic wind up in the oceans annually, constituting a dire threat to marine and aquatic eco-systems, and followingly to human prosperity and development. There are thus an urgent need for solutions to prevent fruther marine plastic pollution, both nationally and globally. In this interdisciplinary research project, researchers at NTNU will collaborate and integrate transdisciplinary knowledge to drive the transformation towards plastic-free Norwegian waters.

Application deadline has expired.

Marine plastic pollution is a major sustainability challenge that requires holistic approaches across disciplines and sectors. NTNU has therefore identified two projects in this area to cover a wider range of issues and professional approaches.

Why Interdisciplinary Sustainability Initiatives

Why Interdisciplinary Sustainability Initiatives

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states.

The sustainability goals view the environment, the economy and social development as interconnected. The timeframe for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without triggering conflicts between goals and unintended consequences. This requires research with a much stronger focus than today on societal changes in a system perspective, addressing conflicts of interest between different sustainability goals and critical factors for successful change.

Many developments elsewhere in society affect how sustainability is put into practice. The Green Deal strategy at the EU has led to an acceleration in the pace of green change that also affects Norway. The reports from the UN panels highlight growing concern over the urgent need for a holistic approach to the climate crisis and nature loss. With its focus on the planet's endurance limits, the Stockholm Resilience Centre has become an important agenda setter for international debate about sustainability. Through a variety of reports, UNESCO has also focused specifically on what the sustainability agenda means for the knowledge sector and how our research, teaching and social mission are affected.

All of these initiatives point to the need for profound transformative changes in society, requiring collaboration across disciplines and sectors.

The call for projects

Earlier in 2021

The Interdisciplinary Sustainability Initiatives at NTNU:
Call for Projects (26 April) and funding (7 October)