PhD Research Fellow in Cancer Biology

Trondheim, Norway
Thursday, 1 April 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 30 April 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 400 employees and 42 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position in the field of molecular cell biology and translational cancer research at the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science. The main research interests at the department are related to personalized diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The goal of the PhD project is to identify key mechanisms of tumor microenvironment communication that regulate invasion, metastasis, and drug responses or resistance in cancers including epithelial ovarian cancer. The project will contribute to the development of new prognostic indicators and strategies for better treatments.

We are looking for an ambitious student with strong enthusiasm towards scientific questions to complement our international, interdisciplinary team, recently established at NTNU and also operating in Karolinska Institutet, Sweden ( 

The position reports to Professor Kaisa Lehti (

Duties of the position

The project will investigate how the cancer-specific genetic alterations and transcriptional programs coupled to the tumor microenvironment-dependent dynamics of signaling receptors, adhesion molecules, transmembrane proteinases, and cytoskeleton control the cancer phenotypes. This will be done by integrating genetic, proteomic & clinical ovarian cancer data with hypothesis-driven functional and molecular mechanistic research. State-of-the-art molecular biology, proteomics and functional genetic approaches including the most relevant cellular, ex vivo and in vivo models, as well as clinical human tissue material will be utilized for this research.

Required selection criteria

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 biochemistry, molecular biology or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

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.

  • MSc in biochemistry, molecular cell biology, biomedicine, genetics or cancer biology or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale
  • Applicants are expected to have full professional proficiency in English.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Practical experience in cell culture, protein analytic techniques, basic or advanced molecular biology techniques, and analysis of cancer cell phenotypes using immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry methods are considered benefits.
  • As the project focus on patient-derived material, cancer drug resistance and tumor propagation, experience in tissue-based research as well as 3D and ex vivo cell culture models are considered as substantial merits.
  • Knowhow in immunology, cell signaling, extracellular matrix, cell cytoskeleton and metabolic pathways is a plus.
  • Any experience of bioinformatics/computational biology is considered as an asset.​

Personal characteristics

The applicant should be motivated, creative and ambitious, with a strong ability to work problem-solution orientated both in teams and independently.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017 according to the Norwegian State salary scale. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is four years with 25 % teaching duties in agreement with the Department.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Medical technology within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English (ta stilling til dette)

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following):

  • CV, including possible publications
  • BSc and MSc certificates and diplomas
  • One page Personal motivation letter with a suggested research outline for the project
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 3 works)
  • Name and address of two to three referees

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

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

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. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Kaisa Lehti, Phone: +46 76 5172228, email:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. 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).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2021/17666 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.04.2021

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science 

We are responsible for the bachelor’s degree programmes for medical laboratory technologists at NTNU. We conduct research in areas relevant to the teaching we provide and to the development of medical diagnostics. We work in close cooperation with the University Hospital, St Olavs Hospital. The Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 30th April 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary

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