Phd Position, Monitoring and Simulation of the Farm Environment in Sea-based Salmon Production

Ålesund, Norway
Mar 26, 2020
End of advertisement period
Apr 12, 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

NTNU seeks a highly qualified, ambitious and motivated candidate to investigate the complex interplay of salmonids with their environment in sea-based production. This vacancy is for a joined position between the Department of Biological Sciences at Faculty of Natural Sciences (IBA) at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and the Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering (IHB) at Faculty of Engineering. The appointment has a duration of three years with the possibility of an extension of up to one year with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. For teaching duties, it is required that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language. 

This position will lead to a doctoral degree (PhD). The workplace is at NTNU in Ålesund. The candidate will also participate in and collaborate with research teams on salmon behavior and welfare and on aquaculture-environment interactions, and the candidate will be connected to other PhD candidates at the departments.

The position reports to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will investigate the complex interplay of salmonids and fish farm structures in commercial production in the sea with changes in environmental and production factors.

Growth, health and welfare of farmed salmonids are dependent on environmental and production factors. Many production factors are logged today, but there is limited information on and understanding of the farm environment and the complex, multivariate interaction of environmental and production factors with farmed salmonids.

The successful candidate will use diverse sensors to monitor fish and the environment they experience. The candidate will have access to information on important farming operations, production data and health status of the fish. Within this PhD project, all these data will be made available in a common database, and relevant monitoring data will be visualized to make these easily accessible for researchers and fish farmers. The successful candidate will then analyze this data to gain understanding and develop descriptive and predictive models of the complex interplay of environmental and production factors with fish farm structures and farmed fish. These may include, but are not limited to, models for the change of fish cage volume and effective stocking density in varying flow situations; interactions of water flow, fish farm components and biological factors; connections between environmental conditions and fish health status and growth or other responses of farmed salmonids to environmental changes. These models will result in simulations to predict expected changes in environmental and structural conditions, fish health status, behavior or growth.

The successful candidate will be employed at the department of Biological Sciences Ålesund and will be enrolled in the PhD program at the Faculty of Engineering. Detailed information on our PhD program is found at:

Required selection criteria

This PhD position is highly interdisciplinary, and the applicant must have a keen interest in aquaculture and data analysis, visualization and simulation.

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 engineering science within the major fields of computer science, cybernetics, marine/maritime technology or similar, or a master’s degree (or equivalent) in disciplines of natural sciences, if they show relevant experience within statistical data analysis, analysis of environmental data and/or simulation and visualization. An interest for sea-based aquaculture are essential, and documented experience within the aquaculture sector will be an advantage.

The regulations for PhD programmes at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English(CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Scores should be above TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test) 92 (Internet-based test); IELTS: 6,5 with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted); CAE/CPE: Grade B or A.

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

  • knowledge and interest in applied research
  • keen interest in aquaculture-environment interactions
  • strong ability to work problem oriented
  • good analytical skills
  • good written and oral English language skills 

Personal characteristics

  • self-motivated, enthusiastic and creative
  • strong collaborative skills
  • ability to work independent and goal-oriented
  • interest in multidisciplinary problem solving
  • ability and willingness to conduct field-work at sea

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

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, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of an extension of up to one year with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department.Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Biology (
 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.

The position is subject to external funding (ta stilling til om stillinger skal være betinget av ekstern finansiering).

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

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

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. 

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.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 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.

The city of Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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

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.

Under the Freedom of 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.

IQuestions about the position can be directed to associate professor Lars C. Gansel, Department of Biological Sciences Ålesund, NTNU, Tel. +47 46456281, E-mail: and to associate professor Gouyuan Li, Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering, NTNU, Tel. +47 70161325, E-mail:

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 NV-46/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 12.04.20

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.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences

The Faculty of Natural Sciences is a key player in national and international research and education programmes in natural sciences and technology. Our research focuses on global challenges in the areas of energy, climate, the environment, food, water, health and welfare. The Faculty consists of eight departments as well as the Faculty Administration.

Deadline 12th April 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Ålesund
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Ålesund