PhD Position in Biology

Gløshaugen, Norway
09 Jan 2019
End of advertisement period
01 Apr 2019
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A PhD position is available at the Department of biology, preferably starting in August 2019. The position is financed by the research program Nansen Legacy (Arven etter Nansen) and has a special responsibility in work package RA-C, using enabling technology for marine scientific applications. The scope of RA-C is stated in, focusing on study and development of reliable and robust autonomous platform solutions for smarter measurements and sampling for detection and analysis to improve modelling based on remote sensing with impacts on the ecosystem or human activity in the Barents Sea.

The Nansen Legacy project is a joint undertaking by Norwegian research institutions to identify and document the changes happening in the Arctic, both biological and physical. The technology needed for collecting data must be suited for the Arctic and able to take relevant measurements and samples in time and space. This call is for the use of sensor data from Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) to measure the phytoplankton dynamics in time and space. Typical variables to be measured are irradiance, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a, current speed and direction as a function horizontal and vertical distribution. The data will part of a larger group working with photosynthesis, light regime measurements and remote sensing of ocean colour.

The position reports to the Head of Department.

Job description

The primary theme of this PhD project is to use Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) as an instrument (sensor) carrier to provide data on phytoplankton dynamics in time and space. This work is important for marine ecology, bio-diversity and primary production estimates.

We seek a person that will have the responsibility of participating and using AUV data for phytoplankton dynamics from Nansen Legacy cruises in the Barents Sea (Arctic). The measurements and data interpretation will be performed in concert with professors and PhD students from NTNU Centre of Excellence AMOS (Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems) and NTNU Applied Underwater Robotics Laboratory (AUR-Lab) cruise activity with RV Kronprins Haakon and RV Helmer Hanssen.

The PhD candidate will be a part of the NTNU AMOS PhD student team (currently >100 PhD students) and will work cross-disciplinary. Work place will be at TBS, dept of biology, NTNU.

Detailed information of AMOS PhD programs is found at:

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 [subject area] 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.

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, postdoctor and research assistant

Other qualifications

  • The candidate will need to have knowledge and documentation in basic ocean optics and expertise in marine ecological methods and preferably “hands on use” with AUV (MSc level). Further, a candidate familiar with optical instruments for the measurements of eg. light regime, pigment absorption, high precision liquid chromatography of pigments would be beneficial. Knowledge of fluorescence kinetics for the measurements of photosynthesis will also be included if possible.
  • MSc in marine biology or oceanography, with depth knowledge/skills in bio-optics and or/marine ecology and  multivariate statistical analysis.
  • Experienced in both laboratory and cruise work, ability to use new sensors: Hard- and software, implementation on platforms with following interpretation of data.

Personal characteristics

  • We seek a candidate that is motivated and able to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration, have good communication and networking skills and, are proactive and forthcoming, and able to work independently if needed.
  • The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams.
  • Curiosity for the unknown.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, 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 449 400 before tax per year. 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 until 1 year extension with 25 % teaching duties in agreement with the Department. (To undertake the teaching duties it is a requirement that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Marine 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.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Geir Johnsen, Department of biology, NTNU, Tel. +47 91897027, 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.

The application should include:

  • Project proposition (0.5-2 pages) indicating how the applicant envisages her/his contribution within the project
  • CV (including list of publications and relevant former positions)
  • Certified copies Bachelor & Master degrees, transcripts
  • Short statement from a former supervisor/tutor/teacher
  • Contact information for two references (including email addresses and telephone number)
  • English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number NV-07/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.04.2019

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.

Deadline 01.04.2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Gløshaugen