PhD Position, Department of Biological Sciences

Ålesund, Norway
11 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2019
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

PhD position - Isolation of valuable compounds from fishery and aquaculture side streams and co-products using innovative technologies

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 Biological Sciences Ålesund

We work with health and sustainable exploitation of marine resources, as well as medical and marine laboratory technology. The Department has close ties with regional business and industry in the health and marine sectors. This applies to research, education and innovation. The Department of Biological Sciences Ålesund is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position at Department of Biological Sciences Ålesund.

Norwegian fish processing from aquaculture and fishery generate large amounts of side streams and co products. The side streams resulting from seafood processing are mainly constituted of oil and protein residue fractions amounting to about 30-35 % of the original mass processed. A major part of the generated co-products is applied as fish meal, fish oil and silage in animal feed. This biomass accounts for a potential recovery of bio-active compounds such as lipids rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and protein.

The nutritious composition and continuously growing production of fishery and aquaculture side streams make them especially interesting for valorization. An important issue for seafood side stream valorization is the acceptance of co-products as a potential raw material for production of value added products. The current valorization of the seafood co-products generated by fish processing has an unexploited potential. A large part of the unutilized side stream is not re-used for extraction of valuable compounds (lipids, proteins, minerals, vitamins etc.) which can be further used for human consumption. From aquaculture processing, bulk production of ingredients for animal feed can be developed towards more advanced process for human consumption.

However, seafood side streams and co-products resulting from fish processing are rich sources of valuable protein and lipid compounds for further exploitation in the production of new products such as food ingredients. Various seafood rest raw materials such as heads, skin, cutoff, frame, bone and viscera can be utilized to isolate a number of bioactive lipid and protein ingredients. Enzymatic hydrolysis can be used along with innovative food processing technologies such as ultra sound, pulsed electric field and high pressure processing for improved isolation of bioactive compounds.

The position reports to Head of department.

Job description

The PhD-work will include the use of specific physical and chemical pre-treatments (heat, enzymes, etc.) followed by tailored extraction procedures along with application of novel technologies, to extract bioactive protein and lipid components (omega-3, protein hydrolysates, different types of peptides, collagen/gelatine macromolecules, etc.). The best extraction methods will be identified for the target compounds during the PhD-work. The complete exploitation of seafood side streams is often compromised by their high susceptibility to microbiological spoilage and oxidation, as well as proliferation of pathogenic agents. Therefore, the use of novel preservation methods (plasma treatment, etc.) along with application of natural antioxidants and antimicrobials, will be tested. In addition, despite a potential to recover bio-active proteins from seafood side streams, there is still a challenge to meet the growing consumer demands for sensory characteristics of the recovered protein ingredients. Thus, the influence of different extraction methods on sensory attributes of protein ingredients, will be studied.

Thus, the present PhD-work aims at transformation of seafood co-products into valuable lipid and protein ingredients through the application of innovative technological processes that permit the production of microbiologically and biochemically stable ingredients, while minimizing loss of bioactive, nutritional and functional properties.

Some of the work related to the use of innovative technologies might be performed abroad.

Qualification requirements

PhD candidate:

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 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

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

Other qualifications:

  • Master degree/MSc in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Food Science or a relevant biological field, with an average grade B or better as measured in ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) grades, or an education at the equivalent level.
  • Good scientific communication skills (written and oral Norwegian and English)
  • Knowledge and experience in lipid and protein methods of analysis (extraction, purification, oxidation analysis, etc.).  
  • Potential for research at an international level.
  • Knowledge of Norwegian fish processing industries and aquaculture.

Personal characteristics

  • Ability to work both independently and in team.
  • Good technical and analytical skills
  • Flexibility

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 remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 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 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme. Detailed information on our PhD programs is found at:

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 criterias 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

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 Assoc. Prof. Janna Cropotova, 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.

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • Application Letter describing the applicant’s qualifications, experience and motivation for the position.
  • CV of the applicant.
  • Short description (1 page) of the previous work (master thesis or equivalent).
  • Transcript of records from Master studies. Applicants with education from a foreign university are requested to enclose a translation for both the diploma and transcript of records, as well as a guide to grading by their university.
  • Contact information for 3 referees.

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be enclosed.

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-82/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 15.08.2019
Deadline: 15th August 2019
Employer: NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality: Ålesund
Scope: Fulltime
Duration: Temporary