Postdoc Position in Microbial Molecular Biotechnology

Trondheim, Norway
18 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
11 Oct 2020
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A postdoc position is available at the Department of Biotechnology and Food Sciences. The position is financed by NTNU and has a special responsibility for microbial synthetic and systems biology highly relevant for several ongoing national and international research projects at our Department. The appointment has duration of 4 years including teaching duties.

Information about the Department

The current research fields at the Department include synthetic biology, systems biology, biopolymer engineering, analysis and control of microbial systems, and food chemistry. The Department do much of its research in close collaboration with  and is physically co-localized with - SINTEF Department of Biotechnology. Further information is available at:

You will report to Professor Trygve Brautaset.

Duties of the position

The research for the postdoc position will be within molecular biology, including metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and systems biology with the overall aim to construct and understand microbial cell factories. This includes design and expression of genes and pathways in heterologous hosts (i.e. transcription, translation, protein stability, enzyme kinetics; synthetic biology) as well as functionality of synthetic pathways in the host metabolic network (i.e. energy and reducing power balance, metabolite and precursor pools, export capacity, toxic intermediates; systems biology). Bioinformatics for improved operon design implementing all possible parameters (gene coding sequences, promoters, untranslated leader regions, transcriptional terminators, synthetic mRNA stabilities, translational efficiencies) are also important aspects to be included. Currently our major model organisms are Gram-positive and methylotrophic Bacillus methanolicus and Gram-negative Escherichia coli, and we have previous experience from several additional microbial species. The products include amino acids, platform chemicals, recombinant proteins, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and terpenoids. We are open and positive to include additional microbial model systems into our research activities. Much of our research is in international collaboration.

We are seeking an ambitious and highly motivated person with good understanding of the above-mentioned fields and disciplines, and who enjoys planning and executing laboratory work. Career development will be one important aspect of this position including supervising Master and PhD candidates, teaching, and writing of grant proposals.

Required selection criteria

A successful applicant is highly competent, independent and at the same time a team player, and a highly motivated and ambitious person. The applicant should hold very good grades and must have a PhD within molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, or biology. Experience in fields related to the project such as mathematical modeling and computer programming will be considered an advantage. The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take interest in learning and working in teams.

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).

A postdoctoral research fellowships is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions. You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree in Molecular Biology or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

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.

Preferred selection criteria

  • skills in bioinformatics and/or modelling

Personal characteristics

  • work independently and with scientific and technological creativity
  • motivated and exellent teamplayer with positive attitude and with high ambitions on behalf of yourself and the group
  • enjoys supervising younger researchers as well as teaching

We offer

Salary and conditions

The employment period is 4 years including teaching duties.

Postdoctoral candidates are placed in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 542 400 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 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.

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. 

Applications with CV (that has all necessary information about education, scientific work and previous work experience), certificates from both Bachelor, Master and PhD, publications and other scientific works the applicant wants to be considered, copies of transcripts, (copies of documentation on English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), references, and reference letters should be submitted electronically through link at this page.

Together with the application we request a minimum 1 page "Personal Motivation Letter" including a discussion of research interests and experience in molecular biology of the applicant as well as some proposed research activities for this postdoc position.

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.

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 Trygve Brautaset, 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 NV-91/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 11.10.2020

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 Biotechnology and Food Science

Our activities contribute to increased exploitation of existing and new ingredients for sustainable food production as well as next-generation energy solutions and medical technology. We educate graduates for a wide range of careers in industry, public administration and academia. The Department of Biotechnology and Food Science is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 11th October 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Trondheim