Doctoral Studentship

Trondheim, Norway
10 Nov 2020
End of advertisement period
06 Dec 2020
Academic Discipline
Physical Sciences, Physics & Astronomy
Contract Type
Full Time


Research Center Description

At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world's largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter - fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on

At NTNU, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Physics Department, the fields of laser physics and technology as well as atomic and nuclear physics are well represented. The position covers several fields, as it relates to developments in the fields of solid-state lasers, antimatter physics, laser cooling, and laser spectroscopy.

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

Job Description

Imagine getting involved in cutting-edge research and technology before you’ve left university.

Imagine working in an international environment, acquiring skills to bring back to your country.

Become a NTNU-CERN Doctoral Student 

In partnership with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), and with their financial support, CERN and NTNU are launching a capacity-building PhD studentship. This initiative aims to support doctoral students with exceptional potential to carry out research at the CERN antimatter experimental facility and at the Laser Physics Group of the Physics Department of NTNU.

As a Doctoral Student you would benefit from exposure to world-class research and technology, and have both a CERN and an NTNU supervisor to support you in your research and development with a focus on a joint NTNU – CERN project “Chirped optical laser cooling of positronium“.

This is a chance to work on your doctoral thesis at the forefront of science, over a period of three to four years. You will initially spend 1.5 years at NTNU, up to two years at CERN, and a final period of 0.5 years at NTNU to finalize your thesis. If you are studying Physics, Engineering or Computer Science, this is an invitation to further broaden your knowledge in a truly international environment at NTNU and a unique international organization CERN, to get involved in world-famous experiments of unprecedented scale and scope, including the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and to bring back to your university and country new skills and expertise.


  • In order to qualify for a place on this inaugural call you will need to meet the following requirements:
  • Reflecting the objectives of the NTNU, you will be enrolled in NTNU PhD physics program.
  • You are about to start your doctoral-level studies or, preferably, have already completed at least six months of university enrolment at this level.
  • Your work envisaged at CERN and NTNU is all or part of the thesis work required to obtain your PhD at NTNU. Please note that while the daily co-supervisor during your stay at CERN could be a CERN Member of Personnel, the full PhD supervision and the award of the degree remains the responsibility of NTNU.
  • You have experience with development of novel lasers.
  • You have a good knowledge of English.

In addition, on NTNU side also the following requirement applies:

  • You have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in laser physics 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.

During your studies at CERN, CERN will provide you with:

  • A first contract of association for 12 months.
  • A second contract of association for another period of up to 12 months may then be considered, depending on the availability of additional funding.
  • An allowance of 3719 Swiss Francs per month (net of tax) during your stay at CERN.
  • A travel allowance.
  • Depending on your personal circumstances, a supplement if you are married, in a registered partnership, and/or have children and these dependents will accompany you in your stay at CERN.
  • Coverage by CERN’s comprehensive Health Insurance scheme (the contribution will be automatically deducted from your allowance), during your stay at CERN.
  • 2,5 days of paid leave per month during your stay at CERN.
  • Please note that CERN cannot contribute to any tuition fees related to your home university, nor pay any allowance during the periods you will not stay at CERN.

During your studies, NTNU will offer you:

  • A PhD fellowship work contract for 24 months (18 + 6 months), including applicable social security, holiday, pension and health benefits. 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.
  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions

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.

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 on a daily basis during your stay at NTNU.

Required documentation:

You will need the following documents, clearly labelled (e.g., “CV”, “Motivation letter”, “Academic transcript”, etc.) and in PDF format to complete your application:

  • A CV;
  • A letter of motivation, also mentioning the impact of obtaining this grant on your studies, your career, and capacity building in the academic community in your country;
  • A statement of research interest;
  • Three letters of reference, of which one from the university professor who would supervise your PhD studies at NTNU. Once your application has been submitted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail which contains a link to the CERN/NTNU reference letter submission form. Please forward this link to the three referees);
  • A letter confirming the interest of an NTNU university team active at CERN to accept to co-supervise your thesis work. This letter can be from one of your three referees;
  • A copy of your most recent academic transcript and your last diploma;

Diversity has been an integral part of CERN's mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.

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

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

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 prof. Irina Sorokina, +47-91897909, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Linda Marie Hansen, 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-110/20 when applying.

Application deadline:

Your application, along with all supporting documents, should reach us no later than 23 November 2020. Please note that your application may be shared during the evaluation process with an external panel to help assess its capacity-building potential. Ultimately, it will be reviewed by a panel of NTNU and CERN experts who will meet at the beginning of December 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 Physics

Our research and teaching are both experimental and theoretical, covering a wide range of disciplines. Our activities contribute to development of new medical technology and to finding solutions for the next generation’s communication technology, energy utilization and development of materials. The Department of Physics is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 23rd November 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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