PhD Position in Marine Aquaculture/Larval Nutrition

Trondheim, Norway
07 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
29 Jan 2021
NV 118/20
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Biology has a vacancy for a PhD position in marine fish larval nutrition (aquaculture),  starting as soon as possible.

The PhD candidate will be enrolled at the Department of Biology (IBI) at NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, and the study will be organized as part of the PhD program at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at NTNU. The appointment is for three years, with the possibility of up to one-year extension with teaching duties in agreement with the department. The main supervisor for this PhD candidate will be professor Elin Kjørsvik at IBI (

The PhD position is funded by NTNU, and it is part of the NTNU aquaculture research projects related to Lipid Nutrition in Fish. You will work at NTNU Department of Biology within the Marine Science Group. The project will primarily be carried out at NTNU with possible periodic research stays at collaborating institutions.

The project background is that high production costs, variable growth, survival, and deformities are bottlenecks in marine fish juvenile production. Variability in juvenile quality may affect growth in sea cages and gives poor production predictability. Many of these problems can be attributed to suboptimal feeding during the larval stages. Despite the knowledge of the importance of dietary lipid composition, there is little information on the quantitative and qualitative requirements in larval and juvenile diets. Especially the phospholipids (PL) are important structural and functional components of cell membranes, brain and eye tissues, and larval stages are sensitive towards dietary PL deficiency.

Duties of the position

  • The aim of the PhD project is to gain a deeper understanding of dietary lipid requirements in marine fish larvae and juveniles, with a focus on larval nutrition, phospholipid requirements, and digestive and growth processes. In pursuit of this aim, the PhD candidate’s project is based on:

    • nutritional experiments with fish larvae and juveniles

    • analytical work based on own experiments and analyses from previous experimental activity; using e.g. light and electron microscopy, stereology, molecular analysis (gene expression), behavior, biochemistry.

  • You will be encouraged to have a research stay with a collaborating university outside Norway during the research period.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in aquaculture, marine biology, fish physiology 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.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in English. Applicants not from Norway and from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document advanced English skills by approved tests (see 

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.

Emphasis will also be placed on:

  • a solid basis in fish physiology, early life history of fish and/or fish larval nutrition
  • experience in planning and conducting experimental work
  • competence and experience in any relevant analytical techniques
  • scientific output; for example, master’s thesis of high quality; publications in a peer-reviewed journal
  • demonstrated command of research skills, particularly quantitative, including data management

The candidates’ motivation and personal aptitude for this position will also be taken into consideration.

Personal characteristics

The candidate is expected to:

  • Be scientifically curious and open to new research challenges
  • Demonstrate independence and persistence in addressing problems
  • Be flexible and reliable, with ability to work effectively, independently and as part of a team

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidate:

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 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 1 year extra for duty work at the department (i.e. up to 4 years if including 25% duty work).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biology ( within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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.

You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline.

The application must include:

  • ​A short and directed cover letter (in English or Norwegian) identifying:
    • Your motivation for a PhD study
    • Your understanding and thoughts of topics of the position
    • Why you are suited for the position.
  • CV including information relevant for the qualifications
  • Contact information for at least 2 reference persons
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts (in English or Norwegian)

Chosen applicants will be invited to undergo an interview.

Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered can also be added, if it is relevant for the topics of the position. Joint works will be considered if you have added an explanation of your own independent contribution to the work.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience, personal suitability, and motivation, as documented according to the requirements for the application. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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.

According to the 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 Elin Kjørsvik, telephone +47 918 97 578, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Torunn Elena Myhr Olsen, 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 118/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 10.01.2021

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 Biology 

We work with global challenges in natural diversity, climate, the environment, health and nutrition. Our expertise in biological processes at all levels – from molecules to ecosystems – contributes to a sustainable society. The Department educate graduates for a wide range of careers in public administration, business and academia. The Department of Biology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 29th January 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Gløshaugen

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