PhD Candidate in Ultra-High Field MRI

Trondheim, Norway
28 Jan 2021
End of advertisement period
26 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 100% position as PhD candidate in MR physics at the Department of Physics, NTNU. The PhD candidate will join a newly established research group focusing on methodological development of quantitative and functional MRI of the spinal cord at ultra-high field.

The goal of the PhD project is to establish techniques for robust high-resolution quantitative MRI (qMRI) of the spinal cord at ultra-high field. Improved qMRI techniques hold potential to improve detection and diagnosis of diseases with spinal cord involvement, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM). The small cross-sectional diameter of the spinal cord makes high resolution imaging essential for accurate depiction of the cord. Furthermore, spinal cord MRI poses specific challenges related to physiological processes, such as cardiac and respiratory motion. Overcoming these challenges will require innovative new approaches to data acquisition and image reconstruction.

The position is affiliated with the ultra-high field MR physics group at the Department of Physics, in close collaboration with the Norwegian 7T MR Center ( The project will involve collaboration with international partners and will yield opportunities to present research results at international congresses.

You will report to Associate Professor Johanna Vannesjo.

Duties of the position

  • Acquire data on clinical and ultra-high field MR scanners (3T and 7T)
  • Develop methods to estimate physiological processes (e.g. cardiac and respiratory motion) based on raw MR data and auxiliary physiological measurements
  • Implement and develop advanced image reconstruction algorithms to remove unwanted signal perturbations
  • Perform quantitative image analysis 
  • Present results of the project in written and oral form to the international scientific community

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 physics, engineering, related discipline 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 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.

Required qualifications:

  • A university degree (Master of Science or equivalent) in physics, engineering or related discipline. Specialization in medical physics or biomedical engineering is desirable, but not required. Candidates expecting to complete their MSc before September 1, 2021 may also apply.
  • Programming skills, preferably in Matlab, C++, Python or Julia
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken

Preferred selection criteria

  • Relevant experience within MRI, for example experience with image acquisition, sequence development, image reconstruction or image analysis
  • Relevant experience in signal processing and/or image processing
  • Experience with machine learning algorithms
  • Basic knowledge in neuroscience
  • Experience with research in medical physics or development of medical technology

Personal characteristics

  • Creative and highly motivated to do research in medical physics
  • High working and implementation capacity
  • Enjoy teamwork as well as working independently in a stimulating scientific environment
  • Collaborative, with good communication skills

We offer

Salary and conditions

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 4 years, including 1 year (25%) teaching duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme 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 or Norwegian.

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. 

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following):

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Statement on research interests (max. 1 page)
  • Optionally, you may include academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 2 works)
  • Name and address of three referees
  • Documentation of English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) if English or a Scandinavian language is not the applicant's mother tongue 

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 Johanna Vannesjo, 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-21/24 when applying.

Application deadline: 26.02.21

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 26th February 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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