PhD Position in Marine Environmental Chemistry

Alesund, Norway
06 Oct 2021
End of advertisement period
31 Oct 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position within the area of marine environmental chemistry. NTNU seeks a highly qualified, ambitious and motivated candidate to investigate the environmental levels of copper in commercial sea-based aquaculture production systems.

This vacancy is for a position at Department of Biological Sciences in Ålesund at Faculty of Natural Sciences. The appointment has a duration of three years with the possibility for one year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. For teaching duties, it is required that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language. The PhD will be registered at Faculty of Natural Sciences. This position will lead to a doctoral degree (PhD). The workplace is at NTNU in Ålesund, but the candidate should be prepared to spend some time at the Institute of chemistry at NTNU in Trondheim.

The Department of Biological Sciences Ålesund (IBA) is closely linked to the regional industry, both in the health and the marine sector. The department focuses on interdisciplinary research and research-based innovation related to sustainable salmon farming, the marine environment, marine ingredients and medical and laboratory technology. The department holds a full-scale farming license for salmonids located at several farming sites in Møre og Romsdal. Further information is available at the department’s homepage:

The position reports to Head of department.

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will investigate the levels of waterborne copper within commercial sea-based fish cages that use copper-based antifouling, including how these levels vary with environmental conditions. The candidate will also investigate the levels of copper in fouling organisms occurring on net-pens and other structures within fish farms.

The work will include:

  • The use of passive samplers (diffusive gradient thin films) and collection of water samples within different fish farms.
  • Sampling of fouling fauna from commercial fish farms.
  • Sampling of environmental data (water currents, temperature, salinity etc.)
  • Possible experimental field or laboratory studies.
  • Sample treatment and analysis by ICP-MS
  • Analysis and statistical treatment of data
  • Publication of peer-review scientific papers and dissemination at scientific conferences.

The PhD position is connected to the project “Effects of antifouling copper coating in aquaculture” (Norwegian Research council project no. 325849). The work will be conducted in cooperation with the other national and international research partners in the project, as well as the research group on aquaculture-environment interaction at IBA. The candidate should however have strong independent capabilities related to both laboratory and field work.

Detailed information on our PhD programs is found at:

Required selection criteria

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 an academic background in natural science, preferably within the major fields of analytical or environmental chemistry, environmental toxicology or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with other backgrounds, like marine biology or environmental sciences, might be considered if the candidate has relevant competence that is transferable to the topic described in this vacancy. 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 Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • knowledge about and interest in analytical or environmental chemistry
  • extensive laboratory experience, preferably on trace element analysis by ICP-MS or similar analytical methods
  • basic marine biological knowledge
  • strong ability to work problem oriented
  • good analytical skills
  • documented experience with field work will be an advantage
  • Good written and oral English language skills

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language should provide evidence of good written and oral English language skills. The following tests can be used as documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Personal characteristics

  • self-motivated, enthusiastic and creative
  • strong collaborative skills
  • ability to work independent and goal-oriented
  • interest in multidisciplinary problem solving
  • ability and willingness to conduct field-work at sea

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 normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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 three years with the possibility for one year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department.

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.

The position is subject to external funding.

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 a scandinavian language.

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 : 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Name and address of three referees 

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

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 and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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 Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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.

In accordance with The Public 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 Associate professor Snorre Bakke, phone number +47 92 68 78 92, 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-21/327 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.10.21

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 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.

Deadline 31st October 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Ålesund
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU i Ålesund