PhD Candidate in Intestinal biology and colorectal cancer

Trondheim, Norway
18 May 2022
End of advertisement period
15 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

A new PhD position is available in the lab of Dr. Mara Martin-Alonso, Group Leader at CEMIR, whose group is integrated into a more senior group headed by Dr. Menno Oudhoff. Our main scientific goal is to understand how diseases in mucosal surfaces such as the gut are started and develop in time.

This project focuses on how epithelium is reprogrammed in processes such as intestinal repair and tumorigenesis, and how this process is controlled by stromal partners during tumor formation and metastasis. The main goal of the PhD candidate will be to unravel the role of the intestinal smooth muscle in these processes, thus including studying the pathophysiology of cancer metastasis. The work will be a combination of ex vivo organoid cultures, in vivo tumor models, combined with RNAseq, histology, flow cytometry, microscopy, bioinformatics and general cell and biochemical work.

The period of employment for the position is 4 years, preferably starting after summer 2022.

Our laboratory consists of an international team of enthusiastic biologists, with an exciting and extremely good work environment.  

We seek a highly motivated new colleague with preferred experience in cancer and/or intestinal biology. You are expected to spearhead your research line. You should be able to present your data by writing and publishing in scientific journals, and by orally presenting them at meetings. Thus, oral and written competence of the English language is a must.

We are looking forward to bringing in an excited candidate that will complement our current strengths, who can work independently, but also participate and contribute to the research of others in the group.

Please read our recent publications to have a broad overview of techniques and approaches used in our laboratory.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Duties of the position

  • Work with intestinal organoids. Isolation, culture and maintenance of normal and tumorigenic organoids.
  • Mouse work. Models of inflammation, tumor development and organoids isolation. Colony maintenance.
  • Analysis of organoids/mice models using general cell and molecular biology tools including histology, microscopy, flow cytometry, RNA and protein analysis by RNA-seq and proteomics, western blot, qPCR, etc.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in cancer research, molecular medicine, or a related field
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level 
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program 
  • Proficiency in oral and written English

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

Emphasis will also be placed on experience with the following areas:

  • Prior experience in animal model research, preferably in mice
  • Prior experience in organoids and/or cell culture
  • Felasa C certification is beneficial
  • Technical skills in molecular and cellular biology, and genetics
  • Experience in flow cytometry, histology, immunostaining and imaging (e.g., confocal microscopy)
  • Ability to do programming to analyze large data sets

Personal characteristics

  • Ability to work both independently and in a team
  • Ambitious
  • Honest and reliable
  • Open-minded and including
  • Stamina

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 4 years (with teaching duties decided together with the group leader and the head of the department).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in  Medicine and Health Sciences 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.

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: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • Cover letter justifying your interest and fit for the position
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • 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 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.

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 Mara Martin Alonso, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Elisabeth Myrvang, 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).

Application deadline: 15.06.2022

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.

The Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine (IKOM):

The Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine (IKOM) is NTNU’s largest department, with 450 employees. Our research and teaching help to improve treatment and health.

IKOM has expertise in basic, clinical and translational research within broad disciplinary areas. We study children’s and women’s health, cancers, blood disorders and infectious diseases, gastroenterology, inflammation, metabolic disorders, laboratory sciences and medical ethics. The Department offers teaching in medicine at master’s and PhD level. We also offer continuing education for employees in the health services.

Deadline 15th June 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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