PhD Candidate in Tumor Biology

6 days left

Trondheim, Norway
29 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
15 Aug 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 100 % position as PhD candidate in the fields of computational and experimental tumor biology, which is available from the Autumn of 2022.

Research at the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science focuses on cancer, including cellular and molecular mechanisms as well as personalized diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We collaborate closely with basic researchers and clinicians at NTNU and St. Olav’s University Hospital in Trondheim. Our overall goal is to improve diagnostics and treatment for the benefit of patients and next-of-kin. We have access to relevant infrastructures for experimental and translational research with state-of-the-art equipment, as well as to core facilities in imaging, bioinformatics, genomics, and proteomics.

In the position as a PhD candidate, your main goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree. The purpose of your PhD research is to develop a computational-experimental approach to understand and target cancer pathways and tumor microenvironment communication primarily in epithelial ovarian cancer. You will be part of the Cancer-Stroma Crosstalk research group ( led by Professor Kaisa Lehti. Initial data analysis will focus on group’s preliminary datasets linking tumor extracellular matrix pathways to cancer cell metabolic traits and therapy response. Your study will be jointly supervised by Kaisa Lehti (experimental, Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science), Martin Kuiper (computational, Department of Biology) and Åsmund Flobak (computational to translational, Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine).

Your immediate leader is Professor Kaisa Lehti.

Duties of the position

  • Data analysis of publicly available data (single cells, cell line models, clinical cohorts) and laboratory experiment-derived data to guide the development of computational models as well as the experimental testing and validation of model-based predictions.
  • Design and develop computational models for therapy treatment simulations, based on DrugLogics software (see and other software solutions from collaboration partners.
  • Use of cell lines and primary patient samples to test the responses for the predicted drug combinations in highly relevant experimental (co-)culture models.
  • Compare computational model predictions as well as the experimental results with clinical observations from patients with available treatment outcome data to evaluate model compliance with patient tumour behaviour and drug response.

Required selection criteria

  • A professionally relevant background in bioinformatics/computational biology, and in a field such as cell biology or biochemistry.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level. 
  • A strong academic background from 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 (PhD education - Faculty of Natural Sciences - NTNU).
  • Proficiency in oral and written English.
  • Prior experience relevant for computer modeling and data analysis as well as the ability to assess critically the cancer cell pathways and biological background.
  • Prior experience in the use of bash/Linux, R/Bioconductor or similar.
  • Prior experience or strong motivation to learn experimental cell biology laboratory work.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  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

  • Prior experience with building, simulating and analysing Boolean models
  • Experience with and motivation to work in an interdisciplinary scientific setting

Personal characteristics

We seek candidates who 

  • are motivated and able to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration
  • have good communication and networking skills
  • are team players, able to convert meeting minutes into action
  • are proactive and forthcoming, able to work independently

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross 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 3 years with the possibility of 1 year extension due to teaching duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD program in Medical Technology (PhD education - Faculty of Natural Sciences - NTNU) within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD program 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.

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: 

  • Short statement on the applicant's personal qualifications and motivation for the position
  • CV, including list of publications, relevant former positions and references
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees
  • Contact information for three references
  • A short statement from a former supervisor/tutor/teacher may also be included

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.

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

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

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.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please Professor Kaisa Lehti, email:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  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.

Application deadline: 15.08.2022

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.

Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science 

We are responsible for the bachelor’s degree programmes for medical laboratory technologists at NTNU. We conduct research in areas relevant to the teaching we provide and to the development of medical diagnostics. We work in close cooperation with the University Hospital, St Olavs Hospital. The Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

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

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