PhD Candidate within AI for Automatic Quantification of Heart Function by Ultrasound

About the job

Cardiovascular diseases constitute one of the greatest medical challenges of our generation, being the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. In our interdisciplinary team of clinical and technical experts, we aim to develop, evaluate, and implement world-leading technologies based on ultrasound of the heart (echocardiography) and artificial intelligence (AI) for fully automated assessment of the heart’s function and structures. We are now seeking a highly motivated individual with a technical background and an interest for medical image analysis, automation and clinical research related to heart function.

The purpose of this project is to develop and evaluate next-generation methods for automatic quantification of heart function based on artificial intelligence and echocardiography. More specifically, you will have the opportunity to explore novel AI methods for regional myocardial function estimation by echocardiography, with the goal of improving non-invasive measurements of the heart's condition. To achieve this goal, you will conduct research on approaches such as convolutional neural networks, vision transformers, diffusion and generative models, and adapt them to the domain of echocardiography. We work closely with clinical experts, and to improve translation of developed methods and potential deployment at the hospital, emphasis is also on real-time capabilities and interpretability/explainability.

YouTube videos showing some of the technology we have developed in our group can be seen here:

If you want to pursue a technical PhD within artificial intelligence and image analysis which potentially can have real clinical impact, this is the position for you!

Position start: Flexible but latest October 2023

Duties of the position

This PhD position will involve development of deep learning methods for analysing ultrasound images of the heart. We mainly use Python and TensorFlow/PyTorch for development, and have a track record of models for image classification, segmentation, cardiac event detection, tissue motion estimation, in which the candidate will build upon. The candidate will also work on software development, for instance real-time prototype applications which can be tested by clinicians, as well as tools for AI modelling and analysis. The methods are validated in close collaboration with clinicians, through iterative feedback, validation and discussions.

Pursuing a PhD at ISB also gives the candidate opportunities to be part of an internationally recognized, innovative and strong research group and to publish research articles in international journals.

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 biophysics, medical technology, cybernetics, computer science, engineering, mathematics, acoustics, electronics, signal processing 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. We encourage master students with relevant projects who finish in the first half of 2023 to apply.

Other required selection criteria:

  • Good communication skills in both oral and written English
  • Good analytical and programming skills
  • Documented experience (e.g. github link, project) in programming and/or software development

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

  • Hands-on experience with machine learning/deep learning using tools such as TensorFlow and/or PyTorch
  • Experience and interest within ultrasound, or other medical imaging modalities
  • Interest in clinical research questions related to the heart
  • Prior written scientific output

Personal characteristics

  • Highly motivated for working with echocardiography, AI and cardiac function analysis
  • Enjoy programming and problem solving
  • Good team player with ability to work both independently and in interdisciplinary teams
  • Good work ethics and organisational skills          

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 501 200 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. 

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. 

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include the following: 

  • CV and certificates
  • 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.
  • Project proposal
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

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.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short 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

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.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality. 

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 contact Andreas Østvik, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Senior HR Consultant Julie Hoff, e-mail:

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.  

Application deadline: 15.03.2023


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 Circulation and Imaging (ISB) has 260 employees, and its research units are at the Cardiothoracic Centre at St. Olav’s Hospital, integrated with collaborating clinical divisions. The Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging (ISB) includes anaesthesiology, radiology, radiography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, exercise physiology, cardiovascular physiology, pulmonary physiology, pulmonary medicine, cardiology, vascular surgery, thoracic surgery and biomedical engineering.

The department is also responsible for the Centre for Innovative Ultrasound Solutions (CIUS), the Medical Simulation Centre and the MR Centre. More information about the department is available at

Deadline 15th March 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Øya campus

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