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PhD Candidate in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioprocess Technology

Trondheim, Norway
Closing date
31 Dec 2023

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About the job

Department of Biotechnology and Food Sciences (IBT) is looking for a PhD candidate in Microbial Biotechnology and Bioprocess Technology

About the position: We have a vacancy for a PhD position at Division of Microbial Biotechnology at IBT: Research Microbial Biotechnology. For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree. This PhD position will be part of the project “Value creation from agrifood side streams within circular bioeconomy (AgriFood)”, led by RISE PFI ( and with NTNU as a partner. Agrifood project aims to develop knowledge and methods for valorisation of agrifood side streams into high quality value-added compounds such as food and feed ingredients, and thus contribute to sustainable bioeconomy. This PhD position will have research focus on microbial utilization of agrifood side streams, which includes microbial molecular biology, bioprocess engineering and biomass upgrading. The overall project goal is to develop microbial cell factories that can produce value-added chemicals and proteins from these side streams.

The project group comprises a strong interdisciplinary consortium with scientists having complementary background from fractionation and extraction, biopolymer chemistry, microbial biotechnology, food safety, and sustainability, together with industry partners representing both the agricultural industry, breweries, and food processing industry. The PhD candidate will be a part of this team, and first and foremost work together with the scientists at NTNU and RISE PFI.

Your immediate leader is Professor Trygve Brautaset at NTNU Division of Microbial Biotechnology and you will also be supervised by Researcher Fernando Perez-Garcia from and co-supervised by Mihaela Tanase-Opedal from RISE PFI.

Duties of the position

  • Upgrading and testing of agrifood side streams as microbial feedstocks
  • Development of microbial cell factories by using genetic engineering
  • Use bioinformatics, genome-scale models and omics data to elucidate and understand cell metabolism
  • Applied analytics to characterize microbial cell factories
  • Microbial cultivations at different scales
  • Collaborate with researchers and engineers from both NTNU and RISE PFI
  • Dissemination of research results in the form of conferences, peer-reviewed publications and reports together with supervisors and project partners

Required selection criteria

  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program in Biotechnology, Life sciences or a related field.
  • 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 have experimental experience in molecular biology work
  • You must have Good written and oral English language skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate 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 and skills in bioprocesses / fermentations at different cultivation scales
  • Knowledge and skills in bioinformatics and computational science
  • Experience with modelling and simulation of biological processes

Personal characteristics

  • Motivated and ambitious personality with a general interest in science
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others
  • Analytical mindset and good problem-solving skills
  • Ability to clearly communicate ideas and knowledge
  • Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

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 532 200 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.The PhD should start as soon as possible, but no later than 01.06.2024.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biotechnology (PhD programme in Biotechnology - NTNU) 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 from the Reserach Council of Norway.

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 Norwegian or English.

Publications and other scientific work must be attached to 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: 

  • 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.
  • Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • An up to 1 page motivation letter stating why you wish to have this particular PhD position
  • 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. (tas bort hvis ikke aktuelt)

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 Professor Trygve Brautaset, 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.  

Application deadline: 31.12.2023


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.

Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

Our activities contribute to increased exploitation of existing and new ingredients for sustainable food production as well as next-generation energy solutions and medical technology. We educate graduates for a wide range of careers in industry, public administration and academia. The Department of Biotechnology and Food Science is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 31st December 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen, NTNU, 7491 Trondheim

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