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PhD Candidate in Cancer Cell Biology

Trondheim, Norway
Closing date
15 Mar 2024

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About the job

A PhD position is available in the research group of Assoc. Prof. Kai Sandvold Beckwith at the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, NTNU, Norway.

Cancer is characterized by a cascade of genomic alterations leading to a hyperproliferative cell state. Early events in this cascade involve genomic rearrangements frequently occurring at structurally fragile genomic sites. The newly established Beckwith group aims to determine the role of genome structure in cancer progression. We are particularly interested in how the spatial and temporal organization of nanoscopic genomic regions leads to genome fragility and cancer susceptibility, which we study in single cells using cutting-edge high resolution microscopy approaches (read more about the group here:

We are looking for an adventurous and highly motivated PhD candidate with experience and strong interest in microscopy, cell biology, biophysics or genomics. The successful candidate will develop new spatial genomics approaches based on multiplexed fluorescent microscopy and apply these techniques to study genome organization and function in cell lines and clinical samples.

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

Starting date: August 2024 or earlier.

Your immediate leader is the supervising Associate Professor.

Duties of the position

These include but are not limited to:

  • Developing a hypothesis into a tractable research question and experimentally test it
  • Assembling the tools, reagents and know-how required to complete the research project
  • Keeping up-to-date on relevant literature in the field
  • Presenting and disseminating results from the project and drafting paper(s)

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in cell biology, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, bionanotechnology or equivalent, including laboratory experience
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, 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.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by August 2024.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the Faculty of Natural Sciences PhD Program 
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English

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

  • Experience and interest in advanced light microscopy
  • Experience in image analysis for cell- and sub-cellular studies
  • Basic programming skills
  • Experience in oligonucleotide-based visualization, multiplexing and barcoding methods/spatial omics methods
  • Experience in cancer cell biology or cancer genomics
  • Practical experience with molecular biology and cell biology methods

Personal characteristics

  • Ability to work independently and capable of interacting within a group
  • Sharing, including and honest
  • Ambitious and perseverant

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • excellent research infrastructure and labs in the University Hospital campus
  • possibilities for research stay in collaborators labs in Norway or abroad
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

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 (with the possibility of up to 1 year extension with 25 % teaching duties in agreement with the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Sciences).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in the Faculty of Natural Sciences (PhD education - Faculty of Natural 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 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:

  • Motivation letter
  • CV and certificates
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees.
  • Name and contact information of two referees
  • Publications or other relevant research work (for example: master’s thesis, preliminary transcript of master’s thesis if still under preparation, specialization project)

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 Assoc. Prof. Kai Sandvold Beckwith, 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: 15.03.2024

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 March 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Høgskoleringen 1, 7491 Trondheim

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