PhD Position in Hypertension Plasticity in Response to Physical Activity

Trondheim, Norway
20 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term, Temporary
Full Time

This position is one of six available PhD positions linked to the project:

A Digital Twin for Essential Hypertension Management and Treatment  

- My Medical Digital Twin (MyMDT) -

All the six successful PhD candidates linked to this project are expected to work and collaborate closely throughout the duration of the project. Sharing knowledge, experience and research is the key to a successful result.

Two positions relating to this project are available at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, (Intervention strategies for hypertensives based on medical digital twins and Hypertension plasticity in response to physical activity), two positions are available at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (Physics-informed Statistical Machine Learning for sensor-acquired big data) and the last two positions are available at the Faculty of Engineering (Robust cardiovascular models using minimal data sets for prediction of hypertension and Sensor technology for model learning and as robust in situ data source from patients).

This position is a fixed term, full time (100 %) position for 4 years, where one of these years is allocated for mandatory teaching of classes.

The candidate is expected to start in the autumn 2018.

Institute and research group

This PhD position is linked to the Department of Public Health and Nursing (ISM). For more information about the department, see The position is within the K.G. Jebsen Center for Genetic Epidemiology, under supervision of Professor Kristian Hveem, but also closely linked to the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG), Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, NTNU, under supervision of Professor Ulrik Wisløff. We aim to define optimal exercise programs for “most people” in order to increase the likelihood of developing and preserving good health throughout life, also related to genetic variation.


We have demonstrated that physical activity is effective in treating hypertension. Here we aim to combine massive physiological data, genetic variants and cardiovascular models developed in collaboration with PhD1, aiming to understand phenotypic plasticity of hypertensive patients in response to physical activity. Variations in the cardiovascular model parameters (e.g. arterial compliance) may be associated with genetic variations. Genome-wide association analyses on such cardiovascular model parameters representing lower-level phenotypes is likely to reveal much more of the genetic variation influencing the higher-level traits13. With such “genotype to parameter mapping” we expect that our cardiovascular models will not only help us to identify more causative genetic variation, but also provide a direct causally cohesive link between lower-level phenotypes and our focal high-level phenotypes. This will substantially advance our understanding of how phenotypic (hypertensive) plasticity responses to physical activity depend on genotype, physiological status and PA regimes, and how they affect cardiovascular function in patients with hypertension. These models, together with discovery and characterization of novel genetic biomarkers, will provide substantial support for personalized medicine approaches regarding PA in hypertensive patients, ultimately leading to improved diagnostics, clinical decision-making and therapies.

Based on the third wave of the HUNT3-study, there is a unique opportunity for longitudinal follow-up utilizing phenotypic modelling and omics based analyses of previously collected and stored blood samples at multiple time points, based on genetic profiling, to study the etiology of hypertension.

Requirements of the applicant:

  • Master`s degree in a relevant topic. Students in their final stage of completing their degree are also invited to apply.
  • A strong academic record with a weighted average grade of master’s or equivalent education with a grade B or higher, in accordance with NTNU’s grading system.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English

Emphasis will also be placed on

  • Experience in any of the other PhD topics linked to this project.
  • Personal motivation and proven ability to work independently and in team, as well as potential as a researcher.

We offer

  • An excellent research environment in one of Europe’s most modern research facilities (St.Olavs Hospital, Trondheim) and the K.G. Jebsen Center for Genetic Epidemiology at NTNU/St. Olavs Hospital
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration in an early stage of the research career.

The Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. If necessary, we will adapt the workplace for people with disabilities.

More information regarding moving to Trondheim, Norway, and working at NTNU:

Depending on qualifications and academic background, PhD Candidates (in code 1017) at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences will be remunerated at a minimum of NOK 436 500 per year before tax. Normal wage level is NOK 436 500 - 499 200 of which 2% is deducted for the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The appointment will be made in accordance with current regulations and supplementary rules with guidelines for employment as PhD Candidate appointments at universities and university colleges.

Admission to a doctoral degree programme is a requirement for employment as a PhD candidate.

For regulations concerning the PhD-degree at NTNU, please see:

How to apply

Applicants are asked to apply via the website The application should contain the following attachments:

  • A cover letter describing why you are an excellent candidate for this position (single page, no formatting requirements).
  • CV (Relevant work experience, technical expertise, list of publications, if any).
  • Certificates and diplomas (see “Requirements” above)
  • Short statement from a former supervisor/teacher.
  • Contact information for two references.
  • If the applicant has not yet submitted his/her MSc thesis, he/she should instead include a short description of the project, its current status and main findings.
  • Any other document you consider relevant.

Chosen applicants will be invited to undergo an interview.

Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

Candidates from non-English speaking countries outside the Nordic countries must provide official documentation of their English competence. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). The following results are required: TOEFL: 600 / writing 4.5 (paper-based test), 92 / writing 22 (internet- based test) IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted) CAE/CPE: grade B or A.>

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Deadline for applications: 27.05.2018

For further information about the position, please contact:

Professor Kristian Hveem, Department of Public Health and Nursing, NTNU, email:

or Professor Ulrik WisløffCardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG), Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, NTNU, email:

For enquires regarding the application procedures, please contact:

HR Consultant Håvard Tangvik, email :

Please note that under the Norwegian Civil Service Act, information about applicants may be made public even though the applicant has requested not to be included on the list of applicants.

Please note that applications will be assessed based on the information submitted at this page. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all relevant attachments are submitted by the deadline


  • Deadline Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 151079
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary


  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!