PhD Fellowship in Modelling and System Identification for Artificial Pancreas Applications

Trondheim, Norway
01 May 2018
End of advertisement period
15 Jul 2018
IE 100-2018
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (IE)

Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

A PhD Fellowship within mathematical modelling and system identification is available at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics (ITK), Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The position is affiliated with the Artificial Pancreas Trondheim (APT) research group.

The long term aim of the APT research group is to establish a robust artificial pancreas by combining continuous intraperitoneal (IP) glucose sensing, IP insulin delivery, and robust control algorithms. The “Double Intraperitoneal Artificial Pancreas” project is one out of twelve large research projects in the National Centre for Digital Life funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary research team with broad expertise in medicine (endocrinology, pharmacology, anesthesia and comparative medicine), biomedical cybernetics (modeling, identification and control), biosensor technology, and optical spectroscopy.

The position's field of research

This PhD project aims to develop an open-source simulator for glucose homeostasis in diabetes. The work will include improvement of existing dynamic models to better reflect actual system behavior in larger portions of the state space than is the case in current models. Research topics include mathematical modelling and system identification based on sensor data recorded during animal trials and clinical trials. The APT group has access to facilities, staff and other necessary resources for such data acquisition, and the candidate will be involved in the planning and conduction of such experiments as part of a larger experienced team.

The improved model will be implemented in CellML/OpenCOR or a similar software platform in order to facilitate proper curation of the end product and to make it accessible for the larger research community. The candidate is expected to spend part of the project period with a collaborating group abroad, e.g. Auckland Bioengineering Institute, Auckland, New Zealand.

Qualification requirements

Requirements of the applicant:

  • A master’s degree in cybernetics, control engineering, biomedical engineering or a related discipline.
  • A strong academic record with a weighted average grade of master’s or equivalent education with a grade of B or higher, in accordance with NTNU’s grading system.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English.
  • Strong skills in mathematical modelling and system identification.
  • Significant skills in computer programming.

 Emphasis will also be placed on:

  • Experience with multivariate modelling.
  • Knowledge of biology in general and human physiology in particular.
  • Experience in transdisciplinary work.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Willingness to learn Norwegian.

Applicants are required to justify their candidacy by explicitly explaining their personal motivation and academic aptitude for pursuing a doctoral degree within this research field.

This position is within a highly inter-disciplinary group – the candidate as a result must be able to articulate her/his ideas and be open to those well outside her/his comfort zone.

Applicants that expect to complete their master’s degree by summer 2018 can apply.

Academic results, publications, relevant specialization, work or research experience, personal qualifications, and motivation and a desire to make an impact on critical societal problems will be considered when evaluating the applicants.

It is a prerequisite that the PhD scholar applies for and is granted admission to the NTNU PhD studies as soon as possible after employment. NTNUs PhD rules require a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average ECTS grade of A or B within a scale of A–E for passing grades (A best). Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU.

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Formal regulations

Appointments are made in accordance with the regulations in force regarding terms of employment for PhD candidates issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, with relevant parts of the additional guidelines for appointment as a PhD candidate at NTNU.

Applicants must undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme of study during their period of employment. The person who is appointed must comply with the conditions that apply at any time to employees in the public sector. In addition, a contract will be signed regarding the period of employment.

The successful candidate will be appointed for a period of 3 years, with possible extension to a fourth year if the candidate and department agrees on teaching related duties.

Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU. Together with the application, include a description of the research work that is planned for completion during the period of the grant.

Salary conditions

The position follows code 1017, salary grade 50 – 62 in the Norwegian State salary scale, gross NOK 436 500 – 537 300 per year, depending on qualifications. A deduction of 2% is made as a statutory contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.


The main supervisor will be Associate Professor Anders Fougner ( ). The research activity will be associated with the APT (Artificial Pancreas Trondheim) group at NTNU ( ).

About the department

The Department of Engineering Cybernetics (Institutt for teknisk kybernetikk, ITK) has 24 professors, 17 adjunct professors, about 15 postdocs and researchers as well as 70 PhD candidates. Approximately 160 candidates graduate annually from the three MSc programs in cybernetics, which comprise over 700 students in total. Also, about 35 candidates graduate annually from the BSc study in electrical engineering with specialization in automation.

The research and educational activities at ITK include both fundamental and applied activities in areas such as automatic control and systems theory; estimation and optimization; cyber-physical systems; autonomous unmanned vehicles; robotics; ships and marine systems; process control; smart grids; offshore renewable energy; automated drilling; biomedical technology; safety-critical systems; embedded and real-time systems; systems engineering; and fisheries and aquaculture cybernetics.


NTNU can offer an informal and friendly workplace with dedicated colleagues, academic challenges and attractive schemes for home loans, insurance and pensions in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of the gender, disability or cultural background.

The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector, and assessments regarding the legislations regulating export control and knowledge transfer.

Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

Further details about the position can be obtained from Associate Professor Anders Fougner. Email: .

Applicants are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

The application with a CV and certified copies of diplomas and certificates must be sent electronically via this page  ( ) with information about education and relevant experience (all in one combined PDF file).

Please, mark the application with the corresponding reference code: IE 100-2018.

Deadline for applications: 15 July 2018.


  • Deadline Sunday, July 15, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 152279
  • Internal ID 2018/12893
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Project


  • 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!