Researcher within functional genomics in Atlantic salmon

Deadline: 22.11.2021

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,800 employees of which about 250 phd scholarships and 6,000 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

About The Faculty of Biosciences

The Faculty of Biosciences (BIOVIT) aims to help shape the future food- and bio-production through teaching and research within biology and sustainable production and use of plants, livestock and fish. The faculty has an annual turnover of approx. 250 million kroner. The faculty is organized into nine research sections: Genome Biology, Breeding and

Quantitative Genetics, Ruminant Nutrition and Physiology, Ethology and Animal Environment, Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Agroecology, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Plant Protection and Food Crops, Plant Biology and Biotechnology. The faculty has seven large and small research centers and laboratories, including a Center for Outstanding Innovation - Foods of Norway. The faculty is responsible for bachelor's and master's degrees in Aquaculture, Biology, Animal Science and Plant science as well as English-language master's degrees in Agroecology, Plant Sciences, Feed Manufacturing Technology and Genome Sciences.

The faculty is responsible for PhD degrees in animal science and plant science. The faculty currently has about 690 bachelor and master students and 90 PhD students. The faculty has about 240 employees and its own faculty administration.

Are you interested in gene-editing of structural variants in fish with whole-genome duplication?

About the position

The Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 1.5-year Researcher or 2 year PostDoctor position in functional genomics. The position is financed with the RCN-funded project SalmoSV.

Genomic structural variants including deletions, duplications, inversions, and translocations of genetic sequences, are rich resources for genetic diversity. In particular, Atlantic salmon genomes show extreme levels of genomic structural variants, likely due to their unique history of recent whole-genome duplication. Structural variants in Atlantic salmon genomes are one of the most promising frontiers in both evolutionary genomics and aquacultural genomics. However, due to their complex nature, which and how structural variants have driven adaptive evolution with functional advantage are yet to be clarified.

Currently, we are investigating structural variants in Atlantic salmon from different populations by long-read sequencing technologies and found dozens of interesting candidate genetic variants that may leading phenotypic diversity.

The goal of this project is to reveal the functional impact of target structural variants on early development in Atlantic salmon by gene-editing in cell lines and embryos.

The successful candidate will join CIGENE (https://cigene.no/), a multidisciplinary genome biology research group. CIGENE has established excellent wet lab facilities (CIGENE genomics lab) for automated high-throughput omics analyses and gene-editing technology, as well as the connected CIGENE Bioinformatics & Computational Unit.


[1] Lien, et al., https://doi.org/10.1038/nature17164[2]Bertolotti, et al., https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18972-x

[3] Saitou and Gokcumen, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00239-019-09911-6

[4] Straume and Kjærner-Semb https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-57295-w

Main tasks

The main purpose of the post-doctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions.

The goal of this project is to reveal the functional impact of target structural variants on early development in Atlantic salmon using CRISPR-Cas9 and/or Tol2 transgenesis in embryo and/or cell lines.

To achieve this goal, the recruited researcher/postdoc will collaborate with the ongoing Atlantic salmon genomics project team at CIGENE.

The candidate will:

  • Participate in the selection process of targets from the candidate list
  • design, develop and perform CRISPR experiments and Tol2 transgenesis of salmon embryos and/or cell lines
  • investigate phenotype in Atlantic salmon embryo, skin and liver cell lines
  • Illumina-based DNA, RNA sequencing in collaboration with bioinformatics researchers
  • disseminate research in leading scientific journals in the field
  • Work with other researchers, incuding PhD and master’s students

Planned starting date is April 1st. 2022.


The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required Academic qualifications

  • PhD degree in genetics, molecular biology or related field
  • Experience with gene-editing
  • Extensive experience in advanced molecular biology

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Experience with construction of vectors
  • Experience with CRISPR in salmonids
  • Familiarity with injection of fish embryos
  • Experience with cell cultures
  • Experience with developing experimental procedures
  • Experience with imaging

You need to:

  • Have good collaborative skills and high motivation
  • Ability to work independently displaying initiative and creative thought
  • Have analytical and academic approach to research questions
  • Be proficient in English, both written and spoken

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1109 Researcher, wage framework 24 (salary grade 61-77) (NOK 542.400-741.300) or in government pay scale position code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow, wage framework 24 (salary grade 59-77) (NOK 523.200-741.300), on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment depending on qualifications. The position follows ordinary meriting regulations.

For further information, please contact Dr. Marie Saitou (about project overview) and Dr. Guro Katrine Sandvik (about technical detail)

Please don’t send application by email. Application needs to be submitted via JobbNorge to be processed.

information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above and submit required documents. Please make sure you read and understand the entire job description. Don’t send application by email. Applications by email or applications without required documents may not be reviewed.

Application deadline: 22.11.2021

Applications should include (electronically)

  • A letter of intent includes:
    • Why are you interested in this particular project?
    • How can you contribute to the project based on your specific skillsets?
  • Curriculum vitae + publication list (a short description of the applicants contribution to each paper must be included)
  • Materials that show the applicant’s skill: Attach a one-page copy of lab notebook which includes results/notes from a relevant experiment
  • Task related to the applicant’s knowledge: One-page A4 report which explains “Efficient methods for insertion of a specific sequence into the Atlantic salmon genome (potential and existing)”.
  • Copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified)
  • At least two academic reference persons.

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