PhD Research Fellowship in molecular exercise physiology

Deadline: 26.05.2024

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,500 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

INN University aspires to build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will spearhead regionally, nationally and internationally. We are developing a new and better institution with high academic and pedagogical quality, aiming at achieving university accreditation by 2025.

Our vision is "Stronger Together".

Stipendiat - Trainome

About the position

The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN) invites applications for a PhD research fellowship in the field of molecular exercise physiology; MapT2D: Mapping the etiology of impaired adaptation to exercise training in type 2 diabetes. The place of work is Campus Lillehammer. 

The duration of the PhD Research Fellow is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time each year comprises mandatory duties, with teaching and supervision at Department of Public Health and Sport Sciences as central tasks. 

The candidate will apply for admission to the PhD program in health and welfare (HELVEL). It is a requirement that the PhD research fellow qualifies for admission to the University's PhD program in Health and Welfare (HELVEL). The final plan of the doctoral education must be approved and agreed upon no later than three months after starting in the position. Applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

About the research group

The research group “Trainome” primarily consists of staff from the Section for Health and Exercise Physiology and works specifically on mapping training responses to various types of training in different individuals. How the response changes by altering the type of training, or for instance, training volume, or training resistance and how the response is influenced by the individual's physiological status (for example, genetic predispositions or nutritional status). Responses examined include muscular effects (muscle strength, volume, quality, fiber type composition, protein synthesis, underlying molecular mechanisms for muscle growth, functionality, speed, etc.), metabolic effects (body composition, blood sugar, lipids in the blood, systemic inflammation, etc.), effects on the heart and circulatory system (blood volume, arterial stiffness, blood pressure, stroke volume, etc.), effects on the immune system, effects on gut flora, effects on quality of life and effects on performance ability (sport-specific measures of performance ability and the underlying performance-determining factors, such as strength, muscle properties, maximum oxygen uptake, utilization rate of maximum oxygen uptake, work economy, lactate profile, speed, agility, etc.).

What determines the effect of training at the individual level is a very complex question that requires us to have data from many different individuals. Therefore, the TrainOme research group is built around the biobank "Trainome - human cells' adaptation to training and environment" (2013/2041/REK southeast). This biobank stores biological material and data from all studies conducted by the group. This provides us with the opportunity to study individual responses in a meta-perspective with a much larger number of different individuals and interventions than can be included in a single study.

As a member of the group, it is expected that you adapt to an academic culture characterized by a flat structure with freedom under responsibility, open communication, trust, generosity, loyalty, and a continuous desire to perform work tasks as well as possible. You are also expected to include co-workers and students in your research activities, take initiative for your own progress in research and teaching, be available for students in need of guidance, and contribute to common tasks in the academic environment.

About the project

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is estimated to cause 5 million deaths worldwide with trends indicating increased global and national prevalence. Exercise training is an important therapeutic intervention in patients with T2D as physical exercise training helps to slow disease progression and improve quality of life. However, although individuals with T2D benefit from physical exercise training, subsequent responses to exercise training differ compared to healthy individuals. Individuals with T2D typically displays greater fatigue during exercise and altered post-exercise inflammatory processes. Such differences may contribute to reduced habitual exercise and impaired adaptations to exercise. To improve effectiveness of physical exercise training in individuals with T2D, the project will focus on describing modifiable mechanisms that contribute to impaired effectiveness of physical exercise training in individuals with T2D.

The PhD candidate will work with available high-dimensional data (e.g. RNA-sequencing) from large-scale exercise and nutritional interventions spanning up to five months in duration as well as data from acute exercise in participants with T2D and healthy control participants.


We welcome applicants with a relevant theoretical and practical background within exercise physiology. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate who wants to pursue a doctoral degree in a collaborative environment. The successful candidate must be an active independent learner who is willing to contribute to the research group through his/her education.

To be admitted to the doctoral program, the applicant must normally have a minimum Master's degree or Master's level (120 credits, §3 master's in the Norwegian system) or equivalent education. Applicants must have a strong academic background as evidenced by their previous studies. The average grade from the Master's program (120 credits) or equivalent education, should normally be B or better.

Applicants with a master’s degree totaling of 90 credits may qualify for admission, provided that the applicant has relevant additional qualifications at PhD or master’s degree level totaling a minimum of 30 credits, or scientific publications after completing the master's degree, or participation in research projects. This provision is in accordance with the Supplementary guidelines for the Health and Welfare PhD programme. If you have education from abroad, you can contact Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills for approval of your education, alternatively a similar assessment will be made in connection with the application process.

Specific requirements are:

  • Master's degree within exercise physiology, with average grade B or better.
  • Documented experience with quantitative analysis of physiological, molecular or bioinformatics data.
  • Documented experience with the statistical software R (or equivalent) and reproducible programming and reporting.
  • Solid theoretical understanding in physiology with emphasis on exercise, muscle, and glucose homeostasis. 

Furthermore, emphasis is placed on the following attributes:

  • Experience from projects combining physiological data with molecular assays.
  • Documented experience or familiarity with biological databases.
  • Previous experience with designing and conducting exercise trials involving human participants.
  • Good language skills.

Personal competence:

  • Professional and personal prerequisites for completing the doctoral degree program within the employment period.
  • The ability to work independently and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • The ability to work in a structured manner and having a large work capacity.
  • Solid theoretical insight and interest.
  • Good teamwork characteristics and good communication skills towards both colleagues, students and partners. 
  • Eagerness to learn new skills.
  • Willingness to contribute to common goals of the research group.
  • High motivation and interest.

Language proficiency:

Evaluation of candidates for the position will be based on a total assessment of educational background, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation and other eligibility requirements, as defined in the advertisement. In addition, the following will be emphasized: quality of the project description, documented independent research and development work or experience relevant to the project.

The position and associated tasks must be carried out in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations for government employees, including also the Act on Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology, etc. Candidates who, after assessment of the application and attachments, come into conflict with the criteria in the latter act, will not be able to take up the position at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. Necessary approvals must be maintained throughout the employment relationship.

How to apply

Your application must include:

  • Application letter including a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • Proposed project description of the study (max 6 pages, including references), outlining its academic relevance, methods, challenges and possibilities, and containing a tentative progression plan. The project description must be written in English.
  • CV detailing your relevant educational background and experience (registered in Jobbnorge's form).
  • Documentation of experience with quantitative analysis of physiological, molecular or bioinformatics data (e.g. link to code/data repositories).
  • Documentation of experience with the statistical software R (or equivalent) and reproducible programming and reporting (e.g. link to code/data repositories).
  • Copies of academic diplomas and transcripts (A certified English translation of all educational documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.)
  • A list of publications.
  • The names and contact information for two referees.
  • Any other documentation you would like us to consider.

Attachments must be uploaded as separate files. If the attachments exceed 30 MB, they must be compressed prior to upload. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all attachments are uploaded. Documents submitted after expiry of the deadline will not be considered in the evaluation of your application.

Candidates finishing master`s degree after the application deadline will also be considered, with the requirement that the average grade of B or better is obtained before employment. Complete degree certificate must be forwarded as soon as possible and not later than 01.07.2024.

We offer

  • An exciting and challenging position at a developing institution
  • Position is paid and placed in position code 1017, PhD candidate in the Government Salary Scale
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension, with among other things, good pension and insurance schemes.

For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here.

General information

For further details about the position, please contact:

  • Head of Section for Health and Exercise Physiology; Håvard Nygaard: havard.nygaard@inn.no,
  •  Head of the “Trainome” research group; Håvard Hamarsland: havard.hamarsland@inn.no or 
  • Project leader Daniel Hammarström: daniel.hammarstrom@inn.no

HINN believes that there is strength in inclusion and diversity. We desire employees with different competencies, professional combinations, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to an even better way of solving problems. We will facilitate for employees who need assistance to realise their goals. Relevant adaptations can be, for example, technical aids, adapting furniture or adjusting routines, work tasks and working hours.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, gaps in the CV or immigrant background, we shall call at least one applicant in each of these categories for an interview. In order to be considered as an applicant in these groups, the applicants must meet certain requirements. You can read more on this here.

We encourage applicants to tick in Jobbnorge if they have a disability, a gap in their CV or immigrant background. The ticks in the jobseeker portal form the basis for anonymised statistics that all state-owned enterprises report in their annual reports

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

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