Ledig stilling ved UiT Norges arktiske universitet

PhD Candidate on Klebsiella pneumoniae in the marine environment

Deadline: 13.05.2019

About the Position

The Faculty of Health Sciences and Department of Medical Biology has an available position for a PhD Candidate, for applicants wishing to take a Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) degree at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The position is available for commencement from August 1st, 2019 and for a period of three years.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT – Developing the High North

UiT The Arctic University of Norway
is a multi-campus research university and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

The Faculty of Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences
is a national innovation which brings together a wide range of health-related education pathways. This lays the groundwork for a unique level of interdisciplinarity and innovation in health education and research. We work closely with northern services in order to find solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.

The PhD candidate will work on a large multidisciplinary project entitled “Klebsiella pneumoniae – a key driver in the global spread of antimicrobial resistance and a target for new approaches in diagnostics, surveillance and alternative therapeutics (KLEB-GAP)”. The project is coordinated by the Department of Medical Biology, UiT. The activity of the candidate is co-funded by the Trond Mohn Research Foundation, UiT and IMR.

The PhD candidate will be affiliated with the Department of Medical Biology and follow the PhD programme at UiT in Tromsø, but the permanent working place will be the Institute of Marine Research (IMR), Bergen, Norway.

The candidate will be involved in the research conducted at IMR. The work will focus on sampling of marine fish, seawater, sediments and bivalves; analytical examination of samples and primary characterisation of Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) isolates; data processing and publication of results; participation with presentations on project meetings and preparation of PhD application to UiT. The activity will be in close cooperation with researchers at IMR and other institutions involved in KLEB-GAP consortium.

The project

The overall aim of the KLEB-GAP project is to explore Kp-reservoirs using a first-in-kind One Health approach to develop new antimicrobial resistance diagnostics, innovative surveillance methods, and evaluate bacteriophages as treatment against multidrug resistant Kp. The project will explore the presence, persistence, and transmission of Kp and related antimicrobial resistance determinants within and across human, animal, and marine reservoirs through advanced genomic and bioinformatic analyses of large prospectively collected samples.

The project will provide new knowledge for:

  • further development of global surveillance methodology to monitor the flow of Kp and related antimicrobial resistance across sectors,
  • the development of new methods (whole metagenomic sequencing) beyond the state-of-art for diagnostics and surveillance of Kp-clonal lineages involved in antimicrobial resistance dispersion and pathogenicity, and
  • pre-clinical efficacy studies of bacteriophages as treatment of colonisation and infection by multidrug resistant Kp.

The position’s work place

The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) is one of the largest marine research institutes in Europe, with about 1,000 employees. The main activities are research, advisory work and monitoring. In January 2018, the IMR was merged with NIFES – the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research. IMR is a leading supplier of knowledge relating to the sustainable management of the resources in our marine ecosystems and the whole food chain from the sea to the table. The current position will be affiliated to the IMR Section for Contaminants and Biohazards.


The project takes advantage of the unique Norwegian human (NORM) and animal (NORM-VET) antimicrobial resistance surveillance infrastructure, the IMR/ Norwegian Food Safety Authority sampling systems in the marine environment, the interdisciplinary antimicrobial resistance One Health Norwegian K. pneumoniae-network (NOR-KLEB-NET; www.nor-kleb.net ), and the ongoing Norwegian human K. pneumoniae-study (NOR-KLEB) to access animal, human, and environmental K. pneumoniae-reservoirs/-strains/-genomes with relevant metadata.

The project involves six Norwegian institutions including UiT, Stavanger University Hospital, University Hospital of North-Norway, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, IMR and ACD Pharma, an industry partner as well as four renowned international partners represent by Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), Institut Pasteur (Paris), Queens University of Belfast, and Monash University (Melbourne).


For further information about the position and UiT contact:

Senior Scientist/Professor Bjørn Tore Lunestad IMR;

Professor Arnfinn Sundsfjord UiT;


A requirement of the position is the completion of a relevant Master’s degree in microbiology/biochemistry/molecular biology or other educations which have been approved as equivalent to these. Relevant competence in methods for microbiological food analysis, antimicrobial susceptibility testing, bacterial population genetics, molecular epidemiology and bioinformatics is considered important.

Acceptance onto the PhD programme is a prerequisite for appointment to this position, and the study period will begin upon commencement. The PhD Candidate will participate in formal research training, and perform the doctorate degree project over the course of the period of employment. The eligibility requirements for the faculty’s PhD programme must be met, cf. section 6, Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). For information on the admissions process to the PhD programme and on PhD regulations, visit https://uit.no/helsefak/phd

Master students in the final stages may also apply. A preliminary version of the dissertation should be included if the final version is not ready before the application deadline. Information about the delivery deadline for the dissertation should be given. A completed degree must be documented before an acceptable date for commencement.

Applicants must have documented knowledge of English which meets the requirements as stated in the Norwegian general university and college admission requirements.

We are looking for persons with are structured, goal-oriented, analytical and able to communicate and collaborate with other people in the lab and the consortium. We will evaluate personal suitability and motivation for the position.


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV - summarizing education, positions and academic work
  • Diplomas and transcripts of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree or equivalent (in original language and translated)
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works
  • References with contact details
  • Documentation on English proficiency

Proficiency in the English language can be documented in the following ways:

  • Diploma from a Norwegian upper secondary school with both spoken and written English (140 hours)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • IELTS (International English Testing Service)
  • Completed university degree in the field of English language or literature
  • One year’s completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or USA, for which English was the language of instruction.

Documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language. We only accept applications through Jobbnorge.

Terms of employment

Remuneration of PhD positions is in accordance with the State salary scale codes 1017 and 1378, depending on the qualifications of the former. A compulsory contribution of 2% to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.


The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. UiT will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

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