PhD Fellow in Isolation of new Bioactive Secondary Metabolites from Marine Bacteria

Deadline: 06.12.2022

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

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 Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) consists of Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NFH) and School of Business and Economics.

The main task of BFE is to conduct teaching and research dissemination at a high national and international level within all relevant fields. Prioritized research areas are aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, climate, life in the arctic, marine bioprospecting, fish health, seafood products, business and macroeconomics, resources and environment, markets and management of marine resources. The interdisciplinary profile of the faculty provides good opportunity to develop research projects involving several research groups at the faculty according to its strategy.

Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics

The position

A PhD position is available at The Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NCFS), Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) within the research group Marbio. Marbio is a high-capacity analysis platform for the identification, isolation, and characterization of bioactive compounds from plants, animals, and microorganisms. The screening platform at Marbio includes anti-bacterial-, anti-cancer-, anti-diabetic-, anti-inflammatory-, antioxidant- and immunostimulant assays.

The position is for a period of three years, without teaching duties to NCFS. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer. Following mobility rules conditioned by funding within the Doctoral Networks, the candidate must not have worked or lived in Norway more than 12 months the past 36 months.

The project

This position is affiliated with the Horizon Europe Framework program / Marie Slodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) Doctoral Network HOTBIO: "A holistic approach to training a new generation of scientists in marine biodiscovery".The HOTBIO consortium consists of eight beneficiaries from seven European countries, including two members from non-academic sectors, and three associated partners that will host 13 PhD students. The HOTBIO consortium will train a new generation of early-stage scientists to take marine microbial natural products from the seabed to the bedside. They will be involved in every stage of the pipeline from microbial isolation through compound purification and identification to making analogues with desirable drug-like properties. They will gain associated skills in access and benefit sharing, intellectual property, and entrepreneurship. Students graduating from HOTBIO will be in a unique position to enter a challenging labour market as they will have received multidisciplinary training at world leading research groups in academia as well as at industry partners. Mentorship will be provided by industrial scientists and recent graduates from the previous MSCA project MarPipe.

The applicants must present a project proposal that describes how you can contribute scientifically to the HOTBIO project/described field of research and development. The proposal shall not exceed two pages, literature references excluding. The proposal must include a clear and concise description of main research ideas and a progress plan for the employment period. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor.

The position’s field of research

The PhD position will focus on the discovery of novel antibacterial molecules in (Arctic) marine bacteria.

The specific objectives are:

  • Nomination of talented producers (marine bacteria) of secondary metabolites combining chemical analysis with genome analysis.
  • Fermentation of bacteria under different culturing conditions, including co-culturing to increase expression of antibacterial compounds.
  • Chemical analysis of fermentation broths to identify potential new compounds.
  • Isolation and structure elucidation of compounds.
  • Bioactivity profiling of isolated and chemically characterized compounds (anti-infectives, anticancer, anti-diabetic).


For further information about the position, please contact:

Associate Professor Kine Østnes Hansen:

or Professor Espen Holst Hansen:


The position requires a master’s degree in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, marine biotechnology or related topics.

Emphasis will be attached to the applicant’s potential for research, independent work, and interaction with the industry as shown by:1. master thesis,2. any other academic or professional works,3. experience from bioprospecting or similar activities, and4. research plan description

The candidate must have:

  • experience with fermentation of microorganisms, ideally following the OSMAC (one strain many compounds) approach and co-culturing.
  • experience with DNA sequencing.
  • experience with UHPLC-MSn based dereplication of bioactive biomass fractions.
  • experience with isolation of natural products from biomass.
  • experience with structure elucidation of natural products using NMR spectroscopy.
  • experience with sterile technique and maintaining cells in culture.
  • experience with phenotypic- and biochemical bioassays.
  • documented fluency in English. Nordic applicants can document their English capabilities by attaching their high school diploma. European applicants can document their English capabilities though a master thesis written in English.
  • motivation to complete the mandatory secondments.

The candidate would benefit from having some of the advantages listed below:

  • Implementation of laboratory methods, preparation of method protocols and method risk assessment.

Following mobility rules conditioned by funding within the Doctoral Networks, the candidate must not have worked or lived in Norway more than 12 months the past 36 months.

Personal qualifications and suitability will be emphasized; the candidate’s personal qualifications should include excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an enthusiasm to work as a member of a collaborative interdisciplinary and international research team.

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.

Admission to the PhD programme

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:

  • A bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS and a master's degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS.
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master's degree of 120 ECTS.
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS.

Grade requirements applies both to the master thesis as well as courses part of the master’s degree. The minimum requirements are grade C or better on the master’s degree, and grade C or better on courses that are part of the master’s degree. A grade lower than C in one course may be compensated by a higher grade than C in another course. If the applicant has two subjects with the grade D or lower, the applicant is not qualified for admission. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here.

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree.

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than six weeks after taking up the position.

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer

  • Three years of 100% research employment
  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • Good career opportunities
  • Funds for research, training, networking, and dissemination/communication
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your application must include:

  • Letter of application/motivation explaining why you are a qualified candidate for the job when considering the “must have” and “advantage” requirements indicated here
  • Project proposal that describes how you can contribute scientifically to the HOTBIO project / described field of research and development. The proposal must include a clear and concise description of main research ideas and a progress plan for the employment period. Max two pages, excluding references
  • CV including track record (if any)
  • Diploma for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • References with contact information
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.

General information

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

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years.

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure.

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