Aquaculture and environmental microbiology: PhD student in bioinformatics

Deadline: 01.07.2021

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 Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) employs about 160 people. Currently about 50 PhD students are enrolled into our PhD program. KBM represents a broad range of scientific fields encompassing basic natural sciences such as microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry as well as the application of these towards food chemistry, technology and safety, biotechnology, bioprocessing and environmental issues. The Faculty is responsible for education, research and information within our fields of expertise and also has state-of-the-art instrumentation to perform research within these fields. KBM collaborates in networks and research projects both nationally and internationally.

Further information here.

Do you want to save the oceans through novel bioinformatic approaches?

About the position

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has vacant a 3-year position for a PhD student as part of the project “On-site monitoring of aquaculture impact on the environment by open-source nanopore eDNA analyses”.

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (NFR 320076), and coordinated by NMBU with partners from both the aquaculture industry and research institutes.

The project involves building and systemizing a fundamental understanding of microbial processes in the seafloor, with the goal of establishing indexes that reflect the environmental conditions.

The project is about developing tools to determine the environmental impact of aquaculture so that Norway can secure a sustainable aquaculture industry.

Main tasks

  • Analysis of nanopore DNA sequencing data
  • Development of algorithms for taxonomic assignment Characterization of seafloor microorganisms
  • Relate microbiota function to chemical and macrofauna composition
  • Derive environmental classification indexes based on multivariate data
  • Write and publish high-level scientific publications

Tasks will be conducted in research environments at NMBU with expertise and multiple ongoing projects in microbial ecology, bioinformatics, and the development of novel in vitro diagnostic tools. Together with the industrial partners partners in the project the aim is to implement a new standard for environmental monitoring connected to aquaculture, based on on-site sequencing.


The successful PhD applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies (B as average grade for the MSc studies, or better) and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description

Required academic qualifications:

  • MSc degree in bioinformatics, or related fields
  • Experiences and skills with at least 2 of the following are desirable:
  • Use and understand algorithms for taxonomic classification
  • Experience with NGS sequencing data and high-performance computing (UNIX)
  • Experience in developing web interfaces (e.g shiny apps)
  • Good programming skills in R

Personal qualities:

We are looking for a candidate who is ambitious, curious, motivated and able to work in a strong research environment. The ideal candidate will combine the following personal qualities:

  • Good communicative skills in English, orally and written
  • Able to work interdisciplinary
  • Hard-working and accurate
  • Creative and independence
  • Genuinely interested in scientific research and its applications
  • Good social and collaborative skills

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD Fellow, pay scale 20. PhD Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 482.200, -) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

For further information, please contact Professor Knut Rudi ([email protected]) or Associate professor Lars Snipen ([email protected])

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 01.07.2021

In the application, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Motivation letter
  • Complete CV
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a di-ploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system
  • Diplomas/certificates (i.e. Diploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). (Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached.)
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English

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