PhD scholarship within fish nutrition and health

Deadline: 03.06.2021

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 Life Sciences (BIOVIT) aims to help shape the future food- and bio-production of 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, Nutrition and Physiology, Agroecology, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Plant Protection and Food Crops, Pant Biology and Biotechnology. The faculty has seven large and small research centers and laboratories, including a center for outstanding innovation (CFI) - 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 550 bachelor and master students and 90 PhD students. The faculty has about 220 employees and its own faculty administration.

The future of fish feed may lie in novel feed ingredients such as microbes and insects produced from organic waste streams. If you are interested in working with future sustainable feed ingredients for fish, you should apply!

About the position

The Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 3-year PhD–position related to fish nutrition and health. The position is financed internally by NMBU and will be linked to 2 exiting projects; the Nordforsk/RCN-funded project NORDICFEED - Bio-conversion of non-food bio-resources to novel feeds for salmonids - a Nordic approach, and the RCN-funded project OIL4FEED - Oil from oleaginous microbial biomass derived from Norwegian resources as a sustainable alternative to replace fish/plant oils in fish feed.

These projects aim to establish sustainable production of microbial feed ingredients by biotransformation of locally available organic streams such as food waste, sugar streams from pulp and paper industry, and animal co-products.

The successful candidate will focus on validating growth responses and documenting health effects and robustness of Atlantic salmon fed these novel ingredients. Further, the candidate will also work on in vitro screening of health effects of these novel products in different salmonid cell cultures.

The doctoral project will be carried out in close collaboration with several partners in Norway, Sweden and Finland, and especially the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). SLU will have a PhD student working with rainbow trout and Artemia, and the two PhD students will work closely together and participate in each other’s experiments in both Norway and Sweden. After performing in vitro and in vivo experiments, the PhD fellow is expected to use a range of biochemical, molecular and immunological techniques.

The PhD candidate will join our multidisciplinary research group, comprising of many disciplines such as feed technology, biorefinery, nutrition, physiology, molecular biology, microbiology, and immunology. The faculty has excellent fish facilities and a range of biochemical and molecular wet lab facilities.

The applicant is made aware that an application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

  • Perform in vitro salmonid cell culture experiments.
  • Design and conduct growth performance and health experiments with Atlantic salmon.
  • Contribute to diet formulation and feed production.
  • Study the impact of novel microbial feed ingredients on fish performance and health, using state-of-the-art tools (including transcriptomics, proteomics, gut microbiome analyses, and other nutrigenomic tools).
  • Process and perform statistical and bioinformatic analysis of data.
  • To generate scientific publications.

The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period. The compulsory training for the PhD degree at NMBU is covering a minimum of 30 ECTS credits. Presentation of findings at international conferences or/and attending international workshops or courses are highly encouraged and financially supported.


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

Required academic qualifications:

  • A MSc degree or equivalent in animal or aquacultural sciences. Candidates from other disciplines e.g. veterinary science, cell biology, or molecular biology will also be considered.
  • Knowledge in fish nutrition and physiology.
  • Experience with molecular laboratory techniques.
  • Applicants need to be fluent in English, both orally and written.

Additional experience / knowledge that will be considered an advantage:

  • Hands-on experience with cell cultivation.
  • Hands-on experience with handling and dissection of fish.
  • Hands-on experience with state-of-the-art omics techniques (e.g., transcriptomics, proteomics).
  • Knowledge in statistical analyses of biological data and application of bioinformatic tools.

Personal qualities:

Personal suitability will be emphasized. We are seeking a creative, highly motivated, and committed candidate with good working routines and the ability to deliver according to contract. The candidate must have excellent communication and organizational skills in order to work in a multidisciplinary team but must also be able to work independently. The candidate must be open minded and interested in exploring new methodology in the research field.

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow, pay scale 20 (salary step 54-62). 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:

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: 03.06.2021

Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses). Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline. The relevant NMBU Department may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within (03.06.2021). Please quote reference number (21/02704).

If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

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