Post-doctoral researcher in microbial oil processes

Deadline: 28.02.2021

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 and has campuses in Ås and Oslo. We will be co-located in Ås from 2021.

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.

We have a wide research portfolio in organic chemistry and biochemistry, including organic analysis, biological activity of organic molecules, fermentation technology, fundamental and applied enzymology, and enzyme discovery at the cross section between chemistry and biotechnology. In the past decade, KBM has become a world leading environment for enzyme research, with good research infrastructure and good funding. The position is placed in the research group for Bioprocess Technology and Biorefining (BioRef).

Further information:


Do you want to contribute to the development of microbial oils for use in fish feed?

About the position

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has vacant a 2.5-year position for a post-doctoral researcher in the field of fermentation processes and downstream processing.

The position is part of the Oil4Feed project, funded by the Research Council of Norway.

The ultimate goal the Oil4Feed project is to develop microbial oils for use in fish feed. This will involve cultivation of heterotrophic microalgae and fungi. The project covers the whole value chain from production of microbial biomass, down-stream processing, feed-preparation to fish feeding trials. Three Faculties at NMBU are involved in the project and the person to be employed will be part of a larger team.

Main tasks

  • Fermentation process development
  • Production of microbial biomass in fermentors up to 100 L scale.
  • Development of downstream processing pathways
  • Extraction and refinement of microbial oils
  • Characterization of biomass using advanced analytics
  • Write and publish high-level scientific publications

These tasks will be conducted in a vibrant research environment with multiple ongoing projects involving three strong research groups at NMBU. The university has excellent research facilities, including nine 1L fermentors, one 25 L fermentor and one 100 L fermentor. An in-house biorefinery laboratory includes equipment for separation processes, a microfluidizer, a supercritical oil extractor and a spray drier. In addition, NMBU has all the needed facilities for feed production and fish feed trials.

The main purpose of the postdoctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions. A PhD degree is therefore required.


Required academic qualifications:

  • PhD degree in biotechnology and/or bioprocess technology
  • Training and research experience in running fermentations in bioreactors
  • Knowledge of downstream processing
  • Good research performance during the PhD and, if applicable, as a post-doctoral researcher, preferably documented by high quality scientific publications

Experiences and skills with some of the following topics are desirable:

  • Experience with oil-accumulating microbes (heterotrophic algae and/or fungi)
  • Hands-on experience with downstream processing of microbial biomass
  • Knowledge of drying processes
  • Experience with oil extraction, in particular supercritical fluid extraction
  • Experience with analysis of oil-blends
  • Knowledge of fish feed formulations

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:

  • Hard-working and accurate
  • Creative and independent
  • Genuinely interested in scientific research and its industrial applications
  • Good social and excellent collaborative skills
  • Good communicative skills, orally and written, in English, and, preferably in a Scandinavian language
  • Practical skills

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow, wage framework 24 (salary grade 59-77) [Svein Jar1] [ÅAa2] [LCF3] (NOK 526.000 - 744.600), depending on qualifications. Seniority promotion in position.

For further information, please contact:

  • Professor Svein Horn at [email protected], or check out the web-page for the BioRef research group:


general Information to applicants


To apply for this vacancy, please go to www.jobbnorge.no and register a new user if necessary. Then, find the position, and click the 'Apply for this job' button. This will route you to the online application form.

Application deadline: February 28th 2021

Fill in the required personal information and the application letter.

For simplicity, you do not have to complete the academic CV in the online system. Instead, upload your complete CV as a pdf file along with an application letter, degree certificates and transcripts of academic records.

Applicants invited for an interview will be asked to present verified copies of diplomas and certificates.

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