PhD fellowship in Microalgae strain improvement and experimental genetics

Deadline: 23.04.2021


Nord University

Global challenges demand new insight, innovative solutions and local legitimacy. Nord University is a young university with strong regional ties and a global perspective. We are committed to delivering relevant educational programmes and research, with a focus on blue and green growth, innovation and entrepreneurship, and welfare, health and education. Nord University has 11,000 students and 1,300 employees at nine study locations in central and northern Norway.

Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture (FBA) educates people with the aim of promoting sustainable and innovative development to meet global challenges in food production, climate and environment. The faculty is an international arena for education, research and knowledge dissemination, with employees and students from 30 different countries. The faculty offers a PhD in Aquatic Biosciences. FBA has 800 students and 160 employees in Bodø and Steinkjer. The professional community is organised into the following divisions: Aquaculture, Ecology, Genomics, Animal science, production and welfare, and Algae and microbial biotechnology.

Read more: www.nord.no/en/fba

About the position

A three-year PhD position is available at the Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture, Nord University (Bodø campus, Norway) from Fall 2021.

We invite candidates to apply for a project in “microalgae strain improvement and experimental genetics”.

Microalgae are becoming important feedstocks for renewable materials, food and energy applications worldwide. The project will apply experimental selection to microalgae with the goal of generating improved phenotypes for large-scale industrial production. Experiments will:

A) Test how different selection approaches alter microalgae cell phenotypes.

B) Establish the effects of experimental selection on the genomes and molecular features of new cell lineages.

The PhD student will be responsible for planning and carrying out experiments in the lab and analysing samples. Collaborators are based in the USA and the Netherlands (Wageningen University), and some international exchange/travel is expected.

Qualification requirements

  • A two-year MSc related to microalgae/phytoplankton, microbiology, aquatic science or biotechnology at grade A or B (or international equivalent), for both the whole program and the master’s thesis. The MSc must be completed by August 2021.
  • Enthusiasm for microalgae/phytoplankton, demonstrated research creativity and practical experience, together with willingness to solve technical problems and learn new skills.
  • Ideally, the candidate will have experience cultivating microalgae (or microbes), analysis of cells and some bioinformatics or programming skills (e.g. Bash, R or Python).
  • Candidates with experience in bioreactor operation, cell analysis, next generation sequencing or alternative relevant skills are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Proficiency in English is very important, and knowledge of a Scandinavian language is valued.
  • The successful candidate will join the PhD program in Aquatic Biosciences at Nord University and is expected to complete the study on time.

The candidate should fulfill the admission requirements and participate in the training component stipulated in regulations of the PhD program. Application for admission to the program must be submitted within three months after taking up the position. For admission requirements and regulations, see our web page.

We offer

The annual salary for doctoral researchers (code 1017) is set at wage level 54, LR 20, NOK 482.200,- in the Norwegian State Salary Scale. Suitably qualified candidates may be placed in code 1378.

  • Advantages within the Government Pension Fund for borrowing, insurance and pension.
  • Creative and collegial working environment
  • A workplace with steady progressive development
  • Flexible working hours
  • Active university sports team

General information

The person who is appointed must abide by the applicable laws, agreements, and directives. The responsibilities and duties associated with the position may change with future reorganization at Nord University.

The public sector workforce is expected to reflect the diversity of the population in general. Nord University therefore encourages qualified candidates with disabilities, gaps in their CV, immigrant backgrounds or different life experience to apply. Nord University practices moderate allocation according to gender quotas in accordance with the Basic Agreement for State Employees.

If applicants indicate they have disabilities or gaps in their CV, their details may be used anonymously for the purposes of governmental annual review

Contact information

Further information about the position can be obtained by contacting :


Applications must be submitted electronically by April 23rd 2021.

The application should include:

  • Motivation letter outlining the candidate’s suitability for the position, their relevant experience and how she/he will be capable of developing a successful project. (max 2 pages)
  • Curriculum vitae including list of scientific works (thesis) and any publications.
  • Copies of academic degree transcripts. (BSc and MSc)
  • Contact details for at least two referees. (including e-mail, phone and work relation)
  • Signed consent form PhD (if relevant)

All documents must be uploaded as attachments to the electronic application form.

It is the applicant's responsibility to submit the complete documentation within the deadline.

After the application period has expired a list of applicants will be published. Note that, in special cases, the identity of particular applicants to a position may be made public even when that applicant has requested that their application be processed confidentially. Applicants requesting an exemption from publication of their identity must explain their reasons for doing so in their application. In this case, advance notice will be given in the event of a decision to make any information about the applicant public.

Refnr. 30101341

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