PhD Fellow - Department of Medical Biology

Deadline: 25.05.2021

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT – Developing the High North

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 Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences represents a newly created entity gathering almost all possible health study programs. This facilitates an unique interdisciplinarity and innovation in health education and research. We work closely with the services in the North to solve tomorrow's challenges.

Faculty of Heath Sciences

PhD Fellow affiliated with the project "Klebsiella Pneumoniae - a Key Driver in the Global Spread of Antimicrobial Resistance and a Target for New Approaches in Diagnostics, Surveillance and Alternative Therapeutics"

The position

The Faculty of Health Sciences at UiT The Arctic University of Norway has an available position for a PhD Fellow, for applicants wishing to take a Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) degree at UiT while working in a clinical environment at the Department of Medical Microbiology at Stavanger University Hospital (SUH). The position is available for commencement from September 1st, 2021 and for a period of three years.

The successful applicant is going to work on a large multidisciplinary project entitled “Klebsiella pneumoniae – a key driver in the global spread of antimicrobial resistance and a target for new approaches in diagnostics, surveillance and alternative therapeutics (KLEB-GAP)”. The project is coordinated by UiT in close collaboration with SUH. The position of the Research Fellow is co-funded by the Trond Mohn Research Foundation and SUH.

The project

The overall aim of the KLEB-GAP project is to explore Kp reservoirs using a first-in-kind One Health approach to develop new antimicrobial resistance diagnostics, innovative surveillance methods, and evaluate bacteriophages as treatment against multidrug resistant Kp. The project will explore the presence, persistence, and transmission of Kp and related mobile genetic elements (such as plasmids) and antimicrobial resistance determinants within and across human, animal, and marine reservoirs through advanced genomic and bioinformatic analyses of large prospectively collected samples.

The project will provide new knowledge for

  • further development of global surveillance methodology to monitor the flow of Kp and related antimicrobial resistance across sectors,
  • the development of new methods, beyond the state-of-art for diagnostics and surveillance of Kp-clonal lineages involved in antimicrobial resistance dispersion and pathogenicity, and
  • pre-clinical efficacy studies of bacteriophages as treatment of colonisation and infection by multidrug resistant Kp.

The position's field of research

The successful applicant will be involved in research conducted in close collaboration with national and international partners in the KLEB-GAP consortium. The project will take advantage of available strain collections of Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) and whole genome sequencing data generated through the Norwegian human Kp study and KLEB-GAP and have particular focus on the molecular epidemiology and dynamics of plasmids as vectors for AMR-spread in Kp. The work will consist of long-read sequencing of selected Kp isolates using Oxford nanopore technology; bioinformatic analysis of short- and long-read sequencing data to complete plasmid sequences, to characterise and compare plasmid content, and to study plasmid abundance and dynamics; biostatistical analysis, data presentation and publication of results; participation with presentations on project/network meetings and international conferences; and preparation of the PhD application to UiT.

Work place and collaboration

The position's work place

The Department of Medical Microbiology at Stavanger University Hospital (SUH) will be the work place for the candidate. SUH is one of Norway’s largest hospitals with more than 7500 employees. The Department of Medical Microbiology is a diagnostic lab serving both hospitalised patients and primary care. The PhD Fellow will become a member of the Research group on Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) at SUH. Lab work will take place at the AMR research lab, which is well equipped for whole genome sequencing, including Illumina and Oxford Nanopore technology, and located in the Microbiology Department.


The project takes advantage of the unique Norwegian human (NORM) and animal (NORM-VET) antimicrobial resistance surveillance infrastructure, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR)/Norwegian Food Safety Authority sampling systems in the marine environment, the interdisciplinary antimicrobial resistance One Health Norwegian K. pneumoniae network (NOR-KLEBNET; www.nor-kleb.net ), and the ongoing Norwegian human K. pneumoniae study (NOR-KLEB) to access animal, human, and environmental Kp-reservoirs/-strains/-genomes with relevant metadata.

The project involves six Norwegian institutions including UiT, SUH, University Hospital of North- Norway, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, IMR and ACD Pharma, an industry partner as well as four renowned international partners represented by Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), Institut Pasteur (Paris), Queens University of Belfast, and Monash University (Melbourne).


For further information about the position please contact:

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • Good career opportunities
  • 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.


A requirement of the position is the completion of a relevant Master’s degree in microbiology/molecular biology/bioinformatics or Norwegian Candidate of Medicine or other educations that have been approved as equivalent to these. Documented experience in the use of basal methods in microbiological analysis, whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics will be evaluated as important.

Applicants must document fluency of in English and be able to work in an international environment. Working knowledge of Norwegian or a Scandinavian language is also beneficial.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant's potential to complete a research education based on the master's thesis or equivalent, and any other scientific work. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

We are looking for persons that are structured, goal-oriented, analytical and able to communicate and collaborate with other people in the lab and the consortium. We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.

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 Health Sciences 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.

Applicants must have a grade of C or better on the master's thesis and have a grade point average of C or better for the master's degree. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here.

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University i 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 is 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 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.


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • 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

Qualification with a master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position. You must still submit your transcripts for the master’s degree with your application.

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 a Scandinavian language. 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.

Apply for position

Powered by Labrador CMS