PhD Fellow - Department of Medical Biology

Deadline: 21.10.2021

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT – Developing the High NorthUiT 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 SciencesThe 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 Health Sciences / Department of Medical Biology

PhD Fellow affiliated with the project “Persistent organic pollutants, metabolic markers and type 2 diabetes mellitus – The Tromsø Study”

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Medical Biology (IMB), Faculty of Health Sciencies with the research group Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The position is available from 01.01.2022 and the appointment is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD programme is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % each year and will consist of teaching and other duties. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The Department of Medical Biology (IMB)

Department of Medical Biology (IMB) will be the workplace for the candidate. More than 180 staff members from all over the world have their workplace at IMB. The department consists of 13 research groups concentrated on fundamental biomedical research problems, including research on various forms of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, the immune system, host-microbe interactions and antibiotic resistance. The department provides education for students studying programs in medicine, dentistry, biomedical laboratory sciences, biomedicine and pharmacy.

The position’s field of research

The PhD fellow will conduct research in the field of environmental epidemiology and medical biochemistry. This project will specifically assess the association between persistent organic pollutants (POPs), metabolic markers and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Several POPs have been classified as endocrine disrupting chemicals as they resemble natural hormones and have the potential to interfere with metabolic pathways like hormone homeostasis in humans. Concerns have therefore been raised whether certain POPs may cause obesity and insulin resistance in humans through alterations of metabolic functions. Over the last decade, a large number of studies have linked POPs to type 2 diabetes mellitus and although it has been concluded that there is strong evidence for POPs being linked to type 2 diabetes mellitus in humans, causality has not been proven.

This project aims to investigate the relationship between POPs and metabolic markers and the risk of developing T2DM. We will use a prospective design with a total of five repeated blood samples from the same individuals. This study will greatly contribute to enhance our understanding of concurrent changes in metabolic functions, and POPs in relation to T2DM risk. The project comprises two central parts; analysis of metabolic markers in blood and the use of epidemiological and statistical methods.The successful applicant must contribute to the Department's various teaching activities (apportioned to 25% of the student´s working hours). The duties will be allocated based on the applicant's qualifications and the needs of the Department, and may include exam work, teaching seminars, and supervising or assisting in lab courses.


For further information about the position, please contact:


A requirement of the position is the completion of a relevant Master’s degree in chemistry, biomedicine, biology, toxicology, medicine or statistics, or other education which has been approved as equivalent to these.

Applicants must document fluency 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.

Importance shall be attached to personal suitability for the position and motivations. We are primarily looking for a highly motivated and skilled person that is analytical, enthusiastic and have good collaborations skills. The person should also be able to handle a large degree of independence in work. The project requires skills in applied statistics, and the candidate should be familiar with statistical software’s as STATA and/or R, or similar. Experience in clinical laboratory sciences is an asset. The applicant should include a section in their application (max 600 words) with a short summary on the relationship between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and type 2 diabetes mellitus with causality as the primary focus.

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.

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree.

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than two months after taking up the position.

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of 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 are 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 at 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.

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: https://uit.no/staffmobility


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • A section in the cover letter (max 600 words) with a short summary on the relationship between persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and type 2 diabetes mellitus with causality as the primary focus
  • 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 Scandinavian. 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.

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