PhD Fellow in Marine Virus Bioprospection

Deadline: 02.10.2022

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

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 Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) consists of Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NFH) and School of Business and Economics.

The main task of BFE is to conduct teaching and research dissemination at a high national and international level within all relevant fields. Prioritized research areas are aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, climate, life in the arctic, marine bioprospecting, fish health, seafood products, business and macroeconomics, resources and environment, markets and management of marine resources. The interdisciplinary profile of the faculty provides good opportunity to develop research projects involving several research groups at the faculty according to its strategy.

Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics

The position

UiT - The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE), has a PhD fellow position available within the Marine Bioprospecting group of the CANS-UiT. The project title is “Arctic giant viruses: diversity and antimicrobial potential”.The position is hosted by the The Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NCFS) and funded through a grant by Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies (CANS). The workplace is at the UiT in Tromsø and you must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

CANS is a large strategic interdisciplinary centre at UiT - the Arctic University of Norway for research, education, innovation and dissemination related to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). CANS currently involves sixteen research groups located at three faculties and covers topics within marine bioprospecting - identification and characterization of new antibacterial activities, design and synthesis of new antibiotics and resistance inhibitors, the evolution and molecular epidemiology of AMR, host-microbe-drug interactions as well as antibiotic stewardship. The centre aims to strengthen current activities, but also support new basic research in novel concepts for sustainable antibacterial activities in AMR-prevention and treatment strategies through new permanent positions.

NCFS is a part of BFE and undertakes research and research-based teaching of high national and international quality in an interdisciplinary environment. Research activity is provisionally organized into groups focusing on living marine resources, seafood science, fish health, marine drug discovery, resource management, marine management and resource economics.

The position 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 project

The project is part of the emergent viral isolation research line of the UiT-CANS Marine Bioprospecting group, which aims to include viruses as a marine bioresource to be exploited for biotechnological applications. There will be two major focuses on this project: the first being the isolation of unique viruses from Arctic samples and the second the characterization of these viruses aiming to detect new antibacterial molecules. The first part will likely result in the finding of new viruses and in the better understanding of the Arctic virosphere. For the second part, classical viral characterization methodologies will be complemented by the know-how and infrastructure of the Marine Bioprospecting group, opening new ways to explore viral particles and viral infected cells, aiming to find novel antimicrobials and bioproducts.

The successful candidate should do basic research involving cultivation of unicellular protists, sample collection and processing, viral isolation, classical viral characterization, mass spectrometry of viral infected cells and other methodologies.

The applicants must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. The project description shall not exceed 2 pages, literature references included. It must include a description of the theme, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It should also indicate the methodologies to be used. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor.


For further information about the position, please contact:

Associate Professor Gabriel Almeida:

or Professor Klara Stensvåg:


This position requires a Master’s Degree or equivalent in Microbiology or related areas.

Experience in classical Microbiology (cultivation of microorganisms, culture media preparation and working in aseptic conditions) is required.

Previous work experience with viruses (especially giant viruses), protists (amoebas or microalgae) and working within biosafety level 2 conditions are considered advantages.

Applicants must document fluency of in English and be able to work in an international environment. Nordic applicants can document their English capabilities by attaching their high school diploma.

We are seeking for a highly motivated and committed candidate with relevant skills who is capable of doing independent laboratory work and passionate about developing her/his own research. For being part of a new research topic within the UiT-CANS Marine Bioprospecting group, the candidate will have many opportunities to improve her/his CV in meaningful ways (project management, outreach, co-supervision of other students, external collaborations).

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. The project description will also be considered. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.

We are looking for candidates who:

  • Have good collaboration skills
  • Have good communication and interaction with colleagues and students
  • Wants to contribute to a good working environment

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 Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics 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.

Grade requirements applies both to the master thesis as well as courses part of the master’s degree. The minimum requirements are grade C or better on the master’s degree, and grade C or better on courses that are part of the master’s degree. A grade lower than C in one course may be compensated by a higher grade than C in another course. If the applicant has two subjects with the grade D or lower, the applicant is not qualified for admission. 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 six weeks 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

  • Good welfare arrangements for employees
  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • A large degree of independence in work
  • Mentoring for career development
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Good arrangements for pension, insurance and loans in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your application must include:

  • One-page cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV - summarizing education, practical and academic work
  • Project proposal: maximum 2 pages with a brief introduction about marine giant viruses and how the candidate proposes to contribute to this research field.
  • 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
  • Two reference letters with contact details
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works
  • The academic works (published or not) you wish us to take into consideration in the assessment
  • List of works and their description including
    • Authors and title of the work
    • For articles, name and volume of the journal, first and last page number, year published
    • For books and other publications, publisher, place published, year and number of pages

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 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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