PhD Fellow within Cultivability of Marine Microbiomes

Deadline: 17.10.2021

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway 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.

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 Cultivability of Marine Microbiomes. The overall goal of the position is to detect and identify factors that induce the growth of previously uncultured microbes and apply growth factors to marine microbiomes to test for their growth inducing effect at systems scale. The position is hosted by the The Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NCFS) and funded through a grant by the Centre for New Antibacterial Strategies (CANS).The position is located in the Marbio research group.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. It is an advantage if the selected candidate can start in the position within a short time frame.

The position of PhD Fellow is a fixed term position for a period of 4 years. The nominal length of the PhD program is three years. The fourth year is distrubuted as 25 % each year, and will consist of teaching and other duties for the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics.

Marbio is an analytical platform for natural products at UiT. The expertise at Marbio involves diversity and ecology of marine fungi, bacteria and bioassay-guided purification to isolate active compounds of Arctic marine organisms to be included in a library of natural products. Arctic and sub-Arctic marine organisms are explored, searching for compounds with activities against bacteria, fungi, cancer and diabetes as well as compounds with immune-modulatory and antioxidative effects. Marbio’s screening campaign is based on a classic bioassay-guided fractionation approach supplemented with genome-based approaches.

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 fourteen 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.

CANS 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.

The position's field of research

The successful candidate is expected to do basic research in the field of microbial cultivability within a given microbiome. Research on how to identify growth factors that can be applied to culture a larger microbial fraction of diverse marine microbiomes is relevant for Marbio and CANS, as successful research in this area grants better access to so far uncultured microbes and their potential antibacterial properties. The research questions should be approached using microbiological culturing techniques, analytical chemistry methods (e.g., dereplication and compound isolation) and molecular omics methods (e.g., genomics and transcriptomics).

The candidate will have direct access to state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at Marbio including automated microbial colony picking and screening system, analytical chemistry infrastructure and a modern molecular biology lab. Through NCFS, CANS and UiT a broader set of infrastructure is available including high-throughput sequencing, powerful computational, data analysis and storage resources (ELIXIR) and top-modern research vessels that are fully functional in Arctic conditions.

The candidate will be engaged in:

  • Planning and conducting laboratory experiments scrutinizing changes in growth, metabolite and gene expression profiles of individual microbes and microbiomes
  • Analysing omics data using bioinformatics tools
  • Supervising MSc students and teaching in relevant courses at NCFS


Further information about the position and UiT is available by contacting:

Associate professor Teppo Rämä:

Or Researcher Kine Østnes Hanssen:

We offer

  • 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: Welcome to UiT!


The successful candidate is expected to hold a Norwegian MSc degree within a field relevant for the research theme of the position (e.g., microbiology, chemistry, molecular ecology), or a corresponding foreign MSc degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian MSc degree.

We are looking for a keen candidate, who has the motivation and ambition to create a scientific career.

The suitable candidate must document experience in:

  • Cultivation of microbes
  • Extraction of microbial cultures

It is considered advantageous if the candidate has previous experience in cultivation of fungi, mass spectrometry, isolation and characterization of natural products, omics methods applied to individual microbes or microbial communities, or bioinformatics.

Moreover, the candidate must show a good command of English, both spoken and written. Proficiency in a Norwegian/ Scandinavian language is an advantage.

We are seeking for a committed candidate with relevant skills who is capable of doing independent laboratory work and passionate about developing her/his own research. The candidate should have excellent communication and organizational skills in order to work in a multidisciplinary team, do project management and outreach, and supervision of MSc students. Emphasis is given to personal suitability.

When applying for the position, the applicant has to submit a project proposal for the qualifying work. The project proposal should be max two pages long, introduce the research field of microbial cultivability including major gaps of knowledge and outline how the applicant will solve some of the challenges.

At UiT we put emphasis on the quality, relevance and significance of the research work and not on where the work is published, in accordance with the principles of The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

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.


The application must be submitted electronically via www.jobbnorge.no and shall include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diplomas, diploma supplements and transcripts (all degrees)
  • Documentation on English proficiency. This website states how English profiency shall be documented.
  • Reference letters and contact information to 1-3 references
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project proposal for the qualifying work

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.

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.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 Offentleglova 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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