PhD Research Fellow in Applied Micro- and Nanosystems

Deadline: 21.05.2021

University of South-Eastern Norway

The University of South-Eastern Norway, USN, is one of Norway’s largest higher education institutions, with around 18,000 students and 1,900 employees across eight different campuses.

We offer studies, research and knowledge dissemination, all targeting various professions and working life and with a high level of quality internationally. Our goal as a University is to create value both for the individual student and for business and commerce, the public sector and society in general. We achieve this by utilising the best tools we have: education and research.

USN is a University with a strong social commitment where studies and working life are integrated. At USN, we focus on practice-relevant, profession-oriented and applied research and education.

The students shall benefit from innovative educational methods and challenging studies closely associated with society's requirements and needs. They will learn how to adapt to a society and working life that is constantly changing. The University shall meet major social challenges with knowledge and expertise, helping to promote practical solutions, structural changes and new ways of thinking. USN’s academic activities shall be embodied by a clear dedication to the UN’s sustainable development goals. The University aims to realise this main profile in close cooperation with society and working life.

For more information on USN, please go to www.usn.no

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences have a vacancy for a position as PhD Research Fellow in Applied Micro- and Nanosystems - Biosensory implants for in vivo real-time measurement of stress indicators

About the position

A PhD student/scholarship position is available in the BioMEMS group at the Department of Microsystems at the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN). The position is part of a collaborative project entitled “Biosensory implants for in vivo real-time measurement of stress indicators”, acronym “FishTag”, that is coordinated by the local biosensors company Zimmer & Peacock AS. The candidate will report to the Head of Department at USN.

The appointment is for a period of three years. The position does not include teaching duties.

About the PhD-project

The scholarship aim to conduct research into the development of an implantable telemetry-unit that is able to track glucose and cortisol in salmon using electrochemical sensors. Both glucose and cortisol act as biomarkers for the identification of stress, and the measurements will be conducted in real time through the transmission of data based on acoustic signalling. The scholarship will focus on the following fields in order of priority: (i) extending service lifetimes of the sensors, incl. compensation of aging phenomena related to the environment in which the implant is located (e.g. abdominal cavity of fish), and to employ potential interferents to assess specificity; (ii) packaging of the telemetry module using low temperature processes that will not damage the sensors while ensuring good contact with the tissue once implanted; (iii) signal processing of data based on a limited transmission capacity (e.g. effective bandwidth of 0.03 bit/s).

For background information you can among others refer to these publications on miniaturized telemetry units:

  • Johannessen, E.A., et al., Implementation of multichannel sensors for remote biomedical measurements in a microsystems format. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 2004. 51: p.525-535.
  • Johannessen, E., et al. Toward an injectable continuous osmotic glucose sensor. Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, 2010. 4: p.882-892

The “FishTag” project commenced in 2020 and is a collaboration between the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Sintef Ocean and the project coordinator Zimmer & Peacock AS.


Applicants must have a Master degree or equivalent higher education with a weighted average of grade B or higher. Proficiency in English (good written and oral communication skills) is a prerequisite. However, knowledge of Norwegian will be an advantage. Applicants holding an existing PhD degree will not be considered.

Candidates who finish their degree this semester can also apply, and will be given a conditional evaluation.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Applied Micro- and Nanonsystems within three months of accession in the position. For admission to the Programme the weighed average grade is B or higher is usually required.

We are looking for a candidate with expertise in biosensor development based on electrochemical transducers. Experience with work on microsensors based on an enzyme model (e.g. oxidases) will be emphasised. Moreover, work involving analogue front end design for such sensors, the use of electrochemistry and analysis tools such as the potentiostat and EIS will be an advantage. Skills involving microfabrication, the use of cleanroom equipment and analysis tools/DAQ tools will be preferred.'

Candidates who finish their degree this semester can also apply, and will be given a conditional evaluation.

The candidate should be:

  • Motivated and able to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration.
  • Have good communication and networking skills.
  • A team player, able to convert meeting minutes into action.
  • Proactive and forthcoming, and able to work independently.

Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized.

We offer

  • A professionally stimulating working environment.
  • Good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 482 200 a year. Further promotion will be based on time served in the position.

A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

Other information

The Academic Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellowships is responsible for the appointment. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. The candidates deemed best qualified will be invited to an interview.

The successful applicant must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply to the position. Please note that approved work permit is a prerequisite for the employment.

According to its human resources policy, the University of South-Eastern Norway targets a balanced gender composition and aims to recruit persons with a background as an immigrant.

The University contributes to the Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. We therefore encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the post. The University will facilitate the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Pursuant to section 25, 2nd paragraph of the Freedom of Information Act, information on the applicant may be disclosed even if the applicant has requested not be included on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests are not allowed.

Contact information

For more information about the position, please contact:

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact:

How to apply

The University of South-Eastern Norway makes use of online application management. Applicants to the post must register their application and CV with enclosures online via the Jobbnorge recruitment portal by clicking on the link on the right-hand side – “Søk stillingen” (Apply for the post).

The following documents shall be attached to the online application:

  • Certified diplomas and grade transcripts/certificates from university college/university
  • Master's thesis
  • A description of how you think that your background and skills will be used to conduct research in the fields of the "FishTag" project in order to reach its goal
  • Any scientific publications and a list of these
  • Three references (contact information)

Please note that all documents must be in a Scandinavian language or in English. Any translations must be certified.

The application will be assessed on the basis of the attached documentation as requested above. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the required documentation has been uploaded with the application deadline.

The University has been awarded a Charter & Code certificate by the European Commission, and is entitled to use the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) logo. The University is also a member of the EURAXESS network, which contributes to good working conditions for mobile researchers.

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