PhD Research Fellow in exercise physiology

Deadline: 23.09.2021

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 exercise physiology

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a full-time position as Research Fellow (PhD candidate) in exercise physiology from 1.10.2021, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The position is associated with the Department of Environmental and Health Studies and Department of Sports Physical Education and Outdoor Studies, located on campus Bø, Telemark. The position is attached to the Department of Environmental and Health Studies and reports to the Head of Department. The place of employment is Bø, Telemark.

About the PhD-project “The impact of maximal aerobic and maximal anaerobic speed on middle distance performance”

Most sports disciplines put demand on both aerobic and anaerobic ATP production, and the ratio of aerobic / anaerobic energy reliance during maximal effort is dependent on the duration of the competition. Allometric models can be useful to predict performance, and in this project we suggest that a model based on maximal aerobic speed (MAS), calculated as maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) divided by the oxygen cost of running (CR), and maximal anaerobic speed (MANS), predict performance in sports lasting longer than approximately 1 minute. The role of anaerobic speed reserve (ASR), i.e. the difference between MAS and MANS, has also been suggested to be an important performance determining factor. This PhD project is therefore part of a more extensive project investigating the model in three different sports, namely 800m running, cycling and double poling in sprint crosscountry skiing. In line with the suggested model, the aim of this project is thus to investigate the relative impact of MAS, MANS and time to exhaustion (TTE) at 130% MAS on performance in 800m running and sprint in double poling in cross-country, and further to investigate the impact of ASR on TTE. In addition, to further assess causality and test the model in a practical setting, a second aim is to assess the effects on MAS specific and MANS specific training interventions on performance in both sports.

The PhD project will consist of the following work packages:

1. Cross-sectional study investigating the impact of MAS, MANS and time to exhaustion (TTE) at 130% MAS on performance, and the impact of anaerobic speed reserve (ASR), i.e., the relative difference between MAS and MANS, on TTE.

2. Exercise intervention study assessing the effects of a MANS specific training intervention.

3. Exercise intervention study assessing the effects of a MAS specific training intervention.

The candidate will join the research group HELP (Health and Exercise in a life course perspective) as a pre-doctoral research fellow. The candidate will be an active participant in the project.

The primary advisors will be Assoc. Prof. Øyvind Støren (USN) and Assoc. Prof. Eva Maria Støa. Professor Jan Helgerud (NTNU) will be a secondary advisor in this project.

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


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree or equivalent higher education qualifications in Exercise Physiology, and a background in Endurance Physiology and laboratory work. The applicant must have gained the degree within the application deadline. It is a strength if the applicant is able to connect with norwegian middle-distance running and cross-country skiing environments in order to recruit participants and perform field tests.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Ecology. To qualify, a candidate must have a B or better on her/his MSc thesis.

Other requirements

  • Good oral and written English skills.
  • The ability to work both independently and with a team of scientists and students will be emphasized.

The staff at the faculty work within subject teams to a large extent, and the candidate must be motivated to share his or her knowledge and cooperate. Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized.

We offer

  • A stimulating and growing research environment, with good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hours


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 491 200 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 person appointed must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply at any given time to the post. 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:

  • Project coordinators Associate Professor Øyvind Støren (phone: +47 35 95 26 12, e-mail: [email protected]),
  • Associate Professor Eva Maria Støa (phone +47 35952732, e-mail: [email protected])

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact:

  • Live Semb Vestgarden, Head of the Department of Environmental and Health Studies (phone: + 47 35 95 27 97, e-mail: [email protected]) or
  • HR-Adviser Cathrine H. Fagerli [email protected]

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:

  • Transcripts and diplomas of Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (120 ECTS)
  • A project motivation letter
  • 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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