PhD scholarship in Fish Health Research

Deadline: 18.05.2021

Norwegian Veterinary Institute

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute is a research institute in the areas of animal health, fish health and food and feed safety, whose primary function is supply of research-based knowledge support to the authorities. NVI have a free and independent position in all academic questions. As the authorities' main advisor in topics related to prevention, handling and elimination of zoonosis and serious infectious diseases in fish and land animals, NVI performs an important task to the Norwegian society. NVI also assists in the prevention and management of crises caused by hazardous compounds and contaminants in feed and food.

We provide services and advice to the industry, professionals and pet owners. The institute’s headquarters are located in Oslo, but NVI is present throughout Norway with 5 regional laboratories in Sandnes, Bergen, Trondheim, Harstad and Tromsø. In 2021

Are you interested in a PhD scholarship on the REDFLAG-Project?

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Section for Fish Health research, has a vacant 3-year PhD scholarship linked to a project on red blood cell responses and blood biomarkers in salmonids. The position is funded through a grant from the Research Council of Norway; RED FLAG; Red blood cells as sensors of stress and infection in salmonids” (2021-2024). The successful candidate will join the Veterinary institute’s multidisciplinary fish health research group and interact with collaborators at the Norwegian Institute of Life Sciences, University of British Columbia, Canada, and University Miguel Hernández de Elche, Spain.

As a PhD candidate, you will study red blood cell responses and functions in culture and in vivo, and help establish new knowledge and biomarker assays for veterinary diagnostics. You will follow the educational PhD program at NMBU. It is also planned that you will stay in a collaborating laboratory at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada for 3-6 months, to learn and perform functional analysis of red blood cells ex vivo together with experts in the field. You will also be interacting with the Norwegian Veterinary Institute strategic internal initiative Bio-Direct; Biomarkers and Bioassays for Veterinary Research and Diagnostics; an initiative involving more than 20 researchers at the institute.

The Veterinary Institute is committed to diversity, and we therefore encourage anyone who is qualified to apply for the position, regardless of age, gender, ability to function, gaps in CV, national or ethnic background.

The main activities of the PhD scholarship will be related to the following tasks

This is a three year position in the project “RED FLAG; Red blood cells as sensors of stress and infection in salmonids” (2021-2024), granted by the Norwegian Research Council (NRC).

The tasks of the PhD candidate includes:

  1. Isolate and culture nucleated red blood cells from Atlantic salmon ex vivo.
  2. Map separate and integrated responses to stress and viral infection in the red blood cell cultures.
  3. Participate in experimental trials in Atlantic salmon, and help establish cell tracer experiments to monitor red blood cell fate in vivo.
  4. Analyse blood sample transcripts, proteins and cell signalling mediators.
  5. identify diagnostic biomarkers based on red blood cell responses.

The PhD position will be part of a multi-disciplinary team of experienced researchers in the field of fish health and diagnostics. The ultimate goal is a PhD thesis with at least three scientific publications and doctoral dissertation.


Eligible candidates should hold a NOKUT approved master degree in a relevant field (Fish biology/physiology, cell biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, Aquamedicine or similar) or a veterinary education. Candidates must have excellent written and oral English presentation skills. Communication skills in a Scandinavian language and completed FELASA C level course in the use of laboratory animals is an advantage, but not a requirement.

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized, and laboratory skills in at least one of the following areas is regarded particularly important for the position:

  • Blood cell isolation, cell culture and drug treatment of cells.
  • Physiological measurements in fish, in particular related to gas exchange.
  • Transcript analyses, preferably experience with the Biomark fluidigm platform, or nanopore RNA-seq.
  • RNA-seq bioinformatics and R.
  • Phosphoprotein/cell signalling analyses, immunoassays (Bio-plex or ELISA), or enzymatic activity assays.

Personal characteristics important for the positions:

  • Strong motivation and commitment for the outlined research project and a PhD education, and preferably also for a future research career
  • Self-driven, actively seeking knowledge, organized and systematic
  • Strong scientific capacity and analytical skills
  • Interactive, and with excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Good communication and team-working skills, but also with demonstrated capacity to work independently and with high degree of flexibility

We seek candidates that identify with the Norwegian Veterinary Institutes core values: future-oriented, ambitious, and interacting.

Personal suitability and motivation for the position will be emphasized.

The Norwegian Veterinary Institute offers

  • An interesting position with exciting and varied tasks
  • Important and relevant research challenges within the field of fish and animal health.
  • A multi-disciplinary work environment characterized by a high level of competence and diversity.
  • A flexible and inclusive workplace.
  • Favourable agreements for mortgages and pension savings in the Government Pension Fund, for which 2% of salary is deducted
  • The Veterinary Institute has just relocated to new and modern premises and laboratories on Campus Ås.

The position is paid in accordance with the Government's salary regulations. The position is placed in code1017 PhD candidate.

If you find this position of interest, we look forward to receiving your application, which should include:

  • A brief summary of your research interests and motivation for the position.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references, of which at least one should be able to evaluate practical laboratory skills.
  • CV with any scientific (or other relevant) publications and presentations.
  • Certificates and grade transcripts

For further information about the position, you are welcome to contact senior researcher Maria K. Dahle (contact information below).

We point out that the CV is used for an extended list of applicants. If you want to be exempted from the public applicant list, this must be justified in the application. Information can be published even if you have requested not to be listed on the applicant list. You will be notified if the request for a reservation is not granted.

Webcruiter ID: 4374490684

Apply for position


  • Maria K. Dahle (Seniorforsker), 92612718
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