Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Nanophotonics and Raman-spectroscopy

Deadline: 28.03.2023

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus comprehensive university at the international forefront. Our vision is to be a driving force for developing the High North. The Northern Sami notion eallju, which means eagerness to work, sets the tone for this motive power at UiT. Along with students, staff and the wider community, we aim to utilise our location in Northern Norway and Sápmi, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio and interdisciplinary advantage to shape the future.

Our social mission is to provide research-based education of high quality, perform artistic development and carry out research of the highest international quality standards in the entire range from basic to applied. We will convey knowledge about disciplines and contribute to innovation. Our social mission unites UiT across various studies, research fields and large geographical distances. This demands good cooperation with trade and industry and civil society as well as with international partners. We will strengthen knowledge-based and sustainable development at a regional, national and international level.

Academic freedom and scientific and ethical principles form the basis for all UiT’s activities. Participation, co-determination, transparency and good processes will provide the decision-making basis we need to make wise and far-sighted priorities. Our students and staff will have the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential. Founded on academic integrity, we will be courageous, committed and generous in close contact with disciplines, people and contemporary developments.

We will demonstrate adaptability and seek good and purposeful utilisation of resources, so we are ready to meet the expectations and opportunities of the future.

Faculty of Science and Technology

The position

The Department of Physics and Technology announces a vacant position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, initially for two years. The position is attached to the project “On-chip Raman-spectroscopy of extracellular vesicles.” The goal is to develop high throughput chemical analysis of extracellular vesicles (EVs), ultimately to detect various diseases based on a drop of blood. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with optical waveguides and nanoantennas will be developed for optical trapping and Raman-spectroscopy of the EVs. The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will have a leading role in design and cleanroom processing of the photonic integrated circuits and/or in the experimental work with trapping and Raman-spectroscopy of EVs using the PICs.

The position is formally attached to the Ultrasound, Microwaves and Optics group of the Department of Physics and Technology, which has the strongest track record in optical waveguide technology in Norway, and currently involves 30-40 people, 70% of them from abroad. Its research is at the forefront in the areas of super-resolution imaging using nanophotonic waveguides and optical sensor technology. The team of Prof. Olav Gaute Hellesø mainly works on optical waveguides, optical trapping, and Raman-spectroscopy of trapped particles.

Appointment to the position of Postdoctoral Research Fellow is mainly intended to provide qualification for work in top academic positions. It is a prerequisite that the applicant can carry out the project over the full course of the employment period. No person may hold more than one fixed term position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the same institution.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

If you receive a personal overseas research grant from NFR it is possible to apply NFR for an extension of the fellowship period corresponding to the length of the stay abroad (minimum three months, maximum 12 months).

The position's field of research

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are tiny particles released from biological cells (diameter approx. 100 nm). EVs can circulate in the body, while cells are mostly fixed in tissue. EVs are considered a mechanism for communications between cells, allowing cells to exchange proteins, lipids, and genetic material. Elevated levels of EVs have been associated with several disease states such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, cancer, arterial cardiovascular diseases, and venous thromboembolism. EVs thus contain information about the cells in the body. This information can be revealed by characterizing the EVs in a drop of blood. New methods to characterize and analyze EVs are essential to understand the biological functions of these vesicles, and to develop new clinical methods involving their use and/or analysis.

The aim of the project is to develop high throughput chemical analysis of EVs and facilitate medical research on EVs using the proposed new system. An optical chip will be developed to characterize the EVs using Raman-spectroscopy. One or a few EVs will be held by optical forces for long enough to analyze them. This will be done at several sites on the chip, using light from a single laser. The chip will be connected to an optical spectrometer, that will acquire the Raman-spectra from the EVs. Based on the Raman-spectra, chemical information about the EVs can be obtained. The system will allow many EVs to be analyzed at the same time, and thus make it a high throughput system.

A research group in medical biology will use the system developed to find a relationship between EVs and venous thromboembolism. Two PhD-students are currently working on the project, which also includes visiting students, master-degree students, and collaboration with Univ. of Southampton, UK, Univ. of Twente, Netherlands, and Univ. of Paris, France.


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


The position requires a Norwegian doctoral degree in physics, nanotechnology or a similar field, or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognised as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree. Priority should be given to candidates who have completed their doctoral degree no more than five years before the application deadline unless special circumstances exist.

The candidate must have:

  • 1) Solid background in experimental optics, and/or:
  • 2) Training and experience with cleanroom work, processing and patterning for nanophotonics or nanotechnology, using tools such as thin-film deposition, UV-lithography, E-beam lithography, and reactive-ion etching (RIE).

Various combinations of 1) and 2) are welcome. In addition, some experience with any of the following is appreciated, but not required:

  • Design and characterization of nanooptics or optical waveguides
  • Optical trapping
  • Optical spectroscopy
  • Machine-learning methods and their application to spectral analysis

Furthermore, the candidate must show:

  • Excellence in previous work and good track record
  • Self-motivation, independence and creativity
  • Excellent work ethic and commitment to the job
  • Excellent command of English, both written and verbal. Interest in Norwegian language and culture is welcome.

Emphasis is also given on personal suitability.

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).

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University i 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 is 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 submitted information for anonymous statistics.

We offer

We offer an interesting project, scientific independence, good remuneration, and a fantastic work environment within the stunning landscape of Tromsø. Towards the end of the project, time can be set aside to apply for research funding. Three previous post-docs in the group got ERC Starting Grants afterwards and are now permanently employed in the group.

UiT also has good welfare arrangements for employees including beneficial arrangements for pension and insurances.

Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard. As an employee you will become member of the National Insurance Scheme which also include health care services.

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


Your application must include:

  • Application/Motivation letter
  • Description of your past research projects and their relevance to the current application (max. one page)
  • Description of your academic production (track record), highlighting three works that you consider most important for the current application (max. one page)
  • CV (max. two pages)
  • Diplomas and transcripts (all degrees)
  • Three references, including the PhD supervisor
  • Description of your academic production, stating which works you consider most important
  • Academic works, up to ten. The doctoral thesis is regarded as one work.

Qualification with a PhD is required before commencement in the position. If you’re at the final stages of your PhD, you may still apply if you have submitted your PhD thesis for doctoral degree evaluation within the application deadline. You must submit the thesis with your application. You must have dissertated before the start-up date of the position.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.


The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee's mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants' qualifications based on the written material presented by the applicants, and the detailed description draw up for the position.

The applicants who are assessed as best qualified will be called to an interview. The interview should among other things, aim to clarify the applicant’s motivation and personal suitability for the position.

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.

Remuneration of Postdoctoral Fellow positions are in salary code 1352, normally starting on salary grade 61 on the pay scale for Norwegian state employees corresponding to approx. 46 900 NOK/month. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted. You will become a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which gives you many benefits in addition to a lifelong pension: You may be entitled to financial support if you become ill or disabled, your family may be entitled to financial support when you die, you become insured against occupational injury or occupational disease, and you can get good terms on a mortgage. Read more about your employee benefits at: spk.no.

The successful candidate must be willing to get involved in the ongoing development of their department and the university as a whole.

UiT wishes to increase the proportion of females in academic positions. In cases where two or more applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

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