PhD scholarship within proteomics, enzyme discovery and applied enzymology

Deadline: 28.10.2022

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 500 phd scholarships and 6,700 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

About The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) employs about 160 people. Currently about 50 PhD students are enrolled into our PhD program. KBM represents a broad range of scientific fields encompassing basic natural sciences such as microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry as well as the application of these towards food chemistry, technology and safety, biotechnology, bioprocessing and environmental issues. The Faculty is responsible for education, research and information within our fields of expertise and also has state-of-the-art instrumentation to perform research within these fields. KBM collaborates in networks and research projects both nationally and internationally.

Further information here.

Are you interested in finding and exploiting the enzymes that salmon uses to degrade feed?

About the position

The Protein Engineering and proteomics (PEP) group at the Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant three-year PhD–position within the Centre for Industrial Biotechnology (SFI-IB).

The goal of the PhD project is to map the proteolytic enzymes that salmon use to digest their food, produce and characterize these enzymes, and then use them to develop an in vitro feed digestion model for salmon. Possible biotechnological applications of the enzymes will also be explored, in collaboration with other projects. We will use meta-omics techniques to identify the enzymes, as well as protein purification and recombinant protein expression to get hold of the enzymes.

The PhD student will be part of the large and international PEP group, with high professional competence and a pleasant working and social environment. Currently, the group has about 40 members, including 14 PhD students; members of the group come from more than 15 countries. The group has access to in-house state-of the art (meta)genomics, (meta)proteomics and enzymology facilities. The group publishes highly cited, multidisciplinary research in the fields of biomass processing, bacterial pathogenicity, microbial ecology and vaccine development. The PhD student will collaborate closely with the BioRef group, and there will be synergies with several adjacent projects related to biotechnology, biorefining, fermentation and fish nutrition.

Main tasks

  • Sample preparation (proteins) from salmon gut contents.
  • Mapping enzymes in the salmon gut, with focus on known and unknown proteases, using quantitative proteomics/metaproteomics.
  • Isolation of enzymes found in the fish gut.
  • Production of recombinant enzymes in yeast cells.
  • In-depth characterization of individual enzymes, with focus on their biotechnological applicability.
  • Development of an in vitro digestion system to assess digestion of raw materials for salmon feeds, using in-house and commercial enzymes/enzyme cocktails. Test the model (in vivo trials).
  • Participate in meetings with research partners and industry.
  • At least 3 publications in high quality international scientific journals and presentations at international scientific conferences.

The successful candidate is expected to develop progress plan towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, targeted at completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.


Applicants need to be aware that an application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD program. The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master’s degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Required Academic qualifications and experience

  • The successful candidate must hold (or expect to complete within December 2022) a relevant MSc degree, for example in biochemistry or biotechnology.
  • Training at MSc level in topics like protein chemistry, enzymology and/or process biochemistry.
  • Grades that are sufficient to be admitted to NMBU’s PhD program (minimum B as average grade for the MSc studies and minimum B on the MSc thesis).

Applicants with one or more of the following experiences and skills will be prioritized:

  • Hands-on wet-lab experience with protein purification, recombinant production of proteins, and/or enzymology
  • Experience in working with proteolytic enzymes
  • Experience in proteomics
  • Knowledge of salmon and salmon physiology
  • Documented skills in relevant analytical methods
  • Bioinformatic skills

The ideal candidate will combine the following personal qualities:

  • Hard-working, ambitious, and accurate.
  • Creative and independent, but capable of collaborating in a team.
  • Good communicative skills, orally and written, in English (candidates will be required to give a research presentation in English as part of the recruitment process).

We expect that the candidate will publish research findings in high-impact peer reviewed scientific journals. Applicants must be proficient in both written and spoken English.

Proficiency in Norwegian may be considered an advantage and will open up for the PhD student to participate in teaching with concomitant extension of the contract beyond three years.

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow. PhD. Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 501.200,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

For further information, please contact:

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply for this job’ button above. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 28.10.2022

In the application, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process. Please note that applications that do not provide the information needed for NMBU’s admission process will be discarded.

Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

Please note that applications that lack a motivation letter clearly stating why the candidate is qualified and motivated for this project will be disregarded.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Complete CV
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. (i.e. Diploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are encouraged to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English
  • Names and contact details for two references
  • Additional relevant documentation of professional knowledge (for example, a list of scientific works)

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