Ledig stilling ved UiT Norges arktiske universitet

PhD Candidate: Klebsiella pneumoniae – key driver in the global spread of antimicrobial resistance and a target for new approaches in diagnostics, surveillance and alternative therapeutics

Deadline: 13.05.2019

The position

The Faculty of Health Sciences and Department of Medical Biology has an available position for a PhD Candidate, for applicants wishing to take a Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) degree at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The position is available for commencement from August 15th, 2019 and for a period of four years.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT – Developing the High North

UiT The Arctic University of Norway
is a multi-campus research university and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

The Faculty of Health Sciences

The Faculty of Health Sciences
is a national innovation which brings together a wide range of health-related education pathways. This lays the groundwork for a unique level of interdisciplinarity and innovation in health education and research. We work closely with northern services in order to find solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.

The successful applicant is going to work on a large multidisciplinary project entitled “Klebsiella pneumoniae – a key driver in the global spread of antimicrobial resistance and a target for new approaches in diagnostics, surveillance and alternative therapeutics (KLEB-GAP)”. The project is coordinated by the Department of Medical Biology, UiT. The activity of the Research Fellow is co-funded by the Trond Mohn Research Foundation and UiT.

The successful applicant will be involved in the research conducted at IMB in close collaboration with national and international partners in the KLEB-GAP consortium. The work will focus on sampling of relevant human specimens; analytical examination of samples including population structure and pangenome analysis of Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kp) from humans; development and implementation of whole metagenomic sequencing; data processing and publication of results; participation with presentations on project meetings and preparation of PhD application to UiT.

The successful applicant must teach at the Department's various courses. The duties will be allocated based on the applicant's qualifications and the needs of the Department, and may include exam work, leading seminars, and leading or assisting in lab courses.

The project

The overall aim of the KLEB-GAP project is to explore Kp reservoirs using a first-in-kind One Health approach to develop new antimicrobial resistance diagnostics, innovative surveillance methods, and evaluate bacteriophages as treatment against multidrug resistant Kp. The project will explore the presence, persistence, and transmission of Kp and related antimicrobial resistance determinants within and across human, animal, and marine reservoirs through advanced genomic and bioinformatic analyses of large prospectively collected samples.

The project will provide new knowledge for:

  • further development of global surveillance methodology to monitor the flow of Kp and related antimicrobial resistance across sectors,
  • the development of new methods (whole metagenomic sequencing) beyond the state-of-art for diagnostics and surveillance of Kp-clonal lineages involved in antimicrobial resistance dispersion and pathogenicity, and
  • pre-clinical efficacy studies of bacteriophages as treatment of colonisation and infection by multidrug resistant Kp.

The position’s work place

Department of Medical Biology (IMB) will be the workplace for the candidate. More than 200 staff members from all over the world have their workplace at IMB. The department consists of 13 research groups concentrated on fundamental biomedical research problems, including research on various cancer forms, cardiovascular diseases, the body's immune system, host-microbe interactions and antibiotic resistance. The position is affiliated to the research group for host-microbe-interactions. IMB provides education for students studying programs in medicine, dentistry, biomedical laboratory sciences, biomedicine and pharmacy.


The project takes advantage of the unique Norwegian human (NORM) and animal (NORM-VET) antimicrobial resistance surveillance infrastructure, the Institute of Marine Research (IMR)/Norwegian Food Safety Authority sampling systems in the marine environment, the interdisciplinary antimicrobial resistance One Health Norwegian K. pneumoniae network (NOR-KLEB-NET; www.nor-kleb.net ), and the ongoing Norwegian human K. pneumoniae study (NOR-KLEB) to access animal, human, and environmental Kp-reservoirs/-strains/-genomes with relevant metadata.

The project involves six Norwegian institutions including UiT, Stavanger University Hospital, University Hospital of North-Norway, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, IMR and ACD Pharma, an industry partner as well as four renowned international partners represented by Karolinska Institute (Stockholm), Institut Pasteur (Paris), Queens University of Belfast, and Monash University (Melbourne).


For further information about the position and UiT contact Professor Arnfinn Sundsfjord;


A requirement of the position is the completion of a relevant Master’s degree in microbiology/molecular biology or Norwegian Candidate of Medicine or other educations that have been approved as equivalent to these. Documented experience in the use of basal methods in microbiological analysis, molecular biology, and antimicrobial susceptibility testing will be evaluated as important. Experience in whole genome sequencing, bacterial population genetics, and bioinformatics will be regarded as positive.

Acceptance onto the PhD programme is a prerequisite for appointment to this position, and the study period will begin upon commencement. The PhD Candidate will participate in formal research training, and perform the doctorate degree project over the course of the period of employment. The eligibility requirements for the faculty’s PhD programme must be met cf. section 6, Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). For information on the admissions process to the PhD programme and on PhD regulations, visit https://uit.no/helsefak/phd

Master students in the final stages may also apply. A preliminary version of the dissertation should be included if the final version is not ready before the application deadline. Information about the delivery deadline for the dissertation should be given. A completed degree must be documented before an acceptable date for commencement.Applicants must have documented knowledge of English, which meets the requirements as stated in the Norwegian general university and college admission requirements.

We are looking for persons with are structured, goal-oriented, analytical and able to communicate and collaborate with other people in the lab and the consortium. We will evaluate personal suitability and motivation for the position.


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV - summarizing education, positions and academic work
  • Diplomas and transcripts of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree or equivalent (in original language and translated)
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works
  • References with contact details
  • Documentation on English proficiency

Proficiency in the English language can be documented in the following ways:

  • Diploma from a Norwegian upper secondary school with both spoken and written English (140 hours)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • IELTS (International English Testing Service)
  • Completed university degree in the field of English language or literature
  • One year’s completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or USA, for which English was the language of instruction.

Documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language. We only accept applications through Jobbnorge.

Terms of employment

Remuneration of PhD positions is in accordance with the State salary scale codes 1017 and 1378, depending on the qualifications of the former. A compulsory contribution of 2% to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

The normal period of employment is four years. The PhD studies normally equate to three years. The fourth year, apportioned as 25% of each year, shall be put towards teaching or other work tasks undertaken for the university. The successful candidate is obliged to make a contribution to the teaching of all students at the Faculty of Health Sciences as and where necessary.øp


The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. UiT will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability

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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