PhD position in Marine Microbiomes and Arctic Diatoms

Deadline: November 23, 2018

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) consists of Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NFH) and School of Business and Economics. The main task of BFE is to conduct teaching and research dissemination at a high national and international level within all relevant fields. Prioritized research areas are aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, climate, life in the arctic, marine bioprospecting, fish health, seafood products, business and macroeconomics, resources and environment, markets and management of marine resources. The interdisciplinary profile of the faculty provides good opportunity to develop research projects involving several research groups at the faculty according to its strategy.

The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE), UiT The Arctic University of Norway is searching for a PhD student to study marine microbiomes and arctic diatoms. The position is attached to The Norwegian College of Fishery Science and the Arctic Centre for Sustainable Energy.

The appointment is for a period of four years.

The PhD position is for a fixed term, with the objective of completion of research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to a PhD program is a prerequisite for employment, and the program period starts on commencement of the position. The PhD Candidate shall participate in the faculty’s organized research training, and the PhD project shall be completed during the period of employment. Information about the application process for admission to the PhD program and regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) are available at the following address Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics PhD web pages.

The Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NCFS) is a part of the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE)and undertakes research and research-based teaching of high national and international quality in an interdisciplinary environment. Research activity is provisionally organized into groups focusing on living marine resources, sea food science, fish health, marine drug discovery, resource management, marine management and resource economics.

The Arctic Centre for Sustainable Energy or ARC is an interdisciplinary centre focusing on Arctic challenges and conditions within renewable energy and greenhouse gas management. The centre combines expertise in applied mathematics, marine biology, computer science, chemistry, engineering and other fields.

For further information, please contact: Associate Professor Hans C. Bernstein phone +47 7764 6114, [email protected] .

Research area

The PhD student will work with development and execution of multi-omics applied to diatoms and photosynthetically-driven marine microbiomes. The project will be an integrated part of the Microalgae group and will also help develop new projects in ARC aimed at understanding and engineering carbon capture and utilization in marine microbes. The overarching goal of the project will be to uncover genome-encoded biological principles from Arctic marine microbes (and communities of microbes) to better understand how Arctic diatoms structure marine microbiomes. This project will uncover fundamental scientific knowledge to be used for environmental biotechnologies that can be used to capture and utilize greenhouse gases. The exact emphasis of the project will in part be tailored to the strengths and ambitions of the successful candidate.

The successful candidate will become a part of the Microalgae research group and will regularly interact with its members who work on different aspects of biotechnology and marine microbial ecology.

Qualifications required

The successful applicant must hold:

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in microbiology, biotechnology, genomics, ecology, molecular biology, chemical/biological/environmental engineering or a related field.
  • Good command of basic molecular techniques.
    • Good academic performances, and a genuine interest and motivation for performing research.

It will be in the candidate’s advantage to have:

  • Basic knowledge over how modern molecular ecology methods including Illumina Tag sequencing and/or metagenomics can be applied to microbiome sciences and the study of microalgae.
  • Fundamental microbiology skills including aseptic technique and experience in cultivation.
  • Established knowledge or strong motivation to learn programming and bioinformatics skills using R, Python and/or Matlab
  • Experience and or motivation to perform field work in Arctic marine habitats and within applied bioreactor facilities.

Personal qualifications and suitability will be emphasized; the candidate’s personal qualifications should include excellent interpersonal and communication skills and an enthusiasm to work as a member of a research team.


Applicant must have a good command of English, both written and verbal. How to document languages proficiency

Admission to a PhD program is a prerequisite for employment in a PhD position; cf. Section 6 of the Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway. The PhD programme must be approved and the contract signed no later than six week, after the starting date. In connection with this, the person who is appointed can receive a period of up to two months in which to submit a draft of their project description/reworked project description and a proposal of courses for the instruction component. In the event that the PhD contract is not completed within the stipulated deadline, the employer may annul the contract; cf. Section 1-3(8) of the Regulations relating to conditions of employment for positions of Postdoctoral Fellows, PhD Candidate, Research Assistant (only in Norwegian).

Working conditions

The normal period of employment is four years. The nominal length of the PhD program is three years. The fourth year, distributed as 25 % of each year, shall be used for teaching or other duties for the university cf. Guidelines for the PhD candidate’s duties.

The position will especially be assigned teaching duties within the discipline.

Shorter periods of employment may be approved if the PhD Candidate has already implemented parts of the PhD program or when the appointment is based on previous appointments in teaching positions (PhD candidate, Research Assistant or the equivalent), such that the total time of the PhD program is three years.

Remuneration for the position of PhD Candidate is in accordance with State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Sector Pension Fund will be deducted.


The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. During this assessment process, emphasis will be attached to the applicant’s potential for research as shown by:

  • Master’s thesis or equivalent
  • any other academic works

In addition, consideration may be given to work experience or other activities of significance for the implementation of the PhD studies, and to any teaching qualifications. This includes teaching education, teaching experience, from popularization and experience/education from other types of dissemination. The best qualified assessed applicants will be called to an interview. The interview shall among other things aim to clarify the applicant’s personal suitability for the position.

Applicants bring original certificates/diplomas and reference letter (work) to an interview.

Submit your application in

The application documents (mentioned below) must be enclosed in Jobbnorge within the expiration of the application deadline. Documents to be considered must be certified and translated into Scandinavian or English.

The application must include:

  • Letter of application
  • CV (containing a complete overview of education, supervised professional training and professional work)
  • Diploma and transcript from your Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Diploma and transcript from your Master’s degree or equivalent
  • Master’s thesis or equivalent
  • Diploma supplement for completed degrees
  • Documentation of English language proficiency
  • Reference letter(s) and contact information
  • List of works and description of these
  • The list of works shall contain the following information:
    • author(s), the work’s title
    • for articles: the journal’s name and volume, the first and last page of the article, year of publication
    • for publications: publisher, printer, year of publication, number of pages

Works - The applicant have to attach the published or unpublished work he/she wish the Committee be take into consideration during the assessment process


More information and guidelines referenced in our announcement are available here.

Questions concerning the organization of the working environment, such as the physical state of the place of employment, health service, possibility for flexible working hours, part time, etc. may be directed to the telephone reference in this announcement.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has HR policy objectives that emphasize diversity, and therefore encourages qualified applicants to apply regardless of gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is an IW (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise, and will therefore emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

Personal data given in an application or CV will be processed in accordance with the Act relating to the processing of personal data (the Personal Data Act). In accordance with Section 25 subsection 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, the applicant may request not to be registered on the public list of applicants. However, the University may nevertheless decide that the name of the applicant will be made public. The applicant will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.

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