The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD candidate within pollution and infection susceptibility in migrating shorebirds

This job offer has expired

    NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    Biological sciencesBiology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    07/05/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Norway › Trondheim


This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 400 employees and 42 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.


About the position

The PhD project will expand investigations into the combined impact of pollution and infection susceptibility on migrating shorebirds. The specific hypothesis of the project are that: 1) susceptibility to infections (e.g. avian influenza) will increase in a host due to high exposure to environmental pollution; 2) pollutants modulate the immune system in a specific manner that facilitates infection prevalence and/or disease severity; 3) microRNA profiles can be used as a predictive tool to assess disease outbreaks and severity.

The position is financed by the Norwegian Research Council and has a special responsibility within the project COAST-IMPACT (August 2020 – July 2023). The overall aim of COAST-IMPACT is to study the impact of pollution in the coastal wetlands of East Asia by assessing the biodiversity of littoral macroinvertebrates, and the resulting impact of food availability, pollution and infection in migrating shorebirds along the East Asian Australian Flyway using these wetlands. The PhD project will be directly linked to work package 3 (WP3: Screening for infection/disease and immunomodulation in shorebirds).

The field component of this PhD project will be linked to the ongoing large-scale study of migrating shorebirds in Australia (Melbourne in Victoria, and Broome in Western Australia). Secondly, the lab component of the project will elucidate the mechanisms driving pollutant-induced immunomodulation that relate to increased infection susceptibility in the host (targeting microRNAs and inflammation markers). Lastly, the obtained data will be used to develop diagnostic biomarkers to assess infection and exposure that will allow to improve disease outbreak predictions for the future.

The candidate will have following supervisors: Prof. Veerle Jaspers (NTNU) and Associate Prof. Courtney Waugh (Nord University), with Prof Marcel Klaassen (Deakin University, Australia) as a co-supervisor. The candidate will also report to the head of the Department of Biology.

Detailed information on our PhD programs is found at: http://www.ntnu.edu/nt/research/phd

Duties of the position

  • Assessment of microRNAS and inflammation markers
  • Fieldwork in Australia and / or China
  • Data treatment and statistics
  • Presenting results on workshops and conferences
  • Publication of results
  • Writing the PhD thesis

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Biology or Environmental Science or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

The applicants must also have a documented background with at least two of the following fields: environmental toxicology, immunology, wildlife disease or ecology. In addition, the applicants need to have experience with:

  • Wet lab molecular techniques (such as PCR, western blot, ELISA)
  • Basic statistical analyses
  • Spoken and written fluency in the English language 

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience with running linear models in R will be an advantage
  • Experience in sequencing techniques and bioinformatics analysis will also be considered an advantage 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Personal characteristics

  • The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented
  • He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research
  • The candidate should show a keen interest in doing experiments both in the laboratory and in the field
  • Have an interest in learning and working in teams as well as independently on their own project

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years (eventual teaching duties come in addition).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biology within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.


The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Applications should include: CV, letter of motivation, certificates from both Bachelor and Master, copies of grade transcripts, possible publications and other scientific works and 2 reference letters.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test.  Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

General information

 Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.


NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, you can contact Prof. Veerle Jaspers, Department of Biology, NTNU, Tel. +47 47 68 73 46, E-mail: veerle.jaspers@ntnu.no. If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Advisor Nina Sandberg, e-mail: nina.sandberg@ntnu.no.

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number NVD- 45/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 07.05.20

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Biology 

We work with global challenges in natural diversity, climate, the environment, health and nutrition. Our expertise in biological processes at all levels – from molecules to ecosystems – contributes to a sustainable society. The Department educate graduates for a wide range of careers in public administration, business and academia. The Department of Biology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

More Information

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Open, Transparent, Merit based Recruitment procedures of Researchers (OTM-R)

Know more about it at NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Know more about OTM-R

EURAXESS offer ID: 508773


The responsibility for the jobs published on this website, including the job description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.


Please contact support@euraxess.org if you wish to download all jobs in XML.