PhD position in “Salmon lice biology and ecology”

The PhD position is available at the Department of Biology and has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of up to 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department (to undertake the teaching duties it is a requirement that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language).
The positions is organised in the PhD program “Taskforce salmon lice” that is financed mainly by the aquaculture sector in Central Norway. The project forms part of the NTNU OCEAN Pilot Programme “Environmental Interactions of Sea-based Aquaculture”.

Job description
Comprehensive knowledge on biology, ecology and genetics of the salmon louse are available, but salmon lice is still recognised as a main problem in salmon farming in Norway and salmon lice management still represents major costs for the industry. This may, among other things, originate in the fact that there still is an apparent lack in understanding of the spreading mechanisms of salmon lice in nature and in salmon farms. The main objective of the PhD program “Taskforce salmon lice” is to establish better fundamental knowledge on the mechanisms whereby salmon lice spread within and between farmed and wild populations of salmonids. The general research strategy of the program is to obtain knowledge based on ecological, metabolic and molecular/genetic methods to characterise interactions between parasite and host (sea lice and salmonids).
The present PhD project will focus on the salmon louse life cycle on wild salmon, including the salmon lice situation before salmon aquaculture. The life cycle of salmon lice must historically be closely related to the life cycle of wild salmon, from the open ocean to migration to coastal waters and rivers, to smolt and older fish migrating back to the ocean. The salmon louse life history and mechanisms of spreading in the ocean, coastal areas, and in the river mouths have a focus along with the interactions in the migration routes from and to the ocean, also with other species like sea trout. It will be important to understand the main evolutionary mechanisms of the salmon lice in an unaffected, historical environment.
The other 5 PhD students in the project have different focuses on sea lice biology, chemical ecology and behaviour ecology, and genetics. Most PhD projects including the present will involve both field and laboratory work. The PhD students work in team with project partners and NTNU employees.

Qualification requirements
The applicants must have an MSc (or equivalent) and have their education or later experience on one or more of the following scientific fields: salmon lice and salmon ecology/biology, relevant methods of molecular biology, behaviour of salmonids, or other highly relevant fields. The project involves fieldwork, use of established data series and materials, and laboratory studies. It is an advantage to have earlier experiences in statistics that is regarded important in the evaluation of applicants. 

The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required and C or higher of the BSc in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. 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).

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, postdoctor and research assistant

Personal characteristics
The successful candidate must demonstrate high motivation to undertake the PhD study, be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. She or he should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams with partners, colleague students and scientists.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions
PhD candidate:
PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of up to 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department (to undertake the teaching duties it is a requirement that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language). Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Biology. 

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

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. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Further information can be obtained from Professor Yngvar Olsen, Department of Biology, NTNU, Tel. +47 97778249, E-mail: 

About the application:
Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number NV-27/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 20.05.19

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