PhD/Postdoc in Neurophysiology

Trondheim, Norway
Feb 06, 2020
Mar 07, 2020
Position Type
Full Time

There is one PhD/Postdoc position available at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Faculty for Medicine and Health Sciences, NTNU in Trondheim, Norway from March 2020 onward. The work carried out in this project will be financed by the Research Council of Norway’s Centre of Excellence Scheme and an Independent Researcher Grant. If successful, the candidate will be offered a three-year PhD position or post-doctoral fellowship lasting 2-4 years.

The Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience is part of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at NTNU. It was established as a Centre of Excellence in 2002 and designated as a Kavli Foundation Institute in 2007 ( The scientific goal of the Institute is to increase the understanding of neural circuits and systems along with their role in generating psychological functions. Through our widespread network of international collaboration, we offer unique career opportunities. For further information, see:

Description of the project and the job

The Whitlock group ( at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience ( has an opening for an outstanding PhD/Postdoc candidate in behavioral neurophysiology. The successful candidate is expected to perform neural recordings in a laboratory setting while tracking multiple aspects of animal behavior. They should have a good intuition for rodent behavior, steady hands, and strong motivation for analyzing large neural & behavioral datasets. The project will advance the group’s recent work measuring neural tuning to body posture (published in Science), with the present aim of understanding how active sensation guides natural 3D behavior. As a member of the Whitlock group, the position will likely interact with the group of Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Dunn in the NTNU mathematics department, with whom we collaborate on statistics and machine learning.

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. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

Postdoctoral candidates are remunerated in code 1352 and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 542 400 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years for the PhD position and 2-4 years for the Postdoctoral Fellow.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Should you be short-listed, validation for admission as a PhD will be checked with NTNU. A condition of appointment is that you are qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months. As a PhD candidate, you will participate in an organized PhD programme through the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience 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 whose applications conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. It is also to be understood that after the appointment 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.

About the application:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and two reference letters.


The application must include the following:

  • Information about education background and work experience.
  • A short research statement explaining the experience and the interest of the candidate for the research topic and describing the relevance of the candidate’s background to the research project (maximum 1 page).
  • Any relevant publications. Joint work will only be considered provided that a short summary outlining the applicant's contributions is attached.
  • Certified copies of relevant transcripts and diplomas. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway which describes in detail the program of study, the grading system, and the rights to further studies associated with the degree obtained. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):
  • Contact information for the candidate’s references.
  • Should it be deemed necessary, documentation of proficiency in the English language (equivalent to a TOEFL score of 600 or more).

Application deadline: 26.02, 2020

Contact information:

Questions about the positions can be directed to Associate Professor Jonathan Whitlock: Phone +47 4516 4390, e-mail

For information about the recruitment process, you can contact HR-consultant Ole Kristian Indergård, e-mail

Qualification requirements

  • For the PhD position: Completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in neuroscience, animal behavior, other area of quantitative biology or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale.
  • For the Postdoc position: Completion of a Norwegian doctoral degree (or foreign doctoral degree recognized as the equivalent) in neuroscience or related quantitative science discipline.
  • It is imperative that the candidate is able to communicate effectively in English, both orally and written.

Travel to present work at national and international conferences should be expected.

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions, whereas the postdoctoral position should qualify the individual for subsequent for work in academic or industry positions.

For the PhD position, applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.


Emphasis will also be placed on:

  • Prior experience recording from awake behaving animals (the current project will utilize Neuropixels probes).
  • Experience with computational and statistical methods for analysis.
  • Analysis of behavioural and/or neurophysiological data.
  • Post-doc candidates should be able to document prior productivity (e.g. publications, abstracts, conference proceedings).


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

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

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability in relation to the qualifications specified in the advertisement. We will place great emphasis on the candidate’s motivation for the position in addition to:  

  • strong personal initiative, self-motivation and work ethic
  • the ability to work collaboratively to accomplish common research goals
  • being solution-oriented, able to solve problems independently
  • responding to direction & research strategy