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PhD candidate in Marine Neuroscience

NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim (Kommune), Trøndelag (NO)
You are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum before tax.
Closing date
Apr 23, 2023

NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities with headquarters in Trondheim.

At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 43,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

The position is based at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and the Department of Biology at NTNU, both international environments valuing interdisciplinary research. The PhD candidate will be part of the Marine Neuroscience Laboratory led by Dr. Ragnhild Irene Jacobsen, where the aim is to take neuroscience into the future by going back to where it all began: the ocean. Projects include deciphering bioluminescent communication in marine annelid worms through behavioural experiments and elucidating the underlying neuroanatomy with histological methods.

The PhD candidate’s immediate leader is Dr. Ragnhild Irene Jacobsen, researcher in the Moser group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Leader of the Marine Neuroscience Laboratory

Duties of the position

  • Collect plankton from a boat with a net in the Trondheim fjord
  • Design and build experimental setups
  • Perform behavioural experiments with marine organisms in the laboratory
  • Process annelid worms with histological methods such as immunohistochemistry
  • Analyse behavioural and histological data
  • Communicate scientific findings through conferences presentations, scientific publications and public outreach activities

Required selection criteria

These criteria must be fulfilled for your application to be considered:

  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • Master’s degree, or equivalent education, in Biology, Marine Biology, Neuroscience or a related quantitative science discipline, with a final average grade of B or higher at the start of the position. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant 

Preferred selection criteria

These criteria are not required, but will be used to shortlist candidates for an interview:

  • An interest in marine biology and/or neuroscience
  • Experience working with animals, such as marine organisms
  • Experience with electronics, such as using microcontrollers and/or making electric circuits
  • Experience with histology and/or related techniques such as immunohistochemistry and microscopy
  • Basic programming skills in for example Python, MATLAB or R
  • Experience analysing quantitative data

Personal characteristics

These are personal characteristics that are particularly valued for this position:

  • Curious and/or observant
  • Problem solver
  • Perseverant
  • Enthusiastic
  • Reflective
  • Enjoys working both independently and as part of a team

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Medicine and Health Sciences 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 attachments 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.

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

About the application

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

Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • A cover letter where you reflect on your motivation for applying, which skills and/or experiences you bring, which qualities you think are important to complete a PhD and to what extent you consider yourself to have those qualities.
  • CV and relevant certificates
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees
  • Name and contact information of two referees

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire higher education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, competence and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.

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.

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.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Simon A. Berger, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with the required documents attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 30.04.2023

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.

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.

Today, the Institute consists of the Centre for Neuronal Computation (CNC) as well as the Egil and Pauline Braathen and Fred Kavli Centre for Cortical Microcircuits. In 2014, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two of the Institute’s professors, Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser. The Institute is responsible for an international master's programme and is affiliated with a doctoral programme in medicine. Through our widespread network of international collaboration, we offer unique career opportunities. For further information, see:


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