The NTNU University Museum is seeking a highly qualified, ambitious and motivated candidate for a PhD-position working on the “Stickle-back-in-time” project. The candidate will study positive and negative selection acting upon the genomes of three-spined stickleback populations that colonized freshwater lakes from the marine environment after the Last Glacial Maximum. This will involve analyzing genomes from both modern and ancient samples, and from time series of sedDNA. See the recent paper by Kirch et al. (2021) Current Biology for an example: and

The project will be conducted using the NTNU University Museum’s computational resources and specialized genomics laboratory facilities, where you will be supervised by the PI: Associate Professor Andrew Foote and Professor Felicity Jones of the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society.

The position is available from Dec 1, 2021. Master students graduating before this date can apply. The period of employment is 3, or 4 years with 25% of the time allocated to collection work, teaching and public outreach for candidates with the right background and motivation. 

Applications should include a cover letter (max. 1 page) that includes a statement of motivation, summary of scientific work and research interests; and that demonstrates how the applicant’s experience satisfies the qualifications for the position.

Duties of the position

The PhD will include some modern and ancient DNA lab work, but training will be given and prior experience in not a pre-requisite. The majority of the work will be developing bioinformatics pipelines and analyzing datasets that combine modern, paleo, and sedDNA data.

The successful candidate is also expected to conduct fieldwork in Finnmark, northern Norway to sample modern stickleback populations, and the attend conferences such as the upcoming stickleback meeting in Iceland in 2022.

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 evolutionary biology and genomics or closely related fields 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. You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty’s doctoral program .

The following skills are also required:

  • Bioinformatics experience, i.e. NGS laboratory and computational analysis methods.
  • Familiarity with the UNIX command-line.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants 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

  • Practical experience with ancient DNA work
  • Experience with the stickleback study system

Personal characteristics

The selected candidate should be highly motivated and goal-oriented, have good cooperative skills and be able to deliver.

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

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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, or 4 years including 25% duty work.

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 daily workplace is Department of Natural History at NTNU in Trondheim.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English (ta stilling til dette)

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. 

The application must include (Departments to choose from the following): 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • Academic works – published or unpublished – that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • The master thesis (or a draft if not yet submitted)
  • Name and address of three referees
  • Other relevant research work 

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.

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

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.


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.

In accordance with The Public 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, please contact Andrew Foote, telephone +47 41289132, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Christen Torvik, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via 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 2021/54425 when applying.

Application deadline: 14.11.2021

NTNU – knowledge for a better world

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 Natural History

We conduct research in biogeography, biosystematics, evolutionary biology and ecology with a focus on biodiversity. The Department is responsible for developing and maintaining the Museum’s natural history collections, including the botanical garden at Ringve in Trondheim. The Department of Natural History is one of two departments at the NTNU University Museum

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