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PhD position in marine nanoparticles related to ocean health
IMR | Bergen, Norway | Deadline: 30 Jun 2019

About the position

The research group on Contaminants and Biohazards has an immediate opening for a three-year PhD position. The work place will be at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, Norway. Our research group investigates and document the levels of undesirable compounds in fish and seafood, and contributes with knowledge on parasites including quality reducing and human pathogen bacteria. Our research group consists of 24 researchers and we are heavily involved in scientific questions our institute work with as a national advisor.

Area of research

This position is part of the project Marine nanoparticles, where we will establish new knowledge on nanoparticles in the marine environment as part of the ocean health initiative and thus contribute to both the Institute of Marine Research’s vision of clean and rich oceans and costal areas and UN’s sustainable development goals 14.1 and 14.2 regarding life below water and healthy and productive oceans. The knowledge will be applied to coast ecological issues related to pollution due to deposition of mining waste in Norwegian fjords and discharges of inorganic contaminants and nutrients from seafood farming.

The project will be connected to an ongoing cooperation between the Institute of Marine Research, the University of Bergen and the Technical University of Denmark. The project work will focus on the development of methods for the determination of nanoparticles of inorganic elements in marine samples, characterize occurence of inorganic nanoparticles in the marine environment, fish and seafood including exposure trials to characterize uptake and depuration kinetics for nanoparticles. Quality assurance, data analyses and interpretation of results for both oral presentations at meetings and writing of scientific publications are central work tasks. The method development will mainly be carried out at the Institute of Marine Research and in periods at the Technical University of Denmark. Exposure trials will be carried out at appropriate facilities at the Institute of Marine Research. Guidance of bachelor and master students may be part of the work tasks. The work shall culminate in a PhD thesis.

Qualification requirements

The candidate must hold a master’s degree or the equivalent in chemistry, nanotechnology or equivalent disciplines. If the master’s degree is not completed the candidate must have submitted the master thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a requirement prior to employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.

Experience from practical laboratory work in chemistry is a requirement. Emphasis will be put on the amount of practical laboratory work within chemistry as documented in the master thesis and any later work experience.

The applicant must have practical experience using important analytical techniques in a modern laboratory such as chromatography, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy. Experience with techniques specifically relevant to nanoparticles in environment and biota samples (sp-ICP-MS, SEM, TEM, AFFF; DLS, UV-Vis etc.) should also be described. It is an advantage to have experience in method development and quality assurance.

The applicant must have good English skills, both in writing and orally, and have good knowledge of Norwegian, Swedish or Danish since the working language at the Institute of Marine Research is Norwegian. You are required to learn Norwegian within the first two years of employment. Language training in Norwegian will be offered if necessary.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. The following competences will be specifically emphasized in the assessment of personal qualities: planning, problem solver, results oriented, continuous learner, resourceful and good communicator. Ambitions, potential and motivation for research and pursuing a PhD education will be evaluated and assigned considerable weight when assessing the candidates.

For this position the following applies:

About the PhD position: The duration of the PhD position is 3 years.

About the research training: As a PhD candidate you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years at the University of Bergen. A final plan for the implementation of the research training must be approved by the faculty within three months after you have commenced in the position. It is a condition for employment that you fulfill the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer

  • A good and professional challenging, creative and international working environment within one of Europe’s leading marine research environments
  • Working in a national institute with international contact and professional contact towards both the University of Bergen and the Technical University of Denmark
  • NS-EN ISO/IEC 17025 accredited laboratory facilities of high international standard and status as national reference laboratory
  • Flexible working hours, with summer and winter working hours and the possibility to participate in physical exercise during working hours
  • Public pension in the Norwegian Public Service Fund
  • Mobile phone
  • Possibility to utilize welfare benefits such as renting company cabins and participation in company sports

The application must include

  • A brief account of the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • Names and contact information for at least two references. One of these should be the main advisor for the master thesis or equivalent
  • CV
  • Transcripts of diplomas showing completion of the bachelor and master degrees, or official confirmation that the master thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • A list of any scientific publications
  • Any publications in your name in full text

Application and appendices, in original language and with certified translations to English or a Scandinavian language, must be uploaded to Jobbnorge via link on this page. A NOKUT letter of approval should be uploaded for applicants with foreign education, together with a description of the grading system from the foreign education. Do note that applicants with foreign master degree must present original documents at start up.

Additional information 

The Institute of Marine Research is an Inclusive Workplace (IW) enterprise that wishes to ensure diversity in its workforce, and we are an equal opportunity employer. We therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply for the vacancy. Please note that information about applicants may be made public even if an applicant has requested to be left off the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified about this in advance.

Would you like more information? Please contact Stig Valdersnes, e-mail:, phone: +47 952 73 643 or Head of research group Monica Sanden, e-mail:, or visit our website 

The PhD position gives you a governmentally regulated salary as 1017 PhD fellow and a pension scheme through the Norwegian Public Service Pension Funds, and other welfare benefits (see for more information).

The start of the position will be 1. January 2020. Application deadline 30 June 2019. All applications will be processed in August. 

About IMR

The Institute of Marine Research (IMR) is one of the largest research institutes of its kind in Europe, with approximately 1,000 employees and a wide range of research facilities and laboratories of high international standard. Our main activities are research, advisory work and monitoring. IMR owns and operates six research vessels. Our main offices are in Bergen, and we have a department in Tromsø and research stations in Matre, Austevoll and Flødevigen.

In January 2018 IMR was merged with The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES). The new institute will be a leading supplier of knowledge relating to the sustainable management of the resources in our marine ecosystems and the whole food chain from the sea to the table.