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PhD Candidate Position in the Topic of Genome-Scale Metabolic Modelling
Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim,
Date Posted 01/20/2021
Biological Sciences
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

About the position

We welcome 3 PhD candidates to join the Machado lab during Spring/Summer 2021.

We are a computational biology lab working to unlock the potential of microbes to address multiple societal challenges. One of the goals of our group is to understand how microbes work together as communities and use this knowledge to re-engineer natural communities for multiple biotechnological applications. We also try to understand the underlying principles that control microbial metabolism at the single-species level. We take an interdisciplinary approach that brings together different topics including mathematical modelling, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and microbial ecology.

The three positions fall under the umbrella of genome-scale metabolic modelling, with some variations:

Position 1: On method development for generation and simulation of genome-scale microbial community models. This position will be partially associated with activities within the ELIXIR framework.

Position 2: On design of synthetic microbial consortia through integration of genome-scale community models and multi-omics data. This position is associated with the ERA CoBioTech project Cell4Chem (Engineering microbial communities for the conversion of lignocellulose into medium-chain carboxylates).

Position 3: On integration of bioinformatics tools and genome-scale metabolic modelling for rational strain design and bioprocess optimization. This position is associated with the new SFI-IB Research Centre for Industrial Biotechnology.

You will report to Daniel Machado, Associate Professor.

Duties of the positions

  • Build genome-scale metabolic models using automated reconstruction tools.
  • Critically assess different methods for simulation of single species and communities.
  • Integrate multi-omics data into genome-scale models to elucidate metabolic regulation mechanisms.
  • Develop computational methods to rationally design single strains and synthetic microbial communities.

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 computational biology, bioinformatics, microbiology, ecology, systems engineering, or equivalent education 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.

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, post doctor and research assistant.

  • Candidates will be evaluated based on their academic record and scientific output.
  • All applicants must be highly fluent in English (both orally and written).
  • Basic programming skills are required (preferably Python, but also other languages).

Preferred selection criteria

  • Research work with scientific publications is encouraged but not mandatory.
  • Previous knowledge of genome-scale metabolic models and flux balance analysis will be positively considered.
  • Evidence for interdisciplinary work and the ability to interact with computational and experimental co-workers will be evaluated.

Personal characteristics

  • Curiosity-driven personality with a general interest in science
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration
  • Analytical mindset and good problem-solving skills
  • Ability to clearly communicate ideas and knowledge

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 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 (position #1 as the possibility of 1-year extension due to teaching duties).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biotechnology ( 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.

It is a prerequisite 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.

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:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Cover letter (1-page, including contacts of up to 3 references)
  • Research statement (1-2 pages, explain your previous research experience, such as your master thesis, and the motivation for applying to this position)

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 suitability.

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.

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.

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 Ass.Prof. Daniel Machado, email:
Please state clearly which position you are applying for. If you apply for more than one position it must be stated which position is of highest interest.

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 NV-06/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.03.2021

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 Biotechnology and Food Science

Our activities contribute to increased exploitation of existing and new ingredients for sustainable food production as well as next-generation energy solutions and medical technology. We educate graduates for a wide range of careers in industry, public administration and academia. The Department of Biotechnology and Food Science is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 31st March 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime (3 jobs)
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen NTNU

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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