Phd Position In Neuroecology Of Insect Navigation

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 May 2025

2 May 2024
Job Information

Research Field

Medical sciences
Psychological sciences
Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)
First Stage Researcher (R1)
Established Researcher (R3)

Application Deadline

15 May 2025 - 00:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

About the job

We are seeking for a highly motivated PhD candidate in the Department of Biology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) to join the group of Basil el Jundi ( ). The candidate should have a solid background in sensory ecology, neuroethology, and/or neuroscience. A strong interest in insect navigation, an excellent track record and experience with performing behavioral experiments and electrophysiological recordings in insects is required. In addition, a background in programming is desirable. The group aims to create an international work environment and therefore encourages international applicants to apply.

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

In the el Jundi lab we are interested in understanding the behavioral and neural mechanisms of spatial orientation and navigation in insects and how these mechanisms are shaped by an animal’s ecology and lifestyle. In the proposed project, the PhD candidate is expected to study the compass system of insects based on multimodal cues, such as visual and wind information. How these cues are used by insects to maintain a constant heading direction and how they are processed in the brain is the main objective of this PhD project. 

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will perform behavioral experiments on the sensory ecology of insects in nature and under laboratory conditions. In addition, the PhD candidate is expected to combine their behavioral experiments with neurophysiological methods (multichannel tetrode recordings) to study how the different cues are processed in the insect brain.

Required selection criteria

  • Strong scientific background in behavioral ecology and insect neuroscience
  • Extensive experience in electrophysiological methods, such as multichannel tetrode recordings from the insect brain. Solid communication- and analytical skills.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level in Behavioral Ecology, Neuroscience, Neuroethology, or another related field.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program ( )
  • Very good written and oral English 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

  • Experience with data analysis including relevant scripting languages (e.g. MATLAB)
  • Experience in participating on research field trips and to study insect behavior in nature.
  • Experience in the anatomical analysis of neural networks, including 3D reconstruction of neurons.
  • Passion for science and science communication

Personal characteristics

  • Enthusiasm for scientific research and lab work
  • Self-motivated
  • Good team player and collaborative skills
  • Solution oriented
  • Reliable
  • The ability to work independently, in a structured manner and in collaboration with others.

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment  with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 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.

The ideal starting date is 01.08.2024, but a later date is negotiable.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biology  (PhD programme in Biology - NTNU) 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 position is subject to external funding.

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

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 with information on education, previous research experience, together with authorized documentation of certificates and study records.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees.
  • One-page statement of skills and research interest.
  • One-page application letter concerning your motivation for completing a PhD in this lab group.
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work.
  • Name and contact details 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 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.

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.

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 or recruitment process, please contact Basil el Jundi, email: [email protected] .

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 an interview, you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

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

Application deadline: 15.05.2024

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 Biology

We work with global challenges in natural diversity, climate, the environment, health and nutrition. Our expertise in biological processes at all levels - from molecules to ecosystems - contributes to a sustainable society. The Department educate graduates for a wide range of careers in public administration, business and academia. The Department of Biology is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Questions about the position

Basil el Jundi
Associate Professor
[email protected]

Deadline 15th May 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Høgskoleringen 1, 7491 Trondheim

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available

Where to apply




Similar Positions