Postdoc in Physics, Computational X-ray Microscopy

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 25 Jan 2021

About the position

We are searching for a creative, skilled and ambitious student for our activities on computational X-ray microscopy and its applications for imaging nanostructured surfaces and porous materials. The student will work in an international team of several principal investigators, PhD students, postdocs and master students. External collaboration with other academic research groups and industry actors will be important part for this position. The COMPMIC project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the NANO2021 program.

The term computational microscopy denotes recent efforts to fundamentally improve microscopy performance by using computers not only for image analysis, but as an active part of the image formation process itself, typically enabling better resolution, larger field-of-view, improved contrast, or multidimensional microscopy. The COMPMIC project aims to develop computational microscopy methods both using visual light and X-ray radiation with the specific aim of nanoscale-imaging of surfaces, thin films and porous materials, with applications in materials science, biology and medicine. In particular, Fourier ptychography (FP) is a recently developed coherent diffraction imaging (CDI) technique relying on coherent light and numerical phase retrieval, which will be tailored for the specific needs of COMPMIC.

The COMPMIC project is a collaboration between the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of South-Eastern Norway (USN; Prof. Akram), Swiss Light Source – Paul Scherrer Institute, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France, and the University of Le Mans in France. The project is associated with the recently funded Centre of Excellence for Porous Media Laboratory (CoE PoreLab). A significant part of the research will be carried out at the premises of the international partners. The project partners are well positioned for this demanding project with an excellent knowledge base and outstanding research infrastructure.

A two years position as postdoc in physics within the field of computational imaging with emphasis on X-ray microscopy and computed tomography, is available at the Department of Physics, NTNU. Starting date will be early spring 2020.

Duties of the position

The research work will involve designing, constructing and using state-of-the-art experimental setups. Sophisticated analysis and modelling of large datasets, also using statistical and machine learning (artificial intelligence) methods will be important tools in this PhD project. Major emphasis is put on developing computational microscopy methods and how they can be applied to challenges in materials science and the environment. Examples include identification of the size, shape and composition of microplastics, and time-resolved fluid permeation in porous media. In addition, the candidates are expected to participate actively in the group activities, including mentoring and co-supervision of students.

Required selection criteria

A postdoctoral research fellowships is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions. You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree in [subject area] or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

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 .

The candidate is expected to be in the upper segment of his/her class with respect to academic credentials.

The successful candidate must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree in solid state physics or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree is required.In exceptional cases, candidates with a background in related fields like biophysics, nanotechnology, materials science, or photonics can also be considered. Experience from nanoscale studies using scattering, diffraction or high-resolution microscopy methods is considered essential. The position requires a strong interest in physical optics, computational imaging, signal processing and data analysis. Knowledge of Fourier optics, coherent imaging or microscopy (e.g. ptychography or holography) is desired. Strong computer programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python or C) and hardware building skills are desired.Knowledge of artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning or high performance computing would be highly advantageous

The successful candidate should be creative, ambitious and enthusiastic, with a strong ability to work independently and goal oriented. Excellence in scientific writing and good oral presentation skills are requested. He/she should enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams, which is of high importance in this multidisciplinary project. The position requires spoken and written fluency in English.

Personal characteristics

The following requirements on qualifications will be given major weight in the evaluation of the candidates. In the cover letter (or in the CV), the applicant must specifically describe his/her expertise in relevant fields like physical optics, X-ray scattering/diffraction/imaging, analysis of large datasets, artificial intelligence, physics of porous media, computer programming.

Due to the ambition for close contact with Norwegian industry, a good knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language would be evaluated positively.

We offer

Salary and conditions

The employment period is 2 years.

Postdoctoral candidates are placed in code 1352, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 545 300 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 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 (ta stilling til om stillinger skal være betinget av ekstern finansiering).

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 (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:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)                                                     

The application with attachments must be delivered through the electronic recruiting system of Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

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. 

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.

For further information please contact: Professor Dag W. Breiby, phone: +47 7359 3594, 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 XXX when applying.

Application deadline: 25 January 2020

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 Physics

Our research and teaching are both experimental and theoretical, covering a wide range of disciplines. Our activities contribute to development of new medical technology and to finding solutions for the next generation’s communication technology, energy utilization and development of materials. The Department of Physics  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences .

Deadline 25th January 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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