Postdoctoral fellow and PhD candidate in microbiomics and molecular microbiology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 12 Apr 2021

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,800 employees of which about 250 phd scholarships and 6,000 students. The university is divided into seven faculties and has campuses in Ås and Oslo. We will be co-located in Ås from 2021.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at .

About the positio

Two vacant positions (1 postdoctoral fellowship and 1 PhD candidate, both for 3 years) are available at the Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) in connection to two newly funded projects: “A holistic approach to an old problem: deciphering complex host-microbiome-pathogen relationships in bovine mastitis (HoliCow)” and “GoatSCC: High somatic cell numbers in goat milk – influence on product quality”.

The project HoliCow aims to explore the bovine udder microbiome, its functionality and its interaction with the host and mastitis pathogens. This will provide novel knowledge to help the fight against mastitis, which is the most common cause of recorded diagnoses and disease treatments in Norwegian dairy cattle.

The GoatSCC project aims to provide novel insights on causes for the high number of somatic cell counts in Norwegian goat milk, especially during summer rangeland pasture, stress and oestrus and its influence on the yield and quality of goat milk products.

The postdoctoral fellow will work with the latest cell sorting techniques and omics tools to study host-microbiome interactions in both projects. This will include statistical and integration analysis of large data sets.

The PhD candidate will work mainly in the project HoliCow and will investigate the composition and functionality of the udder microbiome and will explore the interplay between common mastitis pathogens, host cells and udder microbes using the latest molecular techniques.

Major tasks include:

The postdoctoral fellow will:

  • Establish methodologies for characterization of microbiomes from food and udder
  • Perform functional characterization of microbiomes by metagenomic and metaproteomic approaches
  • Establish and validate bacterial sorting techniques
  • Generate biological insights through integration of multi-omics data
  • Write articles for publication in high impact peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • A training period abroad at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands, is foreseen as part of the project collaboration.

The PhD candidate will:

  • Isolate, identify and characterize bacteria from milk samples
  • Do molecular characterization of mastitis pathogens
  • Use molecular techniques (e.g. CRISPR/Cas-based approaches), to study host-pathogen and microbe-pathogen interactions
  • Write articles for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals and complete a PhD thesis

The PhD fellowship requires admission to the PhD program at KBM


The PhD and post-doctoral positions should qualify for work in high-level scientific positions.

Required and desired qualifications and skills for the Postdoctoral fellow:

  • Applicants must hold a PhD degree or equivalent in a relevant field such as microbiology, bioinformatics, molecular biology, or food science (required)
  • Good research performance during the PhD, documented by at least 3 high-quality scientific publications.
  • Proficiency in oral and written English and, preferably a Scandinavian language
  • Experimental work in molecular microbiology (required).
  • Experience in extracting nucleic acids or proteins from food
  • Experimental work related to genomics and proteomics
  • Experience in -omics related bioinformatics
  • Basic knowledge of at least one programming language (R, Python,…)

Required and desired qualifications and skills for the PhD candidate:

  • Master’s degree in molecular microbiology, biotechnology, genetics, food science or similar (required).
  • Training and research experience in microbiology and molecular biology
  • Proficiency in oral and written English (required), and, preferably a Scandinavian language
  • Experimental work in genetic modification of bacteria
  • Experimental work in next generation sequencing

The successful applicant for the PhD candidate must meet the requirements for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme (300 ECT), where 120 ECT are at master's degree level. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the supplementary regulations for the KBM PhD programme .

Personal skills for both positions

  • Good collaboration skills and ability to work in interdisciplinary academic fields
  • Ability to work independently, accurately and structured
  • Personal interest and motivation for the position
  • Curious in learning new disciplines

Remuneration and further information

PhD student: The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow. PhD. Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 482.200,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Postdoctoral Fellow: The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow, wage framework 24 (salary grade 59-77) (NOK 526.000 – 744.600), depending on qualifications. Seniority Promotion in position.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars

For further information, please contact Associate Professor Davide Porcellato ( )

Information for PhD applicants and Information to applicants


To apply online for these vacancies, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above to be directed to the University's Web Recruitment System. Please note, before completing the online application form you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in.

Application deadline: April 12th 2021

Applicants invited for an interview will be asked to present verified copies of diplomas and certificates.

For the Post Doc position: Up to ten publications selected by the applicant as most relevant must be attached to the application. In multiple-author publications, the applicant should clarify his/her contribution to the work.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within April 12th 2021. Please quote reference number 21/01544.

About The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM)

The Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) employs about 160 people. Currently about 50 PhD students are enrolled into our PhD program. KBM represents a broad range of scientific fields encompassing basic natural sciences such as microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry as well as the application of these towards food chemistry, food technology and food safety, biotechnology, bioprocessing and environmental issues. The Faculty is responsible for education, research, and information within our fields of expertise and has state-of-the-art instrumentation to perform research within these fields. KBM collaborates in networks and research projects both nationally and internationally.

Further information:

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