PhD in Particle Engineering, Designing Polymer Grafted Nanoparticles for Diagnostics

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 27 Sep 2022

About the position

The Particle Engineering Centre (https://www.ntnu.edu/web/chemeng/particle-engineering-centre ) at the Department of Chemical Engineering in collaboration with Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine has a vacancy for a PhD student within polymers and particle design. The earliest start date for the position will be November 2022 and no later than December 1, 2022. 

The appointment has a duration of 4 years including 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. 

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

About the Project

Nano-technology is a strategic research area at NTNU. The application of nanotechnology to medicine has shown great promise in diagnostics, imaging, therapy among others. This calls for cross-disciplinary research exploiting experiences of well-established research groups at NTNU who have recently contributed to the corona virus pandemic with their novel diagnostic method (https://www.ntnu.edu/ntnu-covid-19-test ).

The current project aims to facilitate such cross-disciplinary activities between two research groups, located in two different faculties Associate Professor Sulalit Bandyopadhyay at the Department of Chemical Engineering, IKP (NV Faculty) and Professor Magnar Bjørås at the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, IKOM (MH Faculty). In addition, there will be strong collaboration with Professor Jan Genzer at Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, NC State University. The PhD position is funded by the Call within Enabling Technologies at NTNU 2022.

Project Description 

DNA exists not only in its conventional double stranded structure but also as stable non-canonical three and four- stranded structures. Among these structures, G-quadruplexes (G4), are widely implicated in fundamental biological processes for understanding the regulation of promoters, telomers and epigenome among others. G4 participates in multiple biological processes including gene transcription, and G4-targeted ligands serve as potential therapeutic agents for DNA-targeted therapies. Due to their significance in controlling the cellular fate as mentioned above, methods to precisely map G4 structures in the genome provide fundamental insight to understand genome regulation. In this highly interdisciplinary project combining knowledge from nanotechnology and biotechnology, we envision revolutionizing genome profiling technologies by developing nanoplatforms that can facilitate high resolution genome-wide G4 profiling. The primary objective is therefore to develop polymer grafted - nanoplatforms decorated with G4 targeting ligands for high resolution genome-wide profiling of G4s. The PhD associated with this project will specifically work on polymer grafting on magnetic nanoparticles, degrafting in response to pH environments, characterizing grafted and degrafted polymers, and subsequent targeting of nanoplatforms for G4 profiling. 

Duties of the position

The research work will involve: 

  • Polymer grafting on magnetic nanoparticles. 
    • Degrafting of polymers in response to pH environments. 
    • Characterization using state-of-the art infrastructure at Particle Engineering Core Facility, NTNU NanoLab and laboratories in Department of Chemical Engineering. 
    • Functionalization of nanoplatforms with specific nucleus targeting moieties. 
    • Targeting of nanoplatforms for G4 profiling. 
    • Statistical analysis of datasets. 
  • The candidate is expected to participate actively in the activities of the Particle Engineering Centre, including mentoring and co-supervision of students.  
  • The candidate is expected to be flexible in regard to short-term or long-term international research stays. 
  • Travelling with respect to conferences, meetings, workshops may be expected as part of the position. 

Required selection criteria

  • The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program within Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biotechnology, 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 Chemical Engineering (https://www.ntnu.edu/chemeng )

Essential Qualifications 

  • Strong experimental background in synthesis and functionalization of nanomaterials via bottom-up approaches and/or synthesis and functionalization of polymers/polymeric nanoparticles. 
  • Proven experience in characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, spectroscopy, light scattering, etc. 
  • Knowledge in protein chemistry, nucleic acid technology and/or microbiology. 
  • Solid background in data and/or statistical analysis. 
  • Good written and oral English language skills 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  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  

Personal characteristics

  • Positive, creative, result oriented and enthusiastic. 
  • Seeks new challenges at work. 
  • Has keen interest working in interdisciplinary teams. 
  • Communicates information and results with clarity and ease, both orally and in writing. 

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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 4 years with 25 % teaching duties in agreement with the department.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Chemical Engineering (https://www.ntnu.edu/chemeng ) 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 your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include:  

  • CV and certificates
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

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.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short 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.

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).  

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

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.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation . You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Sulalit Bandyopadhyay (Department of Chemical Engineering) telephone +47 4507 1041, email sulalit.bandyopadhyay@ntnu.no or Professor Magnar Bjørås (Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine), telephone +47 9508 1497, email magnar.bjoras@ntnu.no

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Advisor Nina Sandberg (Department of Chemical Engineering), e-mail: nina.sandberg@ntu.no .

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no 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: 27.09.2022

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 Chemical Engineering 

We take chemistry from laboratory scale to industrial production. This demands a wide range of knowledge, from molecular processes and nanotechnology to building and operation of large processing plants. We educate graduates for some of Norway's most important industries. The Department of Chemical Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.  

Deadline 27th September 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Trondheim


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