PhDs in Integrative Global Change Biology

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Jan 2023

About the job

We are looking for two PhD candidates to be part of an interdisciplinary team investigating the physiological vulnerability of European insect communities.

The proposed project seeks to understand and predict how insect species will respond to the earth’s rapidly changing climate.  Insects are particularly vulnerable to the combined stress of higher temperatures and drier conditions, but little is known about the vulnerability of insect species adapted to different climates. Insect species provide many important ecosystem services, like pollination, and there is growing evidence that insect populations are declining around the world, making the proposed research timely and important. This research project will compare the physiological tolerance of insect species from contrasting climates (northern Norway, central Norway, central France, and southern Spain) to better understand future responses. Because of the potential for there to be cryptic species and because physiological responses can change as a function of the microorganisms living inside and on the surface of insects, DNA metabarcoding will be used to identify insect species and the microorganisms they support. Both PhD positions will involve field and lab work resulting in interdisciplinary training across the fields of ecophysiology, biosystematics, and statistical modeling.

The PhD candidates will be part of a team that includes Cameron Ghalambor, Irja Ratikainen, and Bob O’Hara (NTNU, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics, Department of Biology), Torbjørn Ekrem and Frode Ødegaard (NTNU Department of Natural History, University Museum), Eric Riddell (Iowa State University, USA), and Patricia Gibert (CNRS, University Lyon 1, France).

Duties of the position

PhD 1 will be focused primarily on conducting physiological measurements of insects. This research will include substantial field work, including insect sampling for DNA barcoding and physiological experiments, quantifying field insect behavior and habitat use, characterizing field microclimates and operative temperatures, flow through respirometry, measurements of critical and subcritical thermal and desiccation tolerance. The position will require statistical analyses and the development of biophysical models. The results of this work are expected to be disseminated in the scientific literature as well as the general public and relevant stakeholders. The ideal candidate will be fluent in either French or Spanish and have experience in some or all of these duties. The primary supervisors for this position will be Cameron Ghalambor, Eric Riddell, and Patricia Gibert in the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics in the Department of Biology (NTNU).

PhD 2 will be focused primarily on leading the DNA barcoding efforts. This research will include substantial field work to collect insect samples and to assist with field physiological measurements. The position will also require laboratory work related to DNA extractions and other molecular lab work to generate taxonomic databases of insects and their symbionts. The position will also require bioinformatic analyses and statistical modelling. The results of this work are expected to be disseminated in the scientific literature as well as the general public and relevant stakeholders. The ideal candidate will be fluent in either French or Spanish and have experience in some or all of these duties. The primary supervisors for this position will be Torbjørn Ekrem and Frode Ødegaard in the Department of Natural History in the University Museum (NTNU).

Required selection criteria

  • Applicants should hold a master’s degree in biology or equivalent with relevant background in physiology, evolutionary biology, ecology, entomology, or similar.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • You must have a strong academic background from 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

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  

Preferred selection criteria

  • You have strong quantitative & analytical skills
  • You have excellent written and oral English language skills
  • You work well as part of a team with diverse research interests

Personal characteristics

  • Self-motivated and enthusiastic
  • Strongly collaborative          
  • Solutions-orientated
  • Enthusiasm for the research topic and for dissemination of scientific research, both through journal articles and public engagement

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

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 3 years. 

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biology  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: 

  • A one-page cover letter stating specifically why you believe you meet the selection criteria
  • A 1-2 page summary of your motivation for pursuing a PhD, research interests and future research goals
  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • 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.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and address of three referees
  • If you have publications, other relevant research work that demonstrate your writing skills

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.

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 Cameron Ghalambor, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Mari H.Hansen, e-mail: . 

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: 18.12.22

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 .

Deadline 15th January 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime (2 stillinger)
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen, NTNU Trondheim

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