Four PhD and postdoctoral fellows within meta-omics analysis of microbial communities

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    The Norwegian University of Life Sciences
    Biological sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    27/02/2021 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Norway › Ås


The Norwegian University of Life Sciences

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 www.nmbu.no.

About the position

The four vacant positions are funded by Novo Nordisk Fonden, the Research Council of Norway (RCN) and the ERA-Net BlueBio Cofund, and are part of a collaboration between several research groups at the Faculty of Biosciences (BIOVIT) and Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Sciences (KBM). We will hire:

  • PhD student, KBM, project SeaCow: Promoting 'efficient, low emitting' cows through nutritional manipulation of the rumen microbiome.
  • PhD student Biovit, project SuPA[cow]: Sustainable production of animals by optimizing the feed-microbiome-host axis
  • Postdoctoral fellow (3 years), KBM, project “ImprovAFish": Improving aquaculture sustainability by modulating the feed-microbiome-host axis in fish
  • PhD student or postdoctoral fellow, KBM, project “DENITRO”: Oxidative polysaccharide conversion in anoxia by denitrifying organisms

These projects will examine the interplay between the environment, microbiome function and host phenotype (where applicable).

They will go beyond standard omics-style analyses and integrate metadata, metagenomics, metatranscriptomics and metaproteomics layers (multi-omics) in one collective analytical effort and will additionally endeavor to include all keystone microbial genomes from bacterial, archaeal, viral and eukaryotic (fungi and protozoa) origins.

Joint network analysis of expression data from both active gut microbiota and host tissue will attempt to identify key correlations between particular microbial populations and host metabolism, in particular for animals that exhibit varying performance metrics and/or methane levels.

Taken together, it aims to integrate meta-data and multi-omics to describe the interplay between feed, host animal and its associated microbiota.

For the DENITRO-project, microbial dynamics in freshwater wetlands and biofilters will be investigated and possible links to process performance and exploitation identified.

Main tasks

Major tasks include:

  • Generation of metagenomics datasets and population genomes that are representative of host-associated microbiomes.
  • Functional meta-omics characterization of microbiota using metabolic reconstruction and quantitative metatranscriptomics / metaproteomics.
  • Identification of key metabolic pathways using regulatory network analysis of meta-omics data generated from microbiome(s) as well as host tissues and/or metadata.


PhD students:

The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits 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 For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description (KBM,


Required academic qualifications and experiences

  • Msc degree in microbiology/bioinformatics, with specific emphasis on functional microbial multi-omic data analysis.
  • Fluent programming skills in at least one language.

Postdoctoral fellows:

The main purpose of the post-doctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions. A PhD degree is required.

Required academic qualifications and experiences

  • PhD degree in microbiology/bioinformatics, with specific emphasis on functional microbial multi-omic data analysis
  • Fluent programming skills in at least one language.

For both PhD and postdoctoral positions, applicants must document experience in at least two of these to qualify:

  • Methods for microbial community DNA extraction, shotgun metagenomic sequencing, assembly and binning.
  • Methods for microbial community protein extraction, protein purification and metaproteomic data generation.
  • Bioinformatics analysis of DNA and/or protein data
  • Bioinformatics processing and analysis of large meta/multi-omics datasets.

Other desired experiences

  • Molecular laboratory and/or animal experimental work
  • Single-cell sorting/sequencing
  • Network-based analysis of multi-omics data

We expect that the candidates will successfully publish research findings in high-impact peer reviewed journals. Applicants must be proficient both written and spoken, in English, and preferably in a Scandinavian language.

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.

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

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.

For further information, please contact

Assoc. Prof. Phil B. Pope, SuPA[cow] + ImprovAFish ( phil.pope@nmbu.no )

Prof Torgeir R. Hvidsten, SuPA[cow] + ImprovAFish ( torgeir.r.hvidsten@nmbu.no )

Dr Live Hagen, SeaCow ( live.hagen@nmbu.no )

Dr. Magnus Arntzen, DENITRO ( magnus.arntzen@nmbu.no )

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants


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

Application deadline: 27.02.2021

Up to ten publications selected by the applicant as most relevant can be attached to the application. If it is difficult to identify the contribution of the applicant in multiple-author publications, a short explanation about the applicant’s part of the work is suggested.

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 27.02.2020. Please quote reference number 20/05346.

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

About The Faculties

The Faculty of Biosciences (Biovit) and the Faculty of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food Science (KBM) educate candidates within biosciences (biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, systems biology, microbiology, genetics, bioinformatics), food and food safety, domestic animals and aquaculture, production technology, botany and nutrition. Further information: https://www.nmbu.no/en/faculty/kbm and https://www.nmbu.no/en/faculty/biovit

The present positions are funded by projects run by the following research groups at KBM and Biovit:

  • Microbial Ecology and Meta-Omics ( MEMO )
  • Protein Engineering and Proteomics ( PEP )
  • Bioinformatics and Applied Statistics ( BIAS )

More about Biovit: Biovit contributes to the development of sustainable agriculture and food production systems through basic and applied research in plants, animals and fish (aquaculture). The research groups are organized in the following sections: Systems Genetics and Bioinformatics, Animal Breeding and Quantitative Genetics, Nutrition, Ethology and Animal Welfare, Agroecology, Genetics and Plant Breeding, Food Crops, Plant Biology and Biotechnology, and Plant Protection. The faculty has approximately 220 employees.

More about KBM: KBM employs about 140 people. The faculty has approx. 50 PhD students, and ca. 500 BSc and MSc students. KBM covers a wide range of scientific fields within basic natural sciences such as chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology as well as the application of these towards food chemistry, technology and safety, biotechnology and environmental issues.

More Information

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The Norwegian University of Life Sciences

EURAXESS offer ID: 593911


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