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Associate Professor in Marine Phytoplankton Ecology

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Trondheim (By), Trøndelag (NO)
Associate professor (code 1011)
Closing date
20 Aug 2024

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Life Science, Mathematics
Job Type
Faculty Member
Employment - Hours
Full time

The Department of Biology (IBI) has a vacant permanent position for a marine phytoplankton ecologist as an Associate Professor in the Marine Sciences section. The position is part of a NTNU effort to use enabling technology for research and education of phytoplankton dynamics to provide knowledge needed for better ecosystem management. 

The overarching aim of the Marine Sciences section is focused on sustainable management, production, and utilization of biological marine resources. The announced position will strengthen research, education, and innovation activities in marine sciences at NTNU, particularly to provide better knowledge on natural and human induced changes in marine primary production and biodiversity using new tools. This position is expected to contribute to the collection and analysis of data from advanced sensors attached to robotic platforms operating in space, air, sea surface and/or underwater for the study of marine phytoplankton, such as the Observation Pyramid (OP). Therefore, candidates with expertise in the collection and analysis of data from in situ sensors collected over different time and space scales related to phytoplankton biomass, biodiversity, primary production and function are encouraged to apply for this position.

Over the last decade, IBI has, in collaboration with other departments at NTNU, positioned itself to be a leader in using marine robotics and sensors in marine ecological applications. With increasing opportunities in this area, we need more capacity and expertise to meet upcoming challenges. The hired candidate will be able to join a dynamic, cross-disciplinary team that is working on the development of new techniques to provide ecological information needed for enhanced environmental monitoring. 

We are looking for a candidate who can create synergies with other sections from the Department of Biology, which include broad biological expertise (e.g. cellular and molecular biology, physiology, environmental toxicology, ecology and biodiversity).  In addition, the new faculty member is expected to take an active part in the development of cross disciplinary research at NTNU. Collaborations with colleagues at the Departments of Marine Technology, Engineering Cybernetics, Chemistry and Marine Archaeology are highly relevant. The Associate Professorship will have access to the NTNU and SINTEF infrastructure in the Norwegian Ocean Technology Centre including the Fjordlab, OceanLab, RV Gunnerus and the Applied Underwater Robotics Laboratory (AUR-Lab) at Trondhjem Biological Station (TBS). 

The employed candidate will be a member of the Marine Sciences section with office and laboratory at Trondhjem Biological Station (TBS). Teaching and research activities will be within marine sciences. The department is hosting the international study program “Master in Ocean Resources” (MSOCEAN), designed to give students a broad understanding of the complex interactions in the marine sector across fields of marine ecology and aquaculture. The employed candidate will contribute to the study program in the field of marine ecology of MSOCEAN, as well as teaching marine-related courses in the bachelor’s program in Biology. 

The position is sponsored for a 5-year period by Equinor through the Academy Agreement and will thereafter be fully covered by NTNU. 

The Associate Professor will report to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

As a new employee at IBI and member of the Marine Sciences section you will: 

  • Initiate research in phytoplankton ecology using remote- and in-situ observations using underwater, surface, in air or space-borne sensors, such as in the Observation Pyramid (OP). 
  • Take part in interdisciplinary research and education collaborations across the different sections at IBI, as well as other departments and faculties at NTNU. 
  • Engage in applications for external funding from e.g., the Research Council of Norway, European Research Council, educational agencies, and other available resources.
  • Participate in the further development of the Department of Biology and the Marine Sciences section.
  • Teach in the above-mentioned study programs, including supervision of PhD and MSc fellows.

Required qualifications 

Candidates will be evaluated based on documented qualifications. We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of their gender identity, ability status, or cultural, ethnic, or religious background. We especially encourage upcoming early career academics and candidates from underrepresented groups to apply. To develop an inclusive and vibrant departmental culture, the Department of Biology maintains a standing committee focused on diversity, equality, and inclusivity (

You must have the qualifications required for the position of Associate Professor in the field of marine phytoplankton ecology/biological oceanography, as outlined in the regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts.

  • Your PhD, or comparable academic work, must be within marine phytoplankton ecology, biological oceanography or related fields.
  • You must have a minimum of two years of relevant research experience in addition to your PhD.
  • You must have research experience related to phytoplankton ecology with focus on physical coupling (environmental variables).
  • You must have hands on experience in in situ methods/observations to measure phytoplankton biomass, biodiversity, primary production and function.
  • You must have a strong scientific track record according to your career stage.

You must document relevant basic competence in teaching and supervision at a university/higher education-level, as referenced in the Norwegian national Regulations. If this cannot be documented, you will be required to complete an approved course in university pedagogy within two years of commencement. NTNU offers qualifying courses. 

New employees who do not speak a Scandinavian language by appointment is required, within three years, to demonstrate skills in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language equivalent to level three of the course for Norwegian for speakers of other languages at the Department of Language and Literature at NTNU.  

Preferred qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to attract external funding from national and/or international funding agencies related to the research area. 
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct internationally competitive research. 
  • Interest in use of statistical methods and machine learning approaches for ocean health state assessments.
  • Experience with the use of new enabling sensors in marine phytoplankton ecological research.
  • Hands-on field work experience, method development and/or ocean-going experience. 
  • Teaching experience from higher education, including supervision of MSc- and PhD-students.

Personal qualities

  • Ambitious and highly motivated to develop internationally recognized excellent research, attract external funding, and contribute to the development of the department’s teaching plans. 
  • Ability to initiate new projects. 
  • Demonstrated teamwork skills with ability to work closely as part of collegial teams, and to contribute to a good and inclusive working environment.
  • Excellent communication skills.

We offer 

Application Process

You can find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

Salary and conditions

A position as an Associate Professor (code 1011) will be remunerated according to the Basic Agreement for the Civil Service, depending on qualifications and seniority. As required by law, 2% of this salary will be deducted and paid into 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.   

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis. 

About the application

Your application and supporting documentation must be in English. Please address all required and preferred selection criteria in your application.

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. You are encouraged to use the Universities of Norway’s NOR-CAM toolbox as a guide for documentation of your competence.

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.

Your application must include:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest and fit for this position 
  • CV, diplomas, and certificates
  • A teaching portfolio, in which your teaching competence is compiled and presented systematically,   (See guidelines for applicants: Documentation of teaching qualifications in applications and appointments to academic positions at NTNU)
  • Academic works – published or unpublished – that you wish to be considered during assessment of your application (up to 5 items)
  • A list of your previous works, with details on where they have been published
  • A research plan for this position (maximum 5 pages including references): 
    • A paragraph describing your research field/goal 
    • Maximum one page outlining your background within the field and your contribution to state of the art 
    • Maximum two pages outlining your short-term plan (3-5 years) 
    • Maximum two pages outlining your long-term (10 year) research goals with funding scenarios for reaching them 
    • Ensure that the plan outlines how you intend to use remote- and in-situ observations of phytoplankton using underwater, surface, in air or space-borne sensors for research and educational activities.
  • Names and contact information for three relevant referees

Joint work will also be considered. If it is difficult to identify your specific input to a joint project, you must include evidence of your contributions.

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. Our assessment of the pedagogical skills will be based on documented pedagogical material, forms of presentation in your academic works, teaching experience, PhD, and Masters supervision, and any other relevant pedagogical background. Both quality and scope will be taken into consideration, and an open scientific practice will be recognized.

NTNU is obliged by the evaluation criteria for research quality in accordance with The San Fransisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA and The obligations in the Coalition for Advancing Research Assessment ( CoARA) on responsible assessment of research and recognition of a  wider range of academic contributions to science and society. This means that we will pay particular attention to the quality and academic range demonstrated by your scientific work to date. We will also pay attention to research leadership and participation in research projects. Your scientific work from the last five years will be given the most weight.

Your application will be considered by an expert committee. Candidates of interest will be invited to an interview, and to deliver a trial teaching session.

General information

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is a strength. We want our faculty and staff to reflect Norway’s culturally diverse population and we continuously seek to hire the best minds. This enables NTNU to increase productivity and innovation, improve decision making processes, raise employee satisfaction, compete academically with global top-ranking institutions and carry out our social responsibilities within education and research. NTNU emphasizes accessibility and encourages qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender identity, ability status, periods of unemployment or ethnic and cultural background. NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.

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 continually maintain and improve your professional development and be flexible regarding any organizational changes.

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.

For the sake of transparency, candidates will be given the expert evaluation of their own and other candidates. As an applicant you are considered part of the process and is stipulated to rules of confidentiality.

If you have any questions regarding the position, please contact Head of Department Kjetil Rasmussen or Professor Geir Johnsen.

If you have questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact HR adviser Ranveig Nerhoel

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. 

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