Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

PhD position in environmental toxicology (in vitro effects of plastics)

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Trondheim, Norway

he Department of Biology has a vacancy for a PhD position in environmental toxicology (in vitro effects of plastics).

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

About the position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Biology.

The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of up to 1-year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department.

The current research at the Department covers a wide variety of areas, including behavior, evolution, ecology, environmental toxicology, marine sciences, physiology and molecular systems. Interdisciplinary research and cooperation are important aspects of our work. For more information about the department visit  

Information about the research group
Within the ENVITOX group at NTNU, the Wagner lab investigates the environmental and health implications of the plastic age. Using a broad range of practical and theoretical approaches, including in vivo and in vitro bioassays, advanced chemical analyses as well as systematic reviews and risk assessment, we tackle the problem holistically and work at the forefront of microplastics research. Recently, we have demonstrated that plastic consumer products contain compounds that are toxicologically relevant for human health (

Main duties and responsibilities

With the announced PhD position, we will further advance our research regarding the human exposure to toxic chemicals from consumer plastics. The aim of the PhD research is to characterize the toxicity leaching from common plastic materials and identify the causative chemicals using non-target chemical analysis. For that, we will apply a battery of in vitro bioassays covering health-related endpoints, such as endocrine disruption, and high-resolution mass spectrometry.

To achieve these goals, we are seeking a person able to tackle theoretical and practical problems analytically and creatively. Scientific curiosity and motivation will be key.

Detailed information on our PhD programs is found at:

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position’s main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in biological sciences or related fields with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. A documented background in environmental or human toxicology is preferable. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA.

Other qualifications and personal characteristics

  • Practical experience in working with cell cultures, mass spectrometry and/or multivariate statistics/big data will be considered an advantage
  • The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work towards positive solutions
  • He/she/they should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams
  • Good written and oral English 

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of up to 1-year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in biology. 

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

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 criterias 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.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Martin Wagner, phone number +47 73 41 30 47, e-mail
Further information about his lab can be found at

About the application:
Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant’s contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. In addition, the applicant is expected to submit a two-page research proposal explaining how he/she/they will address the research outlined above. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 96/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.12.19

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.

The Faculty of Natural Sciences

The Faculty of Natural Sciences is a key player in national and international research and education programmes in natural sciences and technology. Our research focuses on global challenges in the areas of energy, climate, the environment, food, water, health and welfare. The Faculty consists of eight departments as well as the Faculty Administration.

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