University of Bergen

Department of Earth Science

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

Post Doctoral position in microbial dynamics and functions of the deep marine biosphere

There is a vacancy for a 3-year postdoctoral research position at the Department of Earth Science with a focus on microbial dynamics and functions in the deep subsurface biosphere. The position is funded by the Bergen Research Foundation and associated with the K.G. Jebsen Centre for Deep-Sea Research, at the University of Bergen and it is part of the project “Unveiling the deep biosphere – from empirical observation to process quantification.”



A central goal of the project is to improve our understanding of the dynamic interplay between active microbial communities and the geochemistry of subsurface environments, with a main focus on marine sediments. Progress depends on uncovering the cell physiology of key microbial groups and quantifying the coupling between geochemistry and microbial activity and population dynamics. The project pursue such progress along two main axes of investigation: 1) Uncovering the physiology of uncharacterized lineages. 2) Advancing from empirical observations to process predictions that connect microbial activity to biogeochemical cycling. A crucial component is the establishment of a laboratory set-up that will allow cultivation, manipulation and monitoring of environmental samples ex situ, thereby facilitating observations of microbial responses to external changes. 


We search for candidates with hands-on experience in microbial cultivation and microbial genomics, preferentially with background in environmental microbiology in the deep marine biosphere.

Work tasks

Primary tasks include:

  • Establishing an ex situ laboratory sediment core facility.

  • Genomic reconstruction in collaboration with the University of Uppsala. In that context, one or several shorter stays at this university is likely.

  • Geochemical and molecular data analysis and interpretation.

  • Co-supervising master students and teaching.

The candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary research group and will collaborate with microbiologists, bioinformaticians, geochemists, and mathematicians.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must hold a Norwegian PhD degree or the equivalent in microbial ecology, population dynamics or other relevant topics or must have submitted his/her PhD thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD degree has been awarded.
  • Hands-on experience with microbial cultivation techniques will be emphasised.
  • Advanced knowledge in analysing massive data from DNA sequencing is required, including data from tag sequencing and/or environmental metagenomic sequencing.
  • Previous experience in environmental virology, microbial community dynamics and redox geochemistry will be considered an advantage.
  • Must display commitment to cross-disciplinary collaboration.
  • Applicants need to demonstrate an ability to work independently and in a structured manner
  • Applicant must have good skills in scientific communication. In this regard, some knowledge of the Norwegian language will be considered an advantage.
  • Excellent English written and oral communications skills are required. 

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.


About the position of postdoctoral research fellow

The duration of the postdoctoral research position is fixed at 3 years, with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. If the appointee lack teaching experience, the employment period may be increased to up to 3 years and 3 months, where the department funds the 3 extra months. Teaching and other duties in the department will in that case be added as duties of the position. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.


Upon appointment, applicants must submit a project proposal for the qualifying work including a work schedule. For postdoctoral research fellow positions associated with externally financed projects, the completion of the project proposal for the qualifying work will take place in consultation with the project/centre manager. It is required that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.


We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment.
  • Salary at pay grade 57 (code 1352/pay range 24, alternative 1) in the state salary scale, currently NOK 490 500 gross p.a. Further increases in salary are made according to qualifications and length of service in the position.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IW).
  • Good welfare benefits. 

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these should be the main advisor for the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • A list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list).
  • Any publications in your name. 

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.


General information

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:

Steffen Jørgensen, phone +47 55 58 38 60, e-mail


The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.


The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.


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About this job

  • Deadline
    Friday, February 23, 2018
  • Employer
    University of Bergen
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