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Faculty of Natural Sciences
Department of Physics

PhD Research Fellowship in Biophysics. Experimental studies of microbial-induced consolidation

A PhD position is available at the Department of Physics. The position is financed by the Research Council of Norway, through “Centre for Digital Life Norway”, the BioZEment project, which is a collaboration between the University of Oslo, SINTEF and NTNU. The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of until 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the Department.


The concept of the BioZEment project is to employ bacteria to produce consolidated, solid material similar to natural sand stone. The production of concrete accounts for more than 5% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions, and new, disruptive technology in the field is needed to make a large-scale impact. Among the alternative avenues currently pursued is the use of naturally occurring mineral-microbe interactions in the production of construction materials.
More information about the BioZEment project can be found here: http://www.mn.uio.no/fysikk/english/research/groups/pgp/research/carbonates-and-co2-storage/biozement/index.html.


As the project is a part of the Centre for Digital Life Norway (https://www.ntnu.edu/dln), the PhD candidates in the project will take part in the Research School hosted by the Centre.



Information about the department

The position is organized in the Department of Physics. Currently, there are 26 professors, 10 associate professors, 7 adjunct professors, 52 PhD research fellows and 14 postdoctoral/ research positions appointed at the Department. Further information is available here: http://www.ntnu.no/fysikk/english


Our research spans a broad spectrum of natural sciences and technology, which in turn allows us to offer an education that, provides a solid basis for future careers. Physics research is carried out in experimental as well as theoretical fields, often across conventional boundaries between disciplines. Our central research areas are biophysics, nanoscience, surface physics, modern optics, astrophysics, solar energy, materials science, and medical technology. Research staff at the department makes a special effort to increase the awareness and understanding of the importance and impact of physics in our society.


Work description for PhD position

The candidate will work in the cross-disciplinary section of Biophysics and Medical Technology at the Department of Physics (https://www.ntnu.edu/physics/biophysmedtech). The PhD project at the will focus on establishing an experimental model systems to study cementation process on the grain scale. An experimental setup, aimed to study dissolution and precipitation of CaCO3, will be constructed in which bacteria can be cultured in thin and optically transparent samples of the BioZEment material. In situ optical microscopy and Raman micro-spectroscopy will be used to study the bacterial metabolic activity, the phase and morphology of dissolving and precipitated material, pH changes and other process parameters. 



We seek highly motivated candidates with a completed MSc in Physics, Biophysics or Nanotechnology. The candidate must have demonstrated experience with experimental research and data analysis. Experience in microscopy or other material characterization techniques will be considered advantageous. Candidates need to have excellent communication skills and an interest for multidisciplinary research.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).


The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:



For further information, please contact: Pawel Sikorski (pawel.sikorski@ntnu.no).


Terms of employment

The appointment of the PhD will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. Applicants must agree to participate in organized doctoral study programs within the period of the appointment and have to be qualified for the PhD-study.


NTNU’s personnel policy objective is that the staff must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent.


The position as PhD is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. There is a 2% deduction for superannuation contribution.


The application

Applications letter describing the candidate`s motivation, skills and personal qualifications for the position, a CV, possible publications and other scientific works, certified copies of transcripts and reference letters should be submitted electronically through www.jobbnorge.no


Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.

Application deadline: 30th of June, 2017.

The reference number of the position is NV-76/17

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    30. juni 2017
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