PhD Research Fellowship in Ecotoxicology University of Oslo, Section for Aquatic Biology and Toxicology (AQUA), Department of Biosciences, Norway

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 


Department of Biosciences (IBV) is a research and education department at the University of Oslo. The Department has one Centre of Excellence and four research sections. The Department has 52 faculty members and associate professors, and approximately 190 PhD students, post docs and researchers, in addition to technical and administrative staff. The working environment is international, and scientists from over 30 countries contribute to the working environment. The Department aims to maintain high international standards both within research and teaching.

IBV offers research-based education within several aspects of bioscience, including ecology, behavioural ecology, evolution, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, biomedicine, genetics, bioinformatics and biotechnology. Around 380 students are enrolled in bachelor’s programs, and 90 in master’s programs.


PhD Research Fellowship in Ecotoxicology


A 3(4)-year position as a PhD Research fellow (SKO 1017) in ecotoxicology is available at Section for Aquatic Biology and Toxicology (AQUA), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo (UiO).


The position is affiliated with the research project The Nansen Legacy ( The Nansen Legacy is the Norwegian Arctic research community’s joint effort to establish a holistic understanding of a changing marine Arctic climate and ecosystem. The project will provide a scientific knowledgebase needed for future sustainable resource management in the transitional Barents Sea and the adjacent Arctic Basin. It is a collaborative project between ten Norwegian research institutions, and will run from 2018-2023. Activities in the project will include international cooperation, and several cruises with the new, ice-going research vessel Kronprins Haakon.


The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a fourth year with 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department.


The purpose of the PhD Fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The Fellowship requires admission to the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Appointment to a PhD research Fellowship is conditional upon admission to the Faculty's research training program. Startingdate as soon as possible and no later than 01.05.2018


Job/ project description:


As part of the Nansen Legacy, the available PhD is within the subproject “Pollution: effects of changes in species composition and distribution on contaminant accumulation in marine food webs”. The Arctic is susceptible to local pollution from petroleum activities and shipping, as well as long-range transported pollutants (e.g., persistent organic pollutants, metals, and emerging contaminants). Changes in water temperature and distribution and thickness of sea ice are expected to change energy and contaminant transfer processes in the food web. Zooplankton and fish samples will be collected seasonally during the Nansen Legacy cruises. From these, chemicals and dietary descriptors will be analysed to investigate how seasonality in energy acquisition and allocation affects the annual dynamics of contaminant accumulation and transfer in the food web.


The project combines knowledge from ecotoxicology, ecology, and environmental chemistry. The successful candidate will design and conduct extensive field studies, analyze contaminants and dietary descriptors, and deal with large datasets.


Through the Nansen Legacy project, dedicated interdisciplinary summer schools and intensive courses will be organized to strengthen national and international cooperation and integration of students. Furthermore, the project includes a mobility program to ensure national and international exchange.


Host institution and international partner institution


The PhD project and training will be based at the Aquatic Biology and Toxicology (AQUA), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo, with collaboration with The University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS) and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI).


Toxicological research at AQUA aims to understand how organisms and ecosystems are affected by environmental changes and stressors, and how we can manage the environment and resources. Research at AQUA is characterized by the integration of observational and experimental field studies, laboratory experiments and analyses, statistical and mechanistic modeling.


The PhD will be under the main supervision of Prof. Katrine Borgå, with co-supervision by Prof. Tom Andersen (UiO), Prof. Øystein Varpe (UNIS) and Dr. Geir Wing Gabrielsen (NPI).




The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for this fellowship will be selected in accordance with this, and is expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.


We kindly ask applicants to provide a numbered list in their application letter corresponding to these criteria, explaining whether and how they meet each point:

  1. A Master’s degree or equivalent in toxicology or marine ecology, relevant to this PhD project.
  2. Academic qualifications (grades and relevant research experience).
  3. A background and/or strong interest in one or more of the following topics: i) ecotoxicology, ii) dietary ecology, iii) life cycles and phenology, vi) marine ecology.
  4. Strong practical and analytical skills.
  5. Ability to perform extensive laboratory and field work, chemical analysis and statistical data treatment
  6. Personal suitability and motivation for the position.
  7. Good social and collaboration skills and ability to work independently and in an interdisciplinary scientific environment.


A good command of English is required


The application must include:

  • Application letter, including a pointwise explanation of how the applicant fits the selection criteria detailed above.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications).
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation.
  • Documentation of English proficiency (for applicants from non-EU/EEA countries).
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee.
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).
  • A short text that outlines the candidate´s motivation and ideas for a project within the described field of research (1-2 pages).


Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.


In accordance with the University of Oslo’s equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of gender or ethnicity.


Salary (applicable for the University of Oslo)
Position code 1017, Pay grade: NOK 436 900 – 490 900 per year, depending on qualifications and seniority.


The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.


For further information please contact:

Professor Katrine Borgå, e-mail:

Professor Tom Andersen, e-mail:

Professor Øystein Varpe, e-mail:

Dr. Geir Wing Gabrielsen, email:


For questions about the recruitment system, please contact HR Officer Torunn Guttormsen, +47 22854272,

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


All Jobs






Uni Anu

Uni Copenhagen

Uni Gothenburg

Uni Kuwait

Uni Laval

Uni Nus Singapore

Uni Seoul

Uni Simon Fraser

Uni Tcd

Uni Tokio

Uni Unsw