Research scientist

University of Bergen

Bergen, Norway 🇳🇴

At the Department of Biological Sciences there is a vacancy for a position as a researcher within Aquaculture

The position is affiliated to externally financed projects. The first 3 years the position is financed by the projects FREMAD and SkatteFUNN.

About the project/work tasks:

About the project:
Norwegian aquaculture industry has experienced a rapid development and growth over the past 40 ears, becoming the world leading producer of salmon and trout. However, there is an increasing concern regarding the ecological footprint of this activity, which includes issues such as salmon lice, diseases, escapees, and mortality of salmon in open seawater cages. To meet these challenges, modern recycling technology (RAS) are being developed to ensure optimal environmental control in the production of large postmolt (> 500 g).  However, seawater growth of male postsmolts produced in intensive RAS show increasing challenges related with early sexual maturity. In the planned project, we want to address these challenges.

The researcher will work under the FREMAD project (Fremtidens Lakseoppdrett), which studies early sexual maturation of Atlantic salmon post smolt in collaboration with major industry partners. The project aims to identify the main environmental and internal factors causing early maturation in aquaculture facilities, and to help further understand physiological and endocrine mechanisms triggering onset of early puberty in both fresh- and seawater. Generated knowledge is expected to contribute refining industry production protocols in order to reduce the increasing occurrence of unwanted early post smolt maturation in aquaculture facilities. This objective will be tackled by carrying out small- and large-scale controlled experiments followed by analysis of morphometric and endocrine markers related with onset and development of sexual maturation, and by carrying out analyses of large aquaculture production datasets.

The position is affiliated to externally financed projects within the Marine Developmental Biology group. The first three years  the position is financed by the NRC-IPN project ‘FREMAD’.  The Marine Developmental Biology research group has about 20 employees including permanent scientific and technical positions as well postdoctoral and PhD positions, within fish physiology, molecular biology and fish anatomy. As the research is project-based, activities to be performed may vary over time.

Salmonids are the main group studied, but other aquaculture species could be covered in the future. The group activity depends on professional development and access to external research funding. For an overview of the ongoing projects, see the BIO web page (

About work tasks in the project

The researcher will be responsible for the experimental trials and for coordinating sampling schedules both at the University of Bergen and at the industry partners. The researcher must thus be able to independently conduct the experiments, analyze samples and datasets, and collaborate with the project partners.

  • Analyze challenges in collaboration with the industry
  • Planning, management and follow-up of activities in new research projects
  • Lead field activity and sampling including various types of field- and laboratory work with fish, water and fauna.
  • Performance of laboratory assays related to project tasks
  • Data analysis and report writing.
  • Supervision of Master and PhD students project activities
  • Publication and dissemination of research results

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree within biology, aquaculture or physiology or must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • Ability to attract external research funding must be documented.
  • Extensive experience in designing and running experiments with fish, coordinating and preparing fish samplings, and in field work, is a requirement.
  • Documented experience in research areas such as sexual maturation, smoltification, stress and growth in Atlantic salmon is a requirement.
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques (RNA/DNA extraction, PCR/qPCR), the enzymatic-coupled assay to measure Na+, K+, ATPase activity in gill samples and lipid analyses (Folch extractions, lipid classes and FAME fatty acid analyses) is a requirement.
  • Expertise in data analysis is a requirement, with documented competence in statistical methods including ANOVA, Mixed Effects Models, Generalized Linear Models and various types of regression, ideally within an R environment. Proficiency in the use of multivariate data analysis methods such as PCA, MFA, clustering (AHC, K-means) or classification trees.
  • Holding a FELASA or equivalent license to run animal experiments is a requirement.
  • Knowledge of RAS facilities for salmon postsmolt production and knowledge of the Norwegian salmon aquaculture industry is an advantage.
  • Experience in the use of advanced automated laboratory robots will be an advantage.
  • Scientific publication records (publications in relevant journals, presentations in seminars/conferences, etc.) within the field of fish physiology or aquaculture is an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently as well as within an international, interdisciplinary team. They should be proactive, problem solver, take initiative, and have a can-do attitude.
  • Applicants must have excellent skills in oral and written English.
  • A good command of the Norwegian (or other Scandinavian) language is an advantage.

Interpersonal abilities, independence and relevant research experience will be emphasized during the recruitment process. Previous experience, personal interest and ambitions must be explained in the motivation letter and interviews in relation with the position offered, and will be taken into consideration during candidate evaluation.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally stimulating working environment.
  • Salary at pay grade 61 (code 1109/pay range 24, alternative 5) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 553 500. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered. Further promotions are made according to length of service.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • Good welfare benefits
  • Researchers code 1109 holding a permanent position, may apply for a personal promotion to Researcher code 1183 based on a declaration of competence. For more information, see Personal promotion to Researcher code 1183

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of the applicant’s 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 from the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas. If you have not yet completed your PhD degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming that the doctoral thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • List of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • Publications (as applicable)

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

The following premise forms the basis for the post as research scientist:

  • The researcher will be a member of the research group in which the subject area of the position belongs.
  • Salary expenses should as far as possible be 100 % externally financed.
  • The researcher will actively contribute to obtaining external project funding for the academic community, to both themselves and others, from The Research Council of Norway, the EU as well as other sources.
  • The research activity is expected to be funded by the projects the researcher and the research group, are working on.
  • The head of department may instruct the researcher to work towards specific research projects.
  • The researcher may partake in duties, participate in committees etc. within the UiB.
  • The researcher is normally not obliged to teach but is expected to partake in the supervision of masters and PhD students, to the extent that this is a natural part of the work in the research group.
  • The foundation for the position will no longer exist if project funding ceases, and the new law on Government employees etc. regarding termination of employment and preferential rights will be applied.

General information:

For further details about the position, please contact Professor Sigurd Handeland,

[email protected],Telephone number: +47 97179607.

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. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

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.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.

2 days remaining

Apply by 22 September, 2021