PhD Fellow in Biological Wastewater Treatment in the Cold Climate Region

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Narvik, Norway 🇳🇴

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Building, Energy and Material Technology, Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology.

The workplace is at UiT in Narvik. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The position is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD programme is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % each year and will consist of teaching and other duties. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The position’s field of research

The Department has recently established a new area of postgraduate education and research in the field of Water and Waste Water Engineering. Water is under increasing pressure from demographic and climatic changes. The treatment processes play a key role in delivering safe, reliable supplies of water to households, industry and agriculture, and in safeguarding the quality of water. However, water and wastewater treatment and transport systems have their challenges in different climate zones, and the challenges in cold climate regions are relatively higher. Water and wastewater management in a cold climate requires specific design and operational requirements, and the impacts of climate change make them even more challenging for the future. Moreover, the incidences of algæl blooms and fish mortality, which might be associated with the discharge of untreated wastewater in the fjords in the Arctic region require attention. Thus, researchers are striving to develop new and more effective wastewater treatment methods for the removal of various complex organic and inorganics compounds and other emerging pollutants. We have a number of projects investigating advanced oxidation processes, microbial fuel cells, membrane technologies, use of nanomaterials and algæ in wastewater treatment, low-cost adsorbents and bio flocculants, including recovery of resources from wastewater (nutrients, energy and water). Also, the projects are designed to train high-quality graduates who are qualified to design, operate and manage wastewater treatment systems and also able to tackle the challenges at the regional, national and global levels.

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate having a scientific understanding of bioprocesses, biotechnology for the treatment of wastewater (industrial or domestic wastes/effluents) to join the research team to contribute to our projects and to develop novel technology to a pilot scale. Theoretical and experimental investigations at laboratory and pilot scale students will identify the opportunities (and limitations) of implementing these processes into wastewater treatment systems. Biological wastewater treatment, including design of bioreactors; limitation of bioprocess within the reactor; performance characteristics of different kinds of bioreactors, will be analyzed. Therefore, the candidates must submit a proposal explaining work to contribute to this objective.


For further information about the position, please contact Associate Professor Fasil Ejigu Eregno: 

For administrative questions, please contact the Adviser of administration Kvernelv, Wenche Berg: 


This position requires the following academic qualifications: 

  • Master degree in Bioprocess Engineering, Water and wastewater Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering or equivalent.
  • Training and experience in laboratory work
  • Experience with upstream and downstream processing
  • Document expertise and interest in the research subject

It prefferable if you have experience in the following: 

  • Experience in the cultivation of microorganisms ( such as bacteria; algae) including fermentation technology or bioreactor operation
  • Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry
  • Development and optimization of biological processes for efficient wastewater treatment 

Personal qualities we are looking for: 

  • We are looking for a candidate who is ambitious, curious and motivated to do a PhD in a strong research environment. The ideal candidates will combine (and be able to document) the following personal qualities:
  • Hard-working, ambitious and accurate.
  • Creative and independent
  • Genuinely interested in scientific research and its industrial applications.
  • Good social and collaborative skills
  • Good communicative skills, orally and written, in English and preferably in a Scandinavian language.
  • Good practical skills

Applicants must document fluency of in English and be able to work in an international environment. For Nordic applicants this can be documentet by uploading their high school diploma to the application. 

The applicants must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. The project propsoal shall not exceed 2 pages, literature references not included. It must include a description of the theme, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It should also indicate the methodologies to be used. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

Admission to the PhD programme 

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:  

  • A bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS and a master’s degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master’s degree of 300 ECTS. 
  • A master’s thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master’s degree of 120 ECTS. 
  • A master’s thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master’s degree of 300 ECTS. 

In order to gain admission to the programme, applicants with a background from a Norwegian institution should have a minimum grade of C on their master thesis and a weighted grade average of 3.0 for the last two years of their master programme. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree. 

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than two months after taking up the position. 

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project 
  • Good career opportunities 
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues  
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement  
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund  
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here:


Your application must include: 

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diploma for bachelor’s and master’s degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor’s and master’s degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • References with contact information
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project proposal (2 pages) 

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline. 

General information 

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years. 

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure. 

UiT – Developing the High North

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development