Date: 21.06.2021

PhD position open for the study of parasitic protists in the laboratory of Prof. Mark van der Giezen (University of Stavanger)

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry, Bioscience and Environmental Technology. The position is vacant from autumn 2021.

Job description
This is a trainee position that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development through a PhD education leading to a doctoral degree.

The hired candidate will be admitted to the PhD program in Science and Technology. The education includes relevant courses to about six months of study, a dissertation based on independent research, participation in national and international research environments, relevant academic communication, a trial lecture and public defence. Read more about the PhD education at UiS on our website.

The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively, or four years with both research and 25% compulsory duties. This will be clarified in the recruitment process.

The PhD Fellow will be affiliated with the following project: "Mitochondrial glycolysis as a target for disease control of pathogenic stramenopiles".

About the research project
The world population is expected to grow to 10 billion people in the next 30 years. This expansion means feeding 3 billion more people than we are doing now. This will put an enormous strain on our food production systems. Although food production from agriculture and fisheries has grown enormously over the last 50 years or so, it will not be enough to support our growing world population. A big problem facing agriculture and fisheries is the losses caused by infectious diseases. Although variable year-to-year, these lost harvests could have fed between 0.5-4 billion people each year. For example, the biggest disease for the potato industry, late blight disease, causes several hundred million tonnes of lost crops each year, which could have fed up to one billion people. It is therefore extremely important to control or to eradicate these diseases. Not only to keep feeding the growing world population, but also to produce the food we eat more effectively and sustainably.

We have found a biochemical peculiarity in a group of animal and plant pathogens that we hope to exploit so we can ultimately prevent these diseases from destroying our crops and animals. Most organisms on the planet convert the food they eat into useable energy. The food we eat is converted via several biochemical steps into smaller building blocks of life. These conversions are neatly organised in different compartments of the cells in our bodies. We discovered that the pathogens that cause potato disease, but also diseases in salmon and even humans, have rearranged these conversion pathways in a peculiar manner.

We want to better understand these peculiar rearrangements, as we believe it is a drug target to control, or possibly eradicate, these diseases. We have teamed up with experts in Norway and abroad, including industry, to help in the fight against diseases that prevent us from feeding the world. Collaborators are Professor Edmund Kunji at the University of Cambridge (UK), Professor Pieter van West at the University of Aberdeen (UK), Dr. Anastasios Tsaousis at the University of Kent (UK), and Professor Siver Moestue at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Trondheim.

This position is part of a larger project and two postdoctoral fellows are already employed on this project.

Qualification requirements
We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within the biological sciences, preferably within molecular biology or biochemistry; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate, preferably acquired recently.

Candidates with experience within non-model microbial eukaryotes will be preferred.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Stavanger both the grade for your master’s thesis and the weighted average grade of your master’s degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade. If you finish your education (masters degree) in the spring of 2021 you are also welcome to apply.

Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F, and/or with other types of credits than sp/ECTS, must attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale and a Diploma Supplement or similar that explains the scope of the subject that are included in the education. You can use these conversion scales  to calculate your points for admission.

Emphasis is also placed on your:

  • proven record in the above mentioned fields, ideally via publications in international scientific journals
  • motivation and potential for research within the field
  • professional and personal skills for completing the doctoral degree within the timeframe
  • ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative
  • ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload
  • having a good command of both oral and written English

You must attach a cover letter explaining your interest in the project and the relevance of your background and experience.

Requirements for competence in English
A good proficiency in English is required for anyone attending the PhD program. International applicants must document this by taking one of the following tests with the following results:

  • TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test (IBT). Minimum result: 90
  • IELTS – International English Language Testing Service. Minimum result: 6.5
  • Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) og Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Cambridge
  • PTE Academic – Pearson Test of English Academic. Minimum result: 62

The following applicants are exempt from the above requirements:

  • Applicants with one year of completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA
  • Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
  • Applicants with a completed bachelor's and / or master's degrees taught in English in a EU/EEA country

Apply for this job.




Biology Centre CAS
Institute of Parasitology
Branišovská 1160/31
370 05 České Budějovice

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