Associate Professor in Plant Physiology

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim (By) (NO)
The position as Associate Professor comes with a starting package for new research staff, opportunit
June 12 2019
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

About the department and the position
The main research goal of the Department of Biology is to understand biological processes and to preserve the environment. The Department takes an interdisciplinary approach to education and research that is deeply rooted in environmental biology. The cross-disciplinary strategic focus areas are climate, biodiversity, pollution and sustainable use of natural resources. The department has currently 38 associate or full professors organized into 6 different sections (centre for biodiversity dynamics, marine biology, molecular biology, animal physiology, toxicology, multiscale biology (MsB)). The position to be filled will be based in the MsB section. The overarching aim of the MsB section is to perform research across different scales of biology ranging from single cell via the organism to the ecosystem level, which will be interconnected using systems biology-based approaches. This section will undergo significant changes in the next years due to the retirement of several academics, which creates a unique opportunity to build a novel research environment from the ground up.

On this occasion we are aiming to hire a person with a strong track record in plant physiology using molecular methods. We are particularly interested in applications from candidates with research activities in: lipid, carbohydrate, plant stress physiology or the epigenetic basis for stress adaptation. The department aims to also strengthen cross-disciplinary research collaborations between the MsB, molecular biology and marine biology sections.

The position reports to the head of department.

Work description
The successful applicant will be expected to develop their own independent research program within the department supported by external funding. They will be jointly responsible for the development of the discipline together with other scientific staff in the department. In parallel they will also participate in teaching activities in accordance with the relevant curriculum, and assist in developing the teaching program, including advanced and postgraduate courses. The new faculty member will have responsibility for part of the teaching in introductory and advanced plant physiology, as well as more general plant biological topics, depending upon their interests/expertise. The successful applicant will also be able to participate in departmental management and the strategic development of the department, the faculty and NTNU.

Qualification requirements
The applicant should hold a PhD in biology or a related area and document strong research and academic competence within plant physiology as well as the relevance of their research area to one or more of the focus areas at the department: climate change, biodiversity, pollution and/or sustainable use of natural resources. Proven effectiveness in interdisciplinary collaboration will be an advantage.

The applicant should have strong potential to initiate new research areas or lead and further develop existing ones. The ability / potential of the applicant to do so successfully in the future, will be determined based on past research performance / activities. Publication of research results in recognized international journals within the subject area will be an important qualification requirement. Particular focus will be placed on academic work during the past five years, excluding statutory leave.

NTNU and the Department of Biology are moving towards student-centered or active learning methods at all levels, and applicants are expected to show experience or pedagogical training in these methods. Emphasis will also be placed on teaching and communication skills. Evaluation of the applicant´s educational expertise will be based on documented materials, including presentation of academic work, pedagogical training, previous experience from supervision and teaching of master-level and PhD candidates, as well as other related skills. Applicants with teaching experience at university level are preferred. Quality and breadth of the teaching qualifications will be evaluated. 


Other requirements:

Those who do not have formal qualifications in teaching at university level and who cannot provide documentation of equivalent qualifications must complete an approved pedagogical development programme within two years of appointment.

It is a prerequisite that within three years of appointment, new employees who do not speak a Scandinavian language can demonstrate skills in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language equivalent to level three in the course for Norwegian for speakers of other languages at the Department of Language and Literature at NTNU. The Department will help newly appointed staff with organizing course attendance and will cover course costs.

The person appointed must comply with the decisions about changes due to developments in the subject area, and the organizational changes that may result from decisions regarding the university's activities.


Please see the Regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts for general criteria for the position. NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Personal characteristics
We are looking for a new colleague who is:

  • interested in interdisciplinary research.
  • working in a strategic and coordinated manner with colleagues.
  • promoting an inclusive and supportive work environment.
  • ambitious and open to tackling new challenges.
  • In the assessment of the best qualified applicant, education, experience and personal suitability will be emphasized, as well as motivation for the position.

We offer: 

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment.
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues.
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • employee benefits 

Salary and conditions
NTNU human resources policy objectives emphasize diversity and equality. Moreover, the Department of Biology actively pursues diversity and gender balance for a good scientific environment. Therefore, all qualified applicants regardless of their gender, functional ability, national or ethnic background are strongly encouraged to apply.

The position as Associate Professor comes with a starting package for new research staff, opportunities for mentoring and is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. There is a 2% deduction for an obligatory premium to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. Members of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund are offered a generous pension for life and access to favourable housing loan and insurance schemes.

The employment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to be in conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU.

It is required that the newly appointed member of staff takes up residence in Trondheim or nearby. Norway, like other Scandinavian countries, has generous rules for both maternity and paternity leave. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life (About Trondheim). Having a population of 200,000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

About the application
The application and description of the academic works to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

The application for this position and all relevant materials submitted must include the following:

  • a complete CV with certified copies of relevant certificates, diplomas and a complete publication list, including information about funding, duration and size.
  • a brief description of the applicant’s research and teaching profile as well as a short outline of the applicant’s visions for the position regarding future research and teaching activities (max 5 pages).
  • a short summary how the applicant envisions his/her research to fit into the multiscale biology theme of the section.
  • Summary of their pedagogical qualifications based on a list of factors, which can be found here: ("Documentation of applicant’s teaching qualifications in connection with appointment to an academic position at NTNU") 
  • Relevant documentation summarizing their experience with university administration and outreach activities.
  • Copies of up to 4 relevant, published peer-reviewed publications. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.
  • Names and contact details of 3 potential references.

When the application deadline has passed, a shortlisting committee will evaluate all applications. The best qualified applicants will then be considered by an external appointments panel and the most suitable applicants will be invited to interview and to deliver a lecture to undergraduate students.

General information
A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. NTNU wishes to increase the proportion of women in its academic positions, and women are therefore encouraged to apply. 

Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants. 

Applicants short-listed for the position will be invited to Trondheim for interview. A demonstration of teaching ability, usually in the form of a trial lecture, will also be required.

The application with all attachments must be submitted through The application should be clearly marked with the reference number NV-67/19.

For further information, please contact Prof. Thorsten Hamann, or the Head of Department Dr. Else Berit Skagen, at the Department of Biology. 

Deadline for applications: 30.06.2019