Structure and Functional Characterisation of Redox Enzymes Active on Lignocellulose by NMR

About the position

We are looking for a PhD Fellow in connection with the DLN project OXYMOD - Optimized oxidative enzyme systems for efficient conversion of lignocellulose to valuable products The position belongs to the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science and Norwegian Biopolymer Laboratory - NOBIPOL, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology and has a duration of 3 years. NOBIPOL is a multidisciplinary research group within NTNU devoted to the field Biopolymer Engineering, with focus on the science and technologies of polysaccharides. Based on more than 60 years of continuous research in the field, NOBIPOL possesses unmatched competence and experience in all aspects of science and technology of polysaccharides and polysaccharide modifying enzymes. The current activities of NOBIPOL take place within the Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, in close collaboration with Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), SINTEF Industry and Vectron Biosolutions.

The position reports to Professor Finn L. Aachmann

Main duties and responsibilities

The OXYMOD project will through a transdisciplinary approach define, develop and demonstrate applicability of new enzyme systems for the efficient biocatalytic conversion of lignocellulose from abundant Norwegian biomass into valuable products like sugars and aromatic building blocks. OXYMOD will focus on the still largely underexplored group of redox enzymes and their potential in the depolymerisation of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, including aspects such as redox enzyme interplay, co-factors and reaction partners, as well as their interplay with hydrolytic enzymes. Here the PhD candidate is expected to further develop the field of NMR spectroscopy for structure and functional characterisation of redox enzymes for lignocellulose conversion as well as products formed in the process.

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify the candidate for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in biotechnology, biochemistry, biophysics or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The applicant should have documented experience with structure elucidation by NMR spectroscopy. Experience with protein expression and purification of proteins, redox enzymes and enzymatic modification of carbohydrates will be considered as an advantage. Furthermore, experience in additional biophysical techniques (e.g. UV-VIS, CD and fluorescence spectroscopy, ITC) along with a solid understanding of protein science and enzymology is also highly desirable.

The applicant should have an excellent communication and collaborative approach, including experience with writing scientific articles, and very good written and oral English language skills.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Personal characteristics

A successful applicant should be a creative and ambitious person, with a strong ability to work problem-solution oriented. She/he should also be flexible, enjoy interdisciplinary research, and be able to work as a team player as well as independently

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is three years. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Biotechnology (

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement 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 conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

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. 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Finn L. Aachmann,  e-mail:

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number NV-62/19 when applying. Furthermore, with the application we request a one-page "Personal Motivation Letter" for the position.

Application deadline: 18.06.2019

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Biotechnology and Food Science

Our activities contribute to increased exploitation of existing and new ingredients for sustainable food production as well as next-generation energy solutions and medical technology. We educate graduates for a wide range of careers in industry, public administration and academia. The Department of Biotechnology and Food Science is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Deadline 18th June 2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen