The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD Candidate Computational Enzymology

This job offer has expired

    UiT The Arctic University of Norway
    ChemistryComputational chemistry
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    13/06/2019 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Norway › Tromsø

The Department of Chemistry seeks a motivated and enthusiastic PhD candidate to join the research group of Professor Bjørn Olav Brandsdal and will be part of the research project “Evolutionary principles of biocatalysts from extreme environments” financed by the Research Council of Norway for a four year period (2019-2023). The PhD candidate will be part of the Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences. The Hylleraas Centre is a Norwegian Centre of Excellence, established by the Research Council of Norway in 2017 for a period of 10 years. About 50 scientists, post-doctoral fellows and PhD students in the field of theoretical and computational chemistry are active at the centre.

As a student, you will enter an international and collegial environment, and be enrolled in the Department of Chemistry PhD school, and the Norwegian ‘BioCat Graduate School in Biocatalysis’, which provides top-level graduate courses in both scientific and transferable skills, arranges national PhD conferences and offers generous travel stipends for student research visits to collaborator laboratories.

The project

The successful candidate will become a member of an international and interdisciplinary research team focusing on the investigation and design of novel enzyme catalysts using computational and experimental methods (http://site.uit.no/cube).

The candidate is expected to work together with collaborators at the Department of Cellular and Molecular Biology at Uppsala University in Sweden and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Bristol in UK. The candidate is also expected to spend up to 1 year at Uppsala University, Sweden and/or University of Bristol, UK.

The appointed candidate will work with temperature dependence of chemical rates and substrate binding using computer simulations to explore the fundamental principles of evolutionary enzyme adaptation. This knowledge will be used to design new enzymes with potential industrial applications.

The candidate will also be involved in development and application virtual reality (VR) for visualisation and data analysis using the group’s VR lab facilities.


For further information about the position and UiT, contact Professor Bjørn Olav Brandsdal:


This position requires a Master’s degree (or equivalent training) in a relevant field of chemistry, such as computational chemistry, quantum chemistry or biochemistry, with an average of Norwegian equivalent grade of C or better on relevant courses.

Qualification with a Master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your Master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position.

Previous experience with molecular dynamics simulations, hybrid quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics and/or quantum mechanics is required. Software development and use of free energy methods will also be considered favorably. Both a strong academic record and a genuine interest in conducting research are essential to qualify for the position. This must be demonstrated by your Master’s thesis, academic record, and other application materials (see below). Personal suitability for the position will also be emphasized.


The position requires admission to the PhD programme. Information about requirements and the PhD programme is available here: https://uit.no/nt/phd

The applicant must be able to document proficiency in English that satisfies the Norwegian Higher Education Entrance Qualification, either as a native language, via undergraduate education in a Nordic country, or by test scores as described below. Working knowledge of Norwegian or a Scandinavian language is desirable due to teaching obligations.


The assessment will emphasize academic performance, motivation and personal suitability for the position. You must be willing to engage in the ongoing development of your discipline and the university as a whole. During the assessment process, emphasis will be put on your potential for research, as shown by the Master’s thesis and other academic works, relevant research experience and academic performance and teaching experience and/or qualifications. Teaching experience and/or qualifications will be considered an advantage. In addition, we may consider work experience or other activities of significance for the PhD studies.

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • A large degree of independence in work
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

The appointment is for a period of 4 years, and the nominal length of the PhD program is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % of each year, and will consist of (teaching or other duties for the department)/three years. UiT funds the position.

Remuneration of PhD positions are in salary code 1017. In addition to taxes, a further 2% is deducted for the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here: Welcome to UiT!​


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV - summarizing education, positions and academic work
  • Diplomas and transcripts from completed degrees
  • Documentation of English language proficiency for PhD-studies, with a preferred minimum score of 6.5 on each part of the IELTS test, or minimum scores of 22, 22, 22 and 25 (reading, listening, speaking and writing, respectively) on the TOEFL test.
  • 2-3 references with contact details
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works

Documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language. We only accept applications through Jobbnorge.


We make the appointment in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants

UiT The Arctic University of Norway has HR policy objectives that emphasize diversity, and encourages all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their age, gender, functional ability and national or ethnic background. The university will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional ability.

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.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act. You may request to not be registered on the public list of applicants, but the University may decide that your name will be made public. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication.

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

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.

Department of Chemistry

The Department of Chemistry hosts a national Centre of Excellence in Computational and Theoretical Chemistry, the Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences, alongside the Norwegian Structural Biology Centre (NorStruct), and is partner in the Centre for Bioinformatics. The Department is also host for the National Graduate School in Biocatalysis, BioCat .

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
N-9037 Tromsø, Norway

EURAXESS offer ID: 411300


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