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Synaptic Specificity and How Synapses Change During Development

  • // Norway
  • University/Institute Name Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU)
  • University/Institute Name Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
  • Attendance Type On Campus
  • Position Duration3 years
  • Position Funding Type
  • Application deadlineExpired

Position Details (PhD Program)

The Quattrocolo group at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience has an opening for a Ph.D. Candidate in developmental neuroscience.

The position is based in the Quattrocolo group, a recently established research group part of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience. Recently, the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience has been awarded the Centre for Algorithms in the Cortex, a new centre of excellence which will be funded from 2023 for 10 years by the Research Council of Norway. We offer an international and multidisciplinary environment in which creativity and scientific discourse is valued and stimulated. See for detailed information.

Duties of the position

The main research interest of the lab is the development of cortical circuits, specifically investigating the role of different cell types in the wiring of neuronal networks. The project will focus on synaptic specificity and how synapses change during development. We aim to combine different techniques, such as cell-type specific viral vectors, synaptosome preparation, flow cytometry and omics analysis. The successful candidate will study how cell-type specific synapses change during development.


The position is a full time (100%) position, with a 3-years contract, starting in mid-2023 (flexible starting date).

Required selection criteria

  • Master in Neuroscience or related quantitative science discipline, with a final grade of B or higher at the start of the contract.
    • Please note that the Master degree is not required to submit an application but evidence of progress towards graduation by mid-2023 will have to be documented.
  • A strong interest in developmental neuroscience
  • Proficient in spoken and written English

The PhD-position’s main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in neuroscience or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • Experience with techniques used in cellular and molecular neuroscience (e.g. western blot, immunohistochemistry)
  • Basic programming skills (such as MatLab, Python, R)
  • Experience with rodents and certificate from the course in Animal Research in Norway (or equivalent)

Personal characteristics

  • Motivated
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member
  • Flexible
  • Ambitious

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. Starting in mid-2023 (flexible starting date)

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Medicine and Health Sceinces neuroscience within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.


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 criteria 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include:

  • Updated CV
  • A short research statement explaining experience, interest and background relevant to the research topic.
  • A 1-2 pages essay on a topic related to synaptic specificity (for example synaptic diversity, axonal targeting..). A short project proposal can be included as part of the essay but it is not required.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Documentation of a completed master’s degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information of two referees

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor’s and master’s education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates.


Which language proficiency is required?

Position Start Date