Wednesday, August 16, 2023 





The webinar will give the introduction to PERSEUS project, its open vacancies, eligibility, evaluation and selection process. Welcome!


Recorded webinar can be found here



Application process


Application process

What’s it like being a PERSEUS PhD candidate?


We will recruit 40 PhD candidates who want to contribute to a smart, safe and sustainable future.

As part of the PERSEUS team you will work alongside other highly motivated and talented PhD candidates and researchers. You will also have access to the knowledge base, state-of-the-art research infrastructure and impact orientation of the partners in the team.

In addition to your education and development within the thematic research area, you will gain transferable skills within project development and management, science communication, research ethics, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking as well as basic university didactics.

As a PERSEUS PhD candidate, you will be employed by NTNU. During your stay, you have the opportunity to a 2-3 month international stay and 1-2 month national stay with one of the PERSEUS partners. This will allow you to extend your network within academia and industry, and to learn about your research area from both an academic, innovation and societal perspective.

  • Duration of PhD employment: 36 months
  • Salary: Starting gross salary is 532 200 NOK/year (equal to approx. 45.000 EUR/year by the exchange rate of June 2023)

Who can apply?

We are looking for PhD candidates from all nationalities, who want to contribute to our quest to create knowledge for a better world. PERSEUS recruit candidates according to EU’s mobility rule, meaning that applicants cannot have spent more than 12 months in Norway during the last 3 years.

When can you apply?

  • Call 1, with vacancies for 23 PhD candidates, was launched in August 2021 (start of PhD period January 2022)
  • Extra call, with vacancies for 9 PhD candidates, was launched in March 2022 (start of PhD period August 2022)
  • Call 2, with vacancies for 20 PhD candidates, was launched in August 2022 (start of PhD period approximately January 2023)
  • December call, with vacancies for 13 PhD candidates, was launched in December 2022 (start of PhD period approximately May 2023)
  • February call, with vacancies for 5 PhD candidates, was launched in February 2023 (start of PhD period approximately August 2023)
  • Last call, with vacancies for 9 PhD candidates, was launched in June 2023 (start of PhD period approximately November 2023)

We believe in fair and open processes. All applications will be considered through a transparent evaluation procedure, with independent observers involved.

Eligibility criteria for PERSEUS Doctoral programme:

Applicants of any age and any nationality will be eligible as far as they fulfil the mobility requirement of the COFUND programme:

o            International mobility requirements:

-  the applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization (Norway) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline of PERSEUS.

the applicants must not yet have been awarded a doctoral degree and/or have accumulated more than four years of full-time research experience counting from the date the degree enabling the candidate to embark upon a doctorate was obtained, and to the date of the deadline of the call. 

o            Education requirements:

-             5 years of complete higher education (BSC and MSC) or education equal to (300 ECTS)

-             grade requirements are B or higher (based on NTNU’s grading scale) (Master degree must be completed before the call deadline)

-             diploma supplement or equivalent documentation in English and include a description of the educational system (Chinese diplomas to be verified using CHSI). The degrees and diplomas from other countries will be evaluated by NTNU Office of International Relations.

o            Language skill requirements:  an evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).  Minimum scores are: TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test); IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted); CAE/CPE: grade B or A.  (In extraordinary circumstances, formal documentation of language skills can be relinquished. In such cases, the candidate’s language skills will be assessed in a personal interview).

o            Export of Knowledge Control. The PhD candidates who, based on a comprehensive first-hand assessment, might come into conflict with legislation governing exports of knowledge, technology and services will not advance further from the first stage in the recruitment process.

Information about the application process.

Required skills and characteristics: 

o            Knowledge in thematic areas and specific digital skills.

o            Personal characteristics: the desired personal characteristics: to work independently but also in a team, commitment and delivery with respect to deadlines


Information about the application process.

The full application must include:

o            CV including information relevant for the qualifications, submitted together with an identification document

o            Name, current affiliation and email address of at least 2 reference people

o            Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts and 2 reference letters

o            Applicants from universities outside of Norway will be requested to send a diploma supplement (or a similar document) which describes in detail the study and grading system, and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree

o            A research interest description (maximum 2 pages) that includes a short presentation of the motivation for a PhD study, suitability for the position, a view towards listed research challenges, theoretical and methodological approach to the challenges. 


The nomination of a PhD candidate will be based on the description of the position, the applications and the reports from the Evaluation Committee.

After the deadline of the call, the following steps are used to assess the candidates:

1.           Eligibility check and assessment based on application.

Evaluation Committee will check that each applicant fulfils the eligibility criteria, assess the application and rank it.

Each submitted application needs to be assessed based on the application for the position by the Evaluation Committee. The assessments will be made based on merit and potential, measured in terms of the academic record and personal achievements. Academic excellence is a must. Pro-activity, participation in community activities, and capacity for teamwork will be also taken into account. Each criterion is equally weighted. The Committee members needs to apply scores from 0 to 5 in assessing each criterion. A consolidated members’ view will result in a single ranking list of the PhD applicants and this is a key outcome of this selection step.  

Criterion 1: Completeness of application

Criterion 2: Formal qualifications

Criterion 3: Scope, motivation and interest in research

Criterion 4: Language skills

Criterion n:… (some vacancies might include additional criteria e.g. work experience in industry).

The highest ranked applicants (3-5) will be invited for an interview. The precise number depends on the candidates’ assessment, because in case of close ties, more candidates will be invited, and a second round of interviews may be conducted. 


2.           Interview by the Evaluation Committee.

 The applicants considered the best qualified according to the Evaluation Committee’s assessment based on applications will be invited for an interview. The shortlisted candidates may receive invitations to have interviews at NTNU premises or take part in online interviews with the Evaluation Committee. Applicants will be notified accordingly. The goal of the interview is to:

i)            get a first impression of the applicant,

ii)           promote NTNU, PERSEUS programme and H2020 ethical principles to the applicant

iii)          give the applicant an opportunity to ask questions about the position and about NTNU,

iv)          provide an opportunity to assess the applicant's background with a view to identify strengths and weaknesses and finally

v)           give an opportunity to assess how the applicant professionally and personally will fit into the position, including ethical attitude, as well as the academic environment she/he will be an active part of.


Each interview will be conducted by the Evaluation Committee. The whole Evaluation Committee must take part in each interview. Furthermore, an HR representative needs to be present, and for selected positions also the Independent Observer.

Independent Observer will focus on a conduct and fairness of all phases of the evaluation process of the PhD candidates. In particular, the way the Evaluation Committee applies the eligibility and evaluation criteria, conducts interviews, prepares the single ranked list of applicants and applies a redress procedure. In carrying out this function, the Independent Observer will not express any opinions on the applicants or the Evaluation Committee but may immediately raise issues orally and offer observations and suggestions on how the selection procedures could be improved in a report. She will be given access to all relevant data for application, selection and recruitment of PhD candidates and will be invited to participate in all interviews and the Evaluation Committee meetings, however she will choose herself which meeting she would like to attend. 

The candidate will be highly encouraged and proposed options for undertaking international and intersectoral mobility within the PERSEUS DP to benefit their individual research plan. The PhD candidates will be asked to reflect on these during the interviews. 


During the interview, the PhD candidates must be assessed according to these equally weighted criteria, however some adjustments to the criteria might be made during the DP implementation. The scoring from 0 to 5 will be applied to each criterion. 

Criterion 1: Motivation

Criterion 2: Potential for the professional development

Criterion 3: Personality

Criterion 4: Language skills and communication

Criterion n:…


Interviews: 18 September – 6 October 2023


3.           Statement with ranking by the Evaluation

At the end of all interviews, the Evaluation Committee must provide a statement with a single ranked list of applicants to be nominated for the position and attach the assessment based on application, minutes from interviews and the reference checks. Outcomes of the assessment based on the application, interview and reference check, will be considered when preparing the ranking list. The suggested ranking must provide a ranked list containing only the candidates who are nominated for an offer, not necessary all candidates who were interviewed. 

Deadline: 20 October 2023

List of applicants as and their ranking will be review by the Independent Observer who will write a report on the conduct and fairness of all phases of the evaluation process of the PhD candidates.


4.           Approval for admission to a PhD programme

The Head of Department has to confirm the list and launch the approval for the admission process. The person who is appointed will be notified via email of the appointment in writing and will be send an offer of employment. The time limit for the person in question to confirm the offer must be indicated in the offer of employment. The time limit set by NTNU is 10 working days.

Deadline: 31 October 2023


5.           Appointment

The appointed person confirms in writing that such information has been received by signing the employment contract. The other applicants must be notified as soon as possible that the position has been filled. The notification must include the name of the applicant who has been appointed to the position.

The not selected candidates will have the possibility to apply for a redress. The candidate can request from HR a ranking list as well as the information on how the candidates were ranked. The applicant can be allowed to see his/her own assessment, however without personalized facts (how well she/he answered questions, stress level etc.) The evaluation reports are confidential and cannot be shared with the other applicants. The candidate should submit in writing a one-page letter stating his/her case to the redress committee (per email, via the coordinator, who will immediately transfer it to the redress committee). The redress can be submitted within one week after the results have been communicated. The redress committee will, within two weeks after receiving the letter, evaluate the case and inform the candidate of the outcome. The redress procedure will only evaluate the evaluation procedure and perceived incorrect application of the eligibility criteria, but not the scientific judgement of the evaluation and selection committee members. In case the redress is deemed justified, the application will again be evaluated and/or an interview will be carried out. The redress committee will consist of two senior researchers employed by NTNU and the Independent Observer. At least one member of the committee will be a woman.

Start of Employment: November/December 2023

EU project

EU project

EU logo This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 101034240.