Language: NOR | ENG

PhD Applied Ecology and Biotechnology

  • Duration: 3
  • Spring semester
  • ECTS 180 ECTS
  • Application period See vacant positions

About the research programme

On 13.12.2018, NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) approved the extension of the PhD program in Applied Ecology to include the field of Biotechnology. Kunnskapsdepartementet KD (the Ministry of Education and Research) officially approved the PhD program in Applied Ecology and Biotechnology on 22.5.2019.

This is a transdisciplinary PhD program to develop and increase our knowledge on sustainable production, use and management of biological resources. Biological resources include forestry, livestock, cultural landscapes, wildlife, fish, microorganisms and other biological products within agricultural-, forestry- wildlife- and aquatic systems.

The PhD program has two specializations; one in Applied Ecology and one in Biotechnology. Both specializations are described in the learning- and research components of the program.  Applied Ecology will focus on both harvesting and monitoring of biological resources, while Biotechnology will focus on the functioning and structure of biological macromolecules.

The websites will be updated in August to reflect the extension and approval of the PhD program.

Why applied ecology?

The objectives of applying ecological science and biotechnology can be linked to human exploitation of nature, such as sustainable harvesting of fish and wildlife, or the utilisation of other ecosystem services. However, ecological science and biotechnology may also be applied to preserve the biological diversity of ecosystems affected by man.

Human impacts such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, harvesting, biological control, the introduction of alien species, and discharge of environmental poisons or climatic gasses all contribute to changes in the environment.

Today these changes are occurring at a much faster rate and to a greater extent than species are able to adapt to.

We aim at training PhD candidates in applying ecological knowledge and biotechnology to reduce these detrimental effects.

Our PhD candidates

The candidates are expected to conduct independent research, as well as working in research groups consisting of candidates, researchers and professors who are interested in the same issues. All teaching will be given in English and the candidate will become part of our international environment with candidates and staff from around the world. The candidates should obtain sufficient knowledge to communicate results both orally and in writing, in various popular and scientific forums.

All candidates within the PhD program in Applied Ecology and Biotechnology are members of the International Research School in Applied Ecology (IRSAE) ( IRSAE is an international and scientific network for young researchers, and candidates are expected to engage in courses and workshops organized by IRSAE.  

International Research School in Applied Ecology (IRSAE)


IRSAE is an academic network for young researchers and has 15 partners in Europe. The Faculty of Applied Ecology, Agricultural Sciences and Biotechnology at INN is the coordinating partner, and IRSAE has more than 200 PhD candidates and 50 researchers. The mission of IRSAE is to advance the quality of PhD education within various research fields coupled to applied ecology, thereby producing responsible future scientists and managers that can progress the present-day front in applied ecology further. The summer school is the largest IRSAE event of the year, and 60 PhD participants and 20 researchers will take part in the 2019 summer school.

Website of IRSAE:

IRSAE is organized into functional working groups, to strengthen the cooperation among the PhD candidates from our different partners, and enable PhD candidates to lead discussions, exchange ideas, promote their research and create a strong research network that will persist after their PhD project. The working groups are organized by:

  1. Movement and Population Ecology. Theme leaders: Francesca Cagnacci (Fondazione Edmund Mach), Øyvind Steifetten (University College of Southeast Norway) and Erlend Nilsen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research).
  2. Ecosystem Services. Theme leader: Anna Gudrun Thorhallsdottir (Agricultural University of Iceland/Hólar University College).
  3. Freshwater Ecology. Theme leaders: Jon Museth (Norwegian Institute of Nature Research) and John Piccolo (Karlstad University).
  4. Understanding and Managing Biodiversity Conflicts. Theme leaders: Steve Redpath (Aberdeen University) and Henrik Andrén (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences).
  5. Climate Change Ecology. Theme leaders: Toke Thomas Høye (Aarhus Univeristy), Jane Jepsen (Norwegian Institute for Nature Research) and Rolf Anker Ims (The Arctic University).

Key documents


How to apply

If you want to become a candidate in out PhD program, please applying for research fellowships with us.

See available research fellowships under vacant positions

You can also contact us directly about admission to the PhD program if you are self-funded through work or otherwise.

Research groups

Applied Molecular and Microbial Genetics (AMMG) 

Bioinformatics and Biodiscovery (B&B


Evenstad Ecology, Evolution and Environment Group (E4)

Forest Research in the Boreal Biome


Reproduction Biotechnology 

Small Game Research Group 

More information


Funded through advertised fellowships or other external funding