PhD Candidate in Machine Learning in Neurology

Published February 12, 2023
Location Trondheim, Norway
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


About the job

Do you want to participate in a groundbreaking interdisciplinary research project combining neurology, advanced computational science, and technology?


We have a vacant position as PhD candidate in machine learning in neurology for 3 years. For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.


In this PhD project you will work with developing and evaluating a machine learning tool that can be used to forecast when an individual will have a headache. Using a smartphone app and wearable sensors we will collect detailed day-to-day data on hundreds of individuals with migraine. We will develop machine learning models that identifies complex patterns within the data to predict when the next headache attack will occur. This allows individuals with migraine to take precautionary measures and improve their quality of life. We will also set up a clinical trial that evaluates the effect of the forecasting tool compared to standard-of-care.


As PhD candidate you will be part of the large-scale interdisciplinary research project Machine Intelligence in Headache (MI-HEAD). The overall goal of MI-HEAD is to develop and apply artificial intelligence and machine learning methods and frameworks to improve the lives of individuals with primary headaches.


MI-HEAD is organized under the newly established Norwegian Centre for Headache Research (NorHEAD), a nationwide Centre for Clinical Treatment Research funded by the Research Council of Norway. NorHEAD is hosted by the Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science at NTNU, and collaborates with academic institutions, hospitals, and industry across the nation, as well as leading international research institutions.


Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science (INB) conducts research and education covering av wide range of areas related to the nervous system, sense organs, the head, and motion control and movement.


The position is a unique opportunity to contribute to a highly advanced and meaningful research area as part of a large-scale interdisciplinary and international initiative.


Your immediate leader is the group leader of NorHEAD.


Duties of the position

The candidate will be the main researcher and first author of research papers describing the development and evaluation of a migraine forecasting machine learning model. All research will be conducted in close collaboration with the project team with necessary supervision. Tasks include:

  • Assisting in data collection through a smartphone headache diary app
  • Developing and evaluating forecasting machine learning models
  • Actively participating in a clinical trial evaluating the efficacy of a headache forecasting app
  • Authoring research papers
  • Collaborating with our international partners and experts
  • During the PhD period, the candidate  is expected to take  the PhD course KULT 1823/1824 "Environmental Sustainability and Soscietal Transformation"


Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in clinical medicine or data science
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by August 2023
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • Good written and oral English language skills


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

  • Strong interest in human biology, neuroscience and/or neurology.
  • Applicants with a clinical medicine background should have interest in, or experience with, applied computer science and/or machine learning.
  • Applicants with a data science background should have interest in, or experience with, health sciences.
  • Preferably good written and oral Norwegian language skills


Personal characteristics

  • Demonstrated ability to quickly acquire knowledge in new topics
  • Ability to understand and mediate cross-disciplinary challenges
  • Demonstrated motivation for the research topic and position

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.


Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Medicine and Health Sciences or the PhD programme in Medical Technology 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.


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.


Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. 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: 

  • Motivation letter (max 1 page)
  • CV and certificates
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work


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.


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


General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.


NTNU and NorHEAD is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.


The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.


As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.


A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.


If you have any questions about the position, please contact Anker Stubberud, telephone +4745229174, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Adviser Bente Kristin Årbogen Andersen, e-mail:


If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.

Application deadline: 04.03.2023


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.

The Department of Neuroscience and Movement Science (INB) is an ambitious department in strong development. Great diversity in medicine and health disciplines is a hallmark of the department. We give priority to social relevance and quality in both education and research.

Several of our groups of researchers and teaching staff are at the forefront of their fields in Norway and internationally. Our ambition: “Through interdisciplinary collaboration, INB creates forward-looking education and research that lead the way in improving health and function.”
Read more about the Department here:

Deadline 4th March 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service