spring 2021
BIO-8604 Marine bioprospecting and bioactive compounds for health - 5 ECTS

Last changed 19.01.2021

Application deadline

PhD students at UiT apply for a seat by registering for classes in StudentWeb before 15 December. The registration starts 15 November.

Other applicants apply for admission through SøknadsWeb before 1. December. Application code 9301. For applicants who are granted a seat, a study right will be created, and these applicants  apply for a seat by registering for classes in StudentWeb before 15 December.

The study right gives the applicant admission to register to other open PhD courses or apply for a seat to PhD courses where entry is limited.

Students must also register for the workshop and the conference 9-11 March 2021 (http://bioprosp.com/). The due date for early bird registration will be announced on the conference Web pages.

Type of course

The Ph.D. course is multidisciplinary and can be taken independently from a degree program. This course is operates in collaboration with the Bioprosp_2021 conference; hence all enrolled students must register and attend the conference and the PhD preconference  Workshop (at the conference site).

Admission requirements

Maximum number of participants: 20

The applicants must document that they are registered this semester at their home university or at a minimum, document that they have finished a Master degree. External students must remember to upload certified documentation of education, and if relevant, documentation of their status as a PhD student to SøknadsWeb. Confirmation of student status should be from student administration office of your home university. Confirmation from your supervisor or copy of award letter is not considered valid documentation.

Early bird registration for the Conference is December 20th, 2020. Contact Klara Stensvåg (klara.stensvag@uit.no) for information about the course and deadlines.

Course content

This PhD course is multidisciplinary and suited for students with broad scientific background. It will be a mixture of preconference lectures prior of the conference (digital and physical Monday before the conference), a preconference workshop, seminars, and discussions. The Conference Bioprosp_2021 and the pre-conference is part of the course. The exam lecture will be given on the day after the conference. The topics covered in the course are:

  • Marine bioresources available for drug discovery and bioprospecting
  • The Marine biodiscovery pipeline
  • Overview of different methods used in drug discovery, spanning from bioassay guided purifications, genetic approaches and virtual approaches
  • Different techniques and approaches; how to purify components, determine the structure of natural products and measure bioactivity for instance in high throughput screening
  • Challenges and case studies of  hit and lead discovery
  • Legal aspects of marine bioprospecting
  • PhD pre-conference workshop in systems biology
  • Presentations given at the conference (see program)
  • Exam presentations given on a topic of the course (title must be approved prior of the conference start).

The committee coordinating the course, in collaboration with Bioprosp_2021 is; Professor Klara Stensvåg (UiT), Professor Tor Haug (UiT), Professor Bengt Erik Haug (UiB), Associate Professor Hans Christopher Bernstein (UiT).https://www.tekna.no/kurs/bioprosp_21-38444/Speakers/?info=110912

Lectureres at the conference will also give presentations at the course.

The detailed schedule of the course will be presented later in autumn 2020. 

Objectives of the course

A candidate who has completed his or her qualification should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • Describe different bioprospecting methods
  • Have basic knowledge over multiple possibilities for marine bioprospecting and have an overview of challenges and approaches to overcome them


  • Critically evaluate and choose experimental methods common to  bioprospecting
  • Identify and communicate around novel natural products, structures, bioactivities and ways to evaluate the potential use
  • Apply multidisciplinary knowledge of biology, analytical chemistry and biochemistry to the development of novel products from natural sources

General competence

  • Demonstrate analytical thinking by critically evaluating a scientific article, proposing possible research questions, and designing suitable research strategies for marine bioprospecting

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

  • The Bioprosp_2021 conference, to be held March 9-11th 2021, will provide professional quality research and technical content to the students.
  • The course will be held from mid-February (digitally), the week of the conference (week 10; preferably physical), and the exam on the day after the conference.
  • The course will include both seminars and a PhD preconference workshop.

There will be a mixture of lectures, seminars, the preconference workshop and the conference itself.


Students will be assessed based on an individual oral presentation given on a pre-set subject, linked to an aspect of marine bioprospecting and relevant for the course. The final evaluation will be either pass or fail.

Coursework requirement: The title must be prepared and approved before the conference starts. 

Re-sit: A re-sit exam will be arranged next semester.


  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 5
  • Course code: BIO-8604
  • Undersider