Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences  - Postdoc position in diagnostics of antimicrobial resistance: Bioinformatics and machine learning

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences will build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will make an impact regionally, across Norway, and internationally.

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences is home to over 13 000 students, 1000 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

Postdoc position in diagnostics of antimicrobial resistance: Bioinformatics and machine learning

Deadline Monday, April 30, 2018

Department of Biotechnology at INN University invites applications from outstanding candidates for a two and a half year (with possibility of extension) postdoc fellowship within the project AMR-Diag: A Novel Diagnostic Tool for Sequence Based Prediction of Antimicrobial Resistance, which has been recently funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN), Better Health and Quality of Life (BEDREHELSE) programme.

The project leader of AMR-Diag, associate professor Rafi Ahmad is the leader of the Bioinformatics research group at INN.

AMR-Diag is a joint Indo-Norwegian researcher project on antimicrobial resistance, following up the bilateral agreement of Science and Technology between India and Norway, and the Memorandum of Understanding on health research between the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). ICMR and RCN have issued a call for proposals for collaborative research projects within the field of antimicrobial resistance.

The selected candidate will work in close collaboration with researchers, PhD’s and PostDoc’s from Norwegian and Indian partners.

AMR-Diag project summary and objectives

The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistant (ABR) bacteria is defined as a global health problem by the World Health organisation (WHO). The situation is at its gravest in low and middle-income countries (including India), where antibiotic consumption is high and largely unregulated. In Europe, an estimated 25,000 patients die annually from ABR bacteria. Treating resistant infections results in extra costs and productivity losses, for e.g., in USA an estimated $21 - $34 billion and in Europe €1.5 billion annually. Despite Norway having amongst the lowest use of antibiotics in all of Europe, there has been a recent increase in reported cases for various ABR infections.

Lack of rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests is central to this problem, as studies show that up to 70% of antibiotics are prescribed incorrectly. This is due to physicians not being able to diagnose patients accurately in real-time, leading to prescription of antibiotics for viral infections, or prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics that should ideally be kept in reserve.

Taking advantage of the advances in whole genome sequencing, bioinformatics and machine learning methods we plan to develop a decision-making tool, for the detection of bacterial infection, including its resistance profile. The developed tool will be evaluated on clinical samples from hospitals in India and Norway. AMR-Diag tool will be designed for use by doctors and other health care professionals, providing information needed in order to choose the best treatment. Thereby, resulting in more prudent and appropriate use of antibiotics.

The AMR-Diag project includes national reference centres and lead institutions of AMR research in Norway and India, as well as prominent international collaborators. The proposed AMR-Diag project collaboration will strengthen the already on-going research activities in each involved research group and contribute significant to added value to these on-going activities. Project partners include:

Norwegian partners: Oslo University Hospital (Ullevål), Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) and National Advisory Unit on Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance (K-res);

Indian partners: All India Institute of Medical Sciences - Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi and Indian Council of Medical Research;

International partners: European Bioinformatics Institute, University of Oxford, Uppsala University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.


At the time of taking up the appointment, the applicant should have completed an PhD degree in the areas of bioinformatics, computational biology, computer science or another relevant scientific discipline.

Required qualifications

  • Experience in advanced machine learning/deep learning methods including Neural Networks like Self Organizing Maps (SOM)
  • Exposure to large scale data analysis, preferably genome sequence data
  • Fluency in programming languages, preferably C/C++ and scripting in Python/Perl

Desired qualifications

  • Knowledge about antibiotic resistance biology
  • Experience with algorithm and/or software development
  • Mathematical or statistical modelling in biological data
  • Hands-on experience with shell script and Linux system

The candidate will also have to demonstrate an excellent level of spoken and written English, possess good interpersonal and communication skills and show willingness to work as part of an international multidisciplinary team.

We offer

The postdoctoral position will be placed in an interval of NOK 527 500,- -569 000,- per year depending on qualifications. Previous work experience will be taken into account when deciding placement on the salary scale. For especially qualified candidate higher remuneration may be considered. Personal insurance is included. A percentage of the salary will be deducted each month as an obligatory premium to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. In addition, there is a matching contribution from the employer to the pension fund.

In addition, we offer

  • Access to state of the art bioinformatics infrastructure, including access to Norwegian supercomputer.
  • An academically stimulating work environment with engaging colleagues in a critical, expanding and prioritized area of research.
  • Working in a multidisciplinary team including bioinformaticians, computer scientists, medical doctors, micro- and molecular biologists.
  • Working in a bilateral Indo-Norwegian project with huge potential.
  • Work in collaboration with PhD students and PostDocs from India.
  • Working on an area critical for public health worldwide.
  • Short stays at partner institutions in India and potentially other partner institutions.
  • An attractive place to live, with immediate access to nature, urban environments and a variety of culture and sport opportunities.
  • Good welfare benefits.

Appointment Conditions

The appointment will be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning Norwegian State Employees and Civil Servants.

Further information

For more information about the position please contact

Associate Professor Rafi Ahmad, Ph.D.,

+47 62 51 78 45

Head of Department, Øyvind Antonsen, Ph.D.

+47 62 51 78 72

Applications should be addressed to Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. In the advertisement on the University’s web site,, there is a link to the forms that the applicants should use.

Reference no. for the position: 18/01405

Apply for position

Søknadsfrist: 30.04.2018

Kontakt: Associate Professor Rafi Ahmad (Ph.D.)
Telefon: +47 62 51 78 45

Kontakt 2: Øyvind Antonsen (Head of Department, Ph.D)
Telefon: +47 62 51 78 72