University of Oslo, (UiO) - PhD Research Fellowship in Ecology/Ecotoxicology

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society.

Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) is a Centre of Excellence (CoE) based at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo. CEES combines a broad spectrum of disciplines (population biology, genomics, statistics, mathematical modelling) to foster the concept of ecology as a driving force of evolution via selective processes, with a corresponding influence of evolutionary changes on ecology. CEES has over 160 members (Professors (20), postdocs/researchers (45), PhDs (25), Master’s students (25) and technical and administrative staff) and many guest researchers. The members represent 30 nationalities and constitute a vibrant and creative research environment. CEES coordinate several international networks. The budget = 150 million NOK (about 50 externally funded research projects). CEES is chaired by Professor Nils Chr. Stenseth.

PhD Research Fellowship in Ecology/Ecotoxicology

Deadline Friday, September 15, 2017

Position as PhD Research fellow available at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) and the section for Aquatic Biology and Toxicology (AQUA), Department of Biosciences.

This PhD position is part of the project NEOPOLL: Effects of Neonicotinoids and Temperature on Crop Pollination recently funded by the Research Council of Norway.

The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with no compulsory work, or for a period of 4 years, with 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department.

Tentative starting date: January 2018.

No one can be appointed for more than one fixed-term period at the same institution.

Job/ project description:

Pollinators and the ecosystem service they provide are under threat from several environmental drivers. This PhD project will investigate sub-lethal effects of Current Use Pesticides (CUPs) (i.e. the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam) on important pollinators, namely bumblebees. There is a limited number of studies quantifying the effects of neonicotinoids, in particular in field realistic settings. Both climatic conditions and pesticides have been shown to negatively affect bumblebees, but the additive effect of these drivers have never been studied. This project will assess how climatic conditions may affect impacts of thiamethoxam on bumblebee behaviour, survival and population dynamics. A more detailed description of the work involved can be found:

The project combines knowledge from ecology, ecotoxicology, and environmental chemistry. The successful candidate will design and conduct laboratory and field studies and experiments, analyze neonicotinoid exposure and deal with large datasets on individual behavior and population dynamics.

Host institution and international partner institution

The PhD project and training will be based at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) and Aquatic Biology and Toxicology (AQUA) Section at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo. CEES is a well-funded centre of excellence for integrative biological research. It provides a stimulating research environment with many young international and Norwegian scientists working on a variety of theoretical and empirical topics within bio-economics, ecology, evolution, population genetics, genomics, phylogenetics, molecular biology, and statistical methodology. The CEES is chaired by Professor Nils Chr. Stenseth and currently employs 16 faculty members, 50 postdocs/researchers, 30 PhD students and 31 MSc students. Information about the centre can be found at

Toxicological research at AQUA aims to understand how environmental changes and stressors affect organisms and ecosystems, and how we can manage the environment and its resources. Research at AQUA is characterized by the integration of observational and experimental field studies, laboratory experiments and analyses, statistical and mechanistic modeling. The supervisor team includes both CEES and AQUA researchers, under the main supervision of Dr. Nielsen and Prof. Borgå. The supervisors both have a broad national and international network and participate in several collaborative projects. In addition, the NEOPOLL project will include close collaboration with the Centre for Agri-Environmental Research in Reading, UK, the NUI Gallway in Ireland, and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA).


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for this fellowship will be selected in accordance with this, and is expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

We kindly ask applicants to provide a numbered list in their application letter corresponding to these criteria, explaining whether and how they meet each point:

  1. A Master’s degree or equivalent in ecology, toxicology or a related field relevant to this PhD project, by the starting date in January 2018. Candidates have until January 1, 2018 to complete the final Master’s degree exam.
  2. Academic qualifications (grades and relevant research experience).
  3. background and/or strong interest in one or more of the following topics: i) ecotoxicology, ii) pollination ecology, iii) environmental science, iv) agro-ecology, and v) behavioural ecology. Experience within one or more of these topics will be considered an advantage, but applicants are not expected to have a deep knowledge covering all of them.
  4. Strong practical and analytical skills.
  5. Ability to perform extensive laboratory and fieldwork, chemical analysis and statistical data treatment.
  6. Personal suitability and motivation for the position.
  7. Good social and collaboration skills and ability to work independently and in an interdisciplinary and international scientific environment.

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see:

good command of English is required:

Fluency in Norwegian is considered an advantage with respect to teaching duties.

We offer:

  • Salary NOK 436 900 – 490 900 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow, (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

How to apply:

The application must include:

  • Application letter, including a pointwise explanation of how the applicant fits the selection criteria detailed above.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications).
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation.
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee.
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).
  • A short text that outlines the candidate´s motivation and ideas for a project within the described field of research (1-2 pages).

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact persons:

For questions regarding the recruitment system, HR Adviser Torunn Standal Guttormsen, phone: +47 22854272, email:

Apply for this job

Søknadsfrist: 15.09.2017

Kontakt: Dr. Anders Nielsen (Researcher)
Telefon: +47 22844159

Kontakt 2: Professor Katrine Borgå
Telefon: +47 228599156