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Doctoral Research Fellowship at Centre for Precision Psychiatry

Deadline: 12.06.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Institute of Clinical Medicine (Klinmed) is one of three institutes under the Faculty. Klinmed is responsible for the Faculty's educational and research activities at Oslo University Hospital and Akershus University Hospital. With about 800 employees spread over approximately 425 man-labour years, Klinmed is the university's largest institute. Our activities follow the clinical activity at the hospitals and are spread across a number of geographical areas.

Job description

At the Centre for Precision Psychiatry, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, there is a doctoral research fellowship position available. The Centre runs a series of multidisciplinary studies involving hospital departments in Oslo and several research groups at the University of Oslo. The main goal is to develop tools and knowledge for precision medicine in psychiatry, building on advanced statistical methods for analysis of large-scale human genetic and neuroimaging data, to better understand how biological, psychological, and environmental factors contribute to severe mental and neuropsychiatric disorders, their treatment, and outcomes.

The Centre has access to a large database of biomarkers, clinical, and cognitive variables, genotyping and sequencing data, and MRI brain imaging data on patients with neuropsychiatric and severe mental disorders. In addition, we actively collaborate with large international consortia, particularly the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC), the ENIGMA consortium, and the European Alzheimer's Disease DNA BioBank (EADB). The Centre also has access to the data from a broad range of national and international studies, including the Norwegian population cohorts (e.g., MoBa), the UK Biobank, and the ABCD and ADNI studies.

For more information, check here.

More about the position

The current position is part of the AgeCare project which aims to enable the municipality health service to meet the increasing demand for early diagnosis of dementia and position the Norwegian healthcare sector for emerging treatment alternatives. A central part of the project is to develop and validate multimodal prediction algorithms for Alzheimer’s disease using genetics, neuroimaging, biomarkers, and results from cognitive tests. To achieve this goal, the researcher hired for this PhD position will work with the Centre’s datasets, analytical methodology, and computational tools, including state-of-the-art data storage and research infrastructure, hosted at the USIT TSD service.

The role of the PhD fellow will be to (1) develop and apply machine learning techniques and statistical analyses, including Cox Proportional Hazard models and polygenic hazard scoring, to fit and validate prediction models; (2) perform quality control and imputation of genotype data, as well as pre-processing of neuroimaging data from relevant datasets, including Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative and DemGene; (3) coordinate phenotype database of several DemGene studies using REDCap, and to integrate existing dataset with ongoing data collection. Additionally, the PhD fellow will collaborate with clinicians and biologists for interpretation of the results and for practical implementation of the developed Alzheimer's disease prediction tools. complete the project

The position is funded for three years and is available from August 1st, 2024.

The research fellow must take part in the Faculty’s approved PhD program and is expected to within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The applicant must, in collaboration with her/his supervisor, within 2 months after employment, have worked out a complete project description to be attached to the application for admission to the doctoral program. For more information, please see our web site

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants are required to have a master’s degree in computer science, engineering, informatics, mathematics or equivalent.
  • Applicants should have experience with handling of large-scale human genotype data (quality control, imputation, and polygenic analysis) and experience with pre-processing and analysis of neuroimaging MRI data.
  • Excellent skills in programming and scripting languages (Python/R/Matlab and bash) as well as a strong command of oral and written English is also required.
  • It is an advantage if applicants have experience applying machine learning or statistical analysis for large datasets in a research setting, ideally from clinical or population studies. Knowledge of containers (Docker/Singularity/Podman), using databases or tools such as REDCap, experience with conducting research in Linux systems (RHEL, CentOS, or similar) using high-performance computing (HPC) and SLURM/SGE queuing systems will also be an advantage.

  • The project will include working with HPC systems for handling sensitive individual-level human data, and practical experience with such tasks will be an added value.

  • Overall background in applied mathematics and statistics and experience with working in a multidisciplinary team will also be considered as advantage.

Personal skills

We seek a motivated candidate with excellent problem-solving and communication skills, technical background, and specific competences in statistical genetics and neuroimaging.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – NOK 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position 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 motivation for applying for the position
  • CV (summarizing education, relevant work experience etc.)
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • Contact details of 2-3 references

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).

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the eventually “project description” and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. The best qualified candidates will be invited for interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of 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.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

  • Professor Ole Andreassen, phone +47 99038893, o.a.andreassen@medisin.uio.no,
  • Assoc. Prof. Oleksandr Frei. Phone +47 41794331, oleksandr.frei@medisin.uio.no

Questions regarding the online application form can be directed to Senior HR Adviser Thoril Kristiansen, email: thoril.kristiansen@medisin.uio.no

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