Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

PhD Research Fellowship in Paleontology

Deadline: 13.02.2022

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 Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway’s most comprehensive natural history collection. For more than 200 years, specimens of animals, fungi, plants, rocks, minerals and fossils have been collected, studied and preserved in the collections. The research facility, offices and collections for paleontology are situated at Økern while the museum exhibits are located in the old buildings in the Botanical Garden.

Natural History Museum

Job description

Applications are invited for a 4 year position in a Research Fellowship as a PhD Candidate in Vertebrate paleontology to be based at the Natural History museum, Økern facility, University of Oslo. Project title:"The faunal recovery and niche partitioning during the first five million years after the largest extinction in geological history".

This project will examine fossil material, collected by NHM researchers, from fossiliferous layers at three time-intervals from the Early Triassic of Svalbard. These three layers; the Fish Level, Grippia Level and Lower Saurian Level, record the rapid recovery of the marine ecosystem on Svalbard after the Permian Triassic mass extinction (PTME). The material is held in the collections at NHM-Økern (40.000+ fossils). The project will give essential knowledge for understanding the recovery mechanics of trophic levels in marine ecosystems after mass extinctions. Teeth are by far the most common fossil type from the three bone bed layers and will be the focus of this project. This PhD project will estimate the composition of the vertebrate ecosystem based on dentition and compare the different bone beds. The morphotypes will be compared using ordination and unsupervised machine learning methods to show the variation in disparity in the bone bed layers and allow comparison through time after the PTME. This will allow us to estimate the recovery of different trophic levels over time. PTME biotic recovery is a ‘hot-topic’ with considerable potential for high-impact publication output.

The supervision will mainly be done by Dr. Aubrey Roberts, Prof Jørn H. Hurum and Prof Øyvind Hammer at the museum. International collaborators for this project will include: Dr. Benjamin Kear (Uppsala University), Dr. Davide Foffa (Virginia Tech/National Museum of Scotland), Dr. Tom Challands (University of Edinburgh).

The laboratories, collections and office facilities that will be utilized for this project are located at NHM Økern. This includes the fossil preparation lab, the acid lab, the CT+SEM lab, the rock slicing and polishing lab and the microscope room.

More about the position

The fellowship period is up to 4 years, with 3 years devoted to research education. The position entails a compulsory work load of 25% that will give curatorial, teaching and outreach competence. It consists of three main parts:1. Maintenance of the database and curating the old exhibition collection still unpacked from the move to Økern (museal competence and conservation skills)2. Teaching parts of GEO 4212 Paleozoology and GEO 3030 Evolution of Life (teaching skills).3. Maintenance and development of the Spitsbergen Mesozoic Research Group website (www.nhm.uio.no/pliosaurus) and participant in large outreach activities at the museum (outreach skills).

The position requires admission to the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD program must be submitted no later than two months after taking up the position. The PhD program includes completion of 30 ECTS credits of mandatory and elective courses.

The candidate is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the PhD position is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree

For more information see this link and this link.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) in vertebrate paleontology or an equivalent qualification in vertebrate paleobiology, minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The Master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS.
  • A good command of English is required

Desirable qualifications:

  • Computational skills in using ordination and unsupervised machine learning methods such as PAST
  • Knowledge of laboratory work with histology, microscopy and SEM on fossil material.
  • Knowledge in Computed X-ray microtomography with segmentation in Avizo
  • Knowledge of a Scandinavian language.
  • Documented field experience from palaeontological or archaeological excavations

Personal skills

  • Enthusiastic about the subject and a personal drive
  • Likes to work with others to reach a common goal
  • Can also work well independently
  • Can collaborate with people from other subjects
  • Has good communication skills
  • Is structured and systematic
  • Takes initiative and is solution orientated
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility and ability to meet deadlines

We offer

  • Salary NOK 491 200 – 534 400 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

  • cover letter statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • documentation of english proficiency
  • a complete list of publications and academic works
  • list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

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 cover letter and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Shortlisted applicants will be called in for an 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. We also want to have employees with diverse expertise, combinations of subjects, life experience and perspectives. We will make adjustments for employees who require this.

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser Thomas Brånå, e-mail: [email protected]

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