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

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Genomics

Deadline: 16.09.2021

Universitetet i Oslo

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 research centre and a section 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 180 members (Professors (20), postdocs/researchers (60), PhDs (35), Master’s students (40) 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 = 170 million NOK (about 55 externally funded research projects). CEES successfully completed its 10 year status of Centre of Excellence (CoE) in 2017.

Job description

Position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in genomics is available at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.

The appointment is for a period of 4 years with 25 % of the time devoted to compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department). A 4-year appointment will be contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department.

Starting date no later than October 1, 2021.

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

Postdoctoral fellows who are appointed for a period of four years are expected to acquire basic pedagogical competency in the course of their fellowship period within the duty component of 25 %.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

We are searching for a highly motivated person with a documented track record in genomics and experience with relevant bioinformatic methods. Experience with analyses of whole genome data and length variation in short tandem repeats will be seen as a benefit.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will form part of a team appointed on the project entitled “Evolutionary and functional importance of simple repeats in the genome” funded by the Research council of Norway through the FRIPRO program and UiO (“Fellesløftet”) as a selected frontier research proposal. This project is led by professor Kjetill S. Jakobsen and Associate professor Melinka Butenko forming an interdisciplinary team in genomics and molecular biology. The project is a collaboration between CEES and the section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology (EVOGENE).

The project focuses on functional and evolutionary significance of short tandem repeats (STRs). STRs consisting of repetitive DNA motifs have been shown to regulate gene expression and protein function consequently affecting the phenotype of an organism. STRs may be extremely variable in length within a population, and serve as a heritable, but semi-reversible, reservoir of standing genetic variation. For sessile organisms, such as plants, STRs could be of major importance for adaptation to a shifting environment. Furthermore, STRs may be important for adaptive processes in other groups such as vertebrates, invertebrates and microorganisms. The project has been initiated by utilizing the Arabidopsis seed collection from the 1001 genomes project . The project will continue on the Arabidopsis seed collection and selected natural accessions, but will also be widened to include other selected species as well (e.g. Atlantic cod where around 1000 genomes from various populations and ecotypes exist). The ultimate goal is to understand the functional significance of STR length variation in plants, animals and microbes. The successful candidate will utilize bioinformatic tools for functional and evolutionary analyses of STR variation.

The project has international collaborators and research visits to collaborating partners will be encouraged.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among the leading communities for research, education and innovation in Europe. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in genomics. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis prior to the public defense, or with a public defended thesis are eligible for appointment.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • The successful applicant must have experience with STR analyses on whole genomes using state-of-the-art tools such as HipSTR, gene expression modelling and genetic-environmental association analyses.
  • A good overview of the genomic resources available of the model A. thaliana.
  • Previous experience with projects related to stress adaptation will be seen as an advantage.
  • Documented bioinformatics skills (statistics and modelling in Python/R, shell scripting and work on high-performance computing clusters)

We offer

  • salary NOK 534 400 – 615 800 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • a professionally stimulating working environment
  • postdoctoral development plans
  • 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, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Copies of educational certificates, academic transcript of records
  • A complete list of publications and up to 5 academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • A short outlook for the future direction of the project (a project description of max 1 page).
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)
  • Letters of recommendation (optional)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. 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).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged. It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow 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.

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 further information please contact:

For questions regarding the recruitment system please contact: HR adviser Nina Holtan, phone +47 22854424, e-mail: [email protected].

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