Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

3-year postdoctoral position in statistics and/or bioinformatics

Deadline: 02.06.2021

Job description

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 Basic Medical Sciences overall objective is to promote basic medical knowledge in order to understand normal processes, provide insight into mechanisms that cause illness, and promote good health. The Institute is responsible for teaching in basic medical sciences for the programmes of professional study in medicine and the Master's programme in clinical nutrition. The Institute has more than 300 employees and is located in Domus Medica.

Applications are invited for a 3-year postdoctoral position in statistics and/or bioinformatics at the Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology (OCBE), Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo.

The researcher will develop and apply methods in statistics, bioinformatics and/or machine learning to study the deterioration of quality of life of head and neck cancer patient survivors after surgery. The project is part of a Horizon2020 project funded by the European Union, “BD4QoL, Big Data Models and Intelligent tools for Quality of Life monitoring and participatory environment of Head and Neck Cancer survivors”

The project is founded around a large and internationally unique collection of data from several European clinical trials, which the researcher will study retrospectively, and a very exciting prospective clinical trial where a smart-clock based monitoring of some patients will be performed in Italy. The researcher will be responsible for the data management, the bioinformatics and statistical analysis, to contribute important insight to the field, supported by publications in leading scientific journals. Incomplete data, imprecise harmonization across trials, complex interactions, non-linear effects, and explainability of algorithms, represent some of the methodological challenges.

The postdoctoral research fellow will be employed in a 100% 3-year position at OCBE. OCBE has eight professors, five associate professors, fifteen researchers, many post-doctoral fellows and PhD students, making up a group of about 80 scientists. OCBE is internationally recognized, with interests spanning a broad range of areas (including time-to-event models, data integration, causal inference, statistical genomics, Bayesian inference, stochastic simulation algorithms, probabilistic graphical models, machine learning, evolution and population genetics, informative missingness and measurement error models, epidemiological studies of lifestyle and chronic diseases, stochastic models for infectious diseases, high dimensional data and models) and numerous collaborations with leading bio-medical research groups internationally and in Norway. In the last national research evaluation, OCBE was judged as excellent by an international committee. OCBE has a leading role in the centre of excellence for research-based innovation BigInsight, a consortium of academic, industrial and public partners, with a funding of about 4 mil Euro annually until 2023. Furthermore, OCBE hosts the ERC Advanced Grant of Professor Corander (Scalable inference algorithms for Bayesian evolutionary epidemiology) and several further important projects in the areas of digital life sciences, systems medicine, statistical methods for biobank, health survey and registry data, causal inference and mathematical oncology. Professor Arnoldo Frigessi will have the responsibility for the researcher. Frigessi develops innovative stochastic models and inferential methods to carefully represent fundamental principles, basic dynamics, intricate patterns of dependence and known mechanisms of life science systems, to be understood or predicted. The researcher will be affiliated also with the University of Oslo centre for bioinformatics that constitutes our hub of bioinformatics and computational biology, with competence spanning from precision medicine through all aspects of genomics, regardless of species and populations, through to protein structure. The centre is led by Professor Eivind Hovig. He has pioneered network approaches to study genetic information in cancer by text mining, and his current research is in reproducible computational research, precision oncology, synergistic drug prediction, heritable cancer genetics and genomics of various cancer types, and whole genome sequencing. The project will benefit from the collaboration with dr. Marissa LeBlanc and a second researcher, in addition to the international partners of BD4QoL.

More about the position

The project requires competence in several directions, but we do not expect that candidates have all competences already. Although being mostly active in one area, the candidate should have a clear interest in all three areas:

  • bioinformatics
  • experience with working with data from human subjects, with understanding of anonymization issues, clinical epidemiology, randomized clinical trials, observational studies
  • statistics

The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a PhD degree in statistics, computer science or biostatistics, or other disciplines with documented experience in bioinformatics or statistics. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the application deadline. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • Experience with genomic data sets is an advantage, but not necessary.
  • Experience with machine learning algorithms is an advantage, but not necessary.
  • Documented programming skills in R, python, MatLab, C, C++ or equivalent are necessary.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English, which is the working language in the project and OCBE.
  • Experience in head and neck cancer research is not expected.

Personal skills

  • The candidate must express genuine interest in developing and applying statistical, bioinformatics and/or machine learning methodology to outstanding medical research questions.
  • The candidate is used to work in interdisciplinary teams and has excellent communication skills.
  • The candidate has shown the ability to work independently and efficiently.

We offer

  • Salary is NOK 526 000 - 586 500 per annum depending on qualifications as a postdoctoral research fellow (position code 1352)
  • Access to unique data and competence.
  • A friendly, professional and stimulating international working environment.
  • Access to a network of top level national and international collaborators.

How to apply

The application must include

  • A personal cover letter, stating motivations for this position and research interests
  • A CV with full education, positions, academic experiences, details on PhD thesis, detailed computational skills and a list of publications
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • 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. 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 as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

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.

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

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

Contact information

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