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

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Affective Neuroscience

Deadline: 15.08.2021

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 Department of Psychology is one of seven units of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and has 75 permanent and 70 temporary members of scientific staff. Degrees are offered at bachelor and master level, plus a clinical training programme, and the PhD programme has 140 students.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Department of Psychology

Section for Methodology, Work-, Cultural-, and Social Psychology (MAKS)

Job description

Applications are invited for a 2-3 year postdoctoral research fellowship in affective neuroscience at the Leknes Affective Brain lab, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo, Norway. Start date for the position will be by latest the 1st of January, 2022.

The position is associated with the project: «How distress alters opioid drug effects and abuse liability», funded by an ERC Starting Grant. The candidate would be responsible for day-to-day management of a psychopharmacological study of the opioid and dopamine systems of the human brain.

More about the position

The major neurobiological theories of addiction highlight the role of dopamine for excessive drug wanting in substance abuse. Indeed, addiction has long been considered a disorder of the mesolimbic dopamine system, inspired by the historical view of dopamine as the brain’s pleasure substance. In recent years, a view of reward as a composite process supported by opioids, dopamine and other signaling systems has become more widespread.

Opioid and dopamine contributions to the liking and wanting of drug and social rewards nonetheless remain hotly debated. Current understanding of liking and wanting for both drug and non-drug rewards is based primarily on studies using invasive techniques in rodents. The project will use a combination of opioid and dopamine agonist and antagonist drugs to simultaneously manipulate opioid and dopamine levels in humans.

The project offers opportunities to develop unique competence in dual-drug psychopharmacology, as well as working in an ambitious yet friendly and collaborative, affective neuroscience environment. The candidate will participate in study design, data collection, analysis and publications in collaboration with an interdisciplinary team.

The fellowship will be for a period of 2-3 years. Depending on the competence of the applicant, and the needs of the Department a 10 % teaching requirement can be considered for the position. The position can be terminated no later than 30.06.2024 due to funding from the ERC regardless of the agreement regarding the 10 % teaching requirement.

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

Qualification requirements

The following qualifications will count in the assessment of the applicants:

  • Applicants must hold a PhD degree in psychology, neuroscience, medicine, or related field.
  • Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the application deadline. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • A qualified applicant should have training and experience in one or preferably several of the following areas: psychopharmacology, computational neuroscience, experimental psychology, functional imaging, advanced quantitative statistical analysis.
  • Documented experience with either psychopharmacology, functional imaging or advanced quantitative statistical analysis (e.g. multilevel/mixed models) and analysis of longitudinal or clustered (dependent) data is a requirement.
  • Extensive experience with statistical modelling, preferably in R, python or matlab. Experience with neuroimaging analysis using FSL or equivalent is strongly desired.
  • Coding skills are a strong advantage
  • Relevant and significant scientific publications, at the level of the career status of the applicant.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

In the assessment of applications, emphasis will be on:

  • The applicant’s personal suitability and motivation for the position, including enthusiasm, flexibility, curiosity and a strong ability to collaborate as part of a larger research team.
  • Previous research and interest in the above-mentioned themes, e.g. reward, addiction, dopamine, opioids.
  • Proven ability to work independently and efficiently on relevant research topics.

We offer

  • salary NOK 563 900 - 650 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • a professionally stimulating working environment
  • 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, 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.
  • Certified copies of diplomas, grade transcripts and any other testimonials.
  • 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.

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

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