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PhD Research Fellow in zoo-archaeology and ancient DNA

Deadline: 28.02.2023

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.

Department of Biosciences (IBV) is one of nine departments at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Research in the department is organised in five sections covering topics within biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, genetics, aquatic biology, toxicology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Education across these topics is offered for around 350 bachelor, 250 master, and 120 PhD students. With 52 permanent professors/associate professors, post-docs, researchers, technical, and administrative personnel, the Department has a total staff of 340 from more than 30 different countries. The Department aims to maintain high international standards within both research and teaching. The new bachelor program in bioscience is the first of its kind to include programming and computational modelling as core elements.

Job description

Position as PhD Research Fellow in zoo-archaeology and ancient DNA available at Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES), Department of Biosciences (IBV), Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

Starting date 14 august 2023 and no later than the 1st of october 2023. No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

The fellowship period is 3 years.

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

The PhD fellow will be part of the interdisciplinary project “SAVECAVE: baselines for conservation from threatened cave archives” funded by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences sustainability initiative. In this project we will compile an extensive record of Holocene palaeobiological and archaeological cave material from Fennoscandia based on catalogued and newly excavated sub-fossil material, in order to refine the chronology of Fennoscandian faunal dynamics in response to Holocene human activity. Faunal material will be identified using both osteological analyses and bulk-bone metabarcoding to maximise taxonomic resolution. Prehistoric succession and dynamics of community composition with specific focus on currently red listed taxa will be evaluated. Communication of the scientific importance and fragility of Nordic cave environments with their faunal remains and artefacts is an important part of the project, with the ultimate goal to provide a rationale for strengthened conservation management and legislation for caves and associated contexts.

The SAVECAVE project is a collaboration between the CEES (IBV, University of Oslo) and the University Museum of Bergen. The SAVECAVE PhD fellow will also work closely with members of the EvoCave project.

Host institution

The Department of Biosciences is the largest unit of biological research in Norway, working on a broad range of theoretical and empirical topics within ecology and evolution at all scales from genomes to ecosystems.

The Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) provides a stimulating research environment with international and Norwegian scientists working on a variety of theoretical and empirical topics within ecology, evolution, population genetics, genomics, phylogenetics, molecular biology, and statistical methodology. Information about the centre can be found at: www.cees.uio.no. At CEES, the candidate will be part of the Archaeogenomics group with more than ten postdocs/PhDs/MSc who work with similar methodology, forming a collaborative and stimulating research environment.

More about the position

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see:

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. 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.

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in zoo-archaeology, palaeozoology, evolutionary biology or a similar subject. Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system.
  • Candidates should be interested in and comfortable with doing fieldwork
  • Experience with DNA laboratory methods, zoo-archaeology and strong computational and/or statistical skills are considered important qualifications
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2023 to complete the final exam.

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • the average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • the Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

Personal skills

We seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic person with the ambition to gain insight and publish papers in leading, international journals, with strong interpersonal skills and the capability to work in close collaboration with others. Experience with and/or a strong interest in working interdisciplinary is considered an advantage.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 501 200 – 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter including a statement of interest, briefly summarizing your scientific work and interests, and a personal assessment focusing on how you fit the description of the person we seek
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency (applies for non-EU citizens)
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone 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.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

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 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

For further information please contact: Sanne Boessenkool, phone: +47 45678770, e-mail: sanne.boessenkool@ibv.uio.no

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Nina Holtan, e-mail: nina.holtan@mn.uio.no.

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