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Postdoctoral fellow to develop computer simulation packages for gene editing in animal breeding programs

Deadline: 10.10.2020

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a special responsibility for research and education that ensures the basis of life for future generations.

Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we provide knowledge for life.

NMBU has 1700 employees and 5200 students and is organized in seven faculties. NMBU has a campus in Ås and in Oslo. In 2021 we are co-located on Ås.

Further information on NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

About The Faculty of Biosciences

The Faculty of Biosciences (BIOVIT) is organized into two departments: Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences and Department of Plant Sciences. The main objective of the Faculty of Biosciences is to contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture and food production systems through basic and applied research on plants and animals including fish (aquaculture). The faculty houses Centre for Integrative Genetics (CIGENE), the research center for Research-based Innovation (SFI) – Foods of Norway, the Imaging Centre and the National Centre for Urban Agriculture.

The faculty is responsible for bachelor- and master programmes in Biology, Animal Science and Plant Science, and international master programmes in Genome Science, Agroecology, Plant Science, Aquaculture, Animal Breeding Genetics and Feed Manufacturing Technology. PhD programmes include Animal Science and Aquaculture, and Plant Sciences. There are currently 480 bachelor and master students, and 90 PhD students, enrolled in these programmes. The faculty has approximately 220 permanent and temporary scientific employees, including technicians, and 18 administrative positions.

The position is in the Animal Breeding and Genetics group. Currently, the group has 5 Professors, 2 Postdocs, 8 Researchers, approximately 10 PhD students, 2 Professor II (10 or 20 %) and frequent visiting scientists coming to work alongside members of the group, in addition to BSc and MSc students. The group is internationally renowned for its innovation and cutting-edge work on genomic selection, and for promoting, establishing and improving breeding schemes in the dairy cattle, pig, sheep, and farmed salmon sectors. NordGen and Norwegian breeding organisations: Geno, Norsvin, Norsk Sau og Geit, and AquaGen, are colocalized with the group, with altogether 15-20 researchers

Do you enjoy programming computer simulation packages in the bioinformatics field related to animal breeding?

About the position

The Department of Animal and Aquacultural Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant 2-year postdoctoral position related to the development of a computer simulation package to compare alternative gene-editing programs. The postdoctoral position is part of the project ‘Gene editing for elucidating gene function and refining genomic selection for CMS resistance in Atlantic salmon’ financed by the Norwegian Research Council (grant no. 294504) and led by NOFIMA.

The successful candidate will develop and validate computer simulation packages for the evaluation of alternative gene-editing strategies in Atlantic salmon. Next to gene editing, the strategies encompass large scale genomic predictions, i.e. the development of highly efficient computer code is crucial. The alternative strategies will be compared for their accuracy and efficiency in delivering the desired genetic improvements in Atlantic salmon.

Main tasks

The main tasks of the postdoc are:

  • Develop a computer simulation package that is generally applicable to numerous alternative gene-editing programs
  • Test and validate the computer simulation package
  • Write comprehensible documentation for the package
  • Design alternative gene-editing programs for the genetic improvement of Atlantic salmon
  • Compare alternative designs using the developed package
  • Publish the results in peer-reviewed scientific journals

The main purpose of the postdoctoral position is to qualify for work in high-level scientific positions. A PhD degree is required.


Required academic qualifications

  • A PhD in animal breeding and genetics or similar
  • Excellence in Fortran90 and/or Julia computer programming
  • Documented experience in the development of computer simulation packages
  • Expert knowledge regarding genomic predictions
  • Expertise in bioinformatics and the use of genomics data
  • Experience in the validation of predictions from computer softwares

The following experience and skills will be emphasized:

  • Excellence in other computer programming languages
  • Knowledgeable about genes of interest to aquaculture breeding
  • Experienced in the handling of multi-omics data
  • Excellence in the development of automated computational pipelines
  • Experience with respect to the writing of user-friendly code and writing documentation for this code

To be successful, you will need:

  • Good collaborative and communicative skills
  • The ability to exploit scientific synergies within and across the gene-editing and animal breeding research fields
  • To be an enthusiastic, motivated and committed team-player
  • Excellent scientific writing skills

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow, wage framework 24 (salary grade 59-77) (NOK 523.200-741.300), depending on qualifications. Seniority Promotion in position.

For further information, please contact:

information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 10th October 2020

Up to ten publications selected by the applicant as most relevant must be attached to the application. In addition, a computer program print-out or an (open-source) link to such software should be attached.

If it is difficult to identify the contribution of the applicant due to multiple-author ships, a short explanation about the applicant’s part of the work is required.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Biosciences, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 10th October 2020. Please quote reference number 20/03584.

Applicants invited for an interview will be asked to present verified copies of diplomas and certificates.

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