PhD fellowship in subcellular computational physiology

Deadline: 15.05.2023

PhD fellowship in subcellular computational physiology available through the SUURPh international training programme

Simula Research Laboratory seeks applicants for a PhD position offered as part of a larger collaborative PhD programme between Simula, the University of Oslo (UiO), and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). This programme has been named SUURPh (the Simula-UiO-UCSD Research and PhD training programme), and more details can be found on the programme home page. You can read about ongoing SUURPh projects here.

The PhD project is titled “Mechanochemical interplay underlying human performance: computational modeling of skeletal muscle signaling and mechanics in response to exercise” and a detailed project description can be found here. Understanding how skeletal muscle responds to exercise is a fundamental problem in human physiology, health, and disease. The overarching project objective is to integrate proteomic/metabolic studies with the mechanics of myofiber stretch to develop quantitative relationships between exercise and myofiber remodeling. More specifically, we aim to design, develop and apply a multiscale mechanochemical modeling framework for predicting deformation of myofibers in response to different types of exercise. All SUURPh projects fall within the scope of computational biology and medicine. Thus, Simula is seeking motivated and independent students from a wide range of training backgrounds, but particularly with a strong working knowledge in computational or applied mathematics to take up this doctoral fellowship.

The duration of SUURPh doctoral fellowships can be 3 or 4 years, and the time of initiation may vary but can be as early as 1 September 2023. All Simula-based SUURPh fellows will be enrolled as PhD students at the University of Oslo Mathematics and Natural Sciences Faculty.

As a SUURPh fellow at Simula you will work closely with your primary SUURPh supervisors in Oslo and at UCSD, and undertake coursework and training related to computational biology and medicine. The majority of work will be focused on computational approaches to major questions in biology and medicine. As such, development of mathematical and computational techniques for analysing and reducing complex experimental data will be a common application for SUURPh fellows, as will be development of complex and sometimes large numerical simulations of biological or medical systems.

Teamwork is an important feature of the Simula working environment, and all SUURPh fellows will be expected to conduct themselves in an engaged and participatory way with their peers and colleagues at Simula.

An additional unique feature of the SUURPh programme is that SUURPh fellows will be required to conduct a portion of their doctoral research in San Diego. As such, all applicants should be prepared and eager to spend a portion of their degree (generally 6 months – 1 year) at UCSD.

It is strongly recommended that applicants have a working background in programming and the mathematical/quantitative sciences.

Beyond these general recommendations, the following requirements apply:

  1. Completion of Masters in an appropriate field for the project of interest
  2. Suitable academic performance in Masters and undergraduate coursework (grade minima: “C” average during BSc, “B” average during MSc, according to the Norwegian grading system).
  3. Strong quantitative and analytical skills
  4. Experience in developing software or analysis tools for biological or medical applications is an advantage
  5. Good knowledge of the scientific field addressed by the project of interest is desirable
  6. Good communication and interpersonal skills are necessary

Simula offers:

  • An excellent environment and outstanding opportunities for performing high quality research as part of a highly competent, motivated and enthusiastic team of researchers and engineers.
  • An informal and inclusive international working environment
  • Brand new office facilities located in the heart of Oslo with an extensive public transport network within a few minutes walk and a vibrant city life right outside the office door steps.
  • A competitive salary, with a starting range of NOK 501.200
  • Generous support for travel and opportunities to build international networks, through established collaborations with industry, exchange programs and research visits with other universities, and funding to attend conferences.
  • Numerous other benefits: access to company cabins, BabyBonus arrangements, sponsored social events, generous equipment budgets (e.g., computer, phone and subscription), subsidized canteen meals and comprehensive travel/health insurance policy, etc.
  • Relocation assistance: accommodation, visas, complimentary Norwegian language courses, etc.
  • Administrative research support: e.g., quality assurance process for grant proposals (including RCN and EU programs).
  • Wellness and work-life balance. Our employees’ health and well-being is a priority and we encourage them to make use of Simula’s flexible work arrangements to help balance their work and home lives efficiently.

Application requirements:

To apply for this SUURPh doctoral fellowship hosted at Simula you will need to provide:

  1. A cover letter summarising the candidate’s background and motivation for this particular project.
  2. Curriculum vitae, listing contact information, education, prior research experience and specific research project involvement, and any publication of conference contributions or scientific papers.
  3. Copies of BSc and MSc diplomas and transcripts.
  4. At least one letter of reference, and contact information (name, current position, relation to the candidate, phone and email) for up to 3 academic and research-oriented referees.
  5. For non-native English speakers, proof of competency with English is required. Standardised test results or completion of a University degree in an English-speaking country is suitable.

Simula seeks to maintain strong representation of international and female researchers, which makes for a dynamic and well-balanced environment. Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

The above documents should be combined into a single pdf document in the order listed above, and submitted via the link at the right side of the page – applications submitted by email will not be considered.

Applications will be appraised on a continual basis, and should be submitted before 15 May 2023.

For more information please contact programme coordinator Dr. Kimberly McCabe (kimberly@simula.no).

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