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PhD  - “Relating the transcriptome with epigenomic changes of immune cells in response to meals”

Deadline: 27.11.2023

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.

PhD in data-driven precision nutrition

Job description

Applications are invited for a 3-year position in a Research Fellowship as PhD Candidate in data-driven precision nutrition to be based at the Department of Nutrition, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo. The position is available in the research group of Professor Stine M. Ulven: Personalized nutrition and prevention of cardiometabolic diseases - Institute of Basic Medical Sciences (uio.no)

Within the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) (MSCA Doctoral Network), the new Doctoral Network project NUTRIOME-Precision nutrition and postprandial immune responses is offering 1 PhD fellowship at the University of Oslo. The position is for 36 months and funded by Horizon Europe.

The NUTRIOME network involves academic partners at nine European academic institutions and six associated partners from industry across Norway, Poland, The Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The purpose of the NUTRIOME network is to train in total 10 PhD fellowships in data-driven precision nutrition through human intervention studies, omics-technologies, and advanced data analyses, in order to evaluate personal responses to foods and diets.

More about the position

The fellowship period is 3 years and devoted to carrying out a project entitled “Relating the transcriptome with epigenomic changes of immune cells in response to meals”. In this project, the candidate will work with hands-on gene expression analysis (transcriptomics) and epigenetic analysis from the proof-of-concept meal study of NUTRIOME and integrate the data. In addition, the candidate will use existing omics data from previously conducted dietary intervention studies in the research group.

The research fellow must take part in the approved PhD program at the Faculty of Medicine and is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The applicant must within 3 months after employment, have worked out a complete project description to be attached to the application for admission to the doctoral program. For more information, please see our web site (Doctoral degree: PhD in medicine and health sciences - Faculty of Medicine (uio.no))

During the project, the PhD student will perform three secondments, each of two months duration. Two academic secondments will take place in the lab of Prof. Carsten Carlberg (IAR & FR, Poland), where the candidate will learn more about using epigenetic methods including integration of data, and in the lab of Prof. Helen Roche (University College Dublin, Ireland), where the candidate will be trained to analyze data to understand the role of diet on gene expression influence the immune system. The third is a non-academic secondment at Nortura (Norway) to work with how food industry work in the field of precision nutrition and novel food development for specific target groups where immune function play an important role.

Qualification requirements

We are looking for highly motivated applicants with interests/experience in nutrition, transcriptomics, epigenetics, data analysis, mathematics, and bioinformatics, and with the following competences and experiences:

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in either nutrition, biotechnology, molecular biology, biochemistry or immunology. A Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or an equivalent qualification, minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The Master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Applicants are also required to meet the MSCA Doctoral Network eligibility criteria, notably: Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Norway for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the start of their employment at the University of Oslo. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account
  • The applicant must not be in possession of a doctoral degree at the first day of the employment.
  • Experience with bioinformatics and data analysis, especially transcriptomics or epigenetics analyses, and flair for programming in R is meriting

Personal skills

  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently as well as competent to collaborate as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • A creative and curious mindset with a strong drive
  • Analytical skills and motivation and attitude toward carrying out the individual training/mobility project.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
  • 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 statement of motivation and research interests
  •  CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  •  Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  •  A complete list of publications and academic works
  •  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, 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).

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Key criteria for the assessment of applicants

  • Relevant educational background with excellent results
  • Professional qualifications and experience relevant to the PhD project as listed above.
  • Scientific publications
  • Other professional activities
  • Language skills
  • The successful applicant is also required to be enterprising and to possess good interpersonal skills.

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.

Since this position one out of 10 projects in NUTRIOME, a prioritized shortlist of the top five candidates to each of the RDC positions will be distributed among partners in NUTRIOME. The candidates will also be asked to prioritize projects after this shortlist is shared. Then the partners agree upon which candidate to invite for an interview, which will take place via zoom at each of the host institutions. A candidate may be transferred to another project depending on their qualification.

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

Contact information

  • Main supervisor: Professor Stine M Ulven, smulven@medisin.uio.no, tlf +47 22 84 02 08

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