Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in Biologically inspired artificial intelligence

Deadline: 04.04.2021

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.

The research at the Department of Physics covers a broad range of subfields within physics and technology: From space research to medical physics. A good proportion of the research is interdisciplinary, and conducted in close cooperation with collaborators in Norway and abroad. Education and teaching are other essential activities.

We offer a broad range of courses, and the Department is involved in several study programmes at bachelor’s and master’s level. Some of the best lecturers in Norway are amongst our employees, and we are proud of our prizewinning teaching and learning environment. The Department has approximately 200 employees, of which just above 40 are permanent scientific positions. On a yearly basis 20-25 students complete their Ph.D. and approximately 70 finish their M.Sc. degree.

Job description

A position as PhD Research fellow in Biologically inspired neural networks for artificial intelligence is available at the Department of Physics in the research group of Professors Anders Malthe-Sørenssen and Marianne Fyhn at the Center for Integrative Neuroplasticity (CINPLA). Starting date is 01.08.2021.

The PhD position is of 3 years duration.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

More about the position

The candidate for this position will work on a project funded by the Norwegian Research Council entitled “Bio-inspired neural networks for AI applications”. The project is a collaboration between computational physics, computational neuroscience and experimental neuroscience aiming to use insights from biological neural networks to improve methods and algorithms for artificial neural networks. The PhD project will focus on developing bio-inspired artificial neural networks with focus on transfer learning – the ability to apply knowledge learned from one context to a new context.

You will develop a reinforcement learning method and study how an agent builds an internal representation – a cognitive map – of the world and use this representation for efficient learning in new situations.

You will work closely with neuroscientists designing comparable experiments and apply methods and representations from neuroscience to understand the functionality of your model.

The project will open for research visits to collaborating groups at Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania and University of California San Diego.

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.

  • Applicants must hold a Master's degree or equivalent in physics, mathematics/statistics, computational neuroscience or artificial intelligence/cybernetics. Foreign completed degrees (at M.Sc. level) must correspond to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system.
  • The candidate must have demonstrated strong skills in scientific computing.
  • Relevant candidates should have an interest for multidisciplinary research.

Other desired qualifications include:

Experience with statistical modelling approaches or modelling of artificial neural networks.

Personal skills:

We are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic and hard-working candidate with the ambition to gain new insights and publish papers in leading, international journals.

Applicants must show good interpersonal skills and be willing to work in close collaboration with other members of the project team, as well as have the ability to work independently.

Grade and language 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
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

Please see the following link for more information regarding English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements:


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:



We offer

  • Salary NOK 482 200 – 526 000 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 - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma
  • Transcripts of grades/records
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • 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.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications required for this project, 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 Research Fellowships 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.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

For thechnical questions regarding the recruitment system; contact Elin Thoresen, [email protected].

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