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PhD Research Fellow in Biology

Deadline: 15.10.2023

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 Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway’s most comprehensive natural history collection. For almost 200 years, specimens of animals, fungi, plants, rocks, minerals and fossils have been collected, studied and preserved here. The museum is located at Økern and in the beautiful Botanical Garden, which is not only popular for recreation, but is a scientific collection in itself.

Natural History Museum

Job description

Applications are invited for a position as PhD Research Fellow in Biology available at the Natural History Museum in Oslo (NHM).

The fellowship period is 4 years including 25% duty work that may consist of collection work, teaching, supervision duties and/or research assistance depending on the needs of NHM and the applicant's qualification.

Starting date 1. January 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.

More about the position

The PhD project is part of the project "Population genomics of North Atlantic hooded seals (Cystophora cristata)", and the PhD will join the 'Frontiers in Evolutionary Zoology (FEZ)' research group at the NHM. The fellow will work in a dynamic research environment together with other Master and PhD students, postdocs, and researchers.

The hooded seal (Cystophora cristata) is a migratory marine mammal species, with a range that encompasses a large sector of the North Atlantic Ocean. Individuals follow annual movement cycles that generally keep them in close association with drifting pack ice, and seals breed during the spring in three traditional areas — off the east coast of Canada, in the Davis Strait, and in the West Ice between Greenland and Jan Mayen. Today, the species is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and the Northeast Atlantic population is classified as Endangered on the Norwegian Red List. The taxonomic status of the populations is somewhat uncertain. The PhD project aims to determine the population structure of hooded seal and to address how the Northeast Atlantic population’s decline has affected genetic diversity over time.

The specific tasks for this topic will include to generate genomic sequence data for hooded seal individuals from the different populations including a chromosome-level genome for (at least) one Northeast Atlantic individual. Furthermore, 'shallow' genomic sequence data shall be produced for scientific collection samples covering the previous 150 years to address changes of genetic diversity over time. The genetic data shall be complemented with digital image analyses of hooded seal skulls available in the mammal collection of the NHM Oslo to address morphological population differentiation.

Qualification requirements

  • applicants must hold a Master’s degree in Biology or equivalent in a relevant field preferably with specialization in evolutionary biology, molecular evolution, population genomics, arctic biodiversity or zoology
  • a foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • experience with standard molecular DNA methods
  • experience with high-throughput sequencing methods as well as genomics and bioinformatics applications
  • proficiency in English

It is preferable that the candidate has

  • experience with historic DNA analysis and excitement for collection-based research
  • enthusiasm for biodiversity research and Arctic marine mammals in particular
  • basic training in morphometrics and experience in statistical analyses of such data
  • ideally also some enthusiasm for (experience in) teaching and outreach activities

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.

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: http://www.uio.no/english/research/phd/ 

Personal skills

We are looking for a highly motivated, creative, and structured candidate with excellent collaboration and communication skills and the ability to work independently as well as in a team.

We offer

  • salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • an inspiring, dynamic and friendly international working environment
  • membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund,
  • attractive welfare benefits in addition to Oslo’s rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include the following elements as separate documents:

  • an informative cover letter explaining your motivation for your application for the post
  • a CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • names, academic relations, and contact information (incl. email address and telephone number) of two academic references

Please note that the application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruitment system. Please note also that all documents should be provided in English.

In the assessment of the applications special emphasis will be placed on the candidate's 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.

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 appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

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

General information about the institution: 

  • Professor Hugo de Boer (h.de.boer@nhm.uio.no)

About the PhD project:

  • Professor Lutz Bachmann (bachmann@nhm.uio.no) and
  • Associate Professor Kjetil Voje (k.l.voje@nhm.uio.no)

About the recruitment system:

  • HR-Adviser Thomas Brånå (thomas.brana@nhm.uio.no)

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