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

PhD Research Fellow in Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics (two positions)

Deadline: 28.02.2023

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 200 employees, of which 50 are permanent scientific positions. On a yearly basis 20 students complete their Ph.D. and 50 finish their M.Sc. degree.

Job description

Two positions as PhD Research Fellows in Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics available at the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than October 1, 2023.

The fellowship period is 3 years. A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that normally consists of teaching. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the institute.

More about the position

Each PhD position is associated with one specific research project, as summarized below. Candidates may apply to one or (preferably) both positions through a single application and should rank the positions in order of their preference in the cover letter. All applications will be reviewed in a joint selection process, considering the stated preferences of each candidate.

The available positions are the following:

1) Probing degeneracies between baryonic physics and Modified Gravity in galaxy clusters, supervised by Prof. David F. Mota ([email protected]).

The main goals of the position are to understand how baryonic processes in galaxy clusters may be degenerated with features of theories of gravity beyond General Relativity. The successful candidate will design, perform, and post-process N-body and hydrodynamical simulations to generate clusters observables that can be used to confront theory with observations in current and future galaxy surveys, in particular Euclid. This work will benefit from both strong theoretical and computational skills, as it will require construction of massive N-body and hydro simulations and development of tools to interpret these simulations. The successful candidate will become a member of the Euclid consortium, and active participation in an international research environment is expected.

2) Project 2: Galaxy Formation and Evolution, supervised by Prof. Sijing Shen ([email protected]) and Assoc. Prof. Claudia Cicone ([email protected]).

The candidate can choose to do either a theoretical/numerical project or an observational project in the field of galaxy formation and evolution. The candidate will explore how processes within galaxies, including star formation, supernova explosions, formation and feedback of central supermassive black holes, magnetic fields and cosmic ray transport, can shape the properties of galaxies and their surrounding gas (the circumgalactic medium).

In the case of a numerical project, the candidate will use state-of-the-art simulation codes to design and perform the simulations, then collaborate closely with the observational team to post-process the simulations and produce synthetic, multi-wavelength observations for current and future telescopes. The successful candidate will participate actively in an international research environment.

In an observational project, the candidate will learn to analyse and interpret multi-wavelength observations of galaxies near and far collected with international, state-of-the-art facilities such as ALMA, APEX, IRAM, NOEMA, GMRT, VLA, and the ESO-VLT telescopes. This study will provide a testbed for theoretical models of galaxy formation, and it will inform the development of future astronomical facilities such as AtLAST.

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.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in astronomy, cosmology, physics, or a related topic.
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system.

Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2023 to complete the final exam.

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
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements:

Personal skills:

  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position

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 501 200 – 544 400 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, previous positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of any 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). In addition, arrange for each of the references to submit their letters to Prof. David F. Mota (chair of cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics section [email protected]) before the deadline.

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.

Interviews will be part of the hiring process.

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.

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

For further information please contact:

  • Prof. David F. Mota (chair of cosmology and extragalactic astrophysics section, [email protected]).

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, e-mail: [email protected]

For project specific information, please contact the respective project supervisors:

1) Probing degeneracies between baryonic physics and Modified Gravity in galaxy clusters: David F. Mota ([email protected]).

2) Galaxy Formation and Evolution: Sijing Shen ([email protected]) and Claudia Cicone ([email protected]).

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