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PhD Research Fellow in Systematic Mycology

Deadline: 01.10.2023

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

At the Natural History Museum (NHM), University of Oslo (UiO), we have a vacancy for a four-year PhD research Fellow in Systematic Mycology. The position includes one year of duty work (distributed over the employment period) that includes various meriting activities (e.g., teaching, specimen curation, outreach activities, and student supervision). 

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

More about the position

This PhD opportunity allows you to engage in a self-developed and innovative systematics research project on fungi, or plants in combination with fungi. The successful candidate for this position will work in close collaboration with staff members of the ISOP research group, primarily with Mika Bendiksby and Charlotte Bjorå. In our research, we focus on the discovery, understanding, protection, and utility of fungal and plant diversity. We often use a phylogenetic approach on genomic data to study a range of biological aspects in fungi and plants, and fungarium- and herbarium specimens are important data sources and depositories in our research. An ideal project will effectively utilize NHMs fungal and/or plant collections, include fieldwork for collecting new materials, and align with our research profiles and ongoing activities. The ISOP group has a strong record for field-based research in the Arctic, Nordic countries, east-and Southern Africa, and Indonesia. It is desirable that the proposed PhD project aligns well also with at least one of the research themes at our museum-wide research hub STADIS. The hub focuses on stability and discontinuity within and between different biological system levels, such as genomes, phenotypes, species, communities, and ecosystems.

For almost 200 years, specimens of fungi and plants have been collected, studied and preserved at NHM. The improvement, maintenance and use of scientific collections is central to our work. The herbarium and fungarium comprise over 1.2 million plants and 600,000 fungal specimens, of which the majority are Nordic. The museum provides excellent research facilities in-house, including various molecular- and microscopy laboratories. NHM has ten research groups that pursue research and education within basic and advanced biosystematics and biodiversity as well as geological studies. 

Qualification requirements

The candidate must have:

  • A degree equivalent to a Norwegian master’s (MSc) in biology. Other relevant backgrounds might be considered upon individual evaluation. For candidates not having finished their master’s degree, the thesis must have been submitted for evaluation by the closing date of the call. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded with at least an equivalent to grade B in the ECTS grading scale.
  • The ability to work independently and in a structured manner
  • The ability to cooperate with others
  • Excellent communication skills (including written and spoken English)

It is preferable that the candidate has (and can document) one or more of the following competences:

  • A degree equivalent to a Norwegian master’s (MSc) in systematic mycology/botany
  • Knowledge and research experience with DNA-based techniques applied in biosystematics and biodiversity studies
  • Experience in relevant analytical/statistical methods and bioinformatics tools (e.g., phylogenetics, R)
  • Data management skills following best reproducible open science practices
  • Experience with microscopy
  • Ability to do field work in remote and potentially challenging environments
  • Hold a driver’s license
  • Experience with scientific publication and outreach
  • Experience in collection-based research (using physical and/or digital specimen data)
  • Strong team- and networking skills

Personal skills

We are looking for a highly motivated, creative, and structured candidate with excellent collaborative qualities. Research experience, ambitions, and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

We offer

  • a dynamic, friendly and professionally stimulating working environment
  • salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • attractive welfare benefits

How to apply

The application must include the following six elements as separate documents:

  • A one-page (maximum) application/cover letter with a brief account of your motivation for applying for the position
  • A self-developed and innovative research project (following the template for this position provided here: template_for_project_description.docx[MB1] ; max 2 pages!
  • CV (either as an attachment or filled into our electronic recruitment system)
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • List of publications (if any), including submitted manuscripts and MSc thesis.
  • The name, academic relation, and contact information for at least two reference persons, of whom one must be an advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis

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).

For an overview of our researchers, see here or contact Professor Hugo de Boer (h.de.boer@nhm.uio.no). 

For more information about ongoing and planned research activities in the ISOP group, please contact Professor Mika Bendiksby (mika.bendiksby@nhm.uio.no) or Associate Professor Charlotte S. Bjorå (csletten@nhm.uio.no).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented academic qualifications as well as 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. As a PhD Research Fellow, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree. Admission to the PhD programme must be applied for within the first two months of your employment. Please note that admission to the PhD program conditions that you satisfy the enrolment requirements 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 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

About the PhD fellowship, ISOP and STADIS:

  • Research Director Professor Hugo de Boer (h.de.boer@nhm.uio.no).
  • Head of Fungarium Professor Mika Bendiksby (mika.bendiksby@nhm.uio.no)
  • Head of Herbarium Assoc. Professor Charlotte S. Bjorå (csletten@nhm.uio.no)

About the recruitment system:

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

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