Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

Two Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Positions (ESSGN)

Deadline: 15.01.2023

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 Department of Psychology is one of seven units of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and has 75 permanent and 70 temporary members of scientific staff. Degrees are offered at bachelor and master level, plus a clinical training programme, and the PhD programme has 140 students.

Faculty of Social Sciences

Department of Psychology

Section for Health, Developmental and Personality Psychology

The European Social Science Genetics Network (ESSGN) - Two Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Positions

Job description

Two PhD fellowships are available at the PROMENTA Research Center, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. The PhD fellows will be working in the European Social Science Genetics Network (ESSGN). The Doctoral Network is funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). The PhD fellows at UiO will be working on integrating genetic and social science approaches to study intergenerational transmission of educational performance and school variation in genetic and environmental effects.

More about the project

The two positions will be a part of a total of 13 PhD studentships in Social Science Genetics across eight European Universities that constitute the European Social Science Genetics Network (ESSGN). The Doctoral Network is funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and includes: Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), University of Bologna (IT), University of Bielefeld (DE), University of Bristol (UK), University of Oslo (NO), University of Oxford (UK), University of Uppsala (SE), and VU University Amsterdam (NL). We invite applications from eligible students for studentships that commence in September/October 2023.

The Doctoral Network

ESSGN brings together eight Universities with a shared interest in social science genetics, i.e., in incorporating genetic information to improve our understanding of age-old questions in the social sciences, such as the origins of inequality, the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate, and the extent to which the interplay between environments and genes is important in shaping life chances. The consortium consists of an interdisciplinary group of academics, spanning demography, economics, epidemiology, genetics, political science, psychology, sociology, and statistics, as well as seven non-academic partners experienced in and committed to using data science to better understand inequalities in life chances. The partners include government bodies (GO Science UK), the World Health Organization - International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO-IARC), policy research institutes (RAND Europe, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute [NIDI]), charities (the Health Foundation), data infrastructure networks (CentERdata-ODISSEI) as well as economics consulting (Prometeia).

The Doctoral Network will create, nurture, and maintain a stimulating and world-class training environment in the interdisciplinary study of social-science genetics and geno-economics. Training will be provided through: i) courses in the biological foundations of genetic inheritance; ii) practical training in cutting-edge, multidisciplinary methods in social science genetics, including in state-of-the-art computational and bioinformatics methods for analysing big data and in statistical techniques for empirical research; and iii) cutting-edge academic research as well as secondments with our partners, to prepare doctoral students to be successful research scientists, but also for the professional job market in industry, technology and policy. A dedicated Team will coordinate and support skill development as well as monitor well-being and progress towards the PhD. While based at one of the eight ESSGN universities, it is expected that doctoral students work across institutions and countries.

Two PhD fellowships at the University of Oslo

The PhD fellowships are directed at rendering a new understanding of: 1) how education is transmitted across generations by modeling genome-wide parental indirect genetic effects. 2) The interactions between genetic potential, school-wide factors, and specific characteristics of schools that are optimal for children’s psychological development.

The ESSGN PhD fellows at UiO will use data from Norwegians since 1940 (n=8 400 000) with registries giving genealogy and year-by-year event data on place of residence, indicators of socioeconomic status (SES), and educational performance. ESSGN at UiO combines this with a population-based cohort study comprising genotyping of families (n=240 000 in 110 000 families) and a wide array of survey data. An approach combining intergenerational, temporal, locational, genetic, and individual levels of inference will allow the PhD fellows to do novel studies on the gene-environment interplay for academic outcomes.

The PROMENTA Research Center carries out interdisciplinary research on mental health and well-being in a holistic perspective - from genetics and biology to local communities and policy. We are concerned with examining determinants of good and poor mental health, understanding how social inequalities emerge, and designing and evaluating effective interventions to promote well-being.

We strive to provide our candidates with opportunities to develop high-quality research competence, across disciplines, working alongside leading experts in our fields. While working for us, you will be part of a dynamic and interdisciplinary work environment, with ample opportunities for scientific and social input throughout the academic year. This includes training in both social science and genetic methods, and the possibility for teaching and educational courses.

The PROMENTA Research Center with more than 50 scientific staff is funded by the Research Council of Norway, and hosted by the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo (UiO). Read more about working at PROMENTA.

The goal of the genetics research group at PROMENTA is to study the interplay between genetic and contextual factors in families, schools, and wider contexts by integrating genotyped family trios into population-based registries on family structure, residence, schools, health, and education.

The appointment is a full-time position for a period of three years. The fellowships are planned to begin in the fall of 2023.

For more information about the positions please see contact information below.

Qualification requirements

  • The applicant must not have resided or carried out their main activity (study, work, etc.) in Norway for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date (i.e. eligibility criterion to be a EU MSCA doctoral fellow).
  • A Master’s degree (120 ECTS) in an appropriate area of social science (e.g. psychology, demography, economics, epidemiology, political science, sociology, statistics) or medical science (e.g., genetics, epigenetics). Only applicants with a grade point average of A, B or C on the ECTS scale in their Master’s degree will be qualified for admission to the Ph.D. program.
  • We are looking for students with strong quantitative skills.
  • Proficient oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Strong interest in the potential of integrating social science and genetics. Enjoys working within an interdisciplinary team.
  • Personal Suitability.
  • Applicants can be of any nationality and must not have a doctoral degree at the date of recruitment.

Favourable qualifications (not requirements, but give applicants an advantage):

  • Familiarity with R, Python, Julia, or other relevant computing languages.
  • Experience with administrative register data or other types of big data.
  • Training in application of genetic data.
  • Experience with multilevel modelling, structural equation modelling, or twin-family studies.
  • Experience with using geocode data.
  • Experience with scientific publishing.
  • Experience with open science practices

We offer

  • A salary of NOK 501 200 - 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications.
  • A professionally stimulating work environment and collaboration with a newly established research center (PROMENTA) at the Department of Psychology.
  • Opportunities for extensive collaboration with our national and international collaborators.
  • Attractive pension and social welfare benefits.
  • Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities. An opportunity to build a career in social science genomics.

How to apply

The application must include

  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Complete CV
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. (i.e. Diploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in a Scandinavian language or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached.
  • Copies of any publications that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee.
  • Names and contact details for two references, one of them preferably the supervisor on master thesis.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, and the candidates motivation and personal suitability.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

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 with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Diversity and gender equality

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.

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.

Contact information

HR officer Dordi Stavik, e-mail: [email protected] for questions regarding the electronic application

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