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Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social Science Genomics

Deadline: 15.04.2023

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

Job description

A postdoctoral fellowship is available at the PROMENTA Research Center, Section for Health, Developmental and Personality Psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. The postdoctoral fellow will be working in the project The PsychoGeography of Intergenerational Mobility: Early life socioeconomic position, mental health, and educational performance (GeoGen) funded by the European Research Council (ERC). GeoGen is an interdisciplinary project integrating genetic and social science approaches to study geographical variation in factors for mental health, non-cognitive skills, and educational performance.

More about the project

The postdoctoral fellowship is directed at rendering a new understanding of (a) how education and mental health is transmitted across generations, (b) how early mental ill-health predict academic failure, (c) the interactions between genetic risk and protective contextual school and neighbourhood factors, and (d) characteristics of schools and neighbourhoods that are optimal for children’s psychological development.

GeoGen will use Norway since 1905 as a laboratory (n=8 400 000) with registries giving full genealogy and year-by-year event data on place of residence, indicators of socioeconomic status (SES), mental health, non-cognitive skills, and educational performance. GeoGen 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 temporal, spatial, social, genetic, and individual levels of inference will allow the postdoctoral fellow to do novel studies on the gene-environment interplay between risk and protective factors for mental health, non-cognitive skills, and 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 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.

More about the position

The project is based in the neighbourhood genetics workgroup at PROMENTA lead by Professor Eivind Ystrøm. The goal of the genetics workgroup 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 postdoctoral fellow will be working with GeoGen Team members from Sociology, Psychology, and Educational Sciences

The appointment is a fulltime position for a period of three years. A fourth year can be considered with the addition of 25 % teaching duties, usually in the form of teaching activities, depending on the competence of the applicant and the needs of the department.

The fellowships are planned to begin in the second quarter of 2023.

For more information about the positions please see contact information below

Qualification requirements

  • The applicant must have submitted their PhD thesis for evaluation by the closing date and be approved by the time the appointing authority reach a decision. The PhD degree or equivalent should be in in psychology, genetics, sociology, epidemiology, economics, or other related fields.
  • Publication record on molecular genetic factors for mental health and educational outcomes.
  • Skills in molecular genetic data analyses such as polygenic scores and Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS).
  • Computing skills in R, mixed models, polygenic risk score software, and GWAS analyses.
  • Proficient oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Plans for excellent research within the project, as evidenced by the required one-page letter of application, explaining the motivation for applying and how own qualifications are suitable for the announced position.
  • Strong interest in the potential of integrating social science and genetics. Enjoys working within an interdisciplinary team.
  • Personal Suitability.

We offer

  • A salary of NOK 573 900- 661 400 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 and PhD courses). 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 must be a PhD supervisor. Also preferably including the supervisors on master 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).

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

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

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

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

This is a project funded by the research council of Norway and applicants with a previous postdoctoral fellowship funded by the research council cannot be appointed for this position

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.

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.

The Department of Psychology shall work actively for equality, ensure equal opportunities and rights, and prevent discrimination. See the Gender equality initiative at UiO as well as the Action plan for gender equality, diversity and inclusion at the Department of Psychology 2022-2025 (in Norwegian).

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

All e-mails must have the term “GeoGenPostDoc” included in the subject line or text.

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