Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Informatics / Bioinformatics

Deadline: 11.12.2020

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 Department of Informatics (IFI) is one of nine departments belonging to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. IFI is Norway’s largest university department for general education and research in Computer Science and related topics.


The Department has more than 1800 students on bachelor level, 600 master students, and over 240 PhDs and postdocs. The overall staff of the Department is close to 370 employees, about 280 of these in full time positions. The full time tenured academic staff is 75, mostly Full/Associate Professors.

About the position

Applications are invited for a 3-year postdoc position in Informatics/Bioinformatics at the Centre for Bioinformatics (SBI) hosted at the Department of Informatics, University of Oslo (UiO). The position will collaborate closely with the Oslo bioinformatics ELIXIR team, which is the Oslo node of the ELIXIR Norway project (https://elixir.no/).

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Oslo.

Starting date as soon as possible.

Job description

The Oslo bioinformatics ELIXIR team and the SBI, UiO has extensive experience, and is one of the international frontrunners in the field of statistical analysis of functional genomics data through the development and maintenance of robust software for the storage, retrieval, annotation and statistical analyses of genomic/epigenomic datasets. Examples of such solutions are the Genomic HyperBrowser (https://hyperbrowser.uio.no), the GTrack ecosystem (https://gtrack.no), the FAIRtracks software ecosystem (https://fairtracks.github.io), the TrackFind service (http://trackfind.elixir.no), Galaxy ProTo ( https://github.com/elixir-oslo/proto), and the Norwegian Federated European EGA (European Genome-Phenome Archive) node (https://ega.elixir.no).

There is significant untapped potential in several areas of the solutions provided by the Oslo node of ELIXIR Norway, which can be driven towards major scientific contributions of international significance. The successful candidate is encouraged to collaborate with the Oslo node of ELIXIR Norway to pursue any one of the two possible exciting research directions as indicated below, depending upon his/her academic background, research interests and expertise.

Project description

Direction 1 is suited for individuals with a bioinformatics background and prior experience in genomics/epigenomics/genetics. The candidate could leverage the strengths of the existing software and infrastructure that the Oslo node of ELIXIR Norway & SBI, UiO has developed in the field of statistical analysis of functional genomics data (primarily at the DNA/chromatin level) and address a range of research questions within the scope of transcriptional regulation (especially in diseases), genome dynamics, comparative genomics (in particular related to graph-based representation of genomic variation), and precision medicine (in particular related to cancer). With the huge improvement in the quality of ChIP-seq based binding data compared to a decade ago, the time is now ripe to apply suitable statistical methodology to gain deeper understanding into the transcriptional regulation across many diseases. The Genomic HyperBrowser, the TrackFind service and the GTrack ecosystem mentioned above could be utilized and built upon, either to develop novel, tailored statistical/algorithmic methodology to analyse unaddressed genomic/epigenomic research questions. Alternatively, such solutions could be leveraged to investigate novel research questions within the scope of research topics as defined above.

Direction 2 is suited for individuals with prior experience and interest in the development of research platforms/infrastructure with an ambition of generating high quality publications in that direction). The candidate could leverage the strengths of the existing research infrastructure (that the Oslo node of ELIXIR Norway has developed) and drive them towards major scientific publications that are expected to have international significance in the biomedical research community. One such example is the Galaxy ProTo (https://github.com/elixir-oslo/proto), which is an extension of the Galaxy web-based platform that is used by tens of thousands of scientists across the world for data-intensive biomedical research (http://galaxyproject.org/). Galaxy ProTo has the potential to become a major game changer in allowing researchers to easily deploy a web tool (in Galaxy) in order to prototype e.g. novel methodology and support transparent, easily share data and explorations with collaborators, and provide a powerful and immediate platform for fixing bugs and implementing new functionality as requested by users. (This is made possible by solutions for continuous development, a fully dynamic user interface and no XML knowledge required, unlike the vanilla solutions of the Galaxy project. In addition, a high level of reproducibility in data analysis could be achieved through Galaxy ProTo and the Galaxy project in general, which can also be chosen as a research focus. Another example of the research software/infrastructure that could be driven towards a major scientific publication is the FAIRtracks ecosystem (https://fairtracks.github.io), which includes the TrackFind service (http://trackfind.elixir.no). Although large public databases hosting genomics/epigenomic datasets (such as ENCODE, https://www.encodeproject.org/) provide decent search services for querying the data, the underlying metadata are not easy to integrate and are in many cases also poorly curated. In that context, the FAIRtracks ecosystem, which provides a metadata standard for genomic track data following the FAIR principles (https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles), and the included TrackFind service, which provides functionality for search and retrieval of functional genomic/epigenomic data with curated metadata, is a major contribution for researchers and developers to make use of the wealth of publicly available data.

A solid computational experience/bioinformatics background is required. Prior experience in genomics/epigenomics/genetics is a plus, but not a requirement.

The main purpose of a postdoctoral fellowship is to provide the candidates with enhanced skills to pursue a scientific top position within or beyond academia. To promote a strategic career path, all postdoctoral research fellows are required to submit a professional development plan no later than one month after commencement of the postdoctoral period.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition is 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.

  • A relevant doctoral degree or above in informatics/computer science or bioinformatics. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date.
  • Prior documented experience either in bioinformatics/genomics/epigenomics/genetics or in the development/operation of research platforms and software (this is to match candidate's experience to either research direction-1 or direction-2)
  • Competence in software development in Python or Java.
  • Scientific programming/statistics (NumPy, R, etc.)
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both oral and written.
  • Good problem-solving capabilities
  • Being self-driven and having the ability to work independently, as well as being a team player

We offer

  • Salary NOK 526 000 – 608 200 per year depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Professionally stimulating working environment
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Postdoctoral 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, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • A CV with full education, positions, academic experiences, details on PhD thesis, detailed computational skills and a list of publications
  • Copies of educational certificates, (academic transcripts only)
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. 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.

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.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

  1. Professor Eivind Hovig, [email protected],no, mob +47 93069881.

For technical questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR Adviser Torunn Standal Guttormsen, e-mail: [email protected]

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