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Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Machine Learning for Chemistry

Deadline: 15.03.2023

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.

Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences operates under the aegis of the Department of Chemistry at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The Department of Chemistry is Norway's largest institution within research and education in chemistry. Our research excels internationally and we educate students to a wide variety of jobs in industry, academia, research institutions, schools and public administration.

Our research ranges from the core topics of chemistry to applied science within in environmental, health, energy and materials. The Department has extensive contacts with industry, research and educational institutions at home and abroad.

As partner in the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology our researchers contributes to a significant interdisciplinary efforts in cooperation with the Department of Physics.

The Department of Chemistry has its own school laboratory as a great resource for teachers, public outreach and the didactics of chemistry.

Job description

A position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Machine Learning for Chemistry is available at the Hylleraas Centre for Quantum Molecular Sciences in the Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo.

Starting date: No later than June 1, 2023.

The fellowship will be for a period of 2 years.

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

The fellowship is part of the project catLEGOS, which will focus on the development of machine learning models for the prediction of quantum properties relevant to catalysis with transition metal complexes.

The research is planned in three different work packages, including:

1) the generation of datasets describing the chemical space made of transition metal complexes,

2) the development of molecular and materials representations based on first-principles calculations

3) the optimization of predictive models based on neural networks, Gaussian processes, and gradient boosting methods

The fellow will work at the Hylleraas Centre, which is the Research Centre of Excellence for Chemistry in Norway. In addition to an excellent scientific community and working environment, the Centre offers a career development plan for future professional development. More information on the Hylleraas Centre can be found on this website: https://www.mn.uio.no/hylleraas/english

The project will be supervised by Res. Prof. David Balcells, PI of the Hylleraas Centre, and it will build on the previous work of the research group, including Chem. Sci., 2020, 11, 4584, J. Chem. Inf. Mod., 2020, 60, 6135, and this preprint. The project may involve collaborations with the UiO Department of Mathematics, the UiO Catalysis group, and the groups of Aspuru-Guzik (University of Toronto, Canada) and Nguyen (University of Illinois Chicago, USA).

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 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.

Required qualifications:

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Materials Science. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by March 15, 2023. Only applicants with an approved doctoral thesis and public defence are eligible for appointment
  • Documented and good knowledge in one or more of the following topics: machine learning, computational chemistry, computational materials science
  • Documented experience in programming with Python
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

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

Desired qualifications:

  • Documented and good knowledge in both machine learning and one or more of the following: computational chemistry and computational materials science
  • For applicants with a PhD related to machine learning: Experience with deep graph learning and one or more of the following: Bayesian and ensemble learning
  • For applicants with a computational PhD in chemistry or materials science: Experience in the modeling of transition metal systems.
  • Python experience with chemoinformatics and machine learning packages like RDKit, openbabel, pandas, numpy, pytorch, and keras/tensorflow
  • Python experience with data visualization
  • Experience with computational chemistry software for the modeling of molecules like Gaussian or similar, and/or periodic materials, like VASP or similar

Personal skills

  • Independent and creative thinking
  • Exceptional analytical skills
  • Able to make connections and seeing the big picture
  • Team work within a diverse group
  • Motivated and enthusiastic, with a positive attitude
  • Willing to contribute to an engaging work environment

We offer

  • Salary NOK 544 400 – 626 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (position code 1352)
  • Oslo’s friendly atmosphere, with plenty of cultural and outdoor activities, also for families
  • Postdoctoral development programs
  • Possibility to join the Hylleraas Centre management team through the Hylleraas Young Researcher Parliament
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter describing motivation and research interests
  • CV summarizing education, positions, and academic work, including a complete list of publications
  • Copies of the original Bachelor, Master and PhD degree diploma, and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency

Names and contact details of one or two references (including name, e-mail, and relation to the candidate) who can provide recommendation letters during the selection process.

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.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the candidates having the highest qualifications 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 twice as a Postdoctoral fellow financed with funds from The Research Council of Norway (NFR).

If an applicant has applied for and been granted funding for a fulltime research stay abroad while being employed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, the employment will be prolonged with the equivalent time as the research stay, but for no longer than of twelve months ( thus extending the employment to a maximum of four years)

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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 a.o.

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

  • Research Professor David Balcells, email: david.balcells@kjemi.uio.no

For technical questions, regarding the recruitment system please contact:

  • HR Advisor Olga Holmlund, e-mail: olga.holmlund@mn.uio.no

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