Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in plant evolution and developmental biology

Deadline 07.04.2019

About the position

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.

Department of Biosciences (IBV) is one of nine departments at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Research in the department is organised in five sections covering topics within biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, genetics,

aquatic biology, toxicology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Education across these topics is offered for around 380 bachelor, 170 master, and 75 PhD students. With 52 permanent professors/associate professors, post-docs, researchers, technical, and administrative personnel, the Department has a total staff of 340 from more than 30 different countries. The Department aims to maintain high international standards within both research and teaching. The new bachelor program in bioscience is the first of its kind to include programming and computational modelling as core elements.

Flere stillinger fra Universitetet i Oslo

Position as PhD Research Fellow in plant evolution and developmental biology available at the Department of Biosciences.

The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with no compulsory work, or for a period of 4 years, with 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department.

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

Starting date no later than 01.10.2019.

Job description

The PhD Research Fellow will be part of the MOLBAR project (The molecular basis of postzygotic hybridization barriers in plants) lead by Professor Anne Brysting and the EPIHYBRIDS project lead by Professor Paul Grini. In the MOLBAR project, we study the molecular mechanisms of postzygotic barriers in plants, especially the genetic and epigenetic basis of the processes that prevent the embryo and endosperm from developing normally when germline cells from two different species merge. In the EPIHYBRIDS project, we investigate the role of small RNA and parent of origin specific epigenetic regulation in establishment of the postzygotic barrier phenotype. The Research Council of Norway finances the projects.

The PhD Research Fellow will work in close collaboration with the PIs and two Researchers, a Postdoc and a PhD Research Fellow already hired on the projects. The group is part of an international project team, which includes molecular-, developmental- and evolutionary biologists, representing a diverse array of expertise ranging from phenotypic developmental analysis and the epigenetics of genomic imprinting to molecular systematics and speciation theory.

The position will be affiliated to the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) and Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology (EVOGENE) at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.

The overarching biological question is whether species barriers can be explained by developmental failure in the hybrid seed, and furthermore to understand how the genotype-phenotype relation evolves to establish the barrier. Are genetic and epigenetic master regulators the driving force, resulting in a phenotype based on the existing genetic network, or are developmental bottlenecks producing the barrier? The PhD project will focus on different plant genera belonging to different main clades of the Angiosperm phylogeny, and at least one should preferably represent a polyploid complex, either closely related species with different ploidy or different ploidy levels within single species. Some of the questions that will be asked are: Are different species and ploidy levels isolated by postzygotic hybridization barriers in the seed? Do we find the same phenotypic endosperm barrier as we have already found in Arabidopsis species? And the same genes or epigenetic mechanisms involved? The PhD Research Fellow will be trained in different methodologies ranging from field work, crossing experiments, phenotypic developmental analysis and genomic imprinting analysis to transcriptome/genome sequencing and associated bioinformatics.

For further reference, see Lafon-Placette et al., PNAS, 2017.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. 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.

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in plant evolution or developmental biology or a Master’s degree demonstrating experience relevant to the project
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Hands on experience with bioinformatics and/or statistical analysis of data from high-throughput sequencing, and/or experience from experimental plant research, ideally related to genetic and phenotypic analyses or plant reproduction
  • High motivation with the ambition to gain new insights and publish papers in leading, international journals
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team, as well as independently
  • Candidates without a Master’s degree have until 30 June, 2019 to complete the final exam

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must correspond to C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must correspond to B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must correspond to the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English


We offer

  • Salary NOK 449 400 – 505 800 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • A brief account (one page, as a separate file) of the applicant’s interest and motivation for applying for the position
  • 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, 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.

Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position. For more information see: http://www.mn.uio.no/english/research/phd/

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 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

For further information please contact:

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact: HR-officer Nina Holtan, phone: +47 22 854424, e-mail: [email protected]

Apply for this job