Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellowship in Systematic Botany (Natural History Museum)

Deadline: 29.05.2019

Job description

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 Natural History Museum at the University of Oslo is Norway’s most comprehensive natural history collection. For almost 200 years, preserved plant specimens, animal specimens, rocks, minerals and fossils have been collected, studied and preserved here. The museum is located at Økern and in the beautiful Botanical Garden, which is not only popular for recreation, but is a scientific collection in itself.

Flere stillinger fra Universitetet i Oslo

A PhD fellowship (SKO 1017) is available at the Natural History Museum (NHM), University of Oslo. The position is part of the “Integrative Systematics of Plants and Fungi (ISOP)“ research group and will be affiliated with the NORPART project “Collaborative learning in biodiversity, excellence in education through two-way North-South mobility” funded by SIU (the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education).

The fellowship period is 4 years, of which 3 years are devoted to carrying out a research project and one year (25%) for compulsory work consisting of teaching and supervision duties, collection work, outreach activities and research assistance.

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.

More about the position

The successful candidate will study diversity at multiple levels in space and time of the plant genus Chlorophytum (Asparagaceae). The candidate will use an integrative approach to the diversity studies that includes molecular phylogenetics, phenotypic analyses, distribution modelling, ancestral state analyses, and spatial phylogenetics. Aims with this project are (1) to establish a natural classification of Chlorophytum from tribal to species level, (2) to infer centers of diversity and -origin as well as migration trajectories, and (3) to compare various spatial diversity estimates.

The candidate will work in a group with several master students and one PhD candidate studying similar aspects of related taxa and habitats. The research project will involve fieldwork in tropical and southern Africa. The results of this project will have direct implications for both taxonomy and biodiversity management.

The project is supervised by Assoc. Prof. Charlotte Sletten Bjorå (NHM), PhD and Head of Botanical Garden Tor Carlsen (NHM) and Assoc. Prof. Mika Bendiksby (University Museum; NTNU)

Qualification requirements

  • A Master’s degree in biology (relevant themes: plant taxonomy, molecular phylogenetics, conservation genetics, ecoinformatics, or bioinformatics for biosystematics).
  • Experience with DNA-based wet lab work
  • Excellent written and verbal communication ability in English.

Evaluation of candidates will focus on the following:

  • Relevance and quality of the MSc thesis
  • Scientific publications (not necessarily expected at this level)
  • Grades from relevant university-level courses
  • Application/cover letter including a description of how this position fits the career plan and interests of the applicant
  • Collaborative skills
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position
  • An interview, including a 15 minutes presentation of your MSc thesis (only short-listed candidates)
  • Applicants must document excellent results from their education or through later research activities, be highly goal-oriented and able to deliver results on time. The successful applicant must fulfil the requirements for admission as a PhD student at UiO (see below).
  • The position requires spoken and written fluency in English. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside of Europe are encouraged to document English skills through an approved test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, CAE or CPE).

Deirable experience

  • Research experience in biosystematics (taxonomy, phylogenetics, biogeography)
  • Experience with field work in the tropics
  • Knowledge of African plant diversity and ecosystems
  • Good computing skills (e.g. distribution modelling or other ecoinformatics using R)
  • Production and handling of high throughput sequencing (HTS) data
  • Experience in chromosome cytology and/or morphometrics
  • Knowledge and interest in angiosperm/monocotyledon systematics and diversity.

Grade requirements for admission to the PhD program

  • 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

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The fellowship requires admission to the PhD program at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Appointment to a PhD research fellowship is conditional upon admission to the Faculty’s research training program. A plan for the research training must be submitted no later than two months after taking up the position, and the admission approved within three months.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 449 400 – 505 800 per year depending on qualification and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Challenging research questions and a friendly working environment
  • Full funding of the project research-related activities, including field work, lab work and presentation of results at international conferences
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Attractive welfare benefits

How to apply

The application must include (as separate and numbered documents):

1. Cover letter

2. CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work, scientific publications and other relevant experience)

3. A one-page statement explaining how a PhD in evolutionary biology will fit into the applicant’s career plan

4. Copies of educational certificates and transcripts of records

5. List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluating committee

6. Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, affiliation, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number). The references will be contacted if necessary. Letters of recommendation are therefore not required for the initial application.

7. Pdf of Master thesis (or equivalent) and potential publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluating committee

Applicants should deliver the application with the requested attachments (numberd as above) through our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to include an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

In assessing applications, particular emphasis will be placed upon educational and scientific merits and the maturity and potential of the candidates to complete the project successfully within the given timeframe. Interviews with selected candidates will be arranged.

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 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 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

About the position and project details:

About administrative questions and the application procedure: HR officer Thomas Brånå

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