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PhD fellowship in Neuroimaging

Deadline: 30.04.2024

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, LCBC

Job description

A 3-year position as Ph.D. Fellow is available at the Center for Lifespan Changes in Brain and Cognition (LCBC), at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. The position will fit a talented candidate highly interested in applying longitudinal, multimodal models on human neuroimaging data. The primary objective of the project is to uncover associations of early life factors, including in-utero exposure to drugs, such as opioids, and brain and cognitive function from early life stages into adulthood.

The research center

The goal of LCBC is to understand differences and changes in brain and cognition through the entire lifespan, as well as how brain and cognition can be optimized. LCBC is an active multidisciplinary research center, with a staff of about 25 full-time positions, including six faculty professors/researchers, several PostDocs and Ph.D. candidates, several programmers/engineers and full-time research assistants, extensive supporting personnel, and several affiliated international researchers. LCBC has excellent research infrastructure, including access to a 3T Siemens Prisma, PET and EEG, and neuropsychological and somatic test facilities. English is the inter-collegial language of the center. LCBC has obtained several large grants, including four grants from the European Research Council (ERC), as well as funding from the Research Council of Norway, the National Health Association, the Thon Foundation, and the University of Oslo. The group was in 2015 appointed status as “world-leading” as one of five at the University of Oslo, with special funding. More information can be found on www.oslobrains.no. The current position is funded by the Department of psychology, with funds for the project drawn from the world-leading grant from the Ministry of Education and the University of Oslo.

More about the position

The successful candidate will work on quantification of differences and changes in the brain, using multimodal, longitudinal magnetic resonance images (MRIs), genetic information, self-reported mental health, and cognitive test scores from cohorts of individuals with known differences in biomedical risk at birth, including prenatal drug exposure. These individuals are followed over an extended period of development, now reaching well into adulthood. The data offer a unique opportunity to model heterogeneity in intercepts and slopes, of brain development, and link these to differences in biomedical risk at birth, cognition, mental health, and biomarker information. The work will require programming in languages such as Python, R or, Matlab and will involve the use of neuroimaging software such as FreeSurfer and others. An important focus of the candidate will also be scientific dissemination, i.e., writing and publication.

The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a Ph.D. degree. Hence, the research fellow must take part in the Department’s approved Ph.D. program. The fellowship is for a period of three years. Consideration for up to an additional fourth year may be given, inclusive of a teaching requirement, contingent upon the applicant's competence and the needs and resources of the center and the department.

The Ph.D. fellow is expected to collaborate extensively with other researchers at the center and collaborators of the center, including scientists in psychology, statistics, and genetics. The position will offer opportunities to develop high-quality research competence, work with leading experts in the field, and take part in the group’s extensive network of international collaborations. The candidate will have good opportunities to interact with other international collaborator groups.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must either hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in computational neuroscience, psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, biomedical engineering, or a closely related field.
  • Excellent English communication skills, orally and in writing are required.
  • Applicants must have experience working with a high-level programming language such as MATLAB, Python, and/or R.
  • Some competency and experience with processing neuroimaging data is required
  • Interest in effects of different factors, including early life exposures, on human brain development, is required

The following will be considered as advantages:

  • Experience in working with processing quantitative MRI and synthetic MRI
  • Experience with data curation for MRI projects
  • Experience with machine learning applications

Personal skills

In the evaluation of applicants, emphasis will be placed on the following personal skills:

  • Candidate’s good co-operative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration
  • Candidate’s professional and personal ability to work independently

In assessing applications, particular emphasis will be placed upon the quality of the candidate's academic qualifications. Interviews with selected candidates will be arranged where the applicant's prerequisites, interest in the topic and, cooperative skills will be emphasized.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 - 575 400 per year, - depending on experience and qualifications in a position as Ph.D. Research fellow, (position code 1017).

  • Professional development in a stimulating academic environment.

  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement. In addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

How to apply

The application must include

  • Letter of application, 1-2 pages, explaining the motivation for applying.
  • Curriculum Vitae summarizing education, positions, and academic work.
  • Copies of educational certificates, publications/academic work (if any) that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee.
  • Names and contact details of at least two references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail, and telephone number).
  • International applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system.

All documents should be in Scandinavian or English. The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, Jobbnorge. Please follow the link “Apply for this job”. When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the eventual “project description” and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. 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.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship 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 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.

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

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