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.

Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES) is a Centre of Excellence (CoE) based at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo. CEES combines a broad spectrum of disciplines (population biology, genomics, statistics, mathematical modelling) to foster the concept of ecology as a driving force of evolution via selective processes, with a corresponding influence of evolutionary changes on ecology. CEES has over 160 members (Professors (20), postdocs/researchers (45), PhDs (25), Master’s students (25) and technical and administrative staff) and many guest researchers. The members represent 30 nationalities and constitute a vibrant and creative research environment. CEES coordinate several international networks. The budget = 150 million NOK (about 50 externally funded research projects). CEES is chaired by Professor Nils Chr. Stenseth.

Researcher in Developmental Biology and Evolution

A three year postion as Researcher in Developmental Biology and Evolution is available at CEES, Department of Biosciences.

The researcher will be part of the MOLBAR project (The molecular basis of postzygotic hybridization barriers in plants) lead by Professor Anne Brysting and Professor Paul Grini, where the main goal is to elucidate the molecular basis of postzygotic hybridization barriers in plants.

The candidate will work in close collaboration with the PIs and the rest of the 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 appointment is for a period of three years. The Research Council of Norway finances the project.

The candidate should be able to fill the position by the project start 01.08.2017 (given funding from the RCN).

Project description

The evolution of reproductive isolation is a classic problem in evolutionary biology. Plant species are typically isolated by different pre- and postzygotic barriers in potentially complex interactions. Much progress has been made in characterizing individual components of reproductive isolation but still the evolutionary forces responsible for development of postzygotic barriers are virtually unknown. The aim of the MOLBAR project is to elucidate the molecular and phenotypic basis of postzygotic hybridization barriers. Our approach is unique as it integrates detailed observation of embryo and endosperm development in hybrid seeds with identification of genes and mechanisms responsible for the barrier. To test our hypotheses, we will cross species within two Brassicaceae genera (Arabidopsis and Draba), look for similar patterns of aberrant seed development and relate these to underlying imprinting programs and gene networks. As part of the experimental setup, we will 1) characterize seed developmental phenotypes of postzygotic barriers in crosses between different species, different ploidy levels and cryptic species; 2) characterize maternal and paternal expression patterns in hybrid seeds using mRNA-seq; 3) determine imprinting status of selected candidate genes; and 4) integrate the results to improve our common knowledge on one of the core issues in evolution – the underlying causes of the evolution of reproduction barriers, and thus speciation.


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. The candidates for research fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials. The main purpose of research fellowships is to qualify researchers to work in top academic positions within their disciplines.

Applicants must hold a PhD-degree in Biology (or other corresponding education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree) and additionally have post-doctoral or researcher experience. In particular, research experience in both molecular plant developmental biology and plant evolution will be preferred. The ideal candidate must have hands on experience working with different species and ploidies within the Draba or Arabidopsis genera, experimental experience in genetic and phenotypic analyses of plant reproduction, and experience with the analysis of genomic imprinting.


We are seeking a highly motivated, enthusiastic and hard-working candidate with the ambition to gain new insights and publish papers in leading, international journals. The candidate must be able to document previous publications in top-level journals. Applicants must show good interpersonal skills and be willing to work in close collaboration with the project PIs and other members of the project team, as well as have the ability to work independently.


Please also refer to the regulations pertaining to the conditions of employment for research fellowship positions:


A good command of English is required.


Position code 1109, Salary: NOK 486 100 – 567 100 per year, ( pay grade 57 – 65), depending on qualifications and seniority.

The application must include:

  • Application letter including a statement of interest, describing how your background and previous experience relate to the project in general, and how your skills fit into the research framework outlined
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other relevant activities)
  • A project description (one page) describing in brief what determined efforts you would make to deal with the projects goals and what ideas you bring into the project
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records, letters of recommendation
  • A complete list of publications and unpublished work, and up to 5 academic papers that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

In accordance with the University of Oslo’s equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of gender or ethnicity.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about the project, please contact Professor Anne Brysting or Professor Paul Grini

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR adviser Torunn Standal Guttormsen,, telephone 22854272

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    Universitetet i Oslo
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    2017/3087 - 1109
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