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 a research and education department at the University of Oslo. The Department has one Centre of Excellence and four research sections. The Department has 52 faculty members and associate professors, and approximately 190 PhD students, post docs and researchers, in addition to technical and administrative staff. The working environment is international, and scientists from over 30 countries contribute to the working environment. The Department aims to maintain high international standards both within research and teaching.
IBV offers research-based education within several aspects of bioscience, including ecology, behavioural ecology, evolution, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, biomedicine, genetics, bioinformatics and biotechnology. Around 380 students are enrolled in bachelor’s programs, and 90 in master’s programs.

PhD Research Fellowship in Plant Developmental Biology and Epigenetics

Position as PhD Research fellow available at the Department of Biosciences.

The fellowship is for a period of up to 4 years (with 25 % compulsory work, given suitable language qualifications).

Starting date is no later than 01.October 2017.

Appointment for more than one fixed-term period as PhD Research fellow at the same institution is not permitted.

Job/ project description:

Fertilization in plants generates the seed, a structure with two fertilization products, the embryo, carrying the genetic makeup of the next generation, and the endosperm, a nourishing tissue. In analogy to the mammalian placenta, the endosperm is a site for the epigenetic phenomenon genomic imprinting; parent-of-origin dependent expression of genes due to epigenetic regulatory marks established in the male and female germ line.

Genomic imprinting is a highly captivating example of gene regulation. The underlying epigenetic mechanisms must be able to distinguish two identical alleles and reside in the same nucleus. Imprinted expression results from differences in epigenetic marks, including DNA methylation and post-translational modifications of histones on the parental alleles. However, by far all imprinted genes can be explained by these mechanisms, and a novel type of DNA methylation guided by small, single stranded RNA emerge as a mechanistic alternative. A related and insufficiently investigated topic is the role of imprinted genes and small RNAs in seed development after hybridization. When different species interact in fertilization, hybrid seeds are generated, that usually abort due to post-zygotic barriers, traditionally explained by mis-regulation of imprinted genes.

The advertised position as PhD Research Fellow will work with an established international team to research the roles of small RNAs in imprinted gene regulation eventually affecting other seed regulatory cascades that influence seed development or erect post-zygotic species barriers. The project will use a combination of genetic dissection, developmental phenotypic studies, transcriptomics and epigenomics. The main work will make use of the genus Arabidopsis as a model but aim at a wider evolutionary comparative study.

The project will be performed in the Paul Grini Research Group at the Department of Biosciences, Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology; for more information see


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.

Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in Molecular Genetics and document good skills and experience in molecular biology. The ideal candidate should have experience with the use of Arabidopsis in genetic and epigenetic studies and document experience with plant reproduction and plant developmental biology, including phenotypic analysis. In addition documented experience with bioinformatics analyses of high-throughput sequencing data will be preferred, but is not an absolute requirement.

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:

A good command of English is required.

We offer:

  • Salary NOK 432 700 – 489 300 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow, (position code 1017)
  • 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.

The application must include:

  • Application letter
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • A brief account (one page maximum, as a separate file) of the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript 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
  • 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.

Contact persons:

For further information please contact: Professor Paul Grini, phone: +47 22854574/+47 99390210,

For questions regarding the recruitment system, please contact HR adviser Torunn Standal Guttormsen, phone:+47 22854272,


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Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    1. august 2017
  • Arbeidsgiver
    University of Oslo
  • Nettside
  • Kommune
  • Jobbnorge-ID
  • Intern-ID
    2017/6643 - I11 - 1017
  • Omfang
  • Varighet

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