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. 

The School of Pharmacy has 130 employees. We have an active research and innovation environment based on independent research in pharmaceutical topics. The School of Pharmacy is responsible for the popular master's degree program in pharmacy and has 350 competent and committed students. Pharmaceutical related research and education forms the base of all activities at the School of Pharmacy. The science of pharmacy lies in the interface between the natural sciences, pharmaceutical technology, health related topics and social sciences. This interdisciplinarity is reflected both in our study programs and in our research.

PhD Research Fellowship in pharmacognosy and DNA barcoding

The School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, announces an opening for a fully funded 3 year PhD fellowship under the Plant.ID Horizon2020 European Training Network, starting April 2018.

Plant.ID is recruiting 15 PhD fellows

The EU H2020-ITN-ETN project Plant.ID on molecular identification of plants is a European training network aimed at providing 15 PhD fellows across nine European host institutions with excellent training through a network of leading academic experts, museums, governmental and industry partners in the field, using an intensive program with network-wide training events, intra-network supervision and secondments.

Project description – PhD Fellowship 5. DNA barcoding, metabarcoding and chemical profiling of herbal products for authentication, University of Oslo.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has gained in popularity in Europe in recent decennia, and is freely available as over-the-counter (OTC) remedies through health shops, health clinics, Asian stores and online. Recent research in Australia has shown that herbal TCMs can contain toxic levels of heavy metals and pesticides, substituted ingredients and ingredients from endangered species, and are frequently spiked with (banned) pharmaceuticals. In Europe, official and illegal import of TCMs, poor regulation and poor oversight, expose consumers seeking alternative therapies to a variety of potentially lethal dangers. In this project, the School of Pharmacy (SoP), the Natural History Museum (NHM) and the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA) will combine expertise to train an ESR in a range of comparative cutting edge molecular and analytical authentication approaches oriented at regulatory stakeholders in Europe. It will combine shotgun sequencing and DNA metabarcoding with spectroscopic and NMR-based approaches to test for illegal levels of chemicals and illegally added pharmaceuticals to raise awareness in Europe to regulate the TCM market. In this project the ESR will work with reference identified TCM material medica samples as both DNA and chemical references. Objective: Development of an authentication protocol for herbal TCMs probing the different safety and compliance criteria of the relevant authorities.

Primary supervisor: Helle Wangensteen, University of Oslo. Co-supervision Hugo de Boer, University of Oslo, Kristin Odlo Høye, Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA). Planned secondments to Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA).

Who are we looking for?

Marie Curie Training Networks offer a unique opportunity to get cutting-edge training in a multidisciplinary environment with a focus on academic and personal development of the PhD fellows. The supervisors in the network each provide specific competences and as part of the network you develop your skills and carry out research both independently and as part of a network of 15 PhD fellows. The consortium ensures cross-pollination and exchange of ideas through network-wide training events, summer schools and intersectoral secondments. As a PhD fellow in the Plant.ID network, you need to have good social skills and be willing to conduct the planned secondments and importantly be innovative and goal-oriented. The candidate for PhD5 must have a master degree or equivalent in pharmacy or biology.

For PhD5 we are looking for someone with research experience in natural product characterization by NMR and LC-MS, and/or plant molecular identification using DNA barcoding or metagenomic approaches, and relevant experience will be given major weight in the evaluation of the candidates. We also want someone that shows innovative thinking, who is eager to invest in an exciting research project within an international network, and to pursue a science-based career at the interface of academia, industry and the general public.

Job conditions

The PhD student will be appointed under an employment contract with a competitive salary and mobility allowance at the host institution. The fellow is expected to start in April 2018. Additional funding for research and participation in courses, workshops, conferences, etc. is ensured. PhD5 will be enrolled in the 3-year doctoral program of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

Job description

Your key tasks as a PhD fellow in Plant.ID are:

  • Manage and carry through your research project
  • Take PhD courses within the Plant.ID network
  • Write scientific articles and your PhD thesis
  • Participate in international congresses and Plant.ID network meetings
  • Stay at a research institution for the secondment(s)
  • Teach and disseminate your research

EU eligibility criteria for candidates

  • The applicant may be of any nationality but in order to be eligible for the positions the following criteria applies to all applicants:
  • The applicant shall at the time of recruitment be eligible as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) by being in the first four years of his/her research career and not have been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • The applicant must not have resided or carried out his/her main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.

UiO eligibility criteria for the PhD program

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has the 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. 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, and this requires the applicants to hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in pharmacy or biology, minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The Master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS, as well as fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

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:

Doctoral degree: PhD in Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Doctoral degree and PhD

Application procedure

All positions are announced on the Plant.ID website and EURAXESS. Individual projects are announced at the hosting institution, and application received through the host institutions official application procedures will be considered.

The application must include:

  • Motivation letter, max 2 pages
  • CV (max 2 pages) including a list of publications (if any)
  • Summary of last degree thesis (1 page)
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Names and contact details of 3 referees.

We offer:

  • Salary (position code 1017): NOK 436 900 – 490 900 per year (before tax).
  • A professionally stimulating working environment.
  • Pension agreement with Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK)
  • Attractive welfare benefits

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees aiming to secure rights to research results:

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

If you have any questions regarding the application procedure or would like to know more about the project, please do not hesitate to contact the main supervisor Helle Wangensteen at or the project leader of Plant.ID, Hugo de Boer at

For questions regarding the recruitment system Jobbnorge or the application procedure, please contact HR Advisor Ørjan Pretorius, e-mail:

Søk stillingen

Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    15. januar 2018
  • Arbeidsgiver
    University of Oslo
  • Nettside
  • Kommune
  • Jobbnorge-ID
  • Intern-ID
    2017/12740 - 1017
  • Omfang
  • Varighet

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