UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Faculty of Health Sciences - Department of Community Medicine

The Faculty of Health Sciences at UiT The Arctic University of Norway represents a newly created entity gathering almost all possible health study programs. This facilitates an unique interdisciplinarity and innovation in health education and research. We work closely with the services in the North to solve tomorrow's challenges.


Read more about us at uit.no/helsefak

Research Fellow affiliated with the strategic project “Population Studies in the North” at UiT The Arctic University of Norway

At the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Community Medicine a position has become available for the role of Research Fellow, for applicants wishing to take a Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) degree. The position is part of a trans-faculty strategic project “Population Studies in the North” awarded by UiT the Arctic University of Norway, and associated with priority area “Technology” and research in “Integrated Data Analysis and Bioinformatics”. The position is affiliated at the Department of Community Medicine and the research group “Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases” in close collaboration with the “Host-Microbe Interactions” research group, Department of Medical Biology and the “Genomics Support Center”, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, and the “Center for Bioinformatics (SfB)”, Faculty of Science and Technology.


The position is available for commencement from 01.01.2019 and for a period of four years.


The Research Fellow is a training position, which comprises complete research training working towards a doctorate degree, the objective. Acceptance onto the doctorate degree programme is a prerequisite for appointment to this position, and the study period will begin upon commencement of the employment. The Research Fellow will participate in the faculty’s research training, and the doctorate degree project will be carried out over the course of the period of employment. Information on the application process for admissions to the PhD programme and on PhD regulations can be found on the website “The Research Fellow file”.


The Department of Community Medicine has approximately 200 employees and is organized in six research groups, including two in epidemiology. The majority of teaching is given in the medical study and master's program in public health. The Department also participates in other subjects at the bachelor, master and doctoral level, and administers the national research school in epidemiological studies of the environment, living conditions and health in the North (EPINOR).


The Department of Community Medicine hosts the population-based Tromsø Study, which is the most comprehensive population study in Norway. The Tromsø Study includes rich prospective data on genotype, phenotype, and circulating biomarkers, as well as microbiome data, and is the basis for research within “Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases”. Interdisciplinary national and international research collaboration promotes high-quality research on novel targets for early prevention and treatment of chronic lifestyle related diseases and translation to clinical practice and public health initiatives.


The “Center for Bioinformatics” is a research based service center established to facilitate cross-disciplinary research, teaching, and services at the interface of biotechnology and computer science. The Center is hosting the ELIXIR Norway node - a national bioinformatics service infrastructure - which is a part of the pan-European ESFRI infrastructure in bioinformatics ELIXIR.


The “Genomics Support Center” offers High Throughput Sequencing and bioinformatics Service for RNA and DNA samples from patient material, animal studies, cell models or microbes. The lab is a member of the Norwegian Sequencing Consortium (NorSeq) and the Nordic alliance for sequencing and personalized medicine. The laboratory is supported by a bioinformatics team that has competence in explorative analysis, development of predictive models biomarker discovery and multi-omics data integration.


The contact persons for this position is Professor Lars Ailo Bongo, email: lars.ailo.bongo@uit.no, phone +47 77 64 41 21, and Professor Anne-Sofie Furberg, email: anne-sofie.furberg@uit.no, phone + 47 77 64 48 41. We encourage all applicants to contact Bongo or Furberg for more information about the position.



The Research Fellow is one of several fellows who are part of UiT's interdisciplinary strategic project “Population Studies in the North”. The project will develop new, strong research environments through collaboration across faculties and academic environments to answer national and international issues regarding health and living conditions.


The Research Fellow will be associated with the research project “Technology - Integrated Data Analysis and Bioinformatics”. The main objective of the project is to utilize the technological advances and cost reduction in biotechnology instruments and computer technology to enable large-scale bioinformatics analyses in human population studies that integrate omics data with other rich data sources. As the scale of current bioinformatics analyses in population studies is limited by the instrument and analysis cost and the required human effort, our hypothesis is that integrated analyses where omics data is combined with clinical phenotypic variables enable novel opportunities for translational research and development of targeted disease prevention and treatment.


We will use data from the Tromsø Study. We will integrate microbiome data with a large set of exposure, biomarker and phenotypic variables from the cohort. This requires setting up a scalable bioinformatics pipeline for human microbiome analyses. Second, developing data exploration methods for integrated microbiome-phenotype analyses. Third, evaluating the methods to answer population study questions.


The Research Fellow will be part of a multidisciplinary team including colleagues from the research groups “Epidemiology of Chronic Diseases”, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, “Host-Microbe Interactions”, Department of Medical Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, “Genomics Support Center”, Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, and “Center for Bioinformatics”, Faculty of Science and Technology.


The Research Fellow should be willing to stay abroad for a period of six to twelve months for project-related research activities at an institution with which the research group has established collaboration.


The normal fixed term of appointment is four years with 25 per cent compulsory duties. The period of appointment shall include three years of pure research training. cf. Working and payment conditions. The position will have a particular focus on teaching at the Department of Community Medicine. The employee is obliged to contribute to the education of all students at the Faculty of Health Sciences as needed.


Required qualifications

In order to be appointed to the role of Research Fellow, the eligibility requirements for the faculty’s PhD programme must be met, cf. section 6, Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Tromsø, with additional provisions concerning the Faculty of Health Sciences which can be found on the website with the Regulations for the PhD programme at the Faculty of health Sciences.


A requirement of the position is the completion of relevant Master’s degree or other education which has been approved as equivalent to these. For admission to the position, a master's degree with grade C or better is required.


Applicants must have a documented knowledge of English, which meets the requirements as stated in the Norwegian general university and college admission requirements. Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language is an advantage, but not a requirement, for teaching purposes and due to the interdisciplinary nature of our research.


Since the focus of the project is methods development for large-scale population study bioinformatics analyses, we are looking for candidates that document software development experience, with solid knowledge in bioinformatics or computer science. Previous experience in interdisciplinary research, data analysis, and/or microbiome studies, is an advantage.


Personal skills

  • We are looking for highly motivated, hard-working and organized candidate who is able to work both independently and within an interdisciplinary team.
  • The successful candidate should have a genuine interest in research and in pursuing a doctoral degree.
  • The Research Fellow must work in Tromsø.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position are emphasized.


We can offer:

  • Interesting work tasks within an interdisciplinary research project
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Good career opportunities
  • A large degree of independence in work
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund


Working and payment conditions

The normal period of employment is four years. The PhD studies normally equate to three years. The fourth year, apportioned as 25% of each year, shall be put towards teaching or other work tasks undertaken for the university.


Shorter periods of employment may be offered if the Research Fellow has already completed parts of the research training programme, or in the event that the employment builds upon a previous appointment in an educational position (Research Fellow, Research Assistant or similar), so that the total time of research training comes to three years.


The successful candidate is obliged to make a contribution to the teaching of all students at the Faculty of Health Sciences as and where necessary.


The remuneration for Research Fellows is in accordance with the State salary scale codes 1017 and 1378, depending on the qualifications of the former.


A compulsory contribution of 2% to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.


Applications shall be sent electronically via www.jobbnorge.no and shall include:

  • cover letter including a short description of interests and reasons for applying for the position
  • project description, where relevant
  • CV containing a complete overview of education, experience, professional work, pedagogical qualifications and references
  • diplomas and certificates:
    • diploma and transcript of Bachelor’s degree or equivalent (in original language and translated)
    • diploma and transcript of Master’s degree or equivalent (in original language and translated)
  • documentation of proficiency in English
  • any academic works, including the Master’s thesis
  • form for documentation of teaching qualifications, which can be found on the website with information for applicants for positions at UiT

Proficiency in the English language can be documented in the following ways:

  • Diploma from a Norwegian upper secondary school with both spoken and written English (140 hours)
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • IELTS (International English Testing Service)
  • Completed university degree in the field of English language or literature
  • One year’s completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or USA, for which English was the language of instruction.


Applications will only be considered if all requested application documents are received before the application deadline.


All documentation to be assessed must be translated into English or a Scandinavian language.


Applications sent to us via e-mail or by any other means will not be considered.



The applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. The committee’s mandate is to undertake an assessment of the applicants’ qualifications based on the application documents and the text of the announcement.


The Assessment Committee will give emphasis to the potential for research, as presented in the Master’s thesis or equivalent, or in any other academic works.


In the assessment, consideration may also be given to professional experience and any other activity which may be significant for the completion of the doctoral degree, as well as to any pedagogical qualifications. This includes pedagogical training, teaching experience, experience of public education and experience/training of other kinds.


The applicants who are assessed as best qualified will be called to an interview. The interview shall, among other things, aim to clarify the applicant’s personal suitability for the position and motivations. A trial lecture may also be held.



In addition, applicants shall also refer to the supplementary provisions for the appointment to academic positions such as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow and Academic Assistant at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, and to regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident, which are available on the website “The Research Fellow file”.


Questions concerning the organisation of the working environment, including that of the physical state of the workplace, health services, possibilities for flexible working hours, part-time work, etc. may be addressed to the telephone reference in this announcement.


At UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, diversity is valued, and we therefore encourage all qualified applicants to apply regardless of their age, gender, functional ability or national or ethnic background. The university is an IW employer and places importance on making the necessary adaptations to working conditions for employees with disabilities.


Personal information given in an application and CV will be treated in accordance with the Act relating to the processing of personal data (the Personal Data Act). In accordance with section 25, subsection 2 of the Freedom of Information Act, the applicant may request not to be registered on the public list of applicants. However, the university may nevertheless decide to make the candidate’s name public. The applicant will receive advance notification of any such publication.


You can find more information on the website for arriving staff.


We look forward to receiving your application. 

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    2. januar 2019
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