PhD Research Fellowship in Statistics / Data Science University of Oslo, Department of Mathematics

PhD Research Fellowship in statistics / data science


Job description

A PhD research fellowship in statistics is available at the Statistics Section of the Department of Mathematics of the University of Oslo, Norway. The fellowship is for a period of 3 years, with starting date to be agreed upon and as soon as possible.


This is an opportunity to join one of Europe's most active statistics communities at an exciting time. Currently, the department includes 10 tenured faculty members in statistics and several PhD students, making up a group of about 25. Statistics at the University of Oslo is internationally recognized, with interests spanning a broad range of areas (including space-time data, model selection, mathematical statistics, time-to-event models, data integration, copula and dependence models, statistical genomics, Bayesian inference, stochastic models, high dimensional data and models) and numerous collaborations with leading research groups nationally and internationally. In the 2012 national research evaluation, the Statistics section was judged as excellent by an international committee. In total the statistics research community in Oslo includes around 100 members.


The PhD position is part of the recently funded centre for research-based innovation Big Insight, a consortium of academic, industrial and public partners, with a funding of about 4 million Euro annually for eight years starting from 2015. Big Insight develops original statistical and machine learning methodologies and analytical and computational tools to extract knowledge from complex and big data.


Big Insight is a leading international centre in model-based statistics for complex, high dimensional data, addressed towards innovation. Big Insight is a consortium of 13 partners: The Norwegian Computing Centre, the University of Oslo (Department of Mathematics and Department of Biostatistics), the Oslo University Hospital (Cancer Registry, Department of Tumour Biology, Oslo Centre for Biostatistics and Epidemiology), the University of Bergen (Department of Mathematics), and industrial, public and business partners: ABB, DNB, DNV-GL, Gjensidige, Norsk Hydro, NAV, the Norwegian Tax Administration, Telenor and Statistics Norway.


The fellowship will be part of the research activity connected to Statistics Norway. New, often big, data sources represent a golden opportunity for many areas of science, industry, technology and society. National statistical institutes, like Statistics Norway see the opportunities to use these data sources to modernize the making of statistics. To utilize data with much finer time and spatial resolution has great potential to improve the quality and speed of decision making and societal planning. One example is the electricity consumption and smart meters in every home. They report in real time and at household level the use of electricity, which carries information on household dimension, employment, commuting, and maybe even general consumption. In this Phd project we will investigate the use of external large data to produce official statistics. We will understand how these, possibly noisy and biased data allow sharpening of estimates, providing them at a much more precise scale. We will study challenges and opportunities, and contribute to the building of a modern methodology for official statistics.


The PhD studies at the University of Oslo are characterized by a strong research profile: the PhD thesis usually includes several papers which are published in leading scientific journals, while the candidates are required to take a small number of advanced courses as part of the training component of their degree.


Big Insight and the University of Oslo offer a lively and socially rewarding environment, with many common activities, a broad visitor program, with guests from the best universities. Funding for travelling to conferences and summer schools is available. The PhD candidate will be employed by the University of Oslo, thus enjoying all legal benefits in such a position, including health insurance, pension contributions and family welfare benefits.


Eks. Forskere som smiler

Qualification requirements

The University of Oslo has a strategic ambition of being a leading research university. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected accordingly, and expected to be among the best students of their class with respect to academic credentials.


Applicants must have a Master of Science degree in statistics, mathematics, computer science, or a related quantitative subject with proven competence in statistics. Excellent results in the MSc studies are required. Candidates without a Master’s degree have time until June 30th, 2018 to complete the final exam.


The ideal candidate has some experience in methodological statistics, and an outstanding potential and genuine interest to develop statistical methodology that solves key applied problems within the present project themes. Proven experience in programming is required. We seek highly motivated and skilled persons, able to work effectively as part of a team, who are eager to both gain and share insight while being focused on publishing papers in leading international journals.


The working language is English and excellent knowledge of spoken and written English is required.


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 applications to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the positions. For more information see PhD in Mathematics and Natural Sciences.


We offer


  • salary NOK 436 900 - 490 900 per annum depending on qualifications in a position 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


How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter, explaining why you are interested in this particular position and project (1 page)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records from both the bachelor and the master degree
  • Documentation of English proficiency, if required .
  • List of own publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee, including a copy of the master thesis, if available
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)


The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).


When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the eventuelt “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.


According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.


Contact information

For further information regarding the position, please contact:

Professor Ingrid K. Glad


Questions regarding Jobbnorge, contact:

HR Officer Ørjan Pretorius




About the University of Oslo

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 Mathematics is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The Department is engaged in research covering a wide spectrum of subjects within mathematics, mechanics and statistics.


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