Postdoctoral Research Fellow position within Department of Mathematics: Revealing the universal principles shaping organelle gen
University of Bergen, Department of Mathematics

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position within Department of Mathematics: Revealing the universal principles shaping organelle genome evolution


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Postdoctoral Research Fellow position
At the Department of Mathemathics, there is a vacancy for a postdoctoral research fellow position associated with the ERC project "EvoConBiO" (evolution and control of bioenergetic organelles). The position is for a fixed term of 3 years with the possibility for an extension of up to 6 month.


About the project/work tasks:

  • This project will use cutting-edge evolutionary modelling and inference approaches, in conjunction with large-scale genetic data, to explore the features and mechanisms governing organelle genome evolution.
  • Bioenergetic organelles (mitochondria and chloroplasts) power complex life. As a result of their fascinating evolutionary history, they retain their own reduced genomes, which exist in dynamic populations in modern cells. The complements of genes they retain are central to bioenergetics and metabolism, and mutations in these genes cause devastating diseases. However, why genes are retained in these relatively unstable environments has remained a hotly debated scientific mystery for decades.
  • This exciting project will build upon recent results (including Science magazine’s “favourite news story of 2016”) exploring the evolution of gene content in mitochondria, to reveal the principles shaping organelle genome evolution across eukaryotic life.
  • References: Johnston & Williams, Cell Systems 2016 [doi: 10.1016/j.cels.2016.01.013 ]; Hamers, Science 2016 [ doi:10.1126/science.aaf4083 ] ; Johnston, Mol Plant 2019 [doi: 10.1016/j.molp.2018.11.002 ]


Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree (e.g. a PhD from another country) within a quantitative scientific, statistical, or bioinformatics discipline. PhD students may apply if defence of their PhD thesis is completed by November 1st 2019. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • Candidates should have experience with at least one and preferably more of the following: evolutionary modelling; bioinformatics; organelle genetics; statistical inference and model selection. Coding experience is a requirement, preferably to include creating scientific simulations and/or data wrangling.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and have the ability to cooperate with others.
  • Applicants must have excellent skills in oral and written English

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.


About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:
The postdoctoral position is a fixed term position with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. If the appointee lacks teaching experience, or other relevant qualifications, the employment period may be increased by up to 6 months. Teaching and other duties will in such cases be added to the position. The position may be extended by up to one year (maximum 4 years in total) if the appointee is granted externally financed research stays abroad. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.

For postdoctoral research fellow positions associated with externally financed projects, the completion of the project proposal for the qualifying work, as well as a progress plan, will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor and head of department. It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.


We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment
  • Salary at pay grade 60 (code 1352 / pay range 24, alternative 4) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 532 300. Further promotions are made according to length of service. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits


Your application must include:

  • A brief account (maximum one A4 page) of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these should be the the main advisor from the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • List of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • Publications (as applicable)

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge


General information:
For further details about the position, please contact: Iain Johnston, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Bergen,

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

Upon the expiry of the closing date for applications, an evaluation committee will be appointed. As an applicant, you have a right of access to the committee's description of your formal and professional qualifications. If you wish to take advantage of this right of access, please contact the executive officer in charge after receiving information about the appointment of the evaluation committee.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.


About The University of Bergen (UiB)
The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.

There are seven departments and several centres at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.


1st October 2019

University of Bergen



Fixed Term

Place of service
Matematisk institutt

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