PhD Research Fellow in Plant Reproduction and Developmental Biology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 29 Feb 2024

29th February 2024

  • English

PhD Research Fellow in Plant Reproduction and Developmental Biology
Apply for this job
See advertisement
About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in Plant Molecular Genetics available at the Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than October 1, 2024.

The fellowship period is 3 years.

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

Knowledge development in a changing world - Science and technology towards 2030.

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences


(Video unable to load from YouTube. Accept cookie and refresh page to watch video, or click here to open video)

Job description

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon giving rise to parent-of-origin allele specific expression that occurs mainly in placental tissue/endosperm in animals and plants and is hypothesized to be involved in the allocation of nutrient resources to the growing embryo. Although imprinting has evolved independently in plant and animal lineages, similar epigenetic mechanisms, including DNA methylation, histone tail modification, and sRNA-guided silencing mechanisms are conserved. In plants, genomic imprinting is hypothesized to be established in the gametes and reflected in parent-of-origin allele specific expression in the endosperm after fertilization [Hornslien et al. Plant Physiol. 2019]. 

Using temporal and spatial endosperm specific GFP markers and fluorescence-assisted nuclear sorting to study endosperm expression by allele-specific transcript profiling, we have shown that imprinting patterns can be established late in endosperm development and in specific domains, challenging the current hypothesis [van Ekelenburg et al. Plant Physiol. 2023]. These findings are supported by experimental evidence from hybridization crosses between different Arabidopsis species: Here, a parental-specific expression can be reversed by fertilization by a different species, suggesting a dynamic regulation mechanism that can act after fertilization [Bjerkan et al., Plant J. 2020]. We have established that using different species in hybrid crosses leads to diametrically opposite phenotypic consequences in the endosperm, thus allowing association of imprinting patterns to a phenotype [Bjerkan et al., Front. Plant Sci. 2023].

The objective of this phd-project is to elucidate the genetic and epigenetic networks underlying endosperm development, with a focus on the role and mechanisms of imprinted genes. Investigation of research questions and testing of hypotheses is facilitated by the molecular analysis of spatial and temporal imprinting panels from fluorescence-assisted nuclear sorting, and de novo analysis of a single nuclei seed transcriptome allowing parent-of-origin allelic resolution. In addition, the hybrid seed approach developed allows phenotypic inspection as well as manipulation of imprinting patterns as described above.  

The PhD Research Fellow will be part of an international project team, which includes molecular-, developmental- and evolutionary biologists, representing a diverse array of expertise ranging from phenotypic developmental analysis and the epigenetics of genomic imprinting to bioinformatics and molecular systematics.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. 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.

We seek a highly motivated and competent candidate, with the following formal qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Plant Molecular Biology, or Plant Developmental Biology, or a Master’s degree in Biology demonstrating experience relevant to the project
  • Or a foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

Desired qualifications:

  • The ideal candidate should have one or more of the following qualifications:
  • Well documented hands-on experience in molecular biology and genetics
  • Documented experience from experimental plant research, ideally related to genetic, epigenetic and phenotypic analysis of plant reproduction
  • Documented hands-on experience with bioinformatics and statistical analysis of high-throughput sequencing data

Candidates without a master’s degree have until 30 June 2024 to complete the final exam.

Grade requirements:
The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements: 

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:

Jarli og Jordan/UiO via Unsplash Jarli og Jordan/UiO
Personal skills
  • High motivation with the ambition to gain new insights and publish papers in leading, international journals
  • Good interpersonal skills and the ability to work as part of a team, as well as independently

We offer
  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and how their research interests correspond to the announced position
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency if applicable
  • 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)

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.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

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.

UiO has an agreement for all employees , aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information about the position please contact: Paul Grini, phone: +47 99390210, e-mail: [email protected]

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact: HR Adviser Nina Holtan, e-mail: [email protected]

via Unsplash
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 Biosciences (IBV) is one of nine departments at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Research in the department is organised in five sections covering topics within biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, cell biology, genetics, aquatic biology, toxicology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Education across these topics is offered for around 350 bachelor, 250 master, and 120 PhD students. With 52 permanent professors/associate professors, post-docs, researchers, technical, and administrative personnel, the Department has a total staff of 340 from more than 30 different countries. The Department aims to maintain high international standards within both research and teaching. The new bachelor program in bioscience is the first of its kind to include programming and computational modelling as core elements.

Apply for this job

29th February 2024


University of Oslo




Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)



Place of service
Blindernveien 31, 0316 Oslo


Similar Positions