Postdoctoral Research Fellow position: Tracking the deep evolutionary origins of neurons

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 06 Jun 2023

6th June 2023

  • English

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position: Tracking the deep evolutionary origins of neurons
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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. 

Michael Sars Centre (Sars Centre) is situated at the Marineholmen campus together with other research institutes at the University. The Centre is organized as an independent research center placed within the faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science and partner with European Molecular Biological Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. – Read more here .

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position:

There is a vacancy for a postdoctoral research fellow position at the Michael Sars Centre in the research group headed by Dr. Pawel Burkhardt. The position is for a period of 3 years and is funded by an ERC consolidator grant (ORIGINEURO). The Michael Sars Centre belongs to the University of Bergen and is partner of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) ( ). The place of work will be at the Michael Sars Centre. The preferred but negotiable starting date is September 2023.

About the project/work tasks:

The Burkhardt group combines comparative biological systems in the laboratory to understand when and how first synapses, neurons and nervous systems evolved. The group is particularly interested in studying the nervous system of ctenophores. Ctenophores – strong candidates for being the sister-group to all other animals - are beautiful, but still mysterious marine animals. Given their phylogenetic position characterizing the nervous system of ctenophores promises to reveal fundament insights into the evolutionary origin of neurons. We are looking for a highly self-motivated and enthusiastic Postdoctoral Research Fellow with interests in evolutionary biology, neurobiology and cell biology. The project will focus on ctenophore nerve net development and, how fused neurites of the nerve net are formed. The successful candidate will undertake research using single cell RNA sequencing and transgenic reporter lines to understand nerve net development. The candidate will work in close association with the group leader and other lab members with the aim to contribute to the further development of the project in line with her/his interests.

Qualifications and personal qualities:
  • The applicant must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree in fields related to the project and must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded
  • Strong motivation/enthusiasm to perform research at an internationally competitive level
  • Practical experience with single cell RNA sequencing, single cell RNA sequencing data analysis and general-purpose programming language(s) (R and/or Python) is required
  • Practical experience in situ hybridization (ISH), hybridization chain reaction and immunofluorescence microscopy (e.g., confocal, spinning disc and/or light sheet microscopy) is highly desirable
  • Practical experience with animal care (preferable with marine invertebrates) and with microinjections is beneficial
  • The ability to work both independently and to cooperate with others in a structured manner is essential
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates. 

Special requirements for the position:  

The University of Bergen is subjected to the regulation for export control system. The regulation will be applied in the processing of the applications.

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 3 years. 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 stimulating working environment 
  • Well-equipped, modern laboratories and facilities
  • Position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (code 1352 in the basic collective agreement) and a gross annual salary of NOK 615.700 (equivalent to pay grade 63) upon appointment. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application in English must include:
  • A cover letter of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information 2-3 reference persons. One of these must 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 publications or other relevant scientific work

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

Application Deadline:  06 June 2023.

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting: Group Leader Pawel Burkhardt, tlf.: +47 906 48 539, email: .

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.

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 .

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6th June 2023


University of Bergen




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