Researcher in clinical neuroscience and neuroimaging

Job description

Applications are invited for a position as Researcher (SKO 1109) to be based at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. The position is linked to the project BRAINMINT (Brains and minds in transition: The dark side of neuroplasticity during sensitive life phases), which is funded by an ERC Starting Grant (PI: Lars T. Westlye) for a period of 5 years. The project aims to increase our understanding of individual differences in the susceptibility for mental disorders during transformative life phases.

The successful candidate will be affiliated with the Multimodal Imaging group (PI, Lars T. Westlye, l.t.westlye@psykologi.uio.no) at the Norwegian Centre for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), University of Oslo. NORMENT is a Norwegian Centre of Excellence aiming to disentangle the neurobiological, genetic, psychological and environmental factors contributing to the development of mental illness. Through our infrastructure for clinical evaluations, cognitive assessment, neuroimaging and biobanking we are assembling a large imaging genetics database comprising data from healthy controls and patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, in addition to other brain disorders. NORMENT Multimodal Imaging group (https://www.med.uio.no/norment/english/research/groups/multimodal-imaging) currently comprises two faculty, nine researchers/postdoctoral fellows and several PhD fellows and graduate students. The group is directly involved in various large-scale international collaborative efforts and consortia, to which the successful candidate is expected to contribute.

More about the position

The primary objective of BRAINMINT is to address the hypothesis that common mechanisms which boost neuroplasticity during transitional phases increase the sensitivity to the environment and promote adaptation to changing demands, but at the cost of increased susceptibility to mental disorders if exposed to a combination of genetic risk and adverse environmental triggers. Employing an accelerated longitudinal design, we will zero in on two transformative phases which are associated with both increased neuroplasticity and prevalence of mental disorders, namely adolescence and pregnancy. 

We will combine imaging genetics data from existing large-scale resources with a novel data collection, including multi-modal brain and body MRI, cognitive tests, clinical phenotyping, and blood samples. Together with research assistants and other postdocs and PhD candidates, the successful applicant will play a central role in coordinating the data collection, and will be involved in all phases of the project including study design, piloting, recruitment, coordination, data analysis, and dissemination. 

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in psychology, medicine, cognitive neuroscience, or other relevant fields. Candidates who have submitted their thesis for evaluation within the application deadline will be considered.
  • Candidates with a documented and hands-on experience with study coordination, data collection and handling of participants will be preferred. Clinically oriented education (clinical psychologist, physician etc) is an advantage.
  • An innovative, active and strong research profile with excellent documented potential for performing high quality research. Experience with human cognitive and affective neuroscience in relation to mental health and resilience is a benefit. 
  • Documented experience with some or all of the following is required: Experimental cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, imaging genetics, network analysis, and machine learning.
  • Documented experience with statistical analysis and programming (R, Matlab, python or similar) is required.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English is required.
  • Documented interest and experience in performing and/or promoting Open Science practices and research transparency will be regarded as a substantial strength.

Personal skills

  • Ambitious and innovative with a documented ability to contribute and thrive in an inter-disciplinary and active research environment.
  • Excellent communication and collaborative skills (team player).

We offer

  • Salary (NOK 515 200- 620 000[approx. €51k – 63k] per year), – depending on experience and qualifications.
  • An ambitious and exciting research environment with a strong multidisciplinary profile and excellent opportunities for academic development.
  • Attractive welfare benefits (https://www.uio.no/english/for-employees/employment/welfare/), including excellent benefits for families (kindergarten, paid paternal/maternal leave etc) and a generous pension agreement. In addition, Oslo offers a highly family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities in its immediate surroundings.
  • Starting date: As soon as possible after August 1st 2019

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest, career plan).
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity including grant applications etc).
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only).
  • A complete list of publications (including preprints with valid links). Publications should not be submitted along with the initial application.
  • List of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented academic qualifications, as well as the candidate’s motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the shortlisted candidates will be arranged.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral and Researcher positions 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 University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Title: Associate professor Lars T. Westlye, phone number: +47 971 63 221, e-mail: l.t.westlye@psykologi.uio.no

Illustration Faculty of social sciences

About the University of Oslo 

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Department of Psychology is one of seven units of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and has 75 permanent and 70 temporary members of scientific staff. Degrees are offered at bachelor and master level, plus a clinical training programme, and the PhD programme has 140 students.

Read the job description at the university homepage

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Deadline

4th August 2019

Post expires on Sunday August 4th, 2019