PhD position in Molecular Ecology

2 måneder siden
OmrådeBø i Telemark
Søk senest1.3.2024

Om stillingen

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a 100% position as PhD Research Fellow in Behavioral Ecology from 01.08.24.

The position is located at the Department of Natural Sciences and Environmental Health, and the immediate superior is the Head of the Department. The main work place is in Bø, in the Municipality of Midt-Telemark, Telemark County, Norway.

The appointment is for a duration of three years without teaching requirement. Depending on the Department's needs and the applicant's competence, a four-year appointment duration with a 25 % teaching requirement can be considered. There is a premise for employment that the PhD Research Fellow is enrolled in USN’s PhD-program in Ecology within three months of accession in the position.

About the PhD-project

“Local adaptation in the red-belted bracket fungus Fomitopsis pinicola”

This project aims to investigate the genomic basis of local adaptation and the evolutionary mechanisms involved in this process. This will provide knowledge about organisms’ ability to adapt to a changing climate. We will address these topics through a landscape genomics approach combined with phenotyping, using the widespread and ecologically important wood-decay fungus Fomitopsis pinicola as our focal organism. The analyses will provide information about which genetic loci and phenotypes are most important for adaptation to environmental variation.

The following research questions are proposed:

  • How has current and historic demographic processes shaped the genetic structure of F. pinicola in Norway?
  • How is the fitness of individuals related to its native environment and substrate?
  • What is the level of phenotypic plasticity in Fomitopsis pinicola?
  • What is the level of structural genomic variation in Fomitopsis pinicola?
  • How has selection to different environments resulted in genetic differences?

Publication of research results in international peer-reviewed journals is expected.

The primary supervisor will be Associate Professor Jørn Henrik Sønstebø at USN, and the secondary supervisors will be Assoc. Prof. Sundy Maurice from Univeristy of Oslo, and Assoc. Prof. Mona Sæbø from USN. The applicant will be part of the research group Molecular Ecology at USN.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) equivalent higher education qualifications in ecology/environmental sciences. The degree must be accomplished before application deadline.

If your higher education is from a university outside of Norway, we require it to be recognized by the Norwegian Directorate of Higher Education and Skills. You must apply for the recognition before the application deadline for this position expires. Add a receipt on your application or recognition when applying. The recognition must be sent to us and is a requirement for being hired.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Ecology within three months of accession in the position. For admission to the Program, the candidate must have a grade B (weighted average) or higher in his/her Master’s degree or equivalent higher education.

The successful candidate should have:

  • Qualifications in the field of evolutionary biology and population genetics
  • Experience with culturing of fungi or bacteria
  • Be familiar with a molecular ecology lab and modern sequencing technologies
  • Experience with bioinformatic tools
  • Good oral and written English skills
  • The ability to work independently and at the same time have the motivation to share knowledge and take part in team work

An ideal candidate should be creative, analytical, and highly self-motivated, and possess good collaborative skills. Demonstrable skills in the publications of scientific papers and experience in handling of biological samples. The staff at the faculty work within subject teams to a large extent, and the candidate must be motivated to share his or her knowledge and cooperate. Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized.

Co-operation between staff members is an integrated part of the working atmosphere at the University of South-Eastern Norway. The candidate must be motivated and demonstrate a proven ability to work effectively within a team and in a collegiate manner to formulate and realise common objectives.

We offer

  • A stimulating and growing research environment, with good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hours
  • Excellent opportunities for outdoor activities and a lively student community oncampus


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 532 200 a year. Further promotion will be based on time served in the position. In special cases, employment in code 1378 (NOK 532 200 – 667 700 a year) may be considered.

A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

Other information

The Academic Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellowships is responsible for the appointment. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. The candidates deemed best qualified will be invited to an interview.

The person appointed must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply at any given time to the post. Please note that approved work permit is a prerequisite for the employment.

According to its human resources policy, the University of South-Eastern Norway targets a balanced gender composition and aims to recruit persons with a background as an immigrant.

The University contributes to the Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. We therefore encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the post. The University will facilitate the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Pursuant to section 25, 2nd paragraph of the Freedom of Information Act, information on the applicant may be disclosed even if the applicant has requested not be included on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests are not allowed.

Contact information

For more information about the position, please contact:
Associate Professor Jørn Henrik Sønstebø, [email protected] /+47 926 09 482

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact:
Head of Department Live Semb Vestgarden, [email protected] / +47 35 95 27 97

How to apply

The University of South-Eastern Norway makes use of online application management. Applicants to the post must register their application and CV with enclosures online via the Jobbnorge recruitment portal by clicking on the link on the right-hand side –  “Søk stillingen” (Apply for the post).

The following documents shall be attached to the online application:

  • The following documents shall be attached to the online application:
  • Transcripts and diplomas of Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (120 ECTS)
  • A letter of motivation (maximum 2 pages)
  • Any scientific publications and a list of these
  • Three references (contact information)

Please note that all documents must be in a Scandinavian language or in English. Any translations must be certified.

The application will be assessed on the basis of the attached documentation as requested above. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the required documentation has been uploaded with the application deadline.

The University has been awarded a Charter & Code certificate by the European Commission, and is entitled to use the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) logo. The University is also a member of the EURAXESS network, which contributes to good working conditions for mobile researchers.

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