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University of Oslo PhD Research Fellow in Data Science, Norway

Publish Date: Aug 05, 2016

Deadline: Aug 28, 2016

PhD Research Fellow in Data Science

There are two positions as PhD Research fellow available at the Department of Informatics.

The University of Oslo (UiO) is building up a research community in Data Science. To this end, we are looking to hire brilliant PhD students to be part of this new initiative, producing top research at the crossroad between statistics, machine learning, logic and computer science, with a specific focus on innovative uses of big data.

Every PhD student is employed at UiO for four years, with 25 % of the time dedicated to innovation related activities. Starting date for all positions is no later than 01.10.2016. No one can be appointed for more than one fixed-term period at UiO.

Data Science@UiO is fueled by internationally recognized data producing scientists at our university and anchored in the Departments of Mathematics and Department of Informatics. Two centers of excellence in research based innovation have recently been funded (each with about 3 million Euro annually and with more than 100 researchers):

Big Insight, a consortium of academic, industrial and public partners, develops statistical and machine learning methodologies and computational tools to extract knowledge from complex and big data sources, with focus on two central themes, namely novel personalized solutions and sharper predictions of transient behaviors.

Sirius, Centre for Scalable Data Access, is a consortium of academic and industrial partners, and develop new scalable methodology for information systems for accessing data in an efficient and robust computational environment.

Innovation will be central in all PhD projects. Candidates will develop new ideas and methodology motivated by challenges from our industrial partners. Support will be given by Inven2, the next-generation UiO innovation company, to build bridges between excellent research and the next generation of technology-based industry.

Project description

The purpose of the fellowships is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. The successful PhD candidates will develop new statistical, machine learning and mathematical methodology in the area of the projects listed below. The PhD programme at UiO is characterized by a strong research profile: the PhD thesis usually includes several papers which are published in leading scientific journals. Additionally, the candidates are required to take a small number of advanced courses as part of the training component of their degree.

The new PhD students, together with other PhD students, postdocs, researchers and staff in data science, are expected to contribute to building a unique scientific community at UiO, joining and organizing internal and open activities (including industrial days, reading groups, industrial internships, drop-in Data Science advising service for other researchers, junior student supervision, etc.).

The two research projects are briefly described below

Probabilistic Methods for Entity Resolution: In many large organizations, data is often split into multiple, separate, complex databases of different type and quality, often assembled in different periods and by different actors, using different identifiers for the same entities. We will tackle the problem of name resolution across databases by augmenting ontology and database reasoning techniques with predictive statistical models, in order to quantify object similarity probabilistically, and hence produce mappings and rules that resolve name conflicts.

Ontology-based data exploration: One of the challenges of big data is understanding, navigating and exploring large and complex datasets, in order to extract useful information. We will work on ontology-based data access systems for data visualization and exploration in the context of data integration.


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for this position will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic or industrial credentials.  

Applicants must hold or be about to complete a master's degree in statistics, mathematics, computer science or a related quantitative subject. Furthermore, candidates must be able to demonstrate competence in at least one modern programming language such as C++, python, matlab or R, as well as a solid background in at least one of the following areas: Databases, automated reasoning, model checking.

Because data science is an interdisciplinary field, exposure to methods and practice of both computer science and statistics is highly desirable. We seek students with a large appetite for learning new skills and techniques, who are able and willing to exploit possibilities for innovation and creativity as they arise. We seek students able to work effectively as part of a team, who are eager to both gain and share insight while being focused on publishing papers in leading international journals.

Candidates are expected to be in the upper segment with respect to academic credentials.

href="">The candidate must be proficient in written and spoken English. Proficiency in Norwegian is not required, as all PhD training at UiO can be taken in English.

Candidates who about to complete their Master's degree have until 30th of June, 2016 to complete their final exam.

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 one of the departments no later than two months after taking up the position.


Position code 1017, NOK 432 700 – 489 300 per year, ( pay grade 50 – 57) depending on qualifications and seniority.

The PhD candidate will be employed by the University of Oslo, thus enjoying all legal benefits in such a position, including health insurance, pension contributions, and family welfare benefits.

The application must include:

  • Application letter: 1-2 pages motivating interest in data science, explaining why you are suited to the position and indicating a preference for one of the two projects
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records and letters of recommendation
  • 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)

Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please remember that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

In accordance with the University of Oslo's equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of gender or ethnicity.

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


Professor Arild Waaler
Telephone: +47 95212954

Questions regarding EasyCruit, contact HR Officer Helene Beate Jansen
Telephone: +47 22857196

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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