University of Oslo PhD Research Fellowship in Plague Wildlife and Urban Transmission Modelling, Norway

University of Oslo, Norway


February 28, 2016

Opportunity Cover Image - University of Oslo PhD Research Fellowship in Plague Wildlife and Urban Transmission Modelling, Norway

University of Oslo PhD Research Fellowship in Plague Wildlife and Urban Transmission Modelling

A PhD Research Fellow position is available at the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis (CEES)., The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years with no compulsory teaching work. Tentative starting date as soon as possible, but no later than 1 June 2016. 

Job Description

The main objective of the PhD project is to create computational models that reconstruct the spread of plague across Eurasia in historic times.  This will involve both simulating the spread of plague through rodent ecosystems, and simulating human-mediated spread within and between cities and settlements, in metapopulation type epidemiological models. As the actual transmission route of plague is not clear yet (neither within cities, between cities, or over longer distances in the wilderness), the PhD candidate will have the unique opportunity to significantly contribute to the field of plague research by exploring the boundaries and constraints of different transmission modalities. The candidate will test the defining characteristics of different disease transmission models against historic human outbreak data and recent wildlife rodent surveillance data. The candidate will determine which modes of transmission were more likely (and under which conditions), and collaborate with the team at CEES on how these more likely models can be tested, for example by their differentiating effect on an ancient DNA-based phylogenetic tree of plague.

The successful candidate will work day to day with experts on plague from the fields of mathematical biology, ecology, evolution, history and physiology, and be in close interaction and collaboration with the molecular biology and ancient-DNA focused team of "MedPlag:  The medieval plagues: ecology, transmission modalities and routes of the infections" (see


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. 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. The candidate will have completed a MSc degree (or other education equivalent to a Norwegian degree) of high quality in a relevant field in Biology (e.g. modeling, wildlife behavioural studies, immunology, epidemiology, phylogeny).

As the proposed job description is not an easy task, we seek a highly motivated, enthusiastic person with the ambition to gain insight and publish papers in leading, international journals, in possession of good interpersonal skills and willing to collaborate with researchers across disciplines. We further ask for documented experience with programming complex disease transmission models, and an affinity with searching through large bodies of literature for the needed parameter estimates and historic data against which to test said models.  A good command of English is required.

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to a 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:

A good command of English is required.


Position code 1017, Pay grade: 50 - 57 (NOK 429 700 – 482 800 per year)

The application must include

Application letter including a statement of interest, summarizing your scientific work and interests and describing how you fit the description of the person we seek.

  •  CV (summarizing education, positions and academic experience).
  •  Copies of educational certificates (bachelor and master), and transcript of records.
  •  2 names and contact details of references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number).
  •  A 3 page proposal where the candidate sets outs his/hers plans on how to fulfil the objective.
  •  Academic publications (if any, up to 3) or a master thesis may be included to be considered by the evaluation committee.

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.


Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
February 08, 2016
Link To Original