PhD Research Fellowship in Computational Immunology

Oslo, Norway
13 Feb 2019
End of advertisement period
27 Feb 2019
Academic Discipline
Life sciences, Biological Sciences
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

A three-year full time PhD Research Fellowship in Computational Immunology (position code 1017) is available at the Department of Immunology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, The Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo (UiO).

More about the position

The position is available from February 2019 with a flexible start, ideally in the first half of 2019. The position will be located in the laboratories of Dr. Greiff (Lab for Computational and Systems Immunology) and Dr. Sollid (Lab for Functional Immunogenetics). The announced position is part of a transnational EU-funded Horizon2020 project.

The Greiff Lab focuses on the quantitative understanding of adaptive immune receptors (antibody and T-cell receptor) specificity using high-throughput experimental and computational immunology combined with machine learning. The long-term aim is to conceive in-silico novel immunodiagnostics and immunotherapeutics as disease diagnostic information and therapeutic potential is directly encoded into adaptive immune receptors. The advent of high-throughput sequencing has enabled an unprecedented accumulation of big immune repertoire sequencing data. However, as of yet, we lack the computational methods that help us decode the immune grammar that translates immune sequencing data to immune state diagnosis and prediction of antigen binding. We believe that learning to read and write the immune repertoire language is key for the development of entirely novel, nature-inspired precision medicine immunodiagnostics and immunotherapeutics. Recent publications by Dr. Greiff may be found on google scholar.

The Sollid Lab is striving to understand what happens when the immune system, directly or indirectly causes harm to the body. We study celiac disease to understand the interplay between genetic and environmental factors in chronic inflammatory disorders. It has become clear that celiac disease develops as the result of activation of certain antigen-specific T cells and B cells. A major effort of the lab in recent years has been to isolate such disease driving T cells and B cells and to characterize their antigen receptors. A unique setting of celiac disease to collect and scrutinize the adaptive immune receptors of disease driving T-cells and B-cells will harnessed in this project. Recent publications by Dr. Sollid may be found on google scholar.

Dr. Greiff will be main supervisor and Dr. Sollid will be co-supervisor for the successful candidate.

The research fellow must take part in the Faculty’s approved PhD program and is expected to complete the project and to follow the PhD program at the Medical faculty in order to obtain a PhD. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

The applicant must, in collaboration with her/his supervisor, within 3 months after employment, have worked out a complete project description to be attached to the application for admission to the doctoral program. For more information, please see our web site.

The candidate will develop and employ a variety of (deep) machine learning techniques, phylogenetic modeling as well as probabilistic Bayesian modelling to quantitatively characterize and predict pathogen recognition by the immune system and specifically in an

autoimmune setting (celiac disease). Computational prediction of immune recognition is a long-standing computational and immunological problem. Improving computational methods for immune recognition is crucial for the development of personalized and precision medicine approaches such as next-generation infection, cancer and autoimmune (e.g. celiac disease) immunodiagnostics and immunotherapeutics. The candidate will also develop a software framework for fast and reliable processing of single-cell and proteomics immune cell omics data. The candidate will be expected to closely collaborate with machine learning experts, computational and experimental immunologists as well as clinicians.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in computational biology, bioinformatics, informatics, statistics or a related field.  Prior knowledge of biology or immunology is an advantage. 
  • Experience with machine learning and or other mathematical approaches used in immune repertoire analysis is considered an advantage.
  • The candidate should be motivated to both learn advanced machine learning and gain insights on the characteristics of B and T-cell receptors in health and disease (autoimmunity).
  • The candidate will work in a very ambitious interdisciplinary setting which will require high flexibility.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.

The Faculty of Medicine 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.

We offer

  • An exciting research environment with opportunities for academic development.
  • Pay Grade 51–57, from NOK 449 400 to NOK 497 000, depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • A complete list of publicationsMasters thesis
  • Code samples
  • Copies of educational certificates, transcript of records
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Letters of recommendation or names and contact details of 2–3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the links “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Applicants, who are invited for an interview, are asked to provide educational certificates, diploma or transcript of records.

Formal regulations

Please also refer to the regulations pertaining to the conditions of employment for research fellowship positions

Information about guidelines concerning appointment to post doctoral and research posts at UiO

No student can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

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

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for all employees for the purpose of securing intellectual property rights to research results, etc.

Pursuant to section 25, subsection 2, of the Freedom of Information Act, information concerning the applicant may be disclosed to the public, even if the applicant has requested not to appear on the list of applicants.

Contact information

  • Associate Professor Victor Greiff, e-mail:
  • Professor Ludvig M. Sollid, e-mail:
  • HR-adviser Karoline Berg-Eriksen, (questions regarding the online application form),e-mail: