2 Postdoctoral Research Fellow position - Developmental Systems in a Simple Marine Chordate

The University of Bergen invites applications for a postdoctoral research fellow positions at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology, Norway – Jan 2023

Qualification Details

  • The applicant must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree or must have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded
  • Experience in either molecular cloning, developmental and cell biology, quantitative image analysis, biophysics and/or genomics and computational biology are defined advantages
  • Prior experience with ‘emerging’ model organisms in the fields of genetics, developmental biology, cell biology and/or molecular physiology is beneficial
  • Prior experience in analysing next-generation sequencing datasets is beneficial, but not essential
  • We are seeking a candidate with interests in developmental, cell and/or systems aspects of animal development, as well as studying embryos in Natura
  • A strong motivation to perform research at an internationally competitive level is expected
  • Background knowledge of the relevant literature is a strength
  • Creative thinking and the ability to identify important questions and design scientific approaches is a strength
  • Impeccable work ethics, rigor and discipline to complete defined tasks, including detailed reporting, are strong advantages
  • Organizational and communication skills are defined strengths
  • The ability to work both independently and to cooperate with others in a structured manner is essential
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English is a requirement

Responsibilities/Job Description

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position:

There is a vacancy for up to two postdoctoral research fellow positions at the Sars International Centre for Marine Molecular Biology (www.sars.no) in the research group headed by Pr. Lionel Christiaen. The position is for a period of 4 years and is funded on the Sars Centre core budget. The Sars Centre belongs to the University of Bergen and is partner of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) (www.embl.de). The place of work will be at the Sars Centre. The preferred starting date is between April and September 2023.

About the project/work tasks:

The Christiaen lab uses a wide range of approaches, including molecular, cellular and embryological techniques, quantitative imaging, genomics including from single cells, genome engineering and computational biology methods to study development and regeneration, at a systems level, in tunicates. Tunicates, especially the genus Ciona, offer unique opportunities to leverage state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques and approaches to study chordate development with a cellular resolution and at the genome scale. Specifically, efforts using systematic CRISPR/Cas9-mediated mutagenesis, high-content imaging, data science and computational modelling are used to study the biomolecular networks governing cell fate specification and cellular behaviours, such as collective migration and oriented asymmetric cell divisions. New directions will leverage controlled culture conditions, the natural diversity of tunicate populations, single cell genomics, quantitative imaging, CRISPR/Cas9, and data science to probe the impact of environmental challenges on developing embryos at the systems scale. Projects will comprise such approaches as (1) obtaining reference genome and transcriptome sequences for local species and populations; (2) Profiling embryonic development in response to environmental perturbations using single cell genomics, (3) contributing to population and quantitative genetics approaches to study the genetic basis of natural responses to environmental perturbations; (4) deploying functional genomics methods coupled with high-content phenotypic profiling approaches, and computational modelling to build provisional molecular networks; (5) leverage optogenetics and biosensors to probe the biochemical and biophysical underpinnings of development cellular processes with high spatial and temporal resolution. The successful candidate will use a variety of methods, ranging from precise genome engineering, to single cell genomics and quantitative microscopy. The successful candidate will work in close association with the group leader and other lab members with the aim to contribute to the further development of the project in line with her/his interests.

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 4 years. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution. Upon appointment, applicants must submit a project proposal for the qualifying work including a work schedule.  It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.

How to Apply?

Application Method: online_applicationRef. No. -

Application Procedure

Your application in English must include:

  • A cover letter of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information 2-3 reference persons. One of these must be the the main advisor from the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • List of publications or other relevant scientific work
The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at JobbNorge.


  • A professional, challenging and international working environment.
  • Well-equipped, modern laboratories and facilities
  • Salary as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (code 1352) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This currently constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 573.900. Further promotions are made according to length of service. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits

General information

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position. The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions. Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met. Further information about our employment process can be found here.

Contact Details

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting: Group Leader Lionel Christiaen, tlf.: +47 55 58 43 62, email: lionel.christiaen@uib.no.