4 PhD Positions at University of Bergen, Norway

(1) PhD Research Fellow in Biology Education Research

We are seeking to fill a PhD position in Discipline-Based Education Research. The PhD candidate will focus on evidence-based assessment in higher education in Norway and the US, specifically addressing the following questions and topics:

  • How do STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) instructors in Norwegian higher education make decisions regarding assessment in their courses? What factors drive these decisions?
  • How do the impacts of an in-class test-anxiety intervention vary across institution types?
  • Evidence-based assessment. The specific topic to be mutually agreed upon between the candidate and supervisor. Options include studying impacts of assessment changes in Norwegian STEM Higher Education, focusing on student perceptions of different assessment strategies, studying assessment strategies from an equity lens etc.

The fellow will be housed in the Department of Biological Sciences (BIO) and will join a growing DBER community through several networks for excellence in higher education (e.g. Centres for Excellence in Education – SFUs) in Norway, including SFU bioCEED – Centre for Excellence Biology Education hosted by the Department of Biological Sciences. The fellow will be supervised by Professor Sehoya Cotner, in BIO and Centre Leader for bioCEED.

Qualifications and personal qualities:
  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or equivalent education in Biology or similar natural science (e.g., Environmental Science, Physiology, Ecology), or a field otherwise relevant for DBER (e.g. pedagogy, teacher education, didactics, social science psychology). If your degree is outside STEM/natural science your education must include some courses within these disciplines. Master students can apply provided they have submitted the master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • Some experience in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teaching and learning (as a Teaching Assistant, Tutor, etc.) or STEM-education research is a requirement.
  • Some experience in educational development and analysis of higher education, teaching, quantitative and/or qualitative methods, surveys and learning outcomes is an advantage.
  • Ability to provide strong evidence of existing research skills and/or knowledge to match the project topic (generally, discipline-based education research/ evidence-based assessment) is an advantage.
  • Teaching experience, at any level, is an advantage.
  • Familiarity with R (or similar statistical package) is an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Applicants must have a good command of the Norwegian language.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

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(2) PhD position in marine ecology

The PhD position is a part of the ClimateNarratives project that will use Disko Bay as a case study for a Greenland ocean-glacier system. ClimateNarratives will improve scientific understanding of climate change and changing natural systems in Greenland and the southwest Pacific, and work to better exchange local knowledge and narratives with local indigenous communities. The overall project objective is to co-create new knowledge to better assess physical and biological changes and their societal consequences. There are two other ClimateNarratives PhDs that will work in parallel at the Geophysical Institute (UiB) and at the University of the South Pacific.

The PhD project in marine ecology will focus on the seasonality of the pelagic ecosystem and ecological interactions in Disko Bay, Greenland. The main objective for the PhD project is to provide a better understanding of how the changing physical conditions of the Disko Bay ice-ocean system impact key biological processes in the pelagic. We will use zooplankton as our main study group but also include studies of primary production and fish. At the zooplankton level, species composition, seasonality in abundance, and the timing of key life cycle events will be studied. One of the main aims is to disentangle the roles of land-based processes, such as glacier melt, and ocean-based processes such as sea ice cover and water mass advection, on the ecological dynamics in the bay. The seasonality of these drivers and the biological interactions of the pelagic ecosystem will be given much attention.

The objective will be achieved primarily through analyses of existing data and field work to collect additional samples (zooplankton sampling primarily), lab experiments, and ecological modelling. The field work will be integrated with an ongoing monitoring program. The PhD candidate will collaborate with a Climate-Narrative PhD candidate in physical oceanography, and we aim for active use of the synergies this offer, including joint supervision.

Main PhD supervisor will be Professor Øystein Varpe, with Professor Lars H. Smedsrud at Department of Geophysics (GFI) and Professor Torkel Gissel Nielsen (DTU Denmark) as co-supervisors. It is expected that the candidate will spend time in Ilulissat (Greenland) and do field work on sea ice and from the local research vessel. The PhD student will have access to a team of multi-disciplinary researchers in the ClimateNarratives project and in-depth collaborations across the disciplines will be encouraged and facilitated.

Qualifications and personal qualities
  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or equivalent education in ecology, marine biology, or evolutionary ecology (or closely related fields). Alternatively, a master thesis must have been submitted for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • A deep understanding of ecological processes is required.
  • Experience from studies of ecological interactions and processes in marine pelagic ecosystems is a major advantage.
  • Experience from statistical analyses of ecological data is an advantage.
  • Experience from field work at sea and in polar environments is an advantage.
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(3) PhD-position (4 years)

At the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biomedicine, a PhD-position (100 %) is available for a period of four (4) years or max 4 months after completed the PhD-degree, if this is achieved within a shorter time than four years. The positions include 25 % required duties such as teaching, exam work or supervision, depending on the demands at the department.

The position is part of the consortium project ”Understanding plasticity and neural circuit dynamics in the brain” (TMS Brain Research Initiative), funded by the University of Bergen and “Trond Mohn Stiftelse” (TMS). Expected starting date is January 1, 2023.

About the project/work tasks:
  • The main objective of the TMS Brain Research Initiative is to identify core principles of plasticity and neural circuit dynamics in the brain.
  • The project is hosted by the University of Bergen and organized as a consortium collaboration between the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Bergen (UiB) and the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
  • The consortium project is organized into five interactive work packages, based on multidisciplinary collaborations between the UiB and NTNU partners.
  • The PhD fellow will be linked to a work package studying the neuromodulation of retinal microcircuits for vision in starlight, twilight, and daylight.
  • The PhD fellow will join an active neuroscience research group with two principal investigators (prof. Espen Hartveit and prof. Meg Veruki). The project focuses on investigating plasticity of neuronal microcircuits involving amacrine cells in the mammalian retina, including functions of ion channels and chemical and electrical synapses. Primary methods include patch-clamp electrophysiology, two-photon microscopy, including two-photon uncaging, and two-photon FLIM-FRET of intracellular signaling. The experimental work will be performed with the mammalian retina as the model system.
  • The laboratory has modern setups for in vitro electrophysiology combined with two-photon microscopy, including uncaging and FLIM-FRET.
Qualifications and personal qualities:
  • You must hold a master’s degree or equivalent in neuroscience, cell physiology, biophysics, molecular biology, biochemistry, or a related discipline.
  • Experience from relevant research projects will be considered favourably.
  • You must have a keen interest in cellular neurophysiology and imaging and wish to work on challenging problems related to mechanisms of neuronal plasticity and the correlation of structure and function of intact neural circuits.
  • Practical experience with patch-clamp electrophysiology, cellular imaging (including calcium imaging) and the use of biosensors to investigate intracellular transduction mechanisms is an advantage.
  • Experience with two-photon imaging and two-photon photostimulation / uncaging in brain slices is an advantage.
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(4) PhD Research Fellow in alpine macroecology and global change biogeography related to biodiversity

There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow within the Ecological and Environmental Change Research Group at the Department of Biological Sciences. The position is for a fixed-term period of 3 years with the possibility of a 4th year with compulsory other work (e.g. teaching duties at the Department). The position is associated with Trond Mohn Stiftelse and UiB funded project called Past, Present, and Future of Alpine Biomes Worldwide (PPF-Alpine).

Tentative starting date is January 1st 2023.

Interviews will be held in the beginning of October.

Please note that PPF-Alpine has a second PhD position currently open for application: https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/229013/phd-research-fellow-in-alpine-macroecology-and-global-change-biogeography-related-to-paleoreconstructions-and-connectivity-modelling

About the project/work tasks

Alpine biomes are present on all continents and at all latitudes worldwide. They comprise biodiversity hotpots, fulfill a crucial role in hydrological and climate regulation, and provide vital support for the livelihoods and wellbeing of billions of people. Importantly, alpine biomes and their diversity are characterized by a dynamic past. Indeed, during the Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles, they underwent multiple expansion-contraction pulses, which resulted in recurrent episodes of connection and fragmentation that likely shaped present-day biodiversity and mountain hotspot patterns. The main aim of PPF-Alpine is to decipher the role of Quaternary climate dynamics in driving present-day alpine biodiversity based on the notion that their dynamic past may hold key insights for their future resilience. The cross-disciplinary team of PPF-Alpine will do so by integrating expertise, tools, and data from glaciology, glacial geomorphology, paleoecology, biogeography, macroecology, and landscape modelling.

The candidate will conduct analyses on observed biodiversity in alpine biomes across different scales, taxonomic groups, and biodiversity metrics. A key task is the collection, harmonization, and assessment of large biodiversity datasets from different sources, and the integration of data from different biological, climatical, and geological fields obtained from mountains worldwide. The candidate will analyse the legacy effect of potential drivers of present-day alpine biodiversity, associated to Quaternary climate fluctuations, and biogeographical and geological processes. The candidate’s outcomes are aimed to provide key insights into the alpine biome’s resilience to future climate change effects in mountains and the identification of priority regions for conservation. Working with PPF-Alpine’s team members on different science outreach products to divulgate the overall project’s outcomes will be part of your tasks.

Qualifications and personal qualities
  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or equivalent education in biology, ecology, biogeography, or similar discipline. Master students can apply provided they complete their final master exam before 15.10.2022. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English
  • Strong interest in biogeography, macroecology and global change biology in mountains is required
  • Applicants must have strong programming and statistical skills, and be able to handle large ecological datasets in R

One or more of the following qualifications will be an advantage:

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