Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Call for researchers interested in a MSCA Individual Fellowship in multi-omics of aging and neurodegeneration

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    28/04/2019 18:00 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Norway, Bergen
    Haukeland university hospital, Norway

Haukeland University Hospital (HUH) in Bergen, Norway is looking to recruit and support excellent junior scientists from outside Norway who plan to submit applications for independent research fellowships through the mobility program Marie Skłodowska Curie Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF). The call is aimed at talented, young researchers within the field of in multi-omics of aging and neurodegeneration (more information under “Who should apply”).

We invite prospective candidates who envisage HUH as their host institution to be part of our application support program:

Prospective research fellows will be selected by HUH supervisors and invited to Bergen between the 4th to the 5th of June 2019 for a MSCA-IF application writing workshop, free of charge.

HUH will reimburse all travel and accommodation costs for the participants.

After the workshop, the candidates will get further support in the application process by experienced advisors until the submission deadline on the 12th of September 2019.

How can a MSCA IF at HUH enhance your research career?

Who should apply?

MSCA IF eligibility criteria

How to apply?


How can a MSCA IF at HUH enhance your research career?

Haukeland University Hospital has a high international profile with close collaboration and shared infrastructure with the University of Bergen. With a MSCA fellowship at HUH, you will develop research experience and autonomy, hone your professional skills and grow your international profile and network. You will also live in a charming, vibrant and international city and benefit from the advantageous working conditions enjoyed in Norway.

The candidate will work in the Neuromics lab (http://www.neuromics.org/) and the newly-found Neuro-SysMed Center of Excellence for Research in Brain Diseases, which is officially opening in October 2019 (website under construction).

The Group Leader, Professor Charalampos Tzoulis, is the Director of the Neuromics Group and Vice Director of the Neuro-SysMed Center of Excellence. He has an extensive track record in the field of neurodegeneration and an excellent record in promoting the career of young scientists. 

The Neuromics lab comprises 18 members, including clinical scientists, experimentalists, computational scientists and epidemiologists devoted to the study of human aging and neurodegenerative disorders. Available facilities include well-equipped biomedical and computational laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and analysis tools. In addition, the group has full  access to a wide range of university platforms that cover microscopy, metabolomics, transcriptomic and proteomics. The candidate will work closely with experienced senior researchers, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students with broad skillset and expertise covering all aspects of the planned experimental work.

HUH offers:

  • An excellent research environment with dedicated top researchers
  • An excellent assemblage of state-of-the-art research infrastructure
  • An attractive remuneration package including top-up funding to ensure Norwegian standard salary for postdocs (> the EC contribution). (Yearly salary from 520 000 kr before taxes).
  • Free courses in transferable skills
  • Free assistance from the Bergen Technology Transfer office (BTO)
  • Flexible working time
  • Attractive welfare schemes
  • Norway provides attractive conditions for families including affordable kindergartens, free school for children from 6 years and above (in State or Communal schools) and the facilitation of social integration of foreigners from early childhood.

Who should apply?

We are seeking talented and highly ambitious scientists holding a relevant PhD degree in bioinformatics or molecular biology and/or similar disciplines meet the eligibility criteria for the MSCA IF program.

About the Projects

Neurodegenerative disorders (ND) such as Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease are a major cause of death and disability and have a devastating worldwide socioeconomic impact. Having no understanding of the pathogenic processes involved, we are unable to develop disease-modifying therapies. Therefore, patients confront a future of progressive disability and premature death with treatments that are at best symptomatic. Since demographic studies show that patient numbers will continue to grow, our failure to make any significant impact means that ND are now the major challenge to health care provision in the 21st century.

The overarching aim of our work is to decipher the molecular pathogenesis of ND and pave the way for precision medicine and patient-tailored therapies. Our Center integrates cutting-edge molecular, computational and clinical neuroscience in order to subclassify the highly heterogeneous spectrum of ND into molecularly homogeneous clusters. Emerging molecular fingerprints will be exploited as biomarkers for patient stratification and therapeutic targets for drug development. The projects are highly transdisciplinary, seamlessly combining leading research environments with industrial partners capable of supporting commercialization of project deliverables.

A constantly expanding data-bank of comprehensive phenotypical (clinical, neuroimaging, pathology) and environmental data is available. Brain tissue and other biological material are used to map and digitalize the molecular landscape of each individual. State-of-the-art multi-omics analyses produce high-resolution maps of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, proteome and metabolome at the tissue (e.g. brain) and single-cell (e.g. neuron, astrocyte) level. All molecular, phenotypical and environmental data are collected in a single, unique database at our Center.

Projects generally fall into two categories:

1. Wet lab genomics & epigenomics. The candidates will process human whole-tissue (e.g. brain, muscle, blood) and single-cells (e.g. 10X Genomics platform) and perform the appropriate extractions and library preparations for downstream ChIP-sequencing of selected targets, ATAC-sequencing, RNA-Sequencing and similar techniques.   

2. Bioinformatics & computational modelling. The candidates will analyse genomic and epigenomic data from patient whole-tissue (e.g. brain, muscle, blood) and single-cells (e.g. 10X Genomics platform), in order to elucidate novel molecular signatures and networks underlying aging and disease initiation and progression. Typical datasets include: whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, whole genome bisulfite sequencing, ChIP-sequencing, RNA sequencing and proteomics. Key-tasks include: data quality control, multi-omic integration and statistical analyses, advanced network analyses and machine learning. We are looking in particular for expertise in supervised and unsupervised learning approaches to stratify and subclassify disease. 

The following qualifications are important for a fellowship in wet lab genomics & epigenomics:

  • Extensive knowledge of neurobiology, genomics and epigenomics
  • Substantial experience working with brain tissue and other human tissues
  • Experience with single cell isolation from tissue and downstream analyses
  • Extensive experience in genetics/epigenetics including DNA/RNA sequencing, methylation analyses, chromatin state and modification analyses
  • Extensive experience in ChiP-Seq and ATAC-Seq
  • Experience with FACS will be an advantage
  • Fluency in spoken and written English at a very high level


The following qualifications are important for a fellowship in Bioinformatics & computational modelling:

  • Substantial formal training in bioinformatics
  • Fluency in Unix-based environments
  • Background in programming, preferably including use of R and python
  • Relevant training in machine learning and modelling algorithms and in statistics
  • Expertise in integrative omics data analyses at post-PhD level documented by relevant publications
  • First, second or last authorship in relevant publications
  • Experience with analysis of chromatin-modification data including: ChIPseq, ATACseq and Hi-C.
  • Knowledge of basic molecular biology and genomics
  • Fluency in spoken and written English at a very high level


MSCA IF eligibility criteria:

  • The program is open for all academic disciplines.
  • A researcher can move to a country that is a member of the European Union or an associated country to conduct research for up to 24 months.
  • Before applying, the researcher should have a PhD-degree or 4 years of research experience after attained master's degree and there is no upper age limit after achieving the PhD-degree.
  • The researcher cannot have been living or have had his main occupation in the country of the host institution (Norway) for more than 12 months within the last 3 years counting from the time of application. The researcher can come from anywhere in the world.
  • The 2019th call is not open yet, but it will be very similar to the last call: here

How to apply?

Applications should include the following:

1. Cover letter outlining your eligibility and motivation for applying (max 1 side A4)

2. Short summary of the proposed project (max 1 page)

3. CV (max 2 pages plus a list of publications and full contact details)

Please send the application documents to forskning@helse-bergen.no

For more information, please contact: forskning@helse-bergen.no


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