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Postdoc in epidemiology - job post

Folkehelseinstituttet FHI
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Applications are invited for a 3-year position as a postdoctoral fellow in epidemiology to be based at the Cancer Registry of Norway, Department of Research, Section for epidemiology and prevention.

The Department of Research at the Cancer Registry has 16 researchers in permanent positions, 9 postdocs, and 6 PhD students, making up a group of more than 30 scientists, supplemented by a research support section. Additionally, there is on-going research taking place in other parts at the Cancer Registry, covering a broad spectrum of aetiology, biomolecular topics, as well as projects in the field of screening, early detection, and prognosis of cancer patients.

Our epidemiological studies rely on individual information on cancer diagnoses based on data from the Cancer Registry, which covers 7 decades of national cancer registration, often combined (by linkage) with external data sources or cohorts, contributing a wide range of data that may influence risk and prognosis.

More about the position

The position is part of a project directed towards health effects from exposure to cobalt and nickel, or rather compounds containing these metals, among industrial workers (refinery workers), and residents that may be exposed through ambient air. The project is led by PI Dr Tom K Grimsrud and co-PI Dr Jo S Stenehjem, who are senior medical officer and senior researcher at the Registry, respectively. The project is funded by a grant from the Norwegian Cancer Society, which also covers a second postdoc position on biomolecular studies of DNA methylation in blood from Norwegian cobalt and nickel refinery workers. The two postdocs will work closely together, and lab results and bioinformatics will be taken care of by the other postdoc. The project has agreements with clinical partners (Telemark Hospital) as well as prominent national and international collaborators at the University of Oslo, Statens arbeidsmiljøinstitutt (STAMI), U.S. National Cancer Institute, and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (NY).

The postdoc candidate will work with assessment of exposure-related risks of cancer among refinery workers, with a focus on lung cancer and sinonasal cancer, according to historical exposures described in job-exposure matrices (JEM) for Norwegian refinery workers. Risk in workers who have experienced relatively low-level exposures will be the main challenge, using data on short-term workers, and employees who started work after 1980, and populations with residential proximity to nickel smelters or refineries at the county or municipality level. The postdoc is expected to take an active part in assessing exposure at the refinery for the period 1995–2018, and assessing nickel exposures in ambient air. The postdoc will stay in close contact with the project’s reference group and the refinery for information about the studies, which is particularly important because we also want to recruit participants for biomolecular studies. The company health service will serve as our closest contact persons and coworkers at the refinery. The studies among residents will rely on statistics on cancer incidence and demography of the populations.

The researcher will join a highly active research group, including 2 PhD students, 3 Postdocs, 1 Researcher and 3 Senior Researchers connected with our thematic group for occupational hazards.

  • Updating of exposure matrices according to reports with measurement data;
  • Preparing applications for linkage with cancer incidence data, cancer statistics, and other data necessary for the statistical analyses;
  • Preparation of a plan for the risk analyses, as well as information to employers and employees about the use of data;
  • Summarizing results and reporting the findings as articles in scientific journals. Publication also includes presenting data for involved workers and the industry, regulatory bodies, the general audience, media, and funding sources.


Candidates must

  • hold a PhD* in epidemiology, preferably related to occupational and/or cancer epidemiology.
  • have documented programming skills, preferably with Stata or R.
  • have a documented academic track record, evidenced by successful publishing in scientific journals.
  • be fluent in English and in a Scandinavian language, and they must demonstrate strong written/verbal communication skills.

Candidates are expected to have insight into common and serious pitfalls and biases that may influence risk estimates in observational occupational follow-up studies.

  • For applicants who have yet to receive their PhD degree, the PhD dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline. Such applicants should note the date of submission of their PhD in the cover letter. Appointment is dependent on successful completion of the public defense of the doctoral thesis.

Personal abilities

We expect the successful candidate to show initiative and take a lead role in the work tasks pertaining to the position.

We offer

  • Salary to be agreed depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Fellow (postition code 1352);
  • Dedicated supervision and mentoring;
  • A formalized career development plan for postdocs;
  • 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:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest);
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity);
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only);
  • A complete list of publications;
  • Up to 5 academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered;
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number).

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. 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). In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications as well as the candidate’s motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best-qualified candidates will be arranged.

Contact information

  • Consultant and Senior Researcher Tom K Grimsrud, e-mail:

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health’s vision is better health for all. We produce, summarize and communicate knowledge for the public health sector and healthcare services. Our main activities are emergency preparedness, knowledge and infrastructure. Infrastructure comprises registries, health surveys, biobanks and laboratory services. The Institute is a government organization under the Ministry of Health. We have approximately 1200 employees located in Oslo and Bergen.

The Institute is committed to diversity. We urge qualified candidates to apply for a job with us, regardless gender, age, disability, ethnic or national background, or if there are periods of absence from work.

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