PhD Research Fellow in de novo drug design

University of Bergen
January 09, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:fixed-term period of
Working Time:Full time
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PhD Research Fellow in de novo drug design UiB - Knowledge that shapes society

Through robust and close interaction with the world around us – globally, nationally and locally – we shall be instrumental in building a society based on knowledge, skills and attitudes.

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PhD Research Fellow in de novo drug design

About There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow in computational de novo drug design at the Department of chemistry. 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 funded by the Research Council of Norway via the Large-Scale Interdisciplinary project “Escaping the Combinatorial Explosion: Expert-Enhanced Heuristic Navigation of Chemical Space (eHACS)”.

About the project/work tasks:

Development of new pharmaceuticals requires efficient navigation of the vast chemical space. This may be achieved via heuristic computational methods, also termed “de novo” design methods, which may optimize toward desirable drug candidates without having to explore the complete chemical space. Via an interdisciplinary approach that includes informatics, computational chemistry, synthesis, computational biology, and biomedicine, the project team will develop radically new de novo molecular design methods. Specifically, the team will develop methods that integrate expert knowledge early on, via machine- learning models and on-the-fly human intervention in the otherwise automated process. The new methods will be applied to design inhibitors of targets for cancer and antibiotics, the most promising of which will be synthesized and tested. The PhD student will be responsible for the de novo inhibitor design. This responsibility includes the computationally derived fitness, or scoring, function, for which the PhD project may also involve development of machine- learning models to speed up the design process. The PhD research fellow will work at the interface between informatics, chemistry, and biology, and be key to achieve interdisciplinary communication and research.

Qualifications and personal qualities:
  • Applicants must hold a master's degree or equivalent education in chemistry or must have submitted his/her master's thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master's degree has been awarded.
  • Candidates must have training in, and experience with, classical, force- field-based molecular modeling.
  • Candidates must have training in, and experience with, scripting languages and object-oriented programming.
  • Candidates must have solid training in organic chemistry, including in retrosynthesis.
  • Training in quantum chemistry is an advantage.
  • Experience with applications of quantum chemical methods is an advantage.
  • Training in sampling techniques such as molecular dynamics or Monte Carlo is an advantage.
  • Training in machine learning is an advantage.
  • The appointed person must have:
  • Good abilities for critical thinking and writing.
  • Ability to work in a structured and independent manner, and to collaborate with others.
  • Good knowledge of both written and spoken English.
  • Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

    About the PhD position

    About the PhD Research Fellow

    The fellowship will be for a period of 3 years, with the possibility for a 4th year, consisting of 25 % compulsory work (e.g. teaching responsibilities at the department) distributed over the employment period. The 4th year is contingent on the qualifications of the candidate and the teaching needs of the department and will be decided by the head of department upon appointment.

    The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

    About the research training

    As a PhD Research Fellow, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. The deadline for applying for admission to the PhD programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is 2 months after you start your position or after the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

    We can offer:
  • a good and professionally stimulating working environment
  • salary as PhD research fellow (code 1017) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 501 200 (equivalent to pay grade 54). Further increases in salary are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • good welfare benefits
  • Your application must include:
  • a brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not yet completed your master's degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • relevant certificates/references
  • approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name
  • The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

    General information:

    For further details about the position, please contact Prof. Vidar R. Jensen, Department of Chemistry, phone +47-55583489 / e-mail:

    The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

    We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

    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.

    The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

    For further information about the recruitment process, click here.

    Life as a PhD candidate at UiB

    Marion Claireaux tells about life and work as a PhD candidate at UiB.

    About UiB

    The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.

    There are seven departments and several centres at Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.


    9th January 2023


    University of Bergen




    Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)


    Fixed Term

    Place of service

    Department of Chemistry, UiB

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