Norwegian version
Høstbilde med fargerike blader på Pilestredet 32

Ph.D. fellowship position in Bio-Inspired Artificial Intelligence

OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway’s third largest university, with nearly 22,000 students and 2,200 employees. Through the students we educate and the research we produce, the university has a direct impact on society, both in Norway and beyond. The university has two campuses, one in central Oslo and another a short distance from the city in the municipality of Lillestrøm. OsloMet is home to some of Norway’s largest and oldest educational programmes, including degree programmes in nursing, engineering and teacher education. The university is also a hub of research and technological innovation aimed at strengthening and sustaining the Norwegian welfare state.

The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD) offers higher education and research and development (R&D) activities within technical subjects, arts and design. The Faculty has approximately 4.000 students and 400 staff members and is situated at Pilestredet Campus in downtown Oslo and at Kjeller Campus in Viken.

The Department of Computer Science offers three bachelor’s degree programmes, a master’s degree programme, and is part of a cross-departmental PhD program. Academic staff at the department are pursuing research in a wide range of areas including computer science, the natural sciences, and innovation and management. Both students and researchers are also involved in an increasing number of interdisciplinary initiatives across the university.

At the Department, we are offering a PhD fellowship position. The successful applicant will be affiliated with the OsloMet Artificial Intelligence Lab and collaborate in the area of “Biologically inspired computational systems” with the Center of Research Excellence, NordSTAR.

Area of research

This position will focus on some of the main tasks of the EvoDevo2Learn project. Natural selection operates at the level of genetic and epigenetic factors to select the set of genes. These genes, when expressed in the right sequence over the lifetime (development), will give rise to the growing structure (the brain, body) that has the potential to behave and learn with or without supervision. Moreover, and perhaps more strikingly, living organisms reliably learn during brain development; that is, when the structure of the network is changing drastically. Visual-spatial understanding of the world, spatiotemporal causality inference and sense of agency that underpins common sense, motor control, and even language are examples of competencies acquired during brain growth. Yet, how associative learning can emerge from the combination of evolutive and developmental mechanisms remains elusive. This project will use a novel approach to design and train biologically plausible networks of artificial neurons that combine evolution, development, and experience of embodied agents to overcome one or more of these grand challenges in AI. These agents will be trained in progressively more complex environments, which will be modeled after classical psychological, neuroscience and reinforcement learning experiments. The resulting population of functional algorithms will be further analyzed in two aspects:

  1. How their connectivity contributes to their functionality
  2. regarding energy consumption when implemented in neuromorphic chips

The candidate’s project will intersect some of the following topics:

The fellowship will be for a period of three years, or alternatively, four years including 25% compulsory work (teaching and supervision activities or research administrative work). The decision on whether a 3 or a 4-year position is suitable will be discussed as part of the interview process. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty to obtain the degree PhD.

Qualification requirements

Admission to the doctoral program at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet, within 3 months after employment in the position, is a prerequisite for joining the position. To be admitted to the PhD program, the applicant must have a B or better at the master's degree and C or better at the bachelor's degree. Candidates who already hold a PhD in the same or similar field may not apply. General criteria for appointments to academic positions are covered by the Forskrift om ansettelsesvilkår for stillinger som postdoktor, stipendiat, vitenskapelig assistent og spesialistkandidat.

The following will be considered an advantage

We are looking for applicants who have

It is important to OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavors to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. You are also welcome to apply for a position with us if you have experienced periods where you have not been in work, education or training.

Expert evaluation

An expert committee will assess the applications. You must upload the following documents with the application within the final date for applications:

The following applicants are exempt from the above-mentioned language requirements:

We only process applications sent via our electronic recruitment system and all documents must be uploaded for your application to be processed. The documents must be in either English or a Scandinavian language. Translations must be authorized. Originals must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.

We can offer you

Practical information about relocation to Oslo and living in Norway.

Other information

If you would like more information about the position, feel free to contact the supervision team:

The salary for the position is in accordance with the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, job title and position code. State salary wage scale 54, NOK 501 200 per year.The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. OsloMet has adhered to the principles in the DORA declaration and obliged the institution to follow the recommendations in this declaration.If you would like to apply for the position, you must do so electronically through our recruitment system.

Deadline for application: 15.12.2022Ref.: 22/07451


OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commisson holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion. OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.