UU: Assistant Professor in data-driven evolution and biodiversity

Uppsala University

Application deadline

September 5, 2021

Assistant Professor in Data-driven evolution and biodiversity

Faculty of Science and Technology of Uppsala University

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The SciLifeLab and Wallenberg National Program for Data-Driven Life Science (DDLS) is a 12-year initiative funded with a total of SEK 3.1 billion from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The purpose of the program is to recruit and train the next-generation of data-driven life scientists and to create globally leading computational and data science capabilities in life science in Sweden.

The program will recruit 39 eminent junior group leaders as DDLS Fellows, launch over 210 postdoctoral positions and establish a research school for 260 PhDs, within both academia and industry. The program is coordinated by SciLifeLab, a nationwide research infrastructure and a hub for cross-disciplinary life sciences. The Fellows will be recruited to 11 participating host universities/organizations, enabling them to link up with strong local research environments as well as with the national DDLS program. The DDLS program promotes collaborative interdisciplinary work and engagement with industry, healthcare and other national and international partners, such as the Wallenberg AI, autonomous systems and software program (WASP), with the aim of bridging the life science and data science communities.

The DDLS program will focus on four strategic areas of data-driven research: cell and molecular biology, evolution and biodiversity, precision medicine and diagnostics, and epidemiology and infection biology. We are now looking for the first 20 junior group leaders to join us as DDLS Fellows.

Each DDLS Fellow will receive a recruitment package of 17 MSEK, which is meant to cover 5 years of his/her own salary, two PhD students and two postdoc positions, as well as running costs. The Fellow positions are tenure-track, and the universities/organizations will assume the long-term responsibility of their support as tenured faculty.

The future of life science is data-driven. Will you be leading that change with us? Then apply now!

Data-driven Evolution and Biodiversity

The subject area concerns research that takes advantage of the massive data streams offered by techniques such as high-throughput sequencing of genomes and biomes, continuous recording of video and audio in the wild, high-throughput imaging of biological specimens, and large-scale remote monitoring of organisms or habitats. Research in this subject area should aim to lead the development or application of novel methods relying on machine learning, artificial intelligence, or other computational techniques to analyze data and take advantage of such methods in addressing major scientific questions in evolution and biodiversity.

We have three potential host Departments at the Faculty of Science and Technology of Uppsala University, each with a certain focus within data-driven evolution and biodiversity. Candidates will select one preferred Department as part of the application procedure.

– The Department of Cell and Molecular Biology (ICM) drives successfully interdisciplinary research in molecular structure, function and evolution. ICM offers excellent opportunities to combine theoretical and experimental approaches. Our research strives to get a deeper and dynamic understanding of the molecular processes and selective pressure driving the evolution of cells, organisms and populations. Microorganisms are often used as model systems in these studies. For more information about this specialization and the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, see www.icm.uu.se.

– The Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG) welcomes DDLS applicants to our internationally renowned research environment in ecology and evolution of biodiversity. Research areas could involve processes at any level and all domains of life, from molecules to ecosystems, including themes such as molecular evolution, adaptation, speciation, population genomics, conservation genomics, macroecology and global biogeochemistry. For more information about this specialization and the Department of Ecology and Genetics, see www.ieg.uu.se.

– The Department of Organismal Biology (IOB) welcomes DDLS applicants who study diversity, genomics and traits using data-driven and computational approaches. IOB offers an excellent research environment, with thriving research programs focusing on evolution, genomics, and gene-environment interactions in model organisms including humans. Our work includes cross-disciplinary themes and infrastructure for intersecting, genomics, epigenomics, bioimaging, paleontology, archaeology, and evolution. For more information about this specialization and the Department of Organismal Biology, see www.iob.uu.se.


  • Research, teaching and administration. The person appointed will be expected to perform research on data-driven evolution and biodiversity.
  • Teaching duties include course responsibility and course administration and supervision of second- and third-cycle students.
  • Follow developments within the subject area and the development of society in general that is important for the work at the university.
  • The employment may include a small amount of administrative tasks, as the employee is expected to contribute collegially to the research and education environment within the program, the department and UU in general.

Appointment Period: The position can be held for a maximum of six years. An Assistant Professor can apply for promotion to Associate Professor. If the Assistant Professor is deemed suitable and fulfills the criteria for promotion established by the Faculty Board he/she shall be promoted to and employed as Associate Professor.

Qualifications Required:

  • PhD in an area using large-scale data for the study of evolutionary biology and/or biodiversity. Applicants must have obtained a PhD degree or achieved the equivalent competence within five years prior to the end of the application period.
  • Research Expertise and Teaching Experience. It is necessary that the research expertise and the teaching experience are relevant to the content of the employment and the tasks that will be included in the employment.
  • Applicants must have completed teacher training of relevance to operations at the University, comprising five weeks, or have acquired the equivalent knowledge. This training for teachers in higher education may be completed during the first two years of employment.
  • Documented ability to teach in Swedish or English is a requirement unless special reasons prevail. The holder is expected to be able to teach in Swedish within two years.
  • Personal capabilities necessary to carry out fully the duties of the appointment.

Assessment Criteria/Ranking of applicants that fulfil the above-mentioned qualifications required

The ranking of eligible applicants will be based on research and teaching expertise, of which weight will be primarily given to research expertise.

Research Expertise comprises research merits as well as the applicant´s potential to contribute to the future development of both research and teaching. In assessing research expertise research quality must be the prime consideration. The scope of research, primarily in regard to depth and breadth, must also be afforded consideration. In assessing research expertise special weight will be attached to merits in data-driven evolution and biodiversity. Special weight will also be given to merits that combine biology, computer science and mathematics.

Teaching Expertise comprises educational and teaching qualifications. In assessing teaching expertise teaching quality must be the prime consideration. The scope of teaching experience, in terms of both breadth and depth, must also be afforded consideration. When assessing the pedagogical skills, special emphasis will be placed on experience of teaching and supervision in data-driven evolution and biodiversity.

Management skills: Management skills are important for the employment and will be given high importance, and especially the ability to build and lead your own research group, recruit and supervise doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows, and receive external research grants.

Other skills: Documented ability for successful scientific collaboration.

All qualifications must be documented so that both quality and scope can be assessed.

In this recruitment, the university will primarily consider those who, after a qualitative overall assessment of competence and skill, are judged to have the best the ability to carry out and develop current tasks and contribute to a positive development of the department.

Additional information: Parental leave, part-time work due to childcare, union service, military service or the like is considered work experience and should be stated in the curriculum vitae.

Further information: In an overall assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, parental leave, part-time work relating to care of children, union assignments, military service, or the like are to be regarded as work experience.

For further information about the position please contact Professor Staffan Svärd, phone +46-18-4250594, e-mail staffan.svard@icm.uu.se.

Please submit your application by September 6, 2021 at the latest, UFV-PA 2021/2433.

Last updated: 2021-08-17

Content Responsible: David Gotthold(david.gotthold@scilifelab.se)