PhD Fellowship in Deep Learning on Biomedical Data

University of Stavanger


Ph.D Fellowship in Deep Learning on Biomedical Data

Job description

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Deep Learning in Biomedical Data at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The position is vacant from June 1st, 2021.

This is a trainee position that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development leading to a doctoral degree.

The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively, or four years with both research and 25% compulsory duties. This will be clarified in the recruitment process.

About the research project

Physical inactivity is a major challenge to global health and the problem is increasing rapidly; >5 million deaths each year are attributable to insufficient physical activity. Norway is among the European countries with the lowest level of spontaneous physical activity.

Recent technological advances in personal heart rate and activity monitors in form of smart watches may make these devices potentially important tools in combatting physical inactivity by providing automatic motivation and individualized guidance on physical activity.

Despite the rapidly increasing use of smart watches there is yet no long-term documentation for their benefit and their potential role as diagnostic tools has not been established.

Characteristics of heart rate and changes in heart rate during exercise and rest, are strong predictors of cardiovascular prognosis. At the same time in the recent years, smart watches with integrated HR monitors for the first time became truly available to the average consumer. This makes meaningful research possible.

Smart watches produce significant amounts of data, what calls for automated data analysis and requires application of big data tools in addition to a mix of other data science concepts such as machine learning and time series analysis.

The research will be performed at first based on data obtained during the NEEDED 2018 study, containing heart rate (HR), blood samples, and other data for 60 subjects collected both during standardized physiological tests and during a bicycle race.

The goal is to develop a model that predicts the expected, normal HR response to physical exercise. Such model can then be used for detection of a pathological heart rate response in existing data and future studies. New data will be integrated in the model as they become available.

The data abundance might be useful in early stages of analysis, nevertheless, it is important to determine a minimal set of inputs that can provide useful and conclusive information to the user and physician. This minimization leads to an improved long-term accuracy and security.

Another important question is to what extent causal conclusions could be drawn from largely observational data and if it is possible to design simple controlled experiments to strengthen the causal arguments. These questions will drive further stages of the PhD work.

Supervisors: Associate Professor Tomasz Wiktorski, Professor Trygve Eftestøl and Professor II Stein Ørn.

Qualification requirements

We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within Computer Science, Data Science, Signal Processing or equivalent, preferably acquired recently; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate.
To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Stavanger both the grade for your master's thesis and the weighted average grade of your master's degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade. If you finish your education (masters degree) in the spring of 2021 you are also welcome to apply.

Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F should attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale. You can use these conversion scales to calculate your points for admission.

Emphasis is also placed on your:

fluency in Python or ability to acquire such fluency in within the first three months of employment
experience in time series analysis using Pandas library and deep learning methods motivation and potential for research within the field your professional and personal skills for completing the doctoral degree within the timeframe ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload having a good command of both oral and written English

Requirements for competence in English

A good proficiency in English is required for anyone attending the PhD program. International applicants must document this by taking one of the following tests with the following results:

the following tests with the following results:
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language, Internet-Based Test (IBT). Minimum result: 90
IELTS - International English Language Testing Service. Minimum result: 6.5
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) og Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) from the University of Cambridge
PTE Academic - Pearson Test of English Academic. Minimum result: 62
The following applicants are exempt from the above requirements:
Applicants with one year of completed university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, USA
Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
Applicants with a completed bachelor's and / or master's degrees taught in English in a EU/EEA country

We offer

varied duties in a large, exciting and socially important organisation
an ambitious work community which is developing rapidly. We strive to include employees at all levels in strategic decisions and
promote an informal atmosphere with a flat organisational structure.
colleague-based guidance programme (NyTi) if teaching is a part of your position
salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, 17.515, code 1017, NOK 482 200 gross per year with salary
development according to seniority in the position. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
automatic membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which provides favourable insurance- and retirement benefits favourable membership terms at a gym and at the SIS sports club at campus
employment with an Inclusive Workplace organisation which is committed to reducing sick leave, increasing the proportion of employees with reduced working capacity, and increasing the number of professionally active seniors "Hjem-jobb-hjem" discounted public transport to and from work
as an employee in Norway, you will have access to an optimal health service, as well as good pensions, generous maternity/paternity leave, and a competitive salary. Nursery places are guaranteed and reasonably priced
relocation programme language courses: On this page you can see which language courses you may be entitled to (look up "language courses" under employment conditions)


Being independent, involving and innovative are the university's values. We consider diversity to be a resource in our working and learning environment, and we are keen to show respect for one another's differences and backgrounds. Universal design must characterize of physical and digital learning environment, and the workplace will, if necessary, be facilitated for employees with disabilities.

If you find the position to be interesting, we encourage you to apply, regardless of gender, disability, cultural background or any periods of unemployment.

The university aims to recruit more women into positions as PhD Fellow in the subject area; thus, if several applicants are considered to have equal qualifications, a female applicant will be given priority over a male.

Contact information

More information on the position can be obtained from Associate Professor Tomasz Wiktorski,
tel: +47 51 83 20 61, e-mail:

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR-consultant Rosa Andrade, tel: +47 51 83 11 91, e-mail:


To apply for this position please follow the link "Apply for this job". Your application letter, relevant education and work experience as well as language skills must be registered here. In your application letter, you must state your research interests and motivation for the position.

The following documents must be uploaded as attachments to your application:

CV with a full summary of your education and experience
publications or other relevant research work
references, certificates/diplomas and other documentation that you consider relevant

Applications are evaluated based on the information available in Jobbnorge at the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.

The documentation must be available in either a Scandinavian language or in English. If the total size of the attachments exceeds 30 MB, they must be compressed before upload.

Please note that information on applicants may be published even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the official list of applicants - see Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act. If your request is not granted, you will be notified.
UiS only considers applications and attachments registered in Jobbnorge.

General information

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. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to UiS.

Employment as PhD Fellow is regulated in "Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow and research fellow, research assistant and resident".

Your qualifications for the position, based on documentation registered in Jobbnorge, will be assessed by an internal expert committee. Based on the committee's statement, relevant applicants will be invited to an interview before any recommendations are made. References will also be obtained for relevant candidates. More about the hiring process on our website.

The appointee will be based at the University of Stavanger, with the exception of a stay abroad at a relevant centre of research.

It is a prerequisite that you have a residence which enables you to be present at/available to the academic community during ordinary working hours.

The position has been announced in both Norwegian and English. In the case of differences of meaning between the texts, the English text takes precedence.
UiS - challenge the well-known and explore the unknown

The University of Stavanger (UiS) has about 12,000 students and 1,900 employees. The university has high ambitions. We strive to have an innovative and international profile, and be a driving force in knowledge development and in the process of societal change. Our common direction is driven by consideration for sustainable change and equitable social development, through new ways of managing natural resources and facilitating better cities and local communities. Energy, health and welfare, learning for life are our focus areas.

In constant collaboration and dialogue with our surroundings, regionally, nationally and internationally, we enjoy an open and creative climat for education, research, innovation, dissemination and museum activities. Academic life at the University of Stavanger is organised into six faculties comprising various departments/schools and National Research Centres, as well as the Museum of Archaeology. We are a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The university is located in the most attractive region in the country with more than 300,000 inhabitants. The Stavanger region has a dynamic labour market and exciting cultural and leisure activities.

Together with our staff and students we will challenge the well-known and explore the unknown.
The Faculty of Science and Technology offers study programs at bachelor, master and doctoral level. The faculty has established close cooperation on research with NORCE (Norwegian Research Centre AS) and the regional industry. A number of master's and doctoral theses are made in collaboration with the industry. The faculty has established research collaborations with universities in the US and Europe, and has developed academic environments that are at the forefront internationally. These include Petroleum and Offshore Technology as well as Risk Management and Societal Safety, which constitute two of the university's strategic focus areas. The faculty has about 2,800 students and approximately 400 employees at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Department of Structural Engineering and Materials Science, Department of Mathematics and Physics, Department of Energy and Petroleum Engineering, Department of Energy
Resources and the Department of Safety, Economics and Planning.

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science carries out research within computer science, data Science, cybernetics and signal processing, and offers bachelor programs in electrical engineering and computer science, master programs in computer science, data science and cybernetics/signal processing, and a PhD program in information technology. There are currently 50 employees, including research
fellows and postdocs, and 600 students at the department.

In your application, please refer to