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Postdoc position in statistical genetics at Aarhus University

Are you interested in the genetics of autism and related psychiatric disorders? Would you like to be part of an inspiring research environment with many opportunities for exciting and versatile work assignments? Then you could be our new colleague.

Job description
A postdoc position (up to 4 years) is vacant at the National Centre for Register-based Research (NCRR), Aarhus University. We are seeking a talented and highly motivated young researcher with a background in statistical genetics, biostatistics or bioinformatics. The position is funded by the National Institutes of Health, USA for investigations of the role of genetic and environmental factors in psychiatric disorders. Specific focus areas include assessing genetic influence on risk for autism from adverse environmental or maternal prenatal health exposures. Data will comprise linked genetic data from iPSYCH (e.g. variant calls, genotypes and polygenic scores), environmental exposure and registry data combined in innovative approaches to understand the course of autism and related psychiatric disorders.

The successful applicant will work closely with iPSYCH epidemiologists, statistical geneticists and bioinformaticians at both NCRR and the Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University. The applicant will also be working closely with Drs. Kathryn Roeder at Carnegie Mellon University and Bernie Devlin at University of Pittsburgh working on a new method to decompose the liability for autism, as well as have the opportunity to interact with collaborators at Johns Hopkins University (genetic epidemiology), Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, New York (psychiatry, psychiatric epidemiology) and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm (statistics, psychiatric epidemiology).

The successful applicant will need to be based at NCRR although short-term relocation difficulties due to Covid-19 restrictions may be accommodated on a case-by-case basis.

The work is focused on research. Tasks include collaborative and independent implementation of a number of research projects with relevant local, national and international partners. Work will include preparing large and complex data sets by linking genomic and non-genomic data (epidemiologic, exposure) for analyses, data analyses under guidance from project leaders as well as independent analyses (e.g., association analyses using genome-wide genotype data and gene-environment interaction analyses using novel analytic tools), compiling, publishing and presenting results at international conferences and in peer-reviewed scientific articles.

Professional and personal qualifications
We are looking for a person: with a relevant background in statistics, bioinformatics, genetics/genomics or similar; with excellent collaboration and communication skills and is fluent in both spoken and written English (English is the working language); who is able to work independently and with groups, and take responsibility for the complete research process from idea phase to publication and presentation of results; has a strong drive to obtain established goals; and is scientifically self-motivated and creative.

Experience is required within

  • complex trait genomics
  • conducting genetic epidemiology/genetic association studies using relevant analytic methods
  • management of large, complex data sets and statistical analyses of large genomic data sets
  • linux, bash and high performance computing
  • statistical analysis using programming languages like R, Python or MATLAB
  • GWAS analysis programs like PLINK, BOLT-LMM, GATK or GCTA

We can offer
  • An exciting job in an inspiring and informal research environment at a high international level
  • Access to a large network of local, national and internationallyrecognized partners and mentors from different countries
  • Learning and applying new analytic methods on large, complex data sets.
  • Ample opportunity to influence your own work tasks, develop new analytic and professional skills, and take lead on independent research for publication and funding applications
  • Professional training opportunities adapted to needs and interests
  • Possibility of participation in courses, as well as national and international conferences
  • Mentoring scheme with senior colleague
  • Travel opportunities for inperson work with collaborators

About us
National Center for Register-based Research is a section of the Department of Economics and is funded mainly by external research funding. NCRR features an internationally recognized research group in the field of psychiatric epidemiology. NCRR staff conduct their own research, as well as provide advice and practical guidance on register research projects, validation and data management of register data, and development of methods for analyzing register data. NCRR is a lead agency in the iPSYCH consortium (see below) and has close links with the Broad Institute, USA. NCRR also is responsible for CIRRAU (below)

The Lundbeck Foundation Initiative for Integrative Psychiatric Research (iPSYCH) was established in 2012 by funding from the Lundbeck Foundation of 121 million DKK for an initial three-year period – the largest grant ever to Danish psychiatric research – and extended for another six years to a total of 361 million DKK. iPSYCH goals are to investigate causes and consequences of five mental disorders (autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression) capitalizing on the comprehensive Danish civil and health registers and nationwide biobanks to provide population structure, clinical information and biomaterial for multi-OMICs analysis. iPSYCH partners include: Mental Health Centre Copenhagen; Capital Region of Denmark; Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark; NCRR; Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital; Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen.

Department of Biomedicine (
The Department employs some 450 people and covers a range of research areas within Biomedicine. They contribute to the Bachelor’s degree programs in medicine, molecular medicine, odontology and the Master’s degree programs in biomedical engineering and medical chemistry. The infrastructure is well developed with modern laboratories, core and animal facilities as well as a state of the art high performance computing facility dedicated to bioinformatics research.

Center for Integrated Register-Based Research is based at NCRR and funded by Aarhus University to promote multidisciplinary register-based research. CIRRAU provides the necessary and basic data infrastructure for implementation.

Place of work:
Fuglesangs Alle 26, 8210 Aarhus V

Further information
For further information about the position and the department, please contact Professor Diana Schendel, e-mail: or Associate Professor Jakob Grove, e-mail:

If you need help uploading your application or have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR supporter Charlotte Zingenberg, e-mail:

International applicant?
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners: Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here:

Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here:

Terms of employment
The appointment is made in accordance with the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities as well as the circular on the Collective Agreement for Academics Employed by the State (in Danish).
The job content and qualification requirements are described in further detail in the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Universities.

Application procedure
When you apply for this position it is mandatory to attach the following:
  • Application
  • Curriculum Vitae. You are encouraged to declare any periods of leave without research activity, including, for example, maternity leave, since your research activities are assessed in relation to your actual research time
  • Education (diploma for master's, PhD and possibly higher doctoral degree)
  • List of publications (the enclosed publications must be clearly marked on the list of publications)
  • Publications. Up to three publications can be included in the application. In the event of several authors the publications must be accompanied by a co-author statement concerning the applicant's share of the collaborative work with the consent of the co-authors. Please use this template
  • Teaching portfolio. The specific requirements regarding the documentation can be found here

Materials which cannot be uploaded together with the application may be submitted in three copies to Aarhus BSS HR & PhD, Aarhus University, Tåsingegade 1, 2nd floor, DK-8000 Aarhus C.

Read more about how to apply for an academic post at Aarhus BSS here

The evaluation process
After the application deadline, an assessment committee is appointed. Please note that the assessment of applicants is based solely on the material received prior to the application deadline. For further information, see Guidelines for Assessment Committee, Aarhus BSS.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply regardless of personal background.

The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,000 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 885 million. Learn more at

Deadline: 01 March 2021


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