Join BMC

Interested in joining the BMC?

With its recognized and engaged faculty, BMC offers excellent opportunities for masters students, PhD fellows and postdoctoral fellows to participate in cutting-edge research. 

Masters and PhD Projects

1. PhD and postdoc positions at the BioMedical Center, University of Iceland

We are looking for highly qualified, motivated and hard-working postdocs and graduate students for several fully funded three year projects at the BioMedical Center, University of Iceland. The students/postdocs will belong to the Graduate Program in Molecular Life Sciences, a joint program between research groups at the University of Iceland and research organizations associated with the University and will therefore belong to a stimulating interdisciplinary educational program in the field of molecular life sciences. 

The applicant who is selected for the PhD position must formally apply for enrollment in the doctoral program and have the application approved before the position can begin.

The applicants are expected to start in September 2021.

Field of work

The projects include the following:

The projects will use cutting-edge technologies for understanding the above pathways and will involve cell and animal models, imaging, CRISPR mutagenesis and screens, cut-and-run mapping of transcription factor binding and chromatin modifications as well as advanced bioinformatics analysis. 

The projects will take place within a vibrant scientific environment within the Biomedical Center at the University of Iceland ( The BMC is an official collaboration between research groups working in biomedical molecular life sciences within the University, the University Hospital, Reykjavik University and other research institutions in Iceland. It includes over 70 Principal Investigators and over hundred graduate students and postdocs. The graduate program will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland, which is a safe, beautiful and a fun place to live and work.

Qualification requirements

  • Recent PhD degree in genetics, biostatistics or computational biology, biomedical engineering, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry or related fields for the postdoc position
  • Recent MS degree (depending on position) in genetics, biostatistics or computational biology, biomedical engineering, cellular and molecular biology, biochemistry or related fields for the PhD position
  • Research experience within the above mentioned fields
  • Experience working with mice and/or zebrafish is valuable but not required
  • Good computer and data analysis skills
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Independence
  • Ability to work in a team

Application process

Please include the following with the application:

  • Description of how the applicants meet the requirements, their interests in the project and how they can contribute to the project (max 2 pages).
  • CV.
  • Certificates of education (BS, MS and PhD degrees) and distribution of grades.
  • Reference letter from at least two previous supervisors/teachers (including information on their relationship to the applicant).
  • Overview of publications, if any.
  • Applicants are also invited to send PDF of PhD or MS thesis (in any language) and any other relevant publications if available (max 5 documents).

The salaries for the positions will be in accordance with the current collective wage and salary agreement between the trade union and the Minister of Finance. 

All applications will be answered and applicants will be informed about the appointment when a decision has been made. Applications may be valid for six months.

Appointments to positions at the University of Iceland are made in consideration of the Equal Rights Policy of the University of Iceland.

The University of Iceland has a special Language Policy.  

Application deadline

Application deadline is 21.05.2021

For further information contact

Eiríkur Steingrímsson,

Sara Sigurbjörnsdóttir,

Apply now

2. PhD studentship in Rock ptarmigan ecological genomics at the University of Akureyri, Iceland

We’re seeking a highly motivated PhD student to work on a fully funded project on genomics and ecology of rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta)  in Iceland. The project is funded for 36 months, starting in  June 2021.

The project

Ecological genomics encompasses ecology, genomics and evolutionary biology, and utilizes genomic approaches to address consequential ecological questions. In this project we will apply an ecogenomic approach, by analysis of genome diversity and gene expression, assessing the association of genetic variants to population cycling or intermediate phenotypes of rock ptarmigan. Within the frame of the recently completed comprehensive project, “Rock ptarmigan health and population change” spanning the years 2006-2018, a unique tissue-, and dataset have been created by annual collection of data on this wild bird population. We aim to explore the impact of trophic interactions such as diversity of the gut microbial community, plant-herbivore interactions and role of toxins. The health parameters and tissue collection of Icelandic rock ptarmigan are unique with no such comparable dataset available elsewhere. To convey ecogenomic approach we will generate genomes and transcriptomes from the rock ptarmigan to carry out our comparative genomics and tissue-specific expression analysis with the goal to map and characterize genomic regions involved in selection/adaption and to examine how genes are involved in various biological processes such abiotic and biotic stress responses.

The main supervisor of the PhD student will be Professor Kristinn P. Magnússon at the Faculty of Natural Resource Sciences, Universtity of Akureyri (UNAK) and Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH). Other advisors are Professor Jacob Höglund at the Instititute of Ecology and Genetics, University of Uppsala, Sweden. Professor Snæbjörn Pálsson, Facult of Life and Envirionmental Sciences, University of Iceland, Dr. Eva Charlotte Halapi at the Faculty of Health Sciences, UNAK and Professor Jennfer Forbey Dep. of Biological Sciences, Boise State University, Boise, USA. The bulk of the work will be carried out at the UNAK/IINH laboratories in Akureyri, but the student will also attend secondments in Uppsala and Idaho.

The role of the doctoral student

In accordance with the rules and regulations for doctoral studies at the University of Akureyri, the student will prepare and submit their own study plan, and otherwise submit to the obligations and attain the rights of doctoral students at UNAK. The doctoral studies will conclude with the public defense of a PhD thesis consisting of peer-reviewed publications in internationally recognized academic journals.


A successful applicant will have a first-class M.Sc.-degree or equivalent in a relevant field, such as genomics, bioinformatics, evolutionary biology or molecular genetics. The applicant will furthermore have a genuine, interest in science, as well as a willingness to learn new methods of research and excellent interpersonal and collaborative skills. Excellent reading, writing and communication skills in English are an absolute must.

Application process

Applications for doctoral student positions at the University of Akureyri are twofold. Firstly, the applicant applies to relevant research project should be submitted to the principal investigator for that project, Prof. Kristinn Pétur Magnússon, This application should consist of:

  1. A cover letter, wherein the applicant states the reasons for their interest in the project, explains how they fulfill the eligibility criteria, and outlines their proposed contribution to the project.
  2. A curriculum vitae, listing all relevant qualifications and work experience.
  3. A copy of any relevant diplomas and/or transcripts.
  4. Contact information of at least two reference persons.

Guidance can also be obtained from the doctoral studies programme at

Further information

Salaries and benefits are according to the Félag Íslenskra Náttúrufræðinga contract ( The University of Akureyri ( strives for equality regarding age, gender, race, nationality, and sexual orientation. The project is fully funded by a grant from the Icelandic Research Fund.

The application deadline is May 15th 2021. The applicant should be able to commence employment in June 2020.

For further information, please contact Professor Kristinn Pétur Magnússon at

3. M.Sc. project at the Faculty of Medicine and Icelandic Heart Association (Hjartavernd)

We are looking for a motivated individual to join our group in 2021 to work on a masters-level project on human genetics and proteomics. The aim is to combine genetic data and serum protein measurements from the AGES-Reykjavik study to identify novel pathways involved in common diseases. 
The project is computational and will involve evaluating and using bioinformatic methods. Experience using R, Python or other programming languages is therefore needed, as well as a basic understanding and interest in human genetics.
The research group is located in Læknagarður and the project is performed in collaboration with the Icelandic Heart Association. The project is funded by Rannís.
Please contact Valborg Guðmundsdottir ( for further information.

PhD and postdoctoral fellows

Group leaders at the BMC are always looking for highly motivated PhD fellows and postdocs. If there are currently no open calls posted on our website, excellent PhDs and postdocs are encouraged to apply to one of our groups for fellowships at any time. The chances for a position at BMC are increased significantly if you contact us well ahead of time. Please contact the Group Leader you wish to work with directly and please enclose the following materials:

1. Cover Letter/letter of interest
2. CV
3. Three (3) letters of reference 

Send email to

Work environment at BMC

BMC is a dynamic and international research centre. We offer good working conditions with excellent possibilities in an open, collaborative atmosphere. We offer state-of-the-art research facilities in modern laboratories. The research groups at BMC collaborate closely and all our young scientists (masters students, PhD fellows and postdocs) actively participate in all our activities.

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