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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 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

2. Postdoctoral Researcher in biochemistry/biophysics at the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences University of Iceland

The Department of Biochemistry, University of Iceland invites applications for a postdoctoral research position in molecular biophysics. 

The successful candidate will join the research group led by Dr. Pétur O. Heiðarsson ( and will work on understanding the interactions of extremely disordered transcription factors with chromatin. The successful candidate will use cutting-edge single-molecule spectroscopy and microscopy as a core method to investigate intrinsically disordered proteins that operate on a dynamic nucleoprotein landscape, in vitro and in vivo. This project, which is funded by a grant from the Icelandic Research Fund (IRF), is a multinational collaboration with research groups in Europe and Australia, and offers the candidate a possibility for short research visits abroad. The project is also affiliated with the REPIN Center at the University of Copenhagen, which is dedicated to redefining protein interactions within the framework of molecular disorder.

The work will mainly take place in the newly established Protein Science Core facility in Askja- Building of Natural Sciences, a research unit within the Science Institute, located in the heart of the Science Gardens in Reykjavík. Our infrastructure includes protein expression and purification facilities, structural and functional analysis, and a MicroTime 200 confocal microscope capable of single-molecule detection. The Protein Science Core is affiliated with the Biomedical Center ( linking it to diverse bioscience research, including over 70 PIs and 100 graduate students and postdocs.

Qualification requirements

•    PhD in biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, physics or related fields. Those applicants that do not have yet a PhD degree but are expected to finish it by the Fall of 2021, will be considered for the position, on the condition that proof of the degree is provided in due time.
•    Background in either single-molecule methodology, intrinsically disordered proteins, or chromatin biophysics. 
•    Excellent computer or data analysis skills are essential, experience with data analysis software such as MATLAB, Mathematica, or similar is highly favourable.
•    Good cooperative and social skills, ability to work both independently and in a team.
•    Proficiency in written and spoken English.

Application process

The position is funded by RANNÍS and appointment for 18 months with the earliest start in May 2021. 

Salary is in accordance with official agreement between collective wage and salary agreement between the Minister of Finance and the relevant union.

The fund also covers travel expenses to attend conferences and make research visits.
The application should include:
•    Description of how the applicants meet the requirements, their interests in the project and how they can contribute to the project (max. 1 page).
•    Curriculum vitae
•    Overview of publications
•    Certificates of education (BS, MS, PhD) and distribution of grades
•    Reference letter from at least two previous supervisors/teachers (including information on their relationship to the applicant).
•    Applicants are also invited to send PDF of PhD thesis and any other relevant publications if available (max 5 documents).

All applications will be answered and applicants will be notified of the employment decision when a decision has been made. Applications will be valid for six months from the end of the application deadline. 

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.

The School of Engineering and Natural Sciences employs approximately 360 people in academic positions. The School offers an international working environment, with the number of international employees and students increasing each year. Currently about quarter of all employees and graduate students are international. There are around 2900 students at the School, divided into six faculties, including approximately 350 MS students and 150 doctoral students. Research institutes at the School are the Science Institute that divides into the Institute of Earth Sciences and Institute of Physical Sciences, Institute of Life and Environmental Sciences, Engineering Research Institute and the Institute for Sustainability Studies which is an interdisciplinary institute and belongs to the five schools of the University of Iceland.

The University of Iceland is the largest teaching, research and science institute in Iceland and is ranked among the top 300 universities in the world by Times Higher Education.
More information about the University of Iceland can be found here

Further information

For further information, please contact Pétur O. Heiðarsson, Associate Professor at

Application deadline

Application deadline is extended to April 26th 2021

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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