PhD student position: non-cancer drugs for cancer prevention and treatment

We are searching for a PhD student with background from epidemiology or biostatistics for a cancer research project on non-cancer drugs.
Sist oppdatert: 15.06.2020

A position for a PhD student is available at the Cancer Registry of Norway, Institute of Population-based Cancer Research, Oslo, Norway.

The fellowship duration is 3 years, and is funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

Our research group’s ultimate aim is to demonstrate that the use of certain non-cancer drugs, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-hypertensives and anti-diabetics, can lower the risk of cancer and improve its prognosis.

In the present project, we will investigate if use of three promising drugs - metformin, beta-blockers and aspirin - can improve the prognosis and reduce the risk of breast cancer and colorectal cancer.

The potential of the three drugs will be studied from different angles.

First we will use the linkage between national registries, including the Cancer Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Prescription Database, to investigate how the use of these drugs affect cancer incidence and prognosis in the Norwegian population.

Second, the most promising results will be investigated in cell experiments and mouse models, in collaboration with external research groups.

Job description

The PhD student will work in a team of biostatisticians, epidemiologists and researchers in cancer.

  • He/she will be primarily responsible for the analysis of registry data for the colorectal cancer part of the project.
  • He/she will identify drugs that lower the risk of cancer and/or improve cancer prognosis, by applying statistical models for longitudinal and survival data.
  • He/she will collaborate with the team in the organization and management of the data, perform data analyses and write scientific papers.
  • He/she will present the results of his/her research in international journals and at national and international conferences.


We are looking for a candidate who is collaborative and enthusiastic, with the following qualifications:

  • Completed MSc degree (120 ECTS) or an equivalent qualification in epidemiology or (bio)statistics, minimum grade B (ECTS grading system)
  • Experience with handling and analysing large datasets
  • Experience with advanced statistical softwares, such as Stata, SAS or R
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Personal qualities;
  • Highly motivated with an interest in pharmacoepidemiology or drug safety
  • Ability to work systematically
  • Result oriented
  • Ability to conduct research in a collaborative environment

We can offer

  • Dynamic, multi-disciplinary and creative work environment
  • Our expertise in cancer research, biostatistics and pharmacoepidemiology
  • Collaboration with strong cancer research groups, such as the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Victoria, Australia, the Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital and possibly more
  • We have flexible working hours, good welfare benefits and insurance and pension scheme in accordance with Oslo University Hospital agreements.

The PhD student position will be placed in salary according to the agreement in the Oslo University Hospital, minimum NOK 449.000 p.y.

In assessing the applications, emphasis will be given to the applicant’s prior experience in handling and analyzing large datasets, and academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project.

Applicants may be called in for an interview. Personal qualifications will be assessed through interviews and references.

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • A complete list of publications and academic works
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for position”.

Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system.

Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.