Post-doctoral scientist Psychiatric genetics
Aarhus University, Department of Economics and Business Economics

Post-doctoral scientist Psychiatric genetics


A postdoc position at the National Centre for Register—based Research is vacant from February 1, 2019, or soon thereafter. We are seeking a talented and highly motivated bioinformatician and statistical geneticist to work on combing genomic and epidemiological data in models related to the causes and consequences of mental disorders. The position will be based at the National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University, a leading international research group investigating psychiatric epidemiology. The centre has a strong track record in collaboration with other Danish researchers and with the international research community. 

We have recently appointed Dr Bjarni Vilhjalmsson to lead a new statistical genetics team that will work closely with epidemiologists, data analysts, clinicians and visiting researchers based at the National Centre for Register-based research. In particular, we are looking for researchers interested in driving innovation in how to combine evidence from epidemiology (e.g. data available from Danish registers) and genetics (e.g. polygenic risk scores, and related measures of genetic risk status). 

The position is vacant for 3 years on a fixed-term contract, funded by a grant from the Danish National Research Foundation (Niels Bohr Professorship awarded to Professor John McGrath). A specific feature of this position is the opportunity to spend periods of time at the University of Queensland, in the Program of Complex Trait Genomics, working with Professors Naomi Wray and Peter Visscher. 

In addition, the National Centre for Register-based Research is a lead agency in the iPSYCH consortium (see below) and has close links with the Broad Institute.  

iPsych research program (
The iPSYCH Initiative was established in 2012 through a donation by 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 three years through an identical grant. The iPSYCH initiative studies five mental disorders: autism, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression. It capitalizes on the comprehensive Danish civil and health registers and nationwide biobanks to provide population structure, clinical information and biomaterial for multi-OMICs analysis. Currently, the initiative have generated SNP-array on 80,000 DNA samples and whole exome sequencing data on 7,000 DNA samples to be combined with extensive register-data on environmental exposures and phenotypic data from hospital registers. Ongoing work is aiming to perform metabolomics and possibly transcriptomics on the same neonatal blood spots. In parallel clinical and translational studies are being conduction on patients and transgenic animals.

Collaborating institutions
iPSYCH partners also include Mental Health Centre Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Denmark, National Centre for Register-based Research, Aarhus University, Denmark, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital, and Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen. 

The successful applicant will formally report to Dr Bjarni Vilhjalmsson. 

Necessary qualifications
•    Background in bioinformatics, statistics, computer science, or related fields
•    Computational expertise in analyzing big data, such as e.g. UK Biobank data
•    Experience with statistical analysis using programming languages like R, Python, or MATLAB

Desirable qualifications
•    Experience with GWAS analysis programs like PLINK, BOLT-LMM, hail, or IMPUTE2
•    Be familiar with data resources like UK Biobank, 1000G, Hapmap, GO, KEGG, etc.
•    Experience with programming languages like C/C++, JAVA, or other languages
•    Experience analyzing multivariate longitudinal and survival data

Personal qualifications
•    Strong drive to obtain established goals
•    Excellent collaborative, communication and presentation skills
•    Scientifically self-motivated and creative
•    Ability to work both independently and in structured groups
•    Open-minded and analytical personality

We offer
•    An exciting job in an inspiring and informal research environment at high international level
•    Experienced colleagues from countries worldwide for competent feedback and support
•    High influence on work tasks
•    Possibility to participate in courses as well as national and international conferences

About us
NCRR – the National Centre for Register-based Research is a section at the Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS financed mainly by external research funds ( The Centre houses an internationally acknowledged group of researchers in psychiatric epidemiology, regularly publishing scientific articles ( In addition to its own research, the Centre also conducts guidance and counselling related to register-based research projects, validation and data management of register data, as well as development of methods for analysis of register data.

Niels Bohr Professorship: Until the end of 2021 NCRR hosts Niels Bohr professor John McGrath from Brisbane, Australia. Professor McGrath is world leading in psychiatric research, and the grant from the Danish National Research Foundation has enabled him to establish an exciting research project at NCRR in close collaboration with the employees of the centre. Read more here.

iPSYCH:  is a central project in the research at NCRR. iPSYCH studies the environmental and genetic architecture of mental disorders ( iPSYCH is the world’s largest study of its kind and presently includes approx. 80,000 persons.

CIRRAU: The National Center for Register-based Research also houses CIRRAU (Center for Integrated Register-Based Research), funded by Aarhus University with the purpose of promoting interdisciplinary register-based research ( CIRRAU provides the necessary and basic data infrastructure for the implementation of several registry-based research projects.

Place of work is Fuglesangs Alle 26, 8210 Aarhus V

For further information about the position, please contact center director Preben Bo Mortensen Ph.: +45 8716 5359, E-mail: 

If you need help uploading your application or have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR supporter Charlotte Zingenberg ph.: + 8716 53 62 E-mail:

Terms of employment 
The appointment is 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. 

The job content and qualification requirements are described in further detail in Circular on Terms of Employment for Academic Staff at Universities. 

Application procedure 
It is obligatory to attach the following when you apply for this position: 

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. This form can be used for the purpose 
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.


Please apply here


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