Post-doc, Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital (Olso, Norway)

We have an exciting three-year postdoctoral research position available within the Psychiatric Genetic Epidemiology (PaGE) group at Nic Waals Institute, Lovisenberg Diaconal Hospital. The successful applicant will work on data from more than 100,000 children and their parents from the Norwegian Mother, Father and Child Cohort Study (MoBa), including genotype data and longitudinal follow-up from pregnancy onwards.

The overarching purpose of the PaGE research program is to produce research findings contributing to more effective detection, prevention, and treatment of psychiatric disorders. PaGE has the following scientific objectives: 1) Elucidating how genetic risk for psychiatric disorders is expressed in early development; 2) Distinguishing genetic and environmental pathways of within-family transmission of psychiatric disorders; and 3) Identifying causal environmental risk and protective factors for psychiatric disorders.

The aims for the postdoctoral fellow are to use family-designs to:

  • Disentangle genetic and environmental modes of within-family transmission of psychiatric problems, including distinguishing environmental effects (i.e., parents’ characteristics influencing child psychiatric problems through the nurturing environment) from the genetic transmission of psychiatric risk variants from parents to their offspring.
  • Elucidate the extent and impact of parental assortative mating on offspring mental health.
  • Examine whether children’s psychiatric problems have causal, evocative effects on their parents’ functioning (e.g., parenting, inter-parental relationship, and psychiatric health).

MoBa is the primary sample, but we will also seek replication of our findings in other pregnancy/birth cohorts and, where appropriate, meta-analyze results across studies to further increase statistical power.

The postdoctoral researcher will lead the project at Nic Waals Institute in collaboration with Alexandra Havdahl (PI). The successful candidate will become part of a multi-institutional and international research environment, including experts in psychology and psychiatry, genetics, epidemiology, and causal inference, such as Professors Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud (Norwegian Institute of Public Health), George Davey Smith (University of Bristol), David Evans (University of Queensland), Anita Thapar (Cardiff University) and Ole Andreassen (NORMENT).

The position includes the possibility for a research visit (3-12 months) at one of the collaborating institutions such as the MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit at the University of Bristol. The funder of the postdoctoral project encourages fellows to apply for an exchange fellowship to cover all travel and accommodation expenses.

Link to application and more information:

Applications can also be submitted by email to PaGE group leader Alexandra Havdahl; email