SimulaMet, Oslo
Application deadline: 
15 February 2020

Call for PhD or PostDoctoral Researcher to Develop Data Mining Methods for Personalized Cancer Screening

Simula’s mission is to solve important and fundamental problems of science and engineering, with the main goal of improving society. We do this by concentrating on five select research areas in ICT and performing excellent research, by developing our people, and by spinning out applicable results into profitable startups. In short, “we hire the best people, those who arepersonally driven to push boundaries and innovate -  and then we give them the tools, space and freedom to do just that.” (CEO, Prof. Aslak Tveito)

Learn more about working at Simula at

Project Description

Cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. A large proportion of these incidents are preventable. For example, a mass-screening program against cervical cancer established in the Nordic countries has demonstrated a reduction in morbidity and mortality almost by 80 %. Despite this success, it remains a major challenge to improve the screening program, such as minimize over-screening and under-treatment, and hence reduce expenditure in a broad public health perspective.

Current knowledge about the disease together with a wealth of available data and modern technologies can offer far better personalized prevention, by deriving an individual-based time till the next screening.

By intelligent use of existing registries and health data, this project aims to develop a data-driven framework to provide a personalized time-varying risk assessment for cancer initiation and identify subgroups of individuals and factors leading to similar disease progression in an interpretable way. Specifically, the position will focus on (i) the mathematical formulation of multi-modal data mining methods (based on matrix/tensor factorizations), (ii) solving the formulated optimization problems, (iii) application of the developed methods on longitudinal screening and survey data.

The project is performed in collaboration between SimulaMet, Cancer Registry of Norway, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), and Karolinska University Hospital. The project combines the unique Norwegian and Swedish registry data including extensive screening histories and epidemiological expertise.

Candidate Profile

We consider interested candidates who have a BS and MS degree in computer science, electrical engineering, signal processing, statistics, applied mathematics, with top grades. For candidates for the postdoc position, the PhD thesis should focus on data mining or related fields. Other required qualifications include

  • strong background in numerical linear algebra, optimization, and data mining proved by publications,
  • ability to carry out interdisciplinary research, and strong interest in dealing with the challenges of real data,
  • fluency in MATLAB and/or Python,
  • an average GPA of at least B in BS and MS,
  • previous experience with matrix/tensor factorizations is a plus.

Contact person: Evrim Acar (

The candidates will also have to demonstrate an excellent level of spoken and written English, possess good interpersonal and communication skills and show willingness to work as part of an international team. We strive to achieve a good balance between male and female employees, and women are particularly encouraged to apply.

We offer

  • Excellent opportunities for performing high quality research, as part of a highly competent and motivated team of international researchers and engineers.
  • An informal and inclusive international working environment.
  • Generous support for travel and opportunities to build international networks, through established collaboration with industry, exchange programs and research visits with other universities, and funding to attend conferences.
  • High-standard facilities and offices located in Oslo.
  • Numerous benefits: access to company cabin, BabyBonus arrangements, sponsored social events, generous equipment budgets (e.g., computer, phone and subscription), subsidized canteen meals and monthly bus pass, comprehensive travel/health insurance policy, etc.
  • Relocation assistance: accommodation, visas, complimentary Norwegian language courses, etc.
  • Administrative research support: e.g., quality assurance process for grant proposals (including RCN and EU programs).
  • Wellness and work-life balance. Our employees’ health and well-being is a priority and we encourage them to make use of our flexible work arrangements to help balance their work and home lives efficiently.

Application requirements

Interested applicants are requested to submit the following:

  • Curriculum vitae summarizing education, positions and academic or industrial work, scientific publications
  • A cover letter explaining the candidate’s background, qualifications, research interests
  • Contact information of three references (including the main supervisor)
  • Academic transcripts
  • Research statement of max. two pages for PostDoc applicants

Applications can only be submitted via our online system, applications submitted by email will not be considered.

Applications deadline

Feb 15 2020. Applications will be screened continuously and a decision will be made as soon as we find the right candidate.


Simula Metropolitan Center for Digital Engineering uses Semac´s background check in our recruitment process.
According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.