Postdoctoral fellow in human pregnancy epidemiology / genomics

Ref PAR 2024/60

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The Institute of Clinical Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology at Sahlgrenska Academy, is seeking a Postdoc for perinatal medical research at the Perinatal laboratory. The Perinatal laboratory is a research laboratory with extensive research activity of a high international level. The main languages are English and Swedish, the working environment is stimulating and developing with high productivity and the research group is inter professional.

Our research group is located at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Oslo). We investigate genetic and environmental factors affecting human gestational age at birth. We work with unique genomic data containing thousands of family trios from Norway, coupled with a rich collection of pregnancy-related medical variables and an extensive set of validated environmental exposures, and a large medical birth register with more than 4 million pregnancies from Sweden. The Perinatal laboratory and research group is led by Professor Bo Jacobsson.

Subject area 

Perinatal medical research 

Subject area description 

Research project 1

There are substantial differences in preterm birth rates across high-income countries. In a recent international project, we assessed the contributions of known risk factors to preterm delivery rates; they only explain a small proportion of the overall variation. In a follow-up study, we found a considerable variation within Sweden (three times difference), as large as that between countries.

This project, will explore the geographical and temporal differences in pregnancy and child outcomes in Sweden and identify possible individual and contextual causes. Our main aim is to understand better how sociodemographic, environmental and contextual factors affect pregnancy and child outcomes in different parts of Sweden. Our focus will be preterm delivery, pregnancy complications, perinatal mortality, and neonatal morbidity, utilizing the Swedish Medical Birth Registry, Multigenerational Registry, different Quality Registries, and data from Statistics Sweden (DeSO areas among others).

Research project 2

Preterm delivery and the duration of gestation are heritable traits. Our group has recently published the largest GWAS meta-analysis of gestational duration and preterm birth to date. The postdoc fellow will contribute to ongoing efforts in this field (GWAS, meta-analyses, gene-environment interactions, etc) and to dive deeper into the known genetic variants affecting the duration of gestation and preterm delivery. We expect to expand the analyses conducted in our previous work to diverse ancestries, and to sub-phenotypes of preterm delivery.

The postdoc fellow will use world-unique data from the Mother, Father and Child Cohort study, which includes genotype and phenotype data from from over 40,000 parent-offspring trios, and data from ALSPAC (~6,000 mother-child pairs). 


The main task is to conduct high-quality research in perinatal medical research in one of the specific research projects. There will be great opportunities to expand the project’s focus within the framework of the specified project and the postdoctoral fellow’s interests. The applicant is expected to be able to contribute to both projects to some extent.

The tasks include, among other things, data collection, quality control and analysis, dissemination of results, and supervision of master’s students and doctoral students. Furthermore, the postdoctoral fellow is expected to contribute to publications. The work task also include all types of administrative work such as writing scientific reports and project proposals, acquiring ethical approvals, as well as authoring and co-authoring research manuscripts, including the submission to the journal process and other tasks. This applies to the entire group's needs. 


To be eligible for appointment as a postdoc, the applicant is required to have a doctoral degree, a doctoral degree in art or a foreign degree that is deemed to be equivalent to a doctoral degree. This eligibility requirement must be met before the employment decision is made. 

In the first instance, those who have completed their degree no more than three years prior to the end of the application period shall be considered. Those who have completed their degree more than three years prior to the end of the application period may also be considered in the first instance if special grounds exist. Special grounds relate to leave of absence due to illness, parental leave, commissions of trust within union organisations, service within the defence services or other similar circumstances, as well as clinical service or service/assignment relevant to the subject area.   

Assessment criteria 

The applicant to either project must have a PhD degree in a field equivalent or similar to molecular biology, statistical biology, biomedicine, epidemiology, genetics, statistics, mathematical, computer or biomedical sciences. Experience in statistical modeling, either in the context of genetics or epidemiology, as well as ability to work in R/ Python and a UNIX environment are required.

Other qualifications are excellent oral and written English language skills, proven ability to write coherent scientific text with at least one published or submitted manuscript where the applicant is the first author and wrote a major part of the text. The position requires collaboration with colleagues and other research groups, but ability to generate and pursue research ideas independently will be essential.

Advantages are:

  • Experience with population genetics (microarrays, GWAS, GxE studies)
  • Experience with large data analysis or bioinformatics
  • Clinical knowledge of physiology and biology of pregnancy (gestation, preterm birth, fetal growth, preeclampsia, inflammation, infection, nutrition)
  • Experience in molecular biology (control of gene expression)
  • Experience with spatial data analysis or geographic information systems
  • Experience in student supervision
  • Experience with version control in Git 


The employment is limited (temporary) for 24 months, 100 % of full-time and is placed at Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Starting date: As agreed  

Contact information 

If you have questions regarding the position please contact Professor Bo Jacobsson via Unit manager Ylva Folkesson e-mail:


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here:  



Submit your application via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal by clicking the “Apply” button. In the selection process, it will likely be relevant with interviews, reference taking and work tests in English. The application should contain:

  • A cover letter giving a brief description of previous research experience, how this experience and your qualifications are suited to the research project proposed
  • A CV (including a selected list of publications, max. 3)
  • Proof of completed PhD
  • Contact details of two references

It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.  


Applications must be received by: 2024-03-04 


Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit: 

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.