Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Call for Expressions of Interest for MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships at Nord University: Population Mental Health

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    03/05/2021 07:30 - Europe/Brussels
    HE / MSCA
    Norway, Levanger
    Nord University
    Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences

“Call for Expression of Interest” by 1st May 2021

The Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Nord University, calls for expressions of interest from early career researchers to apply for an EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA-PF-2021). We will then work with selected applicants to write their full proposal for the 15th September 2021 deadline. Details at: www.nord.no.

The faculty is especially interested to host and train post-doctoral fellows in the following subjects within epidemiology and population mental health:

  • adolescent mental health (including family linkage)
  • student health (including study progression and employment during and after COVID)
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • sleep
  • self-harm/suicidal behaviour,
  • psychotropic drug and health service use in young people
  • psycho-somatic conditions

A combination of subjects is preferred, and related topics may also be considered. High quality data from the Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT and Young HUNT) and relevant hospital and national health registers will be provided. HUNT is internationally renowned, and Norway’s largest collection of population-based health data. Data and samples were obtained between 1984 and 2019. More than 230,000 people have participated with questionnaire data and a wide range of physical examinations, and almost 120,000 participants have submitted biological samples – blood, urine and faeces. Furthermore, GWAS data exists for nearly all of these. All participants can be followed up in central health registers and other national registers, such as birth register, disease-specific registers, educational attainment, employment, sick leave/early pension/social welfare, income, use of health services, prescription drugs, cause-specific mortality etc.

Of note, a new wave of the Young HUNT study will be carried out in 2021/2022. This will offer excellent and novel opportunities to: 1) Study and act on the further trajectories of the rapidly worsening adolescent mental health, and 2) Study how COVID 19 has impacted the whole population and its subgroups (e.g. according to social economic status, family characteristics, pre-existing conditions etc.) – both in terms of health and function in education and work.

The candidates may want to address questions such as:

  • Longitudinal studies of main determinants, and their interplay, explaining the striking increase in adolescent mental health problems – how can we inform prevention?
  • How has COVID-19 influenced mental health, lifestyle, educational attainment and employment in young people?
  • How has the sharp increase in psychological distress in the last decade, and the current COVID-19 pandemic changed use of health-care services and psychotropic drugs in young people?

The successful candidate will be supervised by Professor Ottar Bjerkeset, PhD, MD/Psychiatrist, and be a member of the faculty-based research group of Epidemiology and Population-based studies, which also includes members from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Professor Bjerkeset has more than 20 years of clinical experience and has published well on the epidemiology of adolescent and adult mental health, anxiety/depression, self-harm/suicidal behaviour and psycho-somatic disorders. The majority of his publications are based on observational data from the HUNT surveys, often linked to hospital and national registries. Bjerkeset is the PI of a number of externally funded research projects. He also has a professorship in psychiatry at NTNU, that will be an important collaborator in this project.

Expected qualification of candidates

Candidates must have a PhD within the social or health sciences. We are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this period as an opportunity to further develop their research, and to develop longer term research collaborations with Nord University and other institutions conducting research in the field. The candidates must be eligible for a Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship.

We are looking for applicants who have:

  • Broad knowledge of epidemiology and/or mental health,
  • An excellent track record in research and publications, necessary for being able to develop a competitive Marie Curie Fellowship application,
  • An open and cooperation-oriented nature, with strong abilities for independent academic work.

MSCA PF eligibility criteria

  • MSCA PF are open to excellent researchers of any nationality.
  • Researchers must be in possession of a doctoral degree.
  • At the call deadline, researchers must have a maximum of 8 years full-time equivalent experience in research, measured from the date that the researcher was in a possession of a doctoral degree.
  • Mobility rule: The researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Norway for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline.

Assessment and selection of candidates

Please send a CV, including publications list and a one-page description of the project idea by 1st May 2021 to forskning.fsh@nord.no and vilija.duleviciute@nord.no.

Administrative information on MSCA from Vilija Duleviciute, vilija.duleviciute@nord.no.

In the first step of the process we will choose the candidates for developing competitive MSCA-Postdoctoral grant applications. These qualified candidates will be invited to submit a proposal to the EU funded MSCA-PF programme. Applicants will be shortlisted by an internal panel and informed if they have been selected for the next stage within two weeks, by 15th May 2021.

There will be a training workshop for applicants at the end of May 2021.

The selected applicants will develop their MSCA-PF proposal in cooperation with their future supervisors at the Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences. In addition, they will be offered individual consultations and review of their MSCA-PF proposal.


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