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Guide for applicants for LEAD AI fellowships

This page contains information on eligibility rules, application requirements, submission procedures, evaluation procedures and employment conditions.


LEAD AI (Bergen research and training program for future AI leaders across the disciplines) is a career and mobility fellowship programme for training 19 postdoctoral research fellows in Artificial Intelligence, managed by the University of Bergen (UiB). 

The research opportunities range from basic AI research for the relevant disciplines to more applied research in the natural sciences and medicine, and issues such as the interaction between AI, people and society with legal and ethical challenges.

The program has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 101126560.


Our first call consists of 11 positions. The applications opened 22 March 2024, with a deadline 21 May 2024, and we invite talented researchers to apply for the fellowships.


Who can apply - eligibility rules 

To be considered eligible for academic review, applications must adhere to the following program requirements:

  • Applicants must have been awarded a relevant PhD degree at the time of the deadline of the call. Candidates who have formally submitted their theses might also be considered eligible to apply; in this case, employment can only happen after the successful defense of the thesis according to UiB’s rules for recruitment.
  • Mobility rule for incoming fellowships: Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (e.g., studies, work, research) in Norway for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline. Successful applicants must move to Norway for employment unless exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise.
  • Mobility rule for outgoing fellowships: Applicants must have resided or carried out their main activity in Norway for at least 12 months prior to the call deadline and must specify the outgoing host institution.
  • If the main part of the outgoing fellowship is carried out in a country other than an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country, researchers must be Norwegian or have resided in Norway at least for 5 years.
  • Researchers who are refugees in an EU Member State or Horizon Europe Associated Country according to the Geneva Convention are exempted from the mobility rules above if they fulfil the other eligibility conditions.
  • UiB welcomes researchers at risk, as defined by the MSCA Work Program.
  • Applicants cannot previously have been employed as a postdoctoral fellow at UiB and they cannot be employed by another institution for the time of the fellowship.
  • The application and relevant documents must be in English. Applicants must have high proficiency in English (self-assessed in the CV and demonstrated in the application).
  • The research proposal must be relevant to the AI-related research themes defined by LEAD AI host research groups in the call.
  • It is essential that you discuss the details of the project idea with your potential UiB supervisor at an early stage in the application process, to ensure that there is a match between resources and expertise needed to implemement the project

How to apply - application requirements 

The applicant must apply via Jobbnorge before the deadline.

It is essential that all required attachments (see next section) are uploaded via our electronic recruiting system JobbNorge. Each attachment has a downloadable template. Before uploading any documents in the portal (to minimise repetition of information):

  • In the ‘JobbNorge-application field’: Only write your name.
  • In the ‘JobbNorge-CV form’: Only fill in your 1) personal details, 2) information about your PhD-degree (in the field ‘Academic qualifications’) and 3) recent relevant work experience.
  • You do not need to fill in any other sections in the JobbNorge form, as all the information we need will be provided by you when attaching the mandatory elements listed below: 

The applicant must include the following. Please use templates  (available on our website). 

  • Research proposal (5 pages, using a template based on the evaluation criteria), must be relevant to the AI-related research themes defined by LEAD AI host research groups in the call. It is essential that you discuss the details of the project idea with your potential UiB supervisor at an early stage in the application process, to ensure that there is a match between resources and expertise needed to implemement the project. 
  • A motivation letter.
  • A CV detailing the full scientific track record, relevant other achievements and career breaks (e.g., parental, and long-term sick leave, compulsory military service, and non-academic work)
  • Mobility declaration with supporting documentation (e.g., employment contract, rental agreement. etc.).
  • Table of potential ethics and security issues that might apply to the research proposal (self-assessment).
  • An initial self-assessment of opportunities for mandatory and recommended open science practices.
  • External host declaration (for outgoing candidates only). 
  • Scanned copy of the PhD diploma or documentation of formally delivered doctoral thesis (translated to English if necessary; Scandinavian languages are accepted).
  • References. Letters of recommendation from the graduating university or previous employers are encouraged.

The deadline is final and content cannot be altered thereafter.

What happens after you have applied - evaluation procedure 

The selection process will be based on UiB rules and regulations for appointment, adhering to national legislation, the “Charter and Code” principles, and in line with MSCA principles. It will be performed by three main bodies:

1. Admissibility and eligibility check. After the deadline, checks will be performed according to the eligibility criteria. Applicants will be informed about the outcome within 10 working days. Applicants not fulfilling the criteria will be given the reason(s), with the opportunity to appeal. If deemed a valid request, applications will be re-checked, and the applicant informed about the outcome within 5 working days. Eligible applicants will be informed about the status of their application (eligible, sent to review).

2. Separate Expert Committees will be appointed for the different positions to match the expertise of the host group’s research area in the best possible way. Each Expert Committee will consist of three members, all of whom are internationally renowned experts in AI-related fields. At least two members (the majority) of the panels will be from outside Norway, recruited from world renowned universities, research institutions, and, if appropriate, public sector and businesses. Both genders will be represented in each evaluation panel, unless it is duly justified that such representation was not possible.

3. The recruiting Department for each position will appoint the Selection Committee, consisting of 2-3 members with relevant expertise, one of those being an international member of the respective Expert Committee (see above). Selection committees will perform interviews and build the final ranking list, which is the base for the recommendation for appointment. Members of selection committees must not have a conflict of interest. 

Please read the evaluation criteria

Employment conditions for LEAD AI fellows 

Gross salary as stated in announcement text is offered excluding employer’s social contributions. This is in compliance with GA Article 18. In LEAD AI call 1 we offer positions as postdoctoral fellow (code 1352 in the basic collective agreement) and a gross annual salary of NOK 615 700,-(equivalent to pay grade 63) upon appointment. Further increases in salary are made according to length of service in the position. A higher salary may be considered for a particularly well-qualified applicant.

LEAD AI fellows will be appointed in postdoctoral positions at UiB following national legislation. All fellows will be employed for 3 or 4 years and given fixed-term employment contracts. Each fellow's employment contract will be according to the basic collective agreement following national legislation and includes full social benefits including public health care, ordinary salary when sick, occupational injury allowance, pregnancy benefits, parental benefits, salary during sick leave for 52 weeks, child benefits, benefits for care of closely related persons, pension-saving, group life insurance and critical illness through pension scheme, and pension scheme for partner/children in case of death.

The employment contract will specify the place of work, the initial basic pay, any remuneration, a work description, working hours, duration of the fellowship, health, and safety regulations, leave entitlements, IPR statement and the arrangements for either side to give notice. The contracts will be issued by the relevant HR unit. This procedure is fully in line with the European Charter for Researchers, The Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers and with the EU Directive 91/533/EEC.