IceLab Multidisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowships

Call for Multidisciplinary Project Applications

Application deadline:

May 20, 2021

Many challenging research questions exist in the under-explored terrain between traditional disciplines. At Integrated Science Lab (IceLab), we promote and facilitate transdisciplinary collaborations that integrate theoretical, computational, and empirical work. IceLab researchers combine mathematical and computational modeling expertise with a deep interest in working with empirical researchers across the shared campus of Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.  

Open call: Multidisciplinary research projects

With financial support from the Kempe Foundation, we now invite applications from multidisciplinary teams representing different departments at Umeå University or SLU for research projects that require novel collaboration across disciplines and methodologies. Three teams will be awarded funding to cover one 2-year postdoctoral fellowship and 70,000 SEK for running and recruitment costs. The newly funded postdocs will be based in IceLab and the funded research team should contribute to building and strengthening IceLab. This multidisciplinary project call is the second of three envisioned annual calls.

Application process

We will recruit postdoctoral fellows in two phases. The current application represents phase 1.

In this phase, a team of researchers who will act as co-advisors of the future postdoctoral fellow write a project proposal and submit it through our application portal. The team should consist of two or more researchers from at least two different departments at Umeå University or SLU.

We invite you to an open pitch session on Zoom on April 20th, one month before the submission deadline. We will present IceLab and this multidisciplinary project call and offer researchers a chance to look for application partners. We encourage pitches from researchers who have not identified a partner yet, but have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • They are looking for open problems/questions to create new collaborations.
  • They have an open project or idea that they feel could benefit from a collaboration
  • They have a dataset and want to see if there is more they can do with it
  • They have a research tool or approach and want to find a collaborator with an idea or data to apply it to

Because the funded postdocs will be based in IceLab, researchers from successful applications who are not currently a part of IceLab will become new affiliates. IceLab affiliates are expected to participate in IceLab activities when possible and contribute to furthering our mission of connecting researchers.

Apply through the online application form (see link at the bottom of the page).  You will receive a confirmation email within 72 hours.

To be considered, an application will include the following information (in English):

  • In the online application form:
    • Project title
    • Names and contact information of the applicants
    • Project summary with research question (max 500 words)
    • Description of the multidisciplinary approach (max 500 words)
    • Added value – how does a shared postdoc critically contribute to your collaborative project
    • Research areas involved
    • Description of collaborations and synergies with IceLab members and activities
    • Uploaded team description including CVs for all applicants (max 3 pages per applicant including relevant publications), and details regarding applicants’ roles and responsibilities in the project (one PDF document)
    • Uploaded detailed project description including scientific background, research plan and feasibility. (one PDF document, max 3 pages)


2021-04-20 Call opens: Open Online Information and Pitch Session

2021-05-20 Application deadline

2021-06-04 Final decision sent to applicants

2021-06-10 Ad posted for postdoctoral fellows and start of recruitment phase 2

2021-08-31 Postdoctoral fellowship application deadline

2022-01-01 Project start deadline

Evaluation criteria and guiding questions

Once the application window has closed, an external review team will review and rank the applications according to the following criteria and guiding questions

Project originality,scientific quality and feasibility

  • Are the project’s design and questions of high scientific quality?
  • Is the project well-described?Are the research problem, prior research, methods and other componentsclear?
  • Is the project feasible for a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship?
  • Does the proposed project show potential for novel research discoveries through its results or potential to open new research fields and approaches?

Interdisciplinary added value

  • Does the project include novel ways of combining theories, disciplines, dataor methods?
  • Do the applicants form a new, genuinely interdisciplinary grouping?
  • Does the project show a genuine need for collaboration between the applicantstosucceed?
  • Is the addition of a shared postdoctoral fellow a necessary step for this collaborative project idea to flourish?
  • Does the team include at least two researchers from different research areas and departments from UmU or SLU?
  • Is the division of work and collaboration between the participants in the project clearly described?
  • Can this project strengthenIceLabs environment by, for example, supporting its interdisciplinary activities and giving accessto new scientific disciplines and departments not previously explored by IceLab’s core members?
  • Do the applicants demonstrate a willingness and ability to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries?

External reviewers:

Mirta Galesic, Professor at the Santa Fe Institute

Namiko Mitarai, Associate Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute


Gabrielle Beans, IceLab Communications

Selection of postdoctoral fellows

In phase 2, to identify top postdoc candidates who match the required expertise of each project, we will announce a call that includes all top-ranked projects. Researchers involved in the top-ranked projects select the best candidate for their project. Each project will receive funding to invite at least two candidates for an interview, to give a seminar, and to see the environment. IceLab PIs without conflict of interest will participate in the recruitment process to assess how candidates fit and can contribute to the environment.

To create a strong multidisciplinary postdoc community, the postdoctoral fellows will be based in IceLab. IceLab has ten years of experience in this type of research and can ensure that every researcher in the program will be connected through IceLab’s physical space and activities. Researchers who receive funding from this program, but are not yet full IceLab members, will become affiliates of the research environment, participate in IceLab activities and maintain an open and collaborative focus throughout the project lifetimes and beyond.

Selected postdoctoral fellows should be able start the projects no later than January 1, 2021. If the recruitment is not successful within this period, the fellowship can go to other research groups.

Submit online application

Only applications written in the dedicated online application form will be considered. Applications should be completed jointly by all members of the team of applicants. Please make sure you have completed the form correctly before submitting, as there is no edit option. If you have made a mistake and would like to submit a revised application before the deadline, contact Gabrielle Beans, IceLab communications.

Applications are Closed for 2021