Meet Maria

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Oslo’s universities and research institutions provide an opportunity to combine a world-class education with practical experience - while giving a direct link to a vibrant innovation and startup scene. “An education here put me on the career I wanted”, says Maria Gjerstad Maseng, who landed a job at a medical startup before graduating from the University of Oslo.

Maria was about two thirds through her master’s degree in clinical nutrition at the University of Oslo when she received a job offer by medical startup Bio-Me.“ I saw an article where Bio-Me was mentioned in the university newspaper. I got in contact, and before I finished my degree I had a job offer”.

Bio-Me is developing a new approach for analysing gut bacteria, improving healthcare by allowing for hundreds of samples in less than a day, with high resolution and reproducibility and at an affordable cost -- essentially Maseng’s dream job.


Maseng attributes her success partly to her university’s focus on research developments, and that she became a member of a research group during her last year of studies. “My experience is that the study programme here has a concrete and practical approach, helping you to get research experience while helping you to make connections you need.”

The university of Oslo is at the centre -- quite literally -- of a vibrant hub of research and innovation. With a postgraduate degree in Oslo, students are connected with the Oslo Science Park, a vibrant community of research institutions, industry clusters and startups which provides exciting opportunities for talented individuals of all backgrounds.

“I particularly like the idea of ShareLab, where essentially anyone can rent some lab space. Although this is primarily used by startups, not students, it encourages research and innovations, while also fostering connections”.

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In addition to a leading excellent reputation within medicine and the life sciences, the University is ranked amongst the top 50 in the world in diverse areas such as geophysics, geology, philosophy, earth and marine sciences, and social anthropology. The university has been home to five Nobel laureates: one chemistry, physics, and peace, respectively, and two in economics.

It is, however, not the only higher education institution in Oslo worth talking about: the city also houses BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo Metropolitan University and Høyskolen Kristiana. Additionally, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences is situated less than an hour’s train ride away from the city centre.

This makes Oslo a true hotspot for knowledge, academia and innovation.

“I’d definitely say that an education here helped put me on the path for an interesting, stimulating career,” Maseng concludes.

Maria Gjerstad Maseng is a clinical dietitian who graduated from the University of Oslo in June 2019 and is currently an Industry-PhD for Bio-Me at UiO.

Bio-Me offers a range of proprietary solutions to support research and development of microbiome-based information.