PhD Research Fellow in East European Cultural Studies: “Gender, Sound and Protest in Today’s Belarus”

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Language and Culture, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Educationwithin Russian Literature and Culture starting January 1 st 2023. The position is affiliated to the research group Russian Space? Concepts, Practices, Representations (RSCPR).  More information on the research group can be found here.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position. The PhD fellow position is for a period of three years and full time studies with the possibility of an extension of the appointment period. If the doctoral dissertation is submitted for appraisal within 3 years or within 3,5 year, the PhD candidate is qualified for a completion grant for either 12 or 6 months. The completion grant should be used to further qualification measures such as courses in teaching in higher education, lecturing and other relevant work at the faculty. More information about the completion grant scheme here.

The position’s field of research

The advertised position shall result in a PhD thesis which examines how the protest wave in Belarus in 2020-21 has established a platform for new representations of gender, music, and their mutual relationship. From an overall perspective, the PhD candidate is expected to concentrate primarily on three aspects:

1) Societal and cultural changes in Belarus stemming from globalization

2) The role of art and culture in building Belarusian identity

3) The role of gender in and for the most recent social developments in Belarus.

The mass media have actively recorded and constructed the image of the Belarusian protest movement and, in particular, the female protester. The media coverage of the protests more or less explicitly ties together women’s roles as protesters and as music makers. The triad of the female protest leaders – Tsikhanouskaya, Kalesnikava (a flautist) and Tsepkala – have been likened to a “rock band.” Women protestors have linked arms to form human chains while singing “Kupalinka,” a traditional lullaby centered on a mother and her daughter. This lullaby is also a song about a forced marriage, symbolically expressing people’s attitude to the longserving Belarusian President Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

Popular anti-Lukashenka protests have been routinely accompanied by impromptu musical performances in the streets, which were soon prosecuted by the authorities. Many performers are women, apparently constructing themselves as responsible and progressive-minded citizens through musical performance. Possible research questions can include (but are not limited to) the following: How have women in Belarus found, or created, this joint space of music and protest? What are its musical and social rules? How does the image of the woman protester-asmusic maker affect the range of acceptable behavior for women in the public sphere? And how do race, sexuality, class and ability affect the construction and reception of gendered musical sound, in Belarus and elsewhere?

Department of Language and Culture

The Department’s core activities are research, teaching, and dissemination within linguistics, literature, art history, and media and documentation studies. The Department hosts 85 permanent employees, 12 adjunct professors, and approximately 25 PhD fellows, as well as roughly 35 temporary research and teaching positions.

We offer one-year programmes, as well as full Bachelor and Master programmes in the following fields: General linguistics, literature, art history, media and documentation studies, English, Kven, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Sami, Spanish, and German. It also offers PhD programmes in linguistics, cultural/literary studies, art history, as well as media and documentation studies.

The Department also has a very active and diverse research profile. It houses one of the world’s most excellent research communities in linguistics represented by AcqVA Aurora Center, and with research groups within cognitive linguistics (CLEAR), Sami language technology (Giellatekno and Divvun), theoretical linguistics (CASTL-FISH) and sociolinguistics and revitalization, Multilingual North, Diversity, Education and Revitalisation (MULTINOR). The Department’s research communities within literature, art history, and media and documentation studies are nationally highly competitive, and are organised into research groups such as «Health, Art and Society» (HAS), Russian Space (RSCPR), Libraries, archives, museums, in the community (LAMCOM), Arctic Voices in Art and Literature (ARCTIC VOICES), Just Literature (JUL), Interdisciplinary Phenomenology (IP) and Worlding Northern Art (WONA).


For further information about the position, please contact one of the following: 

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This position requires a master’s degree or equivalent in humanities or social sciences, with a documented knowledge of Russian corresponding to a minimum of 100 credits from the Russian language courses (including study periods in Russian-speaking countries), as well as relevant courses in Russian (or Belarusian) literature, culture, history and/or politics. 

The applicant must document his or her English language proficiency equivalent to the standards of Norwegian Higher Education Entrance Qualification. Nordic applicants can document this by attaching their high school diploma. The primary source material will be in Russian and to some extent in Belarusian. Therefore the applicant must document proficiency in written and spoken Russian. Knowledge of Belarusian is desirable but not mandatory.

The applicant must present a research proposal of max. 10 standard pages, which provides a brief outline of the proposed research project’s scope, theory and method.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant’s potential to complete a research education based on the master’s thesis or equivalent, and any other scientific work. We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

Admission to the PhD programme 

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:  

  • A bachelor’s degree of 180 ECTS and a master’s degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master’s degree of 300 ECTS. 
  • A master’s thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master’s degree of 120 ECTS. 
  • A master’s thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master’s degree of 300 ECTS. 

All applicants should have a grade point average of B (or equivalent) on their master’s degree in order to be admitted to the PhD programme. The grade point average also applies to 300 ECTS points integrated five-year master’s degrees, in which all courses are to be included in the grade point average. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 2-year master’s degree. 

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.UiT

Banner med campusoversikt og jente med VR-briller

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project 
  • Good career opportunities 
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues  
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement  
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund  
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here:


Your application must include: 

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diploma for bachelor’s and master’s degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor’s and master’s degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Documentation of Russian proficiency 
  • References with contact information
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project description (10 pages)

Qualification with a master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must still submit your transcripts for the master’s degree with your application.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline. 

General information 

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years. 

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017.  A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure. 

UiT – Developing the High North

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

Read the job description at the university homepage

Apply for this job


31st August 2022

Post expires on Wednesday August 31st, 2022