PhD Fellow in philosophy

The position

A Ph.d position is available at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education (HSL) at UiT: The Arctic University of Norway. The position is affiliated with the Environmental Philosophy Research Group (EPG) at the Department.

The Environmental Philosophy Group is a small but active research group whose members are interested in a broad range of questions of human relationships to the natural environment. Main research themes include ontological questions about “nature”, links between philosophy and biology, questions of ethics and justice relating to new technologies, just responses to climate change, and natural resource justice. In terms of philosophical approaches, the analytic tradition, the Frankfurt School and phenomenological tradition are all represented within the group. Engagement with other research groups at the Department and the UiT will also be encouraged. The group has an international outlook and a six-twelve month stay at a university abroad is also encouraged.

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

The project

The dynamic linkages between climate change and biodiversity (two of nine “Planetary Boundaries, according to the Stockholm Resilience Centre) have been increasingly acknowledged in science-policy discussions, but remain under-explored, both in conceptual and practical terms.

The PhD project will be focused on the interlinkages between climate change and biodiversity and the philosophical implications of taking them seriously. The overarching theme will be “how does acknowledging the value and role of biodiversity affect the form and content of responses (practical or phenomenological) to climate change”. The project will engage with literature in environmental philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy concerning climate change and justice, although the precise weighting of these may vary. It will also engage with relevant literature from other disciplines necessary to support the philosophical research. The output will be an in-depth and original conceptual and/or normative analysis which gives an account of the relationships between climate change and biodiversity and the philosophical and/or practical implications of this account.

Possible research questions may include, but are not limited to:

  • How can different understandings about the concept, role and value of biological diversity contribute to the debates between “degrowth” and “green growth”.
  • How does, or how should, the concerns for biodiversity affect the globally endorsed climate target of limiting warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures and or responses to climate change? If there is a trade-off between climate concerns and concerns about biodiversity – how can that be managed in an ethical manner?
  • How are concepts such as “limits to nature”, “planetary boundaries”, “ecological limits” to be understood? What kinds of knowledge or inquiry are needed to understand them? What does it mean, in an existential or practical sense, to be constrained or to transcend such limit/boundary?


For further information about the position, please contact Head of DepartmentTor Ivar Hanstad: 

or Professor Clare Heyward

Bannerbilde med mennesker og nordlys


The position requires a Masters’ degree or equivalent in philosophy or other relevant disciplines.

The candidate must demonstrate substantial knowledge and understanding of philosophical debates in environmental philosophy and/or climate justice. Priority will be given to those with an MA in Philosophy or demonstrable academic background in philosophy, but other relevant subject areas can be considered.

Applicants must document fluency of in English and be able to work in an international environment. Nordic applicants can document their English capabilities by attaching their high school diploma.  

The candidate must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. It should contain a description of the theme, research questions, an explanation of their philosophical relevance and indicate the intended methodology. It should also include a proposed timeline for completion within four years. The final project description will be developed in co-operation with the PhD supervisor(s).

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. The project description will also be considered. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

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
  • 2-3 references with contact information
  • Master’s thesis
  • Academic works (published or unpublished) he/she wishes to be taken into account in the assessment
  • Project description (5-10 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