PhD Fellow in Artistic Research: Jazz and Improvised Music

Job description

The University of Stavanger invites applicants for a PhD Fellowship in Artistic Research: Jazz and Improvised Music at the Faculty of Performing Arts, Department of Jazz, Dance, PPU (Educational Theory and Practice) and Music Production. The position is vacant from 1. October 2022.

We are looking for an experienced performer who wants to complete a PhD program in artistic research. The successful candidate will be employed in a full-time position as a Research Fellow for a period of three years.

Specifically we seek a performer who wants to investigate, develop, and reflect on his/her own artistic practice. The finished PhD portfolio culminates in an artistic outcome, supported by a reflection material in the form of a text or another suitable medium. The person appointed will be admitted to the doctoral program in artistic research that the university has established in collaboration with the University of Agder. The position is meant to qualify for artistic work and artistic research at a national and international level.

Artistic research has been equaled to scientific work according to Norwegian law since 1995, and can be found in the national qualifications framework’s descriptions of skills and knowledge.

The PhD program in artistic research is the arts subjects’ equivalent to research education, in which artistic practices should be the core of the doctoral work. At the same time, the artistic practice must be followed by an explicit reflection which, when presenting the project, makes it possible for others to take part in this particular way of working and the insight that the artistic research generates.

In accordance with good academic practice and research ethics standards, the doctoral degree program shall qualify for artistic research of international standard and for other work in society where high demands are placed on artistic insight and competence.

The candidate must be at the knowledge forefront when it comes to relevant practices, directions and ongoing discussions within the arts field. After graduating the candidate must also be able to develop, articulate and carry out artistic projects with high complexity and professional relevance, as well as convey and share this in a way that generates awareness around the topics covered by the work. Through the doctoral education the candidate must also be able to identify relevant ethical issues and practices with professional integrity.

Read more about the PhD education at our website.

Recent jazz research (so-called ‘new jazz studies’), improvisational research, and the field of artistic research in general, have in recent years raised the level of knowledge, increased our understanding of diverse practices, and lifted the overall discourse considerably. At the same time, we see the need for a more thorough study of improvisational practices, especially how the improvising musician develops in relation to aspects such as learning, process, communication and technology. Based on the idea of ​​improvisation practice as an auditory-based ‘language’, we want the candidate to develop new approaches, for example in relation to tradition, repertoire, culture, education, technology and instrumentation.

Project proposal

As an applicant, you must prepare a preliminary project proposal that involves innovative practices in improvisation or artistic projects in combination with improvisation in one form or another. The proposal must contain the main goals of the artistic work in addition to a plan for activities and artistic projects will be appropriate for the stipulated goals.

The list below is not exhaustive, and is only intended to illustrate examples of possible innovative practices that could run in parallel with the faculty’s strategic goals. You are free to suggest concepts beyond this list.

  • Exploration of dramaturgy in improvised music, and how a greater focus on musical dramaturgy affects musical result.
  • Exploration of technology, and how new technological solutions affect the improvisation space.
  • Explore auditory-based structures, and how self-learning, composition, communication, and identity are shaped from auditory processes.
  • Explore standardized types of repertoire, and how canon and tradition can be used in new, innovative ways.

Your preliminary project proposal will be included in the application assessment. During the first three months of the employment period, the project proposal and progress plan will be further developed in cooperation with your supervisors and completed for the final plan for the PhD-project. A project proposal template can be found here.

Project proposal

Qualification requirements

Performers in all forms of jazz and improvised music, where performance is the core of the project, are encouraged to apply.

To qualify for the PhD program, one must normally have completed a master’s degree in a relevant field at a Norwegian or foreign institution. Prior artistic experience and production, may, after special consideration, provide a basis for admission to the program.

The academic relevance of the master’s degree (or equivalent) will be assessed against the proposed project, and documentation (text, artistic production etc.) relevant to the master’s degree must therefore be attached to the application.

Furthermore, it is emphasized that you:

  • play music at a professional level; which means that upon completion of a three-year PhD program in artistic research, you perform at a high international level
  • have the ability and willingness to reflect on your own artistic activities and to collaborate in an artistic and academic professional environment
  • are motivated and have the prerequisites to complete the doctoral degree program during the employment period
  • can work independently and in a community, and be innovative and creative
  • are structured and have a strong work ethos
  • have good command of both oral and written English

Marius Vervik/UiS

Studentmiljø bjergstedparken UK

We offer

  • a PhD education in artistic development work at a large, exciting and socially important educational organization
  • an ambitious work community which is developing rapidly. We strive to include employees at all levels in strategic decisions and promote an informal atmosphere with a flat organizational structure.
  • salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, 17.515, code 1017, NOK 501 200 gross per year with salary development according to seniority in the position. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • automatic membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which provides favourable insurance- and retirement benefits
  • favourable membership terms at a gym and at the SIS sports club
  • employment with an Inclusive Workplace organization which is committed to reducing sick leave, increasing the proportion of employees with reduced working capacity, and increasing the number of professionally active seniors
  • “Hjem-jobb-hjem” discounted public transport to and from work
  • as an employee in Norway, you will have access to an optimal health service, as well as good pensions, generous maternity/paternity leave, and a competitive salary. Nursery places are guaranteed and reasonably priced
  • relocation program
  • language courses: On this page you can see which language courses you may be entitled to (look up “language courses” under employment conditions)


University of Stavanger values independence, involvement and innovation. Diversity is respected and considered a resource in our work and learning environment. Universal design characterizes physical and digital learning environments, and we strive to provide reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities.

You are encouraged to apply regardless of gender, disability or cultural background.

Contact information

More information on the position (and project description) can be obtained from Vice Dean for Research and Innovation Hagit Yakira, e-mail or Professional leader of the program Petter Frost Fadnes, e-mail

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR Advisor Helene Engelsgjerd Figved., tel: +47 51831558, e-mail:



To apply for this position please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Your application letter, relevant education and work experience as well as language skills must be registered here. In your application letter, you must state your motivation for the position and artictic research.

The following documents must be uploaded as attachments to your application:

  • project proposal, a project proposal template can be found here. 
  • CV with a full summary of your education, experience and artistic work, with a link to Dropbox, Soundcloud, Youtube or similar
  • references, certificates/diplomas and other documentation that you consider relevant

Applications are evaluated based on the information available in Jobbnorge at the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above and that you have attached the necessary documentation. 

The documentation must be available in either a Scandinavian language or in English. If the total size of the attachments exceeds 30 MB, they must be compressed before upload.

Please note that information on applicants may be published even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the official list of applicants – see Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act. If your request is not granted, you will be notified.

UiS only considers applications and attachments registered in Jobbnorge.

General information

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. If your application is considered to be in conflict with the criteria in the latter legislation, it will be rejected without further assessment.

Employment as PhD Fellow is regulated in “Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow and research fellow, research assistant and resident“.

Your qualifications for the position, based on documentation registered in Jobbnorge, will be assessed by an internal expert committee. Based on the committee’s statement, relevant applicants will be invited to an interview before any recommendations are made. It may also be relevant with trial performance or additional documentation of artistic practice. References will also be obtained for relevant candidates. More about the hiring process on our website.

The appointee will be based at the University of Stavanger, with the exception of a stay abroad at a relevant centre of research.

It is a prerequisite that you have a residence which enables you to be present at/available to the academic community during ordinary working hours.

The position has been announced in both Norwegian and English. In the case of differences of meaning between the texts, the Norwegian text takes precedence.

Campus Bjergsted

UiS – challenge the well-known and explore the unknown

The University of Stavanger (UiS) has about 12,000 students and 2,200 employees. The university has high ambitions. We strive to have an innovative and international profile, and be a driving force in knowledge development and in the process of societal change. Our common direction is driven by consideration for green and sustainable change and equitable social development, through new ways of managing natural resources and facilitating better cities and local communities. Energy, health and welfare, learning for life are our focus areas.

In constant collaboration and dialogue with our surroundings, regionally, nationally and internationally, we enjoy an open and creative climate for education, research, innovation, dissemination and museum activities. Academic life at the University of Stavanger is organised into six faculties comprising various departments/schools and National Research Centres, as well as the Museum of Archaeology. We are a member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The university is located in the most attractive region in the country with more than 300,000 inhabitants. The Stavanger region has a dynamic labour market and exciting cultural and leisure activities.

Together with our staff and students we will challenge the well-known and explore the unknown.

The Faculty of Performing Arts offers higher art education, research and artistic developmental work within the performing and creative disciplines. The faculty educates performing musicians and dancers, instrumental and dance educators. This is done through practical bachelor’s and master’s programs, as well as annual units and further education. Currently, the faculty has approximately 260 study places and approx. 65 employees divided into sections within classical music, jazz / improvised music, dance, conducting, pedagogy and art didactics, and a unit of music production and recording technique. The Faculty of Performing Arts is active in national and international networks in its fields of expertise, and has a regional responsibility for the national talent development program. With a high frequency of concerts, performances and dissemination activities in several performers’ arenas and close to the region’s arts and cultural environment, the Faculty of Performing Arts is also a profiled cultural actor in the region. The Faculty is strategically located with its campus near its primary competence- and professional environment, practice fields and regional contact networks in the Bjergsted Cultural Park.

Department of Jazz, Dance, PPU (Educational Theory and Practice) and Music Production is a heterogeneous mix of professional groups. The department consists of approximately 30 employees inhabiting a high level of expertise within a diverse subject portfolio, where the educational programs, artistic developmental work, supervision of Ph.D. fellows and research reflect a large academic span based on very specialized disciplines.

Read the job description at the university homepage

Apply for this job


4th September 2022

Post expires on Sunday September 4th, 2022