PhD Research Fellow in the subject area of Ethics and Sustainability

PhD Research Fellow in the subject area of Ethics and Sustainability

Job description

Applicants are invited for a 4 year position as PhD Research Fellow  with a particular focus on the subject area of Ethics Education and Sustainability at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo.

We live in times of climate crisis, ecological degradation and global injustice. It is widely acknowledged that these predicaments require transformations of societal structures and practices, making education a crucial element. A major reference is United Nations´ Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, with sustainable development goal 4 addressing education, currently expressed both in global education policy and the recent Norwegian curriculum renewal (LK20/LK20S). Sustainability education is distinguished by a distinct ethical dimension. While ethics education (also referred to as moral education, values education and character education) traditionally has aimed at fostering individual responsibility for other human beings within stable nation states, the ethical concerns here extend time and place, addressing global justice, the well-being of future generations and ecosystems, including the myriad of species and life forms.

The current situation calls for research on ethics education, both theoretical elaborations and empirical studies exploring policy initiatives, curriculum reform, and educational practices. The announced position is a contribution to such research. Ethics education is a distinct educational field, in Norway connected with the school subjects  ‘Christianity, Religion, Worldviews and Ethics’ in primary and lower secondary schools, and ‘Religion and Ethics’ in upper secondary school. Ethics education is also conceived of as an aspect of all education.

It is expected that the successful candidate is affiliated with the research group ‘Challenges of Sustainability in Educational Research’ (COSER), see this page. We invite applicants to formulate their own project within the foci of this research group. Possible themes of relevance for this research on ethics education in times of the current sustainability challenges could include, but are not limited to: 

  • Imaginaries of the human and the more-than-human/nature
  • Positioning of solidarity and justice
  • Tensions and relations between the right and the good, the ethical and political
  • Tensions and relationships between the contextual and universal
  • Notions of the common good and functions of utopias
  • Significance of place and scale (including intra- and intergenerational perspectives)
  • Emotional aspects involving anxiety, denial, compassion, empathy and hope
  • The ethical dimension of Bildung (‘formation’), including critical thinking

The announced position is open to a variety of methodological approaches and provides the opportunity to pursue empirical research establishing new knowledge as well as theoretical elaborations on philosophical concerns.

More about the position

The fellowship period is up to 4 years, with 3 years devoted to research education. The position entails a compulsory work load of 25%, that consists of teaching and supervision duties and research assistance.

The research fellow must take part in the faculty’s approved PhD program, and is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period.

The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

For more information, please see our web site

The place of work for this position is Oslo.

Qualification requirements

Applicants must satisfy the requirements for admission to the faculty´s PhD programme. This normally includes:

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in education, pedagogy or other relevant disciplines in the humanities or social sciences
  • A Master’s degree (120 ECTS) with a minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS, with a minimum grade B.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English and Norwegian (or another  Scandinavian language)

In the assessment of applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The quality of the project description, the description of the research topic’s relevance to educational issues, the specific problems to be studied, the choice of scientific theory and method, and the proposed implementation plan for the study
  • The applicant’s experience, personal suitability and motivation for the post, including the ability to collaborate and to form part of a cross-disciplinary academic community
  • The applicant’s academic attitude and motivation regarding completing the research training program

We offer

  • Salary NOK 501 200 – 544 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research Fellow, (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • A stimulating and attractive working environment

How to apply and what to include in your application

The application must include:

  • Cover letter, including statement of motivation and research interests
  • A project description, including progress plan (8-10 pages) Please see our guidelines
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only). Foreign applicants must attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.
  • Documentation of English proficiency (for information on required documentation, see information on this webpage)
  • Master thesis
  • A complete list of publications and academic works
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail, and phone number)

Incomplete applications will not be assessed.

Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link: “Apply for this job”. 

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the project description and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Contact information

For questions about the position, please contact:

Associate Professor Ole Andreas Kvamme

Head of Department/Professor Dijana Tiplic

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

About the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Department of Teacher Education and School Research (ILS) is one of three departments at The Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo, which also has a permanent center.
ILS is a leading institution in the fields of subject didactics, school leadership and practice-relevant school research. It hosts Norway’s first Centre of Excellence in Education, ProTed – a joint project between the University of Oslo and the University of Tromsø.

EKVA (Unit for quantitative analysis in education) is also part of the department, as well as four interfaculty research groups (CLEG, TEPEC, SISCO and LEA).

The Department enrols 400 students in the Teacher Education Programme (PPU) and administers the university’s Graduate Teacher Education Programme (Lektorprogrammet) with about 300 new students each year. About 200 students follow the Master Programme in Educational Leadership. ILS also manages the study programme Teach First Norway in cooperation with the City of Oslo Education Agency and Equinor. 

The Department of Teacher Education and School Research has approximately 40 administrative and 100 academic staff.

Deadline: 1 May 2023
Unit: The Department of Teacher Education and School Research
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Post expires on Monday May 1st, 2023