University of Bergen (UiB) - PhD position - Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE)

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university with more than 14,000 students and close to 3,500 employees at six faculties. The university is located in the heart of Bergen. Our main contribution to society is excellent basic research and education across a wide range of disciplines.

PhD position - Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE)

Closing date: 15 July, 2017

We have a vacancy for 1 PhD position at the new Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE) within the field of virtual reality (VR) and learning analytics. The position is for a period of 3 yearsThe position is allocated at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, Faculty of Social Science, and the successful applicant will have an office space at SLATE.


SLATE, an interdisciplinary learning sciences research Centre, opened in January 2016 and is hosted at the Faculty of Psychology. SLATE has three research clusters: Assessment Innovation for Learning; Big and Small Data in Education; and, Innovative Futures. We are a dynamic, interdisciplinary, and including milieu of 18 persons, including faculty, postdocs, PhD and Masters student, and administrators. In the next year we will be hiring several senior researchers, postdocs, and PhDs candidates.

About the project/work task

The PhD project will be focused on harnessing the potential of virtual reality (VR) technologies for learning. VR offers an engaging and immersive experience that could present real opportunities for learning. In particular, VR learning environments offer many affordances for many forms of interaction that could be beneficial for creativity and learning.  The interaction data that is generated in these VR environments offers us insight into learning processes and this PhD research will also investigate how this data can be collected, stored, analysed, interpreted and visualised.

The PhD candidate will participate in this research through:

  • Illuminating research challenges and opportunities in the use virtual reality (VR) for learning,
  • Demonstrating the use of VR technology and its use for learning,
  • Exploring and developing VR learning environments for schools (e.g., science learning, language learning), and
  • Collecting, storing, analysing, interpreting, and visualising (even within the VR environment) interaction and learning process data generated within the virtual learning environments.

PhD position

This position is open to those who want to specialise in uses of VR learning environments and using the generated data to understand interaction and learning. The successful candidate will have experience in research related to virtual reality. Relevant backgrounds include a Master’s degree in information science, informatics, data science, or related disciplines. The preferred candidate demonstrates experience with programming, and programming VR in particular. As we will be working with Norwegian schools, the candidate needs to have a command of the Norwegian language. 

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in information science, HCI, or related disciplines. The degree has to be completed by the application deadline.
  • The requirements are generally a grade B or better on the Master's thesis and for the Master’s degree overall.
  • Professional experience in the field of study or related fields is valued.
  • The applicant is expected to work autonomously and to cooperate well with other members of an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Good command of the Norwegian language
  • Proficiency in written and oral English is required.

Special requirements for the position

  • Preference is given to those candidates that have previous experience in developing VR environments.
  • Additional experience in design, psychology, and related areas will be an advantage.
  • The candidate should provide strong evidence of existing research skills and/or 
knowledge to match the project topic, e.g., via Masters thesis, and/or via prior research/publications.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview.

About the PhD position:

The duration of the PhD positions is 3 years. The employment period for the successful candidate may be reduced if you previously have been employed in a PhD position. The successful applicant will have an office space at SLATE.

About the research training:

As a PhD research fellow, you will take part in the doctoral educational program at UiB. The program corresponds to a period of three years and leads to the submission of the PhD dissertation. To be eligible for admission you must have completed a Master’s degree. The educational background must be equivalent to a five-year Master’s education, including a two-year Master’s degree and a Master's thesis. It is expected that the topic of the Master’s degree be connected to the academic field to which you are seeking admission.

 We can offer:

  • Salary at pay grade 50 upon appointment (Code 1017) on the government salary scale (equivalent to NOK 436 900,- per year. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position;
  • A good and professionally challenging working environment;
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund;
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise); and,
  • Good welfare benefits.

Project proposal:

A brief research proposal of 4-8 pages must accompany the application. The proposal should present the topic, the research problem(s), and choice of theory and methods. The proposal should also include a progress plan for the different parts of the project. A budget for VR equipment should also be included in the plan. Admittance to the PhD program will be based on the research proposal.


Your application must include the following items:

  • A brief account (1-2 pages) explaining the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position, including why your background prepares you for a research position in this project;
  • Project proposal
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of them must be the main advisor for the master's (or equivalent) thesis;
  • CV;
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees;
  • Relevant certificates/references;
  • A list of academic publications;
  • Academic publications that you want to submit for assessment (including your master’s thesis or equivalent); and,
  • If you have a Master's degree from an institution outside of the Nordic countries, or a 2-year discipline-based master's degree (or its equivalent) in a subject area other than the one associated with the application, you may later in the application process be asked to submit an overview of the syllabus for the degree you have completed.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge following the link on this page marked Apply for this job”.

We kindly ask the applicants to follow the guidelines for applicants to research fellowship positions at the Faculty of Social Sciences closely, please see:

The application has to be marked: 17/7403

Closing date: 15 July, 2017

Applications submitted without a project description or applications sent in by e-mail will not be considered. Only submitted documents will be subject to an expert assessment.

General information:         

Additional information about the positions is obtainable by contacting professor Barbara Wasson email, phone + 4755584120.

Practical questions regarding the application procedures should be directed to senior officer Bodil Hægland, phone +47 55 58 90 53, email:

Appointed research fellows will be admitted to the doctoral education program at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Further information about the program is available on the webpage Questions about the program may be directed to senior officer Hanne Gravermoen, email:, phone: +47 55 58 89 80.

The teaching language will usually be Norwegian.

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

Apply for this job

Søknadsfrist: 15.07.2017

Kontakt: Professor Barbara Wasson
Telefon: + 47 55584120

Kontakt 2: Bodil Hægland (Senior officer)
Telefon: +47 55 58 90 53