Western Norway University of Applied Sciences - PhD Research fellow in human rights and multiculturalism

PhD Research fellow in human rights and multiculturalism

Deadline Friday, June 15, 2018

The Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences has a vacancy for a position as a PhD Research Fellow in Human Rights and Multiculturalism. The position is connected to the project: “Shaping culture: the effect of international human rights agencies on local cultures”, and the NORPART partnership and development program “Human rights and reconciliation in a post conflict multicultural society” with the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka.

The PhD fellowship is part of the doctoral program in Cultural Studies at the University of Southeast Norway, under the umbrella of the research group MMM (Human rights, citizenship and diversity). The position is attached to the Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies and reports to the Department Head. The place of employment is Drammen.


The applicant to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree, or an equivalent graduate degree, in human rights and multiculturalism, cultural studies, law, international relations, political science, or another relevant discipline within the humanities or social sciences. S/he  must have earned the degree prior to the application deadline. The grade for the master’s thesis must be at least a B (= “very good”, cf. http://www.hit.no/Student/Eksamen-og-vitnemaal/Annen-viktig-info-om-eksamen/Karakterskala ).

The applicant must be familiar with interdisciplinary approaches to research and must be able to articulate on the intersections of theoretical foundations on culture, human rights and power relations from different disciplines, such as culture studies, philosophy, international law, and international relations. The applicant must also show a proven ability in qualitative methods. Basic knowledge of critical discourse analysis is desirable. Excellent communication skills in both oral and written English is a requirement.
The candidate for the proposed PhD position would be expected to present his/her own research project proposal within the framework of the current project “Shaping culture: the effect of international human rights agencies on local cultures.” The candidate’s proposal should focus on a specific aspect of how local cultures in Sri Lanka are affected by international human rights agencies (International Non-Governmental Organizations and International Intergovernmental Organizations), and to assess the role of power in this process.

The project proposal should not exceed five pages. The project description must detail the work envisioned for the duration of the position as a PhD Research Fellow, provide topic, problem statement, theory, choice of methods/methodology, and it shall outline the anticipated timeline for the work with the completion of the project (doctoral dissertation).

Admission to the doctoral program in Cultural Studies is a prerequisite for appointment as a research fellow. The applicant should relate his/her PhD project description to the goals and contents of this doctoral program. A brief description of the program is available at: 
Additional information about the program may be obtained from professor Nils Asle Bergsgard, Program Director, (Nils.A.Bergsgard@usn.no / tel. +47 35952720).
The assessment and ranking of applicants will be based upon the quality of the project description and its relevance within the project “Shaping culture: the effect of international human rights agencies on local cultures”, the applicant’s relevant scientific work, work experience and other relevant experience.

Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized. The candidate must be able to work independently and at the same time be willing to share his/her insights and collaborate with research colleagues.

Information about the position

The successful candidate will be part of the Department of Culture, Religion and Social Studies and will have his/her base in the Human rights, citizenship and diversity (Mangfold, menneskerettigheter, medborgerskap) research group, with the support of the staff connected with the MSc in Human rights and multiculturalism.

The main supervisor will be Associate Professor Lena.Lybaek, the secondary supervisor will be Associate Professor Gabriela Mezzanotti. The PhD candidate will also collaborate with the other project members of the research team Human rights and multiculturalism in the research group MMM.

The appointment is for a term of four years with 25% teaching duties. Under certain conditions, one may consider a three-year appointment without teaching duties.

For further information concerning the position please contact:

  • Associate professor Lena Lybæk, phone +47 915 99 311 
  • Associate professor Gabriela Mezzanotti, phone + 47 41 31 25 07 
  • Head of Department Tone Strøm, phone +47 31 00 88  56/926 00 905

We offer

• A professionally stimulating work environment. 
• Good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills 
• A good social environment
• Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
• Opportunity for physical activities within working hours


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 436 900 a year. Any salary advance will be based upon time of service in the position. Under special circumstances, employment in code 1378 (salary NOK 436 900 – 600 200 a year) may be considered. As required by law, a contribution will be made from the employee’s salary to the state pension plan.

Additional information

The Academic Appointments Board is responsible for appointments to academic positions at the University College of Southeast Norway. All applications will be assessed by a committee of scholars within the relevant academic subject area.  Short-listed candidates will be called in for interviews and must be prepared to present and discuss their projects.

The successful applicant must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply to the position.

The Norwegian State work force should reflect the composition of the general population. It is, therefore, a personnel policy objective to achieve a balanced age and gender composition and to recruit people from ethnic minority backgrounds. People from ethnic minority backgrounds are encouraged to apply for the position.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act § 25 2nd paragraph, information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, even though the applicant has requested non-disclosure. The applicant will be informed if his/her request has been declined.

How to apply

The University College of Southeast Norway uses online applications. We therefore ask applicants to register their application and CV online by clicking the “Send application” link to the right. The application must include the following documents:

1. Certified diplomas and certificates from university college/university
2. Master’s thesis
3. A 5-page (maximum) project description
4. Any scientific publications and a list of these
5. The names of three references with contact information, preferably at least one of whom knows the candidate in a capacity as administrative supervisor and at least one of whom knows the candidate in a capacity as academic mentor/supervisor.
Please note that the application and the project proposal must be written in English. Educational certificates and all other documents must be in English or in a Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Danish or Swedish). Any translation from another language must be certified as to authenticity.

Send application

Søknadsfrist: 15.06.2018
Web: www.usn.no

Kontakt: Associate professor Lena Lybæk
Telefon: +47 915 99 311

Kontakt 2: Associate professor Gabriela Mezzanotti
Telefon: + 47 41 31 25 07