Ledig stilling ved Universitetet i Agder

PhD Research Fellow in Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D)

Deadline: 19.10.2020

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

About the position

A 100 % position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Information Systems as a PhD Research Fellow in Information Systems, affiliated to the Department of Information Systems, for a period of three years. The position is located at Campus Kristiansand.

The starting date is negotiable with the Faculty.


The development potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has been widely recognised especially in remote areas in the developing world. The question is no longer whether ICT can lead to development, but how can it be done most effectively and in a sustainable way in keeping with the values of the society? From the perspective of sustainable development goals (SDG), the development issues are complex, interrelated, and interdependent. Hence, it is not enough to map the research outcome to listed SDGs without a more systemic inquiry.

The proposed research fellowship position seeks to answer this question in the context of the “Smart Village” initiative in developing countries. The “smart village” in this context refers to the empowerment of marginalised communities using existing technologies. It is expected that the PhD fellow will bring together local and indigenous knowledge based on the collective insights of villagers with the socio-technical knowledge of experts to design, develop, and implement ICT-based solutions to pressing developmental challenges. We are particularly interested in the organic, bottom-up developmental model of the “Smart Village” initiative. The PhD candidate will conduct field studies abroad, interviews with the design team and key stakeholder groups, and focus group workshops with specific village-level user groups. Participant mapping will also be used to capture the authentic voices and experiences of key user and designer groups.

Required qualifications

Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

The applicants must qualify for admission to the PhD Programme in Social Sciences and must hold a master's degree in Information Systems (IS) or closely related areas with an average mark of B or better. Applicants who are in the process of finishing their master's thesis are also welcome to apply for this position. Applicants with strong IS/IT background in their bachelor's studies (e.g. a degree in IS or computing sciences) and masters in closely related areas can also be considered. If the applicant lacks an IS background, but is found otherwise qualified, he/she will be required to take a number of master’s level IS courses to make up this deficit. More information about the PhD program at the Faculty of Social Sciences is to be found here: PhD – specialisation in Information Systems.

Requirements for English or other languages:

The successful candidate must be proficient in the English language, both written and oral. An ability to translate their native language to English will be an added advantage. Applicants from some countries must document their English proficiency through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:

  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 550 on the Paper-based Test (PBT), or 80 on the Internet-based Test (iBT)
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing System, with a result of at least 6.0. Please check this list to see if an English test is required. Please note that the English test requirement applies to applicants from most countries according to the list mentioned here. No other English tests will be approved, and certifications/statements cannot replace an English test.

Desired qualifications

The qualifications for an ideal candidate are as follows

  • Basic understanding of research methods
  • Some knowledge of ICT4D research
  • Basic knowledge of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)
  • Some experience on ‘Smart City’ or similar projects
  • Basic understanding of socio-technical theories

Personal qualities

  • Excellent communication (both written and oral) and teamwork skills
  • Proactive, adaptive and open-minded

Personal qualities and suitability for the position will be emphasised in evaluating the applicants.

We offer

  • Professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation
  • A positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • Modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers
  • Membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 479.600 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. The appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for the position".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • Certificates with grades
  • Master’s thesis
  • References
  • Academic work and R&D projects, as well as a list of these
  • Project description with a maximum scope of ten pages, including the reference list. The outline should present and discuss possible research questions, theory perspectives and methodological approach, and should include a progress plan for the PhD project.

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

Application deadline: 19 October 2020.


For questions about the position:

  • Professor Devinder Thapa, phone +47 38141419, mobile +47 95256430, e-mail [email protected]
  • Professor Bjørn Erik Munkvold, Chair of the PhD programme in Social Sciences, Phone + 47 38141772, mobile +47 48125922, e-mail [email protected]

For questions about the application process:

Apply for the position