PhD position: Nature-based solutions for climate change

Deadline: 06.03.2022

Oslo School of Architecture and Design

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is an internationally leading, specialized university within the disciplines design, architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism. AHO offers a unique research-based education of international standing. Established in 1945, today it has built a solid national funding base and is prominently ranked internationally. AHO offers Master’s degree programmes that are designed to best equip the student to enter directly into professional practice or academia. Within the Master’s programmes, students may specialise in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urbanism, industrial design, interaction design, service and systems-oriented design. The school has approx. 800 students and 155 employees.

The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape has a multi-disciplinary approach to education and research within the fields of urbanism and landscape architecture. Particular attention is paid to understanding change and transformation of cities and territories and to developing knowledge in order to enable strategy development and support design interventions in urban situations and landscapes. The institute has a strong international profile, with a well-established network of partner institutions within practice, teaching and research. Education activities comprise the MA in Architecture, MA in Landscape Architecture, MA in Urbanism as well as AHO’s PhD programme.

PhD position: Nature-based solutions for climate change: upscaling landscape‐based climate mitigation and adaptation actions

About the position

The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape in collaboration with the Institute of Design at AHO offers a PhD position linked to a research project granted by the Research Council Norway named: NATURACT. This project seeks to develop three landscape-based transition plans utilising Nature-based solutions (NBS) in order to prevent and mitigate geohazard events primarly related to flooding in Norway. NATURACT integrates the expertise and competence of various academic disciplines within risk management, ecology, earth systems science and landscape architecture, as well as explore community attitudes linked to landscape changes.

We call for a PhD candidate in landscape architecture or a related field, that can use methods and tools for large-scale cultural landscapes in transformation as well as methods informed by systems thinking and design (social-centered design and complex design projects through visual diagraming). The work will require working with and for communities. Based on an exploration of different modes of community engagement relating to enacting and anticipating long term changes of local landscapes, the project will map past and present landscape situations and develop a desirable alternative future that is both impactful and feasible.

The PhD candidate will, through a site-specific practice, focus on one or two given case study sites, and look for transferable methods to the other cases included in the project at large.

The candidate will:

  • Gather background information including geographical description and exposure to climate impacts, cultural landscape characteristics and historical evolution of landscape
  • Make an outline of the organisational structures for decision-making and planning bodies at the local and regional levels
  • Map the stakeholders and their roles
  • Participate in workshops with the stakeholders
  • Participate in creating common ground of knowledge between project researchers’ structure and to develop systems thinking competency
  • The overall project will enable an engagement plan based on questionaries and workshops with the community or other methods that the PhD candidate will explore in order to develop different climate scenarios for the concerned landscapes under risk.

For more information about this research project, please visit www.ahophdlive.com

About the candidate

Formal requirements

  • The candidate should have a master’s degree in landscape architecture or a related disipline
  • The candidate should have experience in working across fields and with tools for the representation of landscape driven design potential
  • Experience with community-based landscape development is an advantage
  • The candidate should document past experience in academic writing

Personal characteristics

  • The ability to read landscape specificities and to consider past and future dynamics
  • The ability to work independently as well as in teams
  • The ability to work both in a Norwegian and an International context
  • A strong motivation to contribute to good working and social environment
  • Speaks a Scandinavian language, necessary for working with a local community

The Application must include

  • An application letter describing relevant background, motivation, research experience and network. (Two A4 pages maximum)
  • A tentative project outline of maximum 5 pages, formulating and discussing research tasks, types of problems and methodology
  • CV
  • A list of publications and/or academic work if available
  • Examples of work written by the applicant if available. (Three works maximum)
  • Examples of relevant types of plans and projects developed/designed by the applicant if available. (Two works maximum)
  • Certified copies of educational certificates, transcript of records, diplomas and letters of recommendation
  • 2 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail address and telephone number)

Please note that all documentation must be in English or a Scandinavian language. Applications that do not comply with the formal requirements will not be considered. Attachments beyond the required documents will not be taken into consideration.

The material for the PhD application will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • The quality of the project description (outline)
  • The applicant's suitability for the research tasks
  • The academic competence of the applicant

We offer

  • The PhD scholarship is fully funded and there is no tuition fee.
  • The position (SKO1017) has a pay grade of 54 with salary NOK 491 200 per year for a full position; extensive relevant experience can give a higher start salary. From the salary, there will be a mandatory deduction of 2 % as a contribution to the State Pension fund (SPK). Standard employment conditions for state employees in Norway apply for the position.
  • The PhD is a full-time 3-year position, with the possibility for negotiating a 4-year position with 25% teaching.
  • An annual sum of 20 000 NOK for literature and other necessary academic activities.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

Formal regulations

The educational component in the AHO PhD Programme is mandatory and requires fulltime attendance. Residency in Oslo for the employment period is mandatory. Research stay at a relevant international academic institution is encouraged. The PhD fellowship will start September 1st 2022.

Information meeting

The PhD Programme at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) will arrange an online information meeting about the AHO PhD Programme on Friday, February 4th 2022 at 14:00 CET. See www.ahophdlive.com for more information.

Contact Information:

Questions about this PhD position can be directed to the supervisors:

  • Professor Karin Helms, Institute of Urbanism and Landscape. Email: [email protected]
  • Professor Janike Kampevold Larsen, Institute of Urbanism and Landscape. Email: [email protected]

For more information about the PhD Programme, please visit our website.

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