Researcher position in social science

Deadline: 10.08.2022

Norwegian Institute for Water Research

The Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) is Norway's leading research institute for the aquatic environment, working across a wide range of environmental, climate and resource issues. Our high-quality research is characterised by its relevance, and its holistic and interdisciplinary approach, combining research with monitoring, assessment, problem solving and consulting. The NIVA group has approximately 500 employees and is headquartered in Oslo, with branches in Bergen, Grimstad, Hamar and Copenhagen, together with a marine research station in Drøbak, and subsidiaries in Tromsø, Chile and China.

The position is placed in NIVA’s section for Water and Society with close to 20 researchers from a range of nationalities covering competencies mostly in social sciences, including law, policy studies, human geography and economics. Our research addresses both societal and environmental challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and competition for space and resources between new and traditional uses and opportunities offered by a sustainable blue economy. We work nationally and internationally, from local to global levels. In addition to typical research projects, we also advise the public and private sectors on capacity building, business development and innovation matters. We are increasingly engaged in projects studying governance, legislation, incentives and policy mechanisms related to water, environment and agriculture.

The successful candidate will primarily be based in NIVA’s HQ in Oslo, but other of the NIVA branch offices might be considered.


  • Contribute to the EU Horizon 2020 project OPTAIN (OPtimal strategies to retAIN and re-use water and nutrients in small agricultural catchments across different soil-climatic regions in Europe), including analysis of relevant governance frameworks (EU and national levels), undertaking European case studies examining implementation approaches, and support in project management.
  • Contribute to developing and implementing other research, innovation and advisory projects related to social science aspects of sectoral impact upon fresh- and marine waters, especially rural sectors, often in an active dialogue with concerned actors.
  • Work in an interdisciplinary and often transdisciplinary manner with NIVA’s other researchers and external partners, clients and actors.
  • Communication with various stakeholders.
  • Writing of reports, scientific papers and other outputs.


The right candidate has experience with qualitative research methods, including participatory methods. It is highly desirable that the candidate has knowledge of Norwegian and / or European agriculture (policies, regulations, support schemes), and has knowledge of relevant EU directives and policy formulation in the field of agriculture, especially linked to environmental challenges.

We primarily search for an experienced researcher with the following qualifications:

  • Preferably a PhD in a relevant discipline such as human geography, political ecology or environmental and development studies.
  • Experience from inter-disciplinary and/or trans-disciplinary projects with involvement of natural scientists and sector representatives.
  • Experience from research and innovation related to rural sectors.
  • Experience in project management, including project acquisition.

We ideally need candidates with:

  • Knowledge of Norwegian and / or European agriculture policies, regulations, support schemes, and knowledge of relevant EU directives and policy formulation in the field of agriculture.
  • Ability to work in interdisciplinary teams, often in transdisciplinary settings.
  • Strong ability to communicate in English, both verbally and in writing, as documented by relevant documents/papers.
  • Knowledge and mastery of a Scandinavian language for undertaking research in Norway; and if not - willingness to learn.

Personal abilities

We are looking for team players who are good in cooperation, but who also may work independently. You will work with experienced people, and your tasks and responsibilities will be adjusted to your experience and capacities. We hope that you are curious, ask questions about the functionality of our governance arrangements and are interested in communication across disciplines, stakeholders and nationalities. Good abilities in academic and non-academic communication, both written and oral, is needed.

Inclusion and diversity

NIVA’s work environment is distinguished by respect and equality. We treat each other equally and do not discriminate based on gender, age, functional ability, religion, ethnic and cultural background, or any other defining aspect of an individual. We wish to attract diversity as different perspectives promote innovation. We therefore encourage all qualified candidates to apply for positions at NIVA.

NIVA offers

  • Exciting and stimulating tasks in a leading international applied research institute with considerable societal impact.
  • An opportunity for professional and personal development in an organization where responsibility and initiative are highly valued.
  • Flexible working hours, good pension, welfare and insurance schemes, and competitive salary.
  • To be part of a network of national and international researchers from many disciplines.
  • A multicultural, social, and creative work environment
  • Cabin in Hemsedal
  • Fitness room at the office in Oslo

Webcruiter ID: 4543615546

Apply for position


  • Sindre Langaas (Research manager), +47 982 27 747
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