MSCA 2022 - calls for expression of interest in Digital Divisions and Welfare Provisions

Deadline: 31.01.2022


OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway’s third largest university, with more than 20,000 students and 2,000 employees. OsloMet delivers knowledge to solve societal challenges, in close cooperation with the society and employers. OsloMet is an urban and diverse university with a clear international profile, and an attractive place to work and study with campuses in Oslo city centre and at Kjeller in the Municipality of Lillestrøm. Our location in the metropolitan area gives us good opportunities to understand and benefit from the city’s diverse population.

Faculty of Social Sciences offers study programmes within archivistics, library and information science, journalism and media studies, social work, social policy and child welfare, public management and business. The faculty has about 4200 students and nearly 280 members of staff.

The department has approximately 1250 students and 90 employees, and offers study programmes on bachelor’s, master’s and PhD level.

Research Centre for Digitalisation, Welfare State and Citizenship (CEDIC)

CEDIC is an Excellent Academic Environment at OsloMet. The centre's main goal is to develop multi-disciplinary knowledge about the relationship between digitalisation and the provision of welfare services, the consequences of these tensions for welfare governance, democracy and social citizenship in mature welfare states. CEDIC examines how processes of digitalisation influence the provision of welfare state services, and the ability of citizens at risk of social exclusion to access, use and benefit from these services. A core issue is how digitalisation modifies the capabilities of different population groups to exercise social citizenship; to participate as full and effective members of society. CEDIC is located in the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy.

Call for Expression of Interest for a joint application under the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme – Call: MSCA-PF-2022

We hereby invite top-class researchers of any nationality, who have a PhD degree and maximum eight years of research experience after having obtained their PhD degree, to apply for the EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (call HORIZON-MSCA-PF-2022) to conduct research at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University for a period of two years.

Area of research

The emerging digital economy is having a profound effect on European welfare states. The varied growth of independent contractors with inferior social protection poses a significant challenge in terms of precarious employment, poorer social protection entitlements and lower financial contributions to welfare services and benefits. Simultaneously, the roll out of digital social services ‘by default’ aims to increase efficiency, transparency and social justice. But for those with limited or no access to digital connections this can exacerbate exclusion and inequality. Welfare states’ provision of digital social services differs enormously across Europe and the asymmetric way they affect life chances for different communities.

We are beginning to understand some of the reasons for digital divisions but have more limited knowledge about effective policies to combat the ‘digital divides’ for various countries and communities across intersectional differences such as ethnicity, disability, age, gender and region. Comparative research on these issues raises a number of questions with regard to established analytical frameworks. Some countries with more fragile social infrastructure, for example Spain, or Estonia, are the leaders in this roll out. Other countries that have previously been held in high esteem for their coordinated form of capitalism, e.g., Germany, are lagging behind. An empirical examination of how these changes inform established analytical frameworks is essential to inform our theoretical understanding and policy interventions.

The candidates may for instance address questions such as: What are the constellations of political actors’ involvement in the rollout of digital services, and institutional differences between state, market, civil society organisations and communities of families. Who are the actors implementing these changes and how do different communities respond? What are the mechanisms and processes that foster or hamper collaboration among relevant actors and stakeholders at the supranational, national, regional and/or local level? What are the consequences of digitalization on the provision of welfare services, and the risks of exclusion from full and effective social citizenship? How have EU and national policies shaped an agenda for digital inclusion? How do government and non-governmental service providers work to foster digital equalities and prevent digital exclusion. What are the digital capabilities of households and individuals?

Digitalization is not something that merely “happens” to the welfare state; it is related to reproduction and change in citizens’ or stakeholders’ scope for agency. We invite project proposals addressing these developments at the EU, national, regional or local level. We are also interested in the consequences of the reforms for take up of entitlements by welfare claimants. Which mechanism or factors foster or hamper citizens’ opportunities to use digitalized social services?

Successful candidates will be supervised by Professor Rune Halvorsen. Halvorsen’s main concern is to contribute new knowledge for the future social Europe. His research interests include European and comparative welfare policy, social citizenship and citizenship movements. He is the co-director of CEDIC and the scientific coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project “Closing gaps in social citizenship. New tools to foster social resilience in Europe (EUROSHIP).

With this call for Expression of Interest, we invite researchers to submit their application accompanied by CV (including publication list) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting a maximum of two candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-PF proposals. The cooperation for the proposal development will be carried out remotely, with regular online communication via email and virtual meeting platforms. Applicants who are successful in getting their proposals funded by the EU, must relocate to work at CEDIC, in the Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy, at OsloMet main campus, in the center of Oslo.

Starting Date of the fellowship

The EU shall inform the results on the MSCA-PF-2022 applications in February 2023. Successful applicants are expected to be available to start the fellowship project from within the two months following the announcement of results and no later than summer 2023.

Main duties of the position

The successful candidate will primarily work on the MSCA fellowship funded project, but will be integrated in the CEDIC, taking part in regular meetings and discussion groups. The candidate will specifically be introduced with Prof. Halvorsen’s national and international network of researchers. In agreement with the candidate, he/she would be included in other ongoing projects and/or in the development of grant applications processes.

Expected qualification of applicants

Candidates must have a PhD in social policy, sociology, political science, anthropology, or economy as the minimum requirement. We are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this fellowship period as an opportunity to further develop their research skills, and to develop longer term research collaborations with OsloMet and other organisations conducting research in the field. Candidates must be eligible for a MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship: have a PhD successfully defended by the deadline of the MSCA-PF call (14 September 2022), a maximum of eight years research experience after PhD, and not having worked/studied in Norway more than 12 months in the last three years.

We are looking for applicants who have

  • Knowledge of policy context and quality and availability of quantitative or qualitative data in the field.
  • A good track record in research and publications
  • Commitment to develop a competitive MSCA-PF grant application
  • An open and cooperation-oriented nature, with strong abilities for independent academic work
  • Excellent command / highly proficient spoken and written English

Assessment and selection of candidates

Evaluation will be based on the qualification and project idea.

Interested candidates must submit with their application the following documents:

  • CV (including research track record and list of publications)
  • A one-page description of the project idea for which a MSCA-PF grant will be applied (no predefined structure and not including references).

Short-listed candidates will be invited for a virtual interview to select candidates that will be invited to develop the full MSCA-PF application with deadline on 14 September 2022 under the supervision of Professor Halvorsen and with the support of the professional research administration staff at OsloMet.

Under this call announcement a maximum of five candidates will be interviewed and two candidates will be invited to write applications with the endorsement of OsloMet. Candidates will be informed of the results of the internal pre-selection to apply by the end of March 2022.

Original documents about your qualification must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and to ensure a fair competition. Proposals will be pre-selected based on internal evaluation and the availability of suitable supervision. All documents that you hand in to OsloMet, including your proposal idea, will be handled in full confidentiality, and strictly following GDPR regulations.

Selected candidates must participate in the virtual masterclass on MSCA-PF, a two-day workshop organised by OsloMet on 20-21 April 2022 to provide applicants with detailed information and explanation of the application template to complete their proposal in compliance with the EU Commission requirements.

The postdoctoral position

Successful applicants who obtain a MSCA-PF grant will be offered a position at OsloMet to be hired as postdoctoral researchers, in conditions as explained below.

We offer:

OsloMet offers assistance in developing competitive Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship proposals. Then, to successful applicants who are awarded the MSC-PF grant, we offer:

  • Flexible working conditions
  • An inclusive and friendly work environment
  • Unique academic network with the possibility for the right candidate(s) to pursue his/her academic goals under the auspices of Professor Halvorsen
  • Norwegian language classes
  • Onboarding assistance for relocation and other services

The position adheres to the Norwegian Government’s policy that the national labour force. It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population diversity, all qualified candidates from any nationality are welcomed to apply. OsloMet is an IA (Inclusive Workplace) organisation and operates in compliance with the Norwegian IA agreement. We make our active endeavour to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. If there are periods in your career when you have not been working, under education or training, you are also eligible to apply. Questions may be directed to the contact persons (per below).


The competitive fellowship opportunities are 100% funded and include living and mobility allowances.

  • Type of employment: Temporary position
  • Contract type: Full time
  • Annual Salary: Approx. EUR 60,000
  • Starting day of employment: Expected starting date 1 April 2023
  • Number of positions: 1 – 2
  • Working hours: 37.5 hours/week

OsloMet has implemented the Charter & Code for researchers and been granted the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4) by the EU Commission and is part of the EU network for mobility of Researchers EURAXESS. Practical information about relocation can be found at EURAXESS Norway.


OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commisson holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion. OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.

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