PhD Research Fellowship in Decision Making Under Risk

Deadline: 10.08.2023

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,500 employees, and has campuses in Lillehammer, Hamar, Elverum, Rena, Evenstad and Blæstad.

INN University aspires to build strong and enduring academic and research environments that will spearhead regionally, nationally and internationally.
We are developing a new and better institution with high academic and pedagogical quality, aiming at achieving university accreditation..

Our vision is "Stronger Together".

Inland School of Business and Social Sciences invites candidates to apply for a PhD Research Fellowship in Decision Making Under Risk

About the position

A 4-year Doctoral Research Fellowship in the PhD programme Innovation in Services in the Public and Private Sectors (INSEPP) is available at the Inland School of Business and Social Sciences (Campus Lillehammer). The candidate’s research project will investigate the philosophical foundations of decision making under risk (see About the project).

The 4-year position includes 25% teaching duties. Depending on the faculty`s needs, and the candidate`s competence and desires, employment can be made for a 3-year position, 100% without teaching duties.

The purpose of the PhD Research Fellowship for the admitted candidate is to undergo a research training programme that leads to the successful completion of a doctoral degree. The candidate has to apply to the PhD programme INSEPP and is expected to participate actively in INSEPP’s activities.The candidate will be affiliated with the Department of Law, Philosophy, and International studies, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences. The Doctoral Candidate will be part of the Philosophy Research Group at the same department and can participate in the group’s activities, including a bi-weekly colloquium and a reading group.Contact information:Associate professor Olav Vassend, phone number: +47 624 30 172, e-mail: olav.vassend@inn.noAssociate professor Mattias Skipper, phone number: +47 624 30 170, e-mail: mattias.skipper@inn.no

About the project

We are seeking a PhD candidate to investigate the philosophical foundations of decision making under risk.

Possible questions to explore include:

  • How should we understand risk-sensitivity?
  • Are there limits to how risk-averse or risk-seeking it can be rational to be?
  • Can the stakes involved in a decision situation make a difference to how risk-averse or risk-seeking one should be in that situation
  • What are the ramifications of a foundational theory of decision making under risk for the way we ought to manage high-risk innovations such as artificial intelligence technologies, climate technologies, or cybersecurity systems?
  • How should we understand and apply the “precautionary principle” often invoked by politicians and other decision-makers in situations involving severe risk?

The candidate will be writing a PhD dissertation on one or more of these questions (or similar questions) under the supervision of associate professors Olav Vassend (50%) and Mattias Skipper (50%).


  • The person to be appointed must have a 2 years master’s degree in philosophy, 120 ECTS or equivalent, cf. the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s (NOKUT) requirements for admission to PhD-education at Norwegian universities. It is a requirement that the master’s education includes a master’s thesis of 30 ECTS. As a rule, the average grade must be B.
  • Applicants with a Master’s degree from universities abroad, have to attach “Recognition of foreign higher education” from NOKUT. Instructions on how to get this master’s degree assessed and approved are given by NOKUT, cf. https://www.nokut.no/en/foreign-education/application-services--foreign-education/recognition-of-foreign-higher-education-bachelor-master-ph.d/
  • Good proficiency in written and spoken English is required.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

For information on PhD position in general, see Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, research fellow, research assistant and specialist candidate.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • The project’s scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation
  • The applicant’s estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame
  • The applicant’s ability to complete research training
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities

How to apply

The application and all attachments are to be submitted electronically and should include the following:

  • The applicant must submit a project proposal with a progress plan (in English, 1 - 2 pages) that explains how the research work will be carried out and addresses academic relevance, challenges and possibilities within the project. The project description must present a feasible progress plan. It is expected that the applicant will be able to complete the project during the period of appointment. The PhD research fellow admitted to the programme will, in collaboration with a supervisor, prepare a complete project proposal creating the basis for admission to the PhD program. The project proposal plays an important part in evaluating applicants and must show how the project will lead to a successful completion of a doctoral degree within three years.
  • Application letter
  • CV (summarizing education, job positions, and academic work)
  • An academic writing sample of up to 8000 words (in English or Norwegian)
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas for the whole bachelor and master’s degree. An English translation of all education documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons.
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF)

Attachments must be uploaded as separate files. If the attachments exceed 30 MB, they must be compressed prior to upload. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all attachments are uploaded. Documents submitted after expiry of the deadline will not be considered in the evaluation of your application.

Applications will be considered by an expert committee. Relevant applicants will be invited to an interview.

We offer

  • An academically stimulating and supportive work environment at a developing institution.
  • Possibility of professional development in an exciting academic research environment.
  • Position is paid and placed in position code PhD candidate in the Government Salary Scale
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension, with among other things, good pension and insurance schemes.

For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here.

General information

HINN believes that there is strength in inclusion and diversity. We desire employees with different competencies, professional combinations, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to an even better way of solving problems. We will facilitate for employees who need assistance to realise their goals. Relevant adaptations can be, for example, technical aids, adapting furniture or adjusting routines, work tasks and working hours.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, gaps in the CV or immigrant background, we shall call at least one applicant in each of these categories for an interview. In order to be considered as an applicant in these groups, the applicants must meet certain requirements. You can read more on this here.

We encourage applicants to tick in Jobbnorge if they have a disability, a gap in their CV or immigrant background. The ticks in the jobseeker portal form the basis for anonymised statistics that all state-owned enterprises report in their annual reports

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

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