PhD Research Fellowship in public innovations

Deadline: 28.09.2022

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN University) is home to over 16,000 students and 1,300 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 public innovations

About the position

The Inland School of Business and Social Sciences, PhD programme Innovation in Services in the public and private sectors (INSEPP) invites candidates to apply for a 4-year PhD research fellowship to work with the broad field of innovation studies with particular focus on public innovations.

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 PhD researcher will be part of the INN University`s research group on EU and global studies (EUGLOB).

The position is a 4-year PhD research fellowship with 25% teaching duties at the Department of Organisation, Leadership and Management.


  • Professor Nicolaas Stijn Groenendijk, phone number: +47 62 43 03 05, email: [email protected]
  • Ph.d.-leader Martin Rønningen, phone number: +47 61 28 83 18, email: [email protected]
  • Head of Department Jens Petter Madsbu, phone number +47 62 43 04 37, email: [email protected]

About the Project

Inter-system policy learning for public sector innovation in Norway International organizations such as the OECD and the EU are important arenas for inter-system policy learning, which is a major driver of (public sector) innovation. In the OECD such policy learning revolves around benchmarking, peer review and standard setting. The EU uses similar mechanisms as part of the so-called open method of coordination (OMC). The OMC has been in use since the late 90s to supplement «harder» policy modes such as supranational policymaking (the «Community method»), the regulatory mode, and the EU budget.

The objective of the PhD project is to learn to what extent Norway participates in inter-system policy learning, which choices are made regarding participation, and why. This is especially relevant given Norway’s relationship with the EU. Norway has opted into various EU programmes and into many EU agencies, often linked to the internal market or to the Schengen agreement. Such involvement may include participation in policy learning, but that is not a given.

How does Norway ensure adequate input for public sector innovation through inter-system policy learning, given its non-involvement in major EU policy areas?

The project aims to contribute to the academic and public debate on Norway’s relation with the EU but moves beyond the common focus on Norway’s legal room to manoeuvre («handlingsrommet») within the EEA framework. The project also adds to ongoing research on differentiated integration within the EU. Whereas most of the literature on differentiated external integration explains participation by non-EU-members from an EU-internal perspective, the project tries to explain opt-ins from the perspective of a non-EU-member.

Possible research questions include, but are not limited to:

  • Do the policy learning opportunities as provided by the EU, the OECD and the Nordic cooperation overlap or complement each other? To what extent do OECD participation and/or the Nordic cooperation compensate for non-participation of Norway in some EU programmes/agencies? To what degree does Norway indirectly learn from the involvement of Denmark, Finland and Sweden in EU policy learning?
  • Do the preferences regarding participation differ between levels of government?
  • Are there temporal differences in participation (Norway as early joiner or as late joiner), and if so, how can they be explained?
  • Given the cross-boundary nature of many public sector innovations, and the increasing importance of overarching policy agendas (such as the EU Green Deal), to what extent does participation in one area trigger participation in other areas?

Competency requirements

Formal competence:

  • Master’s degree in public administration, political science, EU studies, innovation studies, or another relevant field.
  • The person to be appointed must have a 2-years master's degree, 120 ECTS (cf. the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s requirements for admission to PhD-education at Norwegian universities). Furthermore, HINN’s PhD regulation requires that the master's program includes a master’s thesis of 30 ECTS. Applicants with a master’s degree from a university abroad, have to attach “Recognition of foreign higher education” from NOKUT. Instructions on how to get a master’s degree assessed and approved, are given by NOKUT, cf.


  • Expertise in the use of relevant ICT software.
  • Research experience acquired after completion of the master’s degree is a pro, but not a requirement.
  • Basic knowledge of the functioning of international organizations such as the EU, OECD, and Nordic Council is desirable.

Personal competence:

  • Ability to work independently and purposefully.
  • Ability to co-operate on research tasks and publishing.

Language proficiency:

  • High level of proficiency in oral and written English. Good command of a Scandinavian language is highly desirable.

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.

How to apply

Relevant applications will be considered by an expert committee. 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 Norwegian or English, 5-7 pages) that explains how the research work will be carried out and addresses academic relevance, challenges and possibilities within the project. The PhD research fellow hired 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 four years.
  • Application letter CV (summarizing education, job positions, and academic work)
  • Other work that is relevant for the application
  • 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), or, for those near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis.

For any questions concerning the uploading of attachments or other technical issues regarding the application, please contact JobbNorge customer service. Contact information is provided in a link in the application form.

The most relevant candidates will be invited to an interview.

Any request for exemption from public lists of applicants must be clearly justified and registered in the electronic application form. Applicants will be contacted should the employer be unable to comply with the request (cf. Freedom of information act § 25).

The state workforce should, as far as possible, reflect the diversity of the population. It is therefore a personnel policy goal at INN University to achieve a balanced age and gender composition and to recruit people with an immigrant background. If necessary, the working conditions are adapted for persons with disabilities. If applicants declare in their CV that they have a disability, this information may be used for registration purposes in order to measure diversity in the work force.

We offer

  • An academically stimulating and supportive work environment at a developing institution.
  • Possibility of professional development in an exciting academic research environment.
  • Participation in a research group.
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund with loan and pension benefits.
  • The position’s salary follows position code 1017 PhD candidate in the state's wage regulations, a start pay grade of 54 (NOK 501 200,- p.a). If 4 years with 25 % teaching duties is agreed upon, 25 % will be remunerated according to the appropriate level for a teaching position, on the basis of an evaluation of relevant qualifications. For particularly qualified candidates, placement and salary can be agreed in position code 1378 PhD candidate.
  • For more information about INN University as an employer, see: here

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