PhD research fellowship in AR/VR/AI-supported training in critical incidents

Deadline: 21.06.2023

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".

About the position

Inland School of Business and Social Sciences and Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, invite candidates to apply for a 3-year PhD research fellowship in interprofessional and multi-agency training in emergency responses and critical incidents. The output from the project has potential to explore, validate and improve emergency response and interoperability training while applying Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality (AR/VR) to the training scenarios and decision support from Artificial Intelligence (AI). The position will be connected to the new centre of operative leadership (opening fall 2023).

Depending on the faculty`s needs, and the candidate`s competence and preferences, the position may be transformed into a four years position with 25% 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. Admission to INN’s PhD program, Innovation in Services in the Public and Private Sectors (INSEPP), is a condition for employment as a research fellow. After completing the employment process as a research fellow, applicant must apply for admission to INSEPP. The final research proposal and research training plan must be approved and agreed upon by the Faculty’s PhD-committee and the Dean no later than 3 months after the date commencement. The University will assist the selected candidate to formulate this agreement.

The PhD candidates will be a part of a multidiciplinary team of researchers at Inland Norway University of applied sciences and collaborating academic institutions. The candidate is also expected to collaborate with other Phd-students when appropriate.

The position is flexible regarding presence on campus by agreement with main supervisor and closest leader.

For further information please contact:

  • Bjørn Tallak Bakken, associate professor, phone number: +47 624 305 12, e-mail: bjorn.bakken@inn.no
  • Inger Lund-Kordahl, associate professor, phone number: +47 624 301 79, e-mail: inger.lundkordahl@inn.no
  • Martin Rønningen, head of INSEPP PhD program, phone number: +47 612 883 18, e-mail: martin.ronningen@inn.no

Project Overview

The project aims to explore the highly complex tasks of interprofessional and multi-agency training and working in critical incidents. The output from the project has potential to explore and improve emergency response training while applying AR/VR and with support in dynamic decision support from AI. Thus, it is our ambition to examine the effectiveness of training in a more structured and systematic manner than what has been the tradition. Secondly, with our focus on VR/AR/AI supported training and exercises, we intend to use automated data collection methods to supplement the traditional questionnaire-based and qualitative approaches. This triangulation will provide us with more data of better quality and allow for more valid and reliable conclusions.

In Norway, cross-sector exercises on major incidents take place once or twice in a four- year period. Substantial time is spent on planning larger exercises. Having participants from several sectors to attend an exercise, in order to have a collaboration exercise, takes even longer time to plan. It is our ambition with the project that our results could be applied to improve the practice and effectiveness in training. By using VR/AR and AI tools for systematic management training, the society can save enormous resources by being able to reduce the (waste of) time and resources spent on exercise planning, and still be able to conduct more frequent and more focused exercises, at lower costs, and with better learning outcomes.

With regards to the UN sustainable development goals (SDG), the project contributes primarily to SDG 16, “Peace, justice and strong institutions”. A major class of preparedness and crisis management efforts are directed towards reducing the likelihood of criminal or illegal activities and reducing the consequences of such events once they have occurred. Likewise, the project contributes indirectly to SDG 4, “Quality education”, since the results from the projects are planned to be communicated to emergency response organizations. The same goes for SDG 3 “Good health and well-being for people”, where for example handling epidemic outbreaks could be one of the crisis management scenarios to be employed in training and exercises.We are looking for candidates that are highly motivated for research in the field of critical incident training and management.

The project will contract with two designated companies providing AR/VR and AI, for software and support. All necessary technical support and training will be given. A research assistant is employed 20% in this project.

Examples of study topics can be:

1) Operative leadership in VR/AR/AI supported critical incident training.

2) Communication and interoperability in VR/AR/AI supported critical incident training.

3) Designated AI-supported dynamic decision making and team process training in critical incidents

Qualifications and personal skills

  • The person to be appointed must have a master's degree with good grades and of relevance for the announced position (a broad range of Master degrees are relevant, i.e Emergency Medicine, Crisis Management, Psychology, Law Enforcement, Conflict and Warfare.)
  • The master’s degree must be composed of 120 ECTS, including a master's thesis of at least 30 ECTS cf. NOKUT’s (the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education’s) requirements for admission to PhD-education at Norwegian universities and INN’s PhD regulation. As a rule, the average grade must be B.
  • Applicants with a master’s degree from universities abroad, must attach “Recognition of foreign higher education” from the Directorate of Higher Education and Skills (HK-Dir). Instructions on how to get this master’s degree assessed and approved are given by NOKUT
  • Language proficiency: Oral and written English is required. In addition, it may be necessary to have command of a Nordic or Scandinavian language.
  • Ability to work independently and purposefully but also have a command of co- operation on research tasks and publishing.
  • An enclosed 2000 words draft project proposal is mandatory (cf. section below "how to apply").

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

Evaluation of candidates for the position will be based on a total assessment of educational background, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation and other eligibility requirements, as defined in the advertisement. In addition, the following will be emphasized: quality of the project description, documented independent research and development work or experience relevant to the project.

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, 2000 words) 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/Scandinavian.
  • 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.

We offer

  • An exciting and challenging position at a developing institution
  • Position is paid and placed in position code 1017, 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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