Ledig stilling ved Høgskulen på Vestlandet

PhD candidate in health tech innovation at the Faculty of health and social sciences

Deadline: 15.03.2020

Faculty of Health and Social Sciences announces a PhD position for the research project «Beyond Treating Average Patients: Innovating Mental Health Services in Hospitals by Personalizing Digital Health Measures to the Individual»

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

With about 16,000 students, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway. A broad range of academic programmes are offered at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels, spread out on five campuses Førde, Sogndal, Bergen, Stord og Haugesund.

Our ambition is to build stronger and more solid academic and research environments that will interact nationally and internationally. The aim is to become a recognized actor on the international higher education arena. Increased international cooperation and engagement in externally funded projects will work towards this goal.

The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences has approximately 430 employees and about 4500 Students. We offer a broad range of educational programs within the field of Health and Social Sciences as well as continuing education and post-graduate programs, as well as master’s degrees. In addition, there are several research centers associated with the faculty. Our students receive extensive skills training in addition to clinical placement, mainly through exercises in communication and testing at SimArena, an advanced simulation center. We practice flexible learning forms allowing the students themselves to participate in research and developmental work.

The Department of Health and Caring Sciences has around 210 staff members and about 2400 students in Førde, Bergen, Haugesund, or Stord. We offer bachelor's degrees in Nursing and master’s degrees in Clinical Nursing consisting of seven specialised fields. We also offer master’s degrees in Midwifery, Health and Social Services, Health and Care Science, and a number of continuing education programs.

About the position:

The PhD candidate will work on the research project «Beyond Treating Average Patients: Innovating Mental Health Services in Hospitals by Personalizing Digital Health Measures to the Individual». The project is part of the research program Norse Feedback, a joint program between Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) and Førde Hospital Trust (FHT), led by Professor Christian Moltu. The research program Norse Feedback currently employs five PhD and postdocs, alongside a range of international collaborations, which all aim to improve mental health services.

The position is located at the Department of Health and Caring Sciences. The PhD project will be part of the interdisciplinary research group for Mental Health and Addiction Research at HVL and FHT.

The candidate’s work is to be organized such that she/he qualifies for the PhD program for «Responsible Innovation and Regional Development», under the domain for Public Sector Innovation. This entails taking the mandatory courses in the doctoral program and also one course in public sector innovation.Total fellowship period is 4 years in a 100 % position, with 25 % of the time spent as work related to teaching, research and /or administration.

Duty work shall be distributed over the enire fellowship period.

The workplace is campus Førde.

About the PhD project:

Innovations to personalise health care and significantly strengthen patient outcomes and recovery are in high demand. This objective is particularly achievable in the area of mental health and obesity health care. The core innovation is the development of person-specific digital measure used actively in process feedback, as a basis for new constructive dialogues between patients and the clinicians during treatment processes.

The aims of the current project are to a) innovate and strengthen the clinical application of Norse Feedback; to b) improve service quality and effectiveness in mental health and obesity settings; by c) implementing new algorithms for personalized real-time statistics in clinical feedback in ordinary settings and test these in existing data sets from Norse Feedback research- and quality assurance projects.

The present project utilizes a mixture of qualitative and advanced quantitative methodological approaches. In phase one, the candidate will implement a data collection strategy in the mental health clinic, to explore which forecasts and predictions during treatment processes clinicians and patients need from a clinical feedback system that routinely collects patient self-reports. In phase two, the candidate will use existing data to establish which multivariate/personalized statistical or machine learning procedures allow the best prediction models for clinical needs established in phase one. Phase three is a clinical feasibility study of the prediction models from phase two. A strong team of supervisors will advise the different methodological parts of the project.

The candidate will detail and expand on the preliminary research protocol, in collaboration with the team of supervisors, at the start of the project, based on the candidate's strengths and interests, and the research group’s needs. The resulting protocol is to be approved at admission to the PhD-school “Responsible Innovation and Regional Development” at the Western Norway University of Applied Science within three months after start-up.

The PhD student is expected to participate actively in the PhD program during the period and fulfill the work requirements and duties that it entails https://www.hvl.no/forsking/forskarutdanning. During the appiontment period, the candidate shall complete the training program for PhD candidates, write a minimum of three scientific articles linked to a thesis and complete the PhD degree by public defense. Application for admission to the doctoral program is prepared and sent only after appiontment in a Phd Position. Final plans for completion of postgraduate education shall be approved by the university college no later than 3 months after appointment.

The candidate must be diligent and display the ability to work independently, supplemented with regular guidance, and is expected to carry out high-quality research and to publish the results in international workshops, conferences, and journals.


Applicants must document a relevant master's degree and experiences. Master degrees within the areas of health science, psychology, nursing, and social science are valued, but are not an absolute demand. Experiences with professional contacts with help-seeking individuals and/or relevant research experience is an advantage. Formal competence must be documented at the application deadline.

It is a prerequisite that the applicant meets the requirements for admission to the PhD program. Normally, the program only accepts candidates with grades A or B on the master's thesis (ECTS grading system).

The following qualifications are particularly emphasized:

  • Documented solid qualifications within the announced area are expected, with a particular focus on master thesis quality and methodological qualifications. Peer-reviewed scientific publication experiences will be evaluated positively. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in information technology and innovation.
  • Interested candidates should contact [email protected] to receive a preliminary protocol for the project. Based on this preliminary protocol, we expect applicants to prepare a reflexive note to their application. This note should detail professional interests and relevance of educational background, and the candidate’s own personal fit for the project. The note is to be a maximum of five pages, double spacing, and font size 12, written in English.

Personal qualifications:

  • Personal fit for the position is one important criterion in applicant evaluation. The candidate must be open minded, effective, and be able to work independently and in teams. Fluency in the Norwegian and English language is expected.

Application procedure:

Applications will be evaluated by an expert panel of three members.

Applicants are asked to submit their application and CV online. Please use the link “Apply for this job” (“Søk stillingen”).

The following documentation should be uploaded as an attachment to the online application:

  • Master Thesis
  • Copies of selected academic publications (no more than 15)
  • A CV with a complete list of academic publications
  • Diplomas and certificates

Applicants should indicate which publications or parts of publications should be given special consideration in the evaluation. If the documents submitted are not in a Scandinavian language or English, the applicants must submit certified translations of these. The transcripts must specify the topics, the course works, and the grades at the bachelor`s and master`s degree levels.

Applicants should note that the evaluation will be based on the documentation submitted electronically via Jobbnorge within the submission deadline. The applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the documentation is submitted before the closing date. It is of utmost importance that all publications to be considered in the evaluation are uploaded as an attachment with the application, since these are sent electronically to the expert panel. Applications cannot be sent by e-mail or to individuals at the college.


  • Good occupational pension, insurance and loan schemes from The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Exciting academic environment with the possibility of competence enhancement and development
  • Opportunities for training within the working hours

Initial salaries will be offered at grade 54 (code 1017) in the Civil Service pay grade table scale.

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see http://www.spk.no for more information). The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time.

General information:

The appointment will be made in accordance with the regulations for State employees Law in Norway ("Lov om statens ansatte)". Organizational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities associated with the position must be expected.

State employment shall reflect the multiplicity of the population at large to the highest possible degree. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has therefore adopted a personnel policy objective to ensure that we achieve a balanced age and gender composition and the recruitment of persons of various ethnic backgrounds.

Information about the applicant may be made public even though the applicant has requested not to be named in the list of applicants. The applicant will be notified if his/her request is not respected.


1) Professor Christian Moltu,email adress: [email protected]

2) Project coordinator Marianne Schiefloe Myklebust,email adress: marianne.schiefloe.myklebust[email protected]

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