PhD Position in Critical Multimodal Literacies

Deadline: 29.12.2020

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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 Education, Arts and Sports has four departments with staff in Bergen, Sogndal and Stord. This Faculty is one of the largest teachers training institutions in the country with around 6200 students and a staff of 550, offering kindergarten teacher training, primary and secondary school teacher training for Classes 1-7 and 5-10, practical pedagogical education and Bachelor’s, Master's and PhD programmes.

The faculty will offer an extensive programme of continuing and further education. Research activities at the Faculty are organised into research programmes and research groups.The Department of Language, Literature, Mathematics and Interpreting has 160 employees in Bergen, Sogndal and Stord.The Department provides education at all levels and is involved in kindergarten teacher training, primary and secondary school teacher training (Master's level from autumn 2017), and in the Bachelor's degree in Sign Language and Interpreting. In addition, the Department provides a Master’s degree in Teaching and a Master's degree in Children's and Youth Literature. The Department also contributes to the PhD programme, Bildung and Pedagogical Practices.Departmental employees are involved in research which is relevant to our studies and participate in national and international academic networking. The Department aims to lead the field in respect of the development of scholastic and professionally oriented competence within its fields of expertise. In this context we engage in continuous cooperation with important players in the region in respect of further education and, for example, the development of school and kindergarten-based expertise

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports has a vacancy for PhD Position in Critical Multimodal Literacies

The PhD stipend is intended to contribute to strengthening the competences of local English teachers in grades 5-10 in critical multimodal literacies in the subject English towards implementing the new school curriculum (LK20).

Critical multimodal literacy aims to better understand how the myriad of texts that surround us (images, video games, videos and film, art, music, and printed texts) shape our attitudes and beliefs. As literacy involves not only reading, but also creating texts, innovative approaches to multimodal text reception and production (that go beyond e.g., using picturebooks in the classroom) are invited.

Qualitative methods of analysis are desired (textual analyses of multimodal materials, classroom interventions, interviews, focus groups, reflection logs, etc.) Theoretical frameworks for the study may include intercultural education, critical literacy, visual semiotics or narrative studies.

Possible research questions are (but not limited to):

  • How to use multimodal literacies to express feelings, thoughts, experiences and opinions related to the multidisciplinary themes in LK 20 (e.g., democracy and citizenship, health and life skills)?
  • How to reshape/create narratives using multimodal literacies?
  • What are the affordances and limitations of introducing a multimodal literacies approach for developing teacher and pupil competences to meet the aims of the new curriculum?

The project will be connected to a larger DeKomp project between the research group RETELL (Researching Teacher Education, Language and Literature) and a local primary or lower-secondary school. DeKomp is a decentralized scheme for competence development in schools initiated by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training.

The candidate will be a member of the RETELL research group, which is part of the research program area of Language, Communication and Learning (SKoL).

About the PhD project/ work tasks:

The candidate will be accepted into the doctoral program “Studies of Bildung and Pedagogical Practices” at the Faculty of Teacher Education, Culture and Sport. It is a prerequisite that the candidate fulfils the requirements for admission to the PhD program. The final project proposal and plan for the completion of the research must be approved within three months after the position has started.

It is a requirement that the person appointed to the position has his / her workplace at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen campus. The total period for the stipend is three years in a 100% position.

If the candidate can speak Norwegian or another Scandinavian language, the position can be expanded to four years with 25% teaching, research development, or administrasjon. Please state in your application if you want a 3-year PhD period, or a 4-year appointment period where 25% of the time is related to teaching, research development, or administration.


By the time of application, the applicant must have a completed Masters degree in English, English Education, English Didactics, Children’s and Young Adult Literature in English, or a relevant field (e.g., literacy studies, media studies). The Masters thesis must have achieved a result of grade B or higher and must have been written in English. An average of B on all graduate level course work is also required. In addition, the applicant must demonstrate a high command of written and oral English.

The applicant must attach a project proposal written in English of up to 6 pages describing the theme, research questions, choice of theory, and method for the potential project. The proposal must demonstrate how the project will develop the competences related to the Norwegian English subject curriculum for grades 5-10, as described above.The project proposal will be used in the evaluation of the candidate’s qualifications, but the final project description will be developed in consultation with the supervisors.

The candidate should also submit a one-page description of his / her Masters thesis and a CV, and may also submit up to three published academic for consideration in the evaluation.

Wanted qualifications

  • Previous work in multimodal literacies and/or interdisciplinary fields
  • Experience in TEFL in grades 5-10
  • Experience with empirical research methods
  • Knowledge of primary or lower-secondary school

Priority will be given to applicants with a knowledge of the Norwegian school system when all of the above qualifications have been met and the proposed projects are deemed to be of equal quality.

Personal characteristics

The person who accepts the stipend must be innovative and be able to work independently and in a community. A high ethical standard in the research is required.

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:

  • A project propposal
  • A one- page discription of his/her Master Thesis
  • Copies of selected academic publications (no more than 3)
  • 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 in 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.

Applicant whose education is from another country than Norway, need to also attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcript of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, if the original is not in any of these languages. It is required that the applicant enclose a review from NOKUT whether the education (bachelor and master’s degree) is of a scope and level that corresponds to the level of a Norwegian master’s degree.

Please see www.nokut.no/en for more information about NOKUT’s general recognition. This may take some time and we recommend you to apply as soon as you know you will apply for this position. If no answer within the application deadline, please enclose documentation from NOKUT that they have received your application.

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 Bergen 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.

Short-listed applicants will be called in for an interview and a presentation of previous work, e.g. based on their master’s thesis.


1) Associate professor Jena Habegger-Conti, phone: +47 55 58 57 35, mail: [email protected]

2) Associate professor Zoltan Varga, phone: +47 55 58 55 17, mail: [email protected]

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