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Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Food, Sport and Natural Sciences

Deadline: 23.08.2020

Western Norway University of Applies 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 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 Sport, Food and Natural Sciences has approximately 110 employees in Sogndal, Bergen and Stord.

Disciplines in the department are sports, physical education, fitness, public health, outdoor life, science and food & health.

The department is also responsible for the follow-up of the National Centre for Food, Health and Physical Activity. The department is responsible for several education programmes at bachelor level in the areas of sport, physical education, outdoor life and public health. There are also master degree programmes in sports science and physical activity and diet in a school environment. The department also provides teaching in its disciplines at all levels in kindergarten teacher education, practical-pedagogical education and at the primary and lower secondary school teacher training programmes, and also contributes to the faculty’s PhD programme Bildung and Pedagogical Practices.

Staff at the department are involved in research and development work that is relevant to the activities at the faculty and they are active in academic networks both nationally and internationally. The department is also an important player regional and national by contributing to further education and competence development in schools, kindergartens, sport, outdoor life, the health and fitness industry, etc.

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has a temporary vacancy for a Postdoctoral Fellow at its Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports, and its Department of Food, Sport and Natural Sciences.

This is a temporary 2-year postdoctoral position linked to the Sogn & Fjordane Preschool Physical Activity Study (PRESPAS).

The candidate will belong to the Physical Activity and Public Health research group, which targets physical activity as a means for health promotion and the prevention of lifestyle-related conditions across the course of one’s life. PRESPAS targets physical activity in the preschool setting. PRESPAS is a large cross-sectional study of physical activity and motor skills in 3-5 year old children conducted in Sogn & Fjordane (Norway) in 2015-2016, including a longitudinal study conducted in 2015-2019. The purpose of the study is to investigate levels, correlates and determinants of physical activity in young children. The project is led by Professor Eivind Aadland.

The position will centre around research questions for improved understanding and promotion of physical activity in 3-5 year old preschoolers. The project uses quantitative methodology.

Responsibilities and duties:

This position will be linked to the work being conducted on issues which involve understanding and promoting physical activity in 3-5 year old preschoolers. The project uses quantitative methodology. PRESPAS is a cross-sectional study including data on children’s physical activity assessed by accelerometry, motor skills, weight status and time use indoors/outdoors in kindergartens, in addition to various measures of pre-school characteristics. A sub-sample of children is followed up annually for 5 years to investigate development over time. The project enables the investigation of various research questions based on the data and designs outlined above.

During the 2-year postdoctoral period it is expected that the candidate will:

  • publish at least 5 articles
  • publish some of these articles at level 2
  • co-publish with international partners (in English)

This position may also involve project development which will support the research group's/centre’s/project’s activities and be relevant for top-level qualification.

Qualifications required:

The applicant must present a draft proposal for the qualification work based on the main project. It is to be assumed that the applicant will be able to complete this secondary project over the period of employment and that written scientific work will be submitted to journals for assessment within two years.

The draft project may cover up to 5 pages, including references and a progress and publication plan (font size 12, Times New Roman, single line spacing). This may be written in a Scandinavian language or English.

Applicants 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.

When undertaking assessments, the main emphasis will be placed on submitted scientific work and the feasibility of draft projects for qualification work. Application letters should contain one’s motives for applying for the position and an explanation about why the candidate is suitable for the position.

  • Applicants must have a Norwegian PhD or the equivalent in sports science, public health science or similar qualifications, or they must have submitted their doctoral thesis for assessment and have a set date for their public defence before the application deadline.
  • The thesis should ideally be no more than 5 years old.

  • Experience in writing articles.
  • Solid experience with respect to quantitative methods.
  • Solid knowledge and experience regarding the use of accelerometer data.
  • Good insight into the relationships between physical activity, health and child development.
  • The working language is Norwegian or English.
  • Good written English skills.

Personal characteristics:

  • Applicants must be able to work independently, in a structured way and have good cooperation and dissemination skills.
  • Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal characteristics.
  • Ambitious academically, with great potential.

How to apply for the position?

Submit your application and CV by clicking the “Apply for position” button on this page.

You should be aware that applications will be assessed on the basis of the information entered in www.jobbnorge.no before the deadline for submitting applications. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all relevant appendices are entered before the deadline, including scientific work (up to 5 items), a full list of publications, draft projects and publication plans (up to 5 pages), certificates and diplomas. If diplomas, grade transcripts or other documentation are not in a Scandinavian language or English, the applicant must upload certified translations. If the appendices exceed 15 MB, they must be compressed before uploading or be attached as a link.

Applicants for scientific positions will be assessed by an expert committee. Based on the recommendations of the committee, the relevant applicants will be called upon to attend an interview. The appointment body is the Appointment Committee/Board at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Applications are submitted electronically to the expert committee. Applications must not be submitted by e-mail to individuals at the University.

We offer the following:

  • Good pension, insurance and loan schemes with the Norwegian Public.
  • Service Pension Fund An exciting professional environment with opportunities available for enhancing one’s expertise and development.
  • Opportunities for exercising during working hours.

Postdoctoral fellows will receive a salary commensurate with rank code 1352.

A 2% contribution will be deducted from the salary and paid to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund. The appointee must comply with the guidelines which apply to the position at all times.

General information:

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time.

Please note that according to a new Norwegian Freedom of Information Act, information about applicants may be published even if the applicant in question has requested not to appear on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests cannot be complied with.

Whenever possible the public sector workforce should reflect the diversity of the population in Norway. It is, therefore, one of our personnel policy aims is to achieve a balanced age and gender composition and to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds and physical disabilities. The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is an inclusive access institution.

Contacts at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences:

1) Professor Eivind Aadland, e-mail: [email protected], tel.: +47 57 67 60 86.

2) Assistant Head of Department Ane Solbraa, e-mail: [email protected], tel.: +47 57 67 60 81 / +47 909 53 275.

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