Postdoctoral Fellow in Robotics and Robot Grasping for Health applications

Deadline: 01.08.2024

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 Technology, Environmental and Social Sciences has approximately 300 employees and approximately 3,200 students. The faculty has a broad educational offer at both bachelor's and master's level in engineering and science, as well as PhD education in computer technology. The Mohns Center for Innovation and Regional Development researches innovation and offers master's education in innovation and entrepreneurship. The diving education offers a one-year vocational school education. 

The main part of the faculty's activities are in Haugesund, Bergen, Sogndal and Førde. 

The faculty's activities are internationally based and take place in close collaboration with regional companies, clusters, health trusts and the public sector, including other institutions in the university and college sector. This applies to research, development, innovation and not least education with student projects at all levels.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Faculty of Technology, Environmental and Social Sciences has a vacancy for a 2-year position as Postdoctoral Fellow in Robotics and Robot Grasping for Health applications.

We are looking for a highly motivated and talented postdoctoral research fellow to be part of the HVL Robotics Research group. The position is associated with the research project “RobotHandleS” financed by the Norwegian Research Council, and in close cooperation with the project owner Retrams AS. If you are interested in the application of robot grasping to pick up Reusable Surgical Equipment (RSE) for cleaning and sterilization, this position could be for you.

About the PhD project/ work tasks:

The overall project aims to develop a robot system that can identify RSEs in a cluttered tray, identify and classify likely items for picking, and robustly grasp the top picking candidate firmly and with a fixed orientation for later cleaning and sterilization. The range of surgical equipment is large, and consists of a variety of smaller one-part items (e.g. scalpels), larger two-part items (scissors, etc.), and a range of flexible items with wires, elastic parts etc. The focus of the postdoctoral research project will be on designing methods and algorithms for robust grasping of the full range of RSE items in the cluttered tray/bin. All items should be grasped with a firm and fixed orientation at a determined grasp-point. Prototyping of gripping solutions, and experimental verification of the developed methods, will be an important part of the project.

The postdoctoral fellowship will be part of the RobotHandleS-project financed by the Norwegian Research Council and will be done in close cooperation with the Norwegian company Retrams AS as the project owner. Retrams has recently developed a scanner system that is able to identify each individual RSE item, and the RobotHandleS project aims to add robot handling functionality to this scanning system to further automate handling and sterilization of RSEs in hospitals.

The workplace of the Postdoctoral Fellow will be at the Faculty of Engineering and Science at campus Førde, but the candidate should expect to travel for field work with industry partners in Florø/Bergen.

Starting Date: September 1st 2024

Research environment

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be part of the HVL Robotics Lab, a research and innovation centre for robotics at HVL. HVL Robotics have access to state-of-the-art research facilities at Campus Førde, and a field lab for robotic research at Campus Sogndal/Leikanger. 

The computer science research environment at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has a strong focus on use-inspired and applied research, and on ICT as an enabling technology. The research environment has cooperation with many national and international research groups, and with national and regional industry partners. The research program includes the research themes of software engineering, engineering computing, sensor networks and robotics, grid computing and physics data analysis, machine learning, and interactive and collaborative systems. 

The Fellow will also be encouraged to take part in the supervision of MSc and PhD candidates. You will be part of a larger project group across robotics, machine learning and health, and also interact with stakeholder partners in the project, including health professionals and other industrial partners.


The postdoctoral fellow must hold a PhD-degree, or have submitted your doctoral dissertation for evaluation, in Robotics, Engineering Cybernetics, Automation, Mechatronics, Computer Science or a closely related field, and have a strong emphasis on robotics and grasping. Applicants from related fields who can demonstrate relevant experience in robotics and grasping, e.g. through the topic of the PhD thesis, may also be evaluated as qualified for the position.

Applicants for the position will be ranked based on: 

  • Relevant research experience and high-quality publications in robotics, with a special emphasis on publications on grasping
  • Relevant industry experience in robotics, 
  • Previous involvement in research and innovation projects 
  • The ability to carry out and publish high-quality research in cooperation with industry partners
  • Proficiency in English 

The following qualifications will be considered an advantage when applicants are ranked:

  • Practical programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python) and experience with using ROS
  • Previous experience working with 3D vision and image analysis
  • Previous experience working with collaborative robots and robot handling
  • Previous experience with experimental research and prototyping
  • Previous experience in supporting relevant MSc and PhD projects
  • Proficiency in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language 
  • Possibility to timely start in the position

The following characteristics of the applicant will also be considered:

  • Confidence in working independently as a researcher, and in cross-disciplinary teams with industry partners
  • Capacity for dissemination and ability to positively contribute to advancement of robotics research at HVL 
  • Potential for establishing relevant national and international research contacts 
  • Excellent communication skills

Applicants should explicitly address the qualification and ranking criteria listed above in their application. 

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The candidate must hold a PhD-degree or have submitted their doctoral dissertation for evaluation within the closing date of the application. It is a condition for appointment that the dissertation is approved. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.

The postdoctoral position is a fixed term position with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. If the appointee is interested, and if the institution is in need of additional teaching staff, the employment period may be extended by up to one year. Teaching and other duties will in such cases be added to the position. Funding for travels and expenses will be available to the postdoctoral fellow.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to HVL.

The ability to start the position timely after the project start (1. September 2024) will be considered an advantage when candidates are ranked due to the time frame of the project, and link to other research activities conducted in parallel to this postdoctoral project.

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 must be uploaded as an attachment to the online application: 

  • Copies of selected academic publications (no more than 5) 
  • A CV with a complete list of academic publications, teaching activities and relevant industry experience
  • Relevant diplomas and certificates documenting qualifications for the PhD and masters degree.
  • PhD thesis if in English or a Scandinavian language, or a resume of the thesis in English if written in another language
  • Documents related to other achievements relevant to the position
  • The names of two contacts who are willing to act as references for the applicant

Applicants should indicate which projects/publications or parts of projects/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 PhD 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 HVL.

Applications cannot be sent by email or to individuals at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Short-listed candidates for the position may be required to give a lecture, in addition to an interview. 

Applicants with a degree from a country other than Norway, need to attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcripts of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, in addition to the original documents, if the original is not in any of these languages. It is required that the applicant encloses a recognition document showing that their degree is equivalent to a Norwegian bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or PhD. You can read more about applying for recognition of foreign higher education here.

The Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills (HK-dir) offers an automatic recognition document for certain degrees from selected countries. If the applicant’s degree is covered by the automatic recognition, it will be sufficient to attach this document. Read more about automatic recognition here.

As the HK-dir application process may take some time it is recommended to apply to HK-dir as soon as possible. If you have not received a recognition document from HK- dir within the application deadline, please enclose documentation from HK-dir showing that they have received your application.


  • 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 code 1352 - Postdoctor in the Civil Service pay grade table scale

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see here 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.

Employed on condition that you are granted a work and residence permit (must be considered individually).

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is subjected to the regulation for export control system. The regulation will be applied in the processing of the applications. 


Apply for this job

Powered by Labrador CMS