Postdoc position in sign language and interpreting

Deadline: 14.04.2024

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

With about 17,500 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 6600 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 approximately 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 available one position as a Postdoc position in sign language and interpreting

The postdoc position is based at HVL and supports the faculty’s commitment to sign language and sign language interpreting.

The postdoc position is linked to the project "Signed Language Depiction as an Engine for Promoting Inclusion, Communication, and Translation” (DEPICT) funded by Research Council of Norway (LINK). The main goal of the project is to empirically investigate depiction and what role it has in communication practices within sign language interactions.

The postdoc fellow’s project and publications will be connected to Work Package 1 of the DEPICT project investigating perceptions of depictive strategies among Norwegian sign language users. An ideal candidate will propose a project that incorporates situated language use with psycholinguistic experimental paradigms.

The period of employment is two years. The postdoc fellow will be part of the academic environment within sign language and interpreting at HVL, the research group ‘Sign Language, Interpreting, Linguistics and Communication’ (TOLK), and the strategic research program ‘Language, Communication and Learning’ (SKoL). In addition, the candidate is expected to complete the postdoctoral project within the set fellowship period. The research fellow will have his/her place of work/affiliation with the Faculty of Education, Arts and Sports at Campus Bergen. It might be possible for the candidate to have the place of work at the Department of Language and Literature at NTNU.

Main duties and responsibilities:

Main duties and responsibilities:

Within this project the main responsibilities of the postdoc will be to:

  • Collect data for their project
  • Collaborate in experimental design and stimuli creation
  • Participate in data analysis

In addition to the work within the work package, it is expected that the postdoctoral fellow will collaborate with other participants in the project and participate actively in network activities. The work should result in a minimum of three publications written either together with others in the project or alone, published in national and international peer-reviewed journals: The postdoctoral fellow is expected to be the author or co-author of at least one publication at level 2. The postdoctoral fellow must also be prepared to do some traveling in connection with data collection/field work. Highly ethical awareness in meeting with informants is necessary.

Qualification requirements:

A doctoral degree in a relevant field should be obtained before the expected start date in August 2024 (e.g., language, communication, linguistics, cognitive psychology, etc.). Applicants with a doctoral degree from other subjects who can document good knowledge of the topics in the announcement evidenced in their doctoral thesis, for example, will be considered qualified.

In the assessment, the main emphasis will be on the applicant's qualifications for the topic of the DEPICT project in general and specifically Work Package 1, as well as on the quality of previous research and submitted scientific work. In the assessment of the applicants, we will emphasize the applicant's motivation, potential for research, independence, ability to collaborate and whether the applicant is personally suitable for the position. Experience from publications/dissemination and administrative work will also be valued.

The following qualifications will be given special emphasis:

  • Professional qualifications within signed language depiction, with emphasis on quality in the doctoral thesis and other scientific work
  • Fluency/Native in one or more signed languages

Preferred qualifications:

  • In depth knowledge of sign language and communication between different countries and sign languages
  • Experiences of other project management
  • Linguistic competence to be able to identify and analyze sign language data
  • Expertise with ELAN annotation software
  • Knowledge in using R or other statistical analysis programs
  • Advanced/native Norwegian sign language fluency
  • Advanced written English fluency

Personal characteristics:

  • Good ability to work independently and systematically
  • Good collaboration skills
  • Ability to take initiative
  • High ethical awareness when working with research participants

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:

  • Transcripts of bachelor’s and master’s degrees
  • CV, with a complete list of any project work in industry and any academic publications
  • PhD 
  • Diplomas and certificates
  • If any, copies of selected academic publications (no more than 5)

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.

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.

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.

We offer:

  • Exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment.
  • An open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues.
  • Favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • Employee benefits.

The position as Postdoctoal Fellow is paid according to the Government's salary regulation, in position code 1354 - Postdoctor.

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see http://www.spk.no/en 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. 

Applicants may be called in for an interview.

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.


1) Associate professor Gro Hege Saltnes Urdal, tlf. +47 55 58 59 61 og e-mail: Gro.Hege.Saltnes.Urdal@hvl.no

2) Associate professor Benjamin Anible, e-mail: benjamin.d.anible@ntnu.no

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