Ledig stilling ved Universitetet i Bergen

Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Social Anthropology

Deadline: 14.08.2019

UiB - Knowledge that shapes society

Through robust and close interaction with the world around us – globally, nationally and locally – we shall be instrumental in building a society based on knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Do you want to take part in shaping the future?

University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.


There are seven departments and three centres at Faculty of Social Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow position

The Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen, has a vacant position as a Postdoctoral Fellow, oriented towards building anthropological methodology and analysis of diplomacy, particularly in the field of ocean and climate policy, and with a regional focus on the Pacific Islands region. The position is part of the interdisciplinary research project “Mare Nullius? Sea Level Rise and Maritime Sovereignties in the Pacific – An Expanded Anthropology of Climate Change” (see https://www.uib.no/en/marenullius for details). The project is funded for 2018-2023 by the Research Council of Norway under the TOPPFORSK programme, and at the University of Bergen (UiB) constitutes a research partnership between the Department of Social Anthropology (lead), the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research and the Faculty of Law. ). Internationally, the Mare Nullius project collaborates with a number of institutions, including the University of the South Pacific which is the main regional partner.

The project aims to build new and urgent interdisciplinary analysis of one of the greatest challenges of our time – the consequences for state sovereignty of increased sea level rise over the Pacific and its impacts on national maritime boundaries, as rising sea levels threaten to de-stabilise the coastal baselines of Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs).

The postdoctoral position is a fixed term contract in which the terms of employment is 3 years. Given particularly relevant qualifications a 4th year may be added, giving the Postdoctoral Fellow 25% work time in activities of science advice (with particular reference to the 2030 Agenda) at UiB. Starting date is 1 October 2019 or somewhat later upon agreement. Residence in the Bergen area for the duration of the position is compulsory, and non-negotiable.

About the project/work tasks:

  • The project director, grant holder and principal investigator for Mare Nullius is Professor Edvard Hviding at the Department of Social Anthropology. The UiB-based core team for Mare Nullius also includes Professor Ernst Nordtveit (law) and Professor Noel Keenlyside (climate science), and two other Postdoctoral Fellows in climate and ocean law and in geophysics/ oceanography.
  • The Postdoctoral Fellow will work in close collaboration with these other two at UiB, and will be expected in this context to produce and document interdisciplinary models and methods, but will also have a special responsibility as Deputy Director of the project, and will oversee a range of international collaborative research, communication and outreach activities under the project framework. A full-time research assistant will form part of the communication and outreach team and assist with project management.
  • The position holder shall engage in fieldwork in the Pacific Islands, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, and in other locations of relevance for the project. In close cooperation with the PI, the Postdoctoral Fellow will examine core research topics in the project, including: Pacific diplomatic initiatives concerning climate change, maritime law and the security of 200-mile EEZs; cultural, social, political, economic and legal scenarios for climate change migration; Pacific activist movements and their connections to global diplomacy; and everyday life experiences of sea level rise and of other local effects of global climate crisis.
  • Applicants are expected to propose their own research questions within the project framework, and to suggest methodological approaches.
  • The Postdoctoral Fellow will be required to travel extensively for fieldwork in the Pacific, in New York and elsewhere, and will be expected to spend periods at the University of the South Pacific (USP) to contribute to partnerships in research and training there, in dialogue with the USP-resident Norway-Pacific Professor of Oceans and Climate. The project will offer diverse opportunities for participation in international academic conferences and global events of diplomacy.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a PhD or equivalent degree in social anthropology. It is a condition for employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • It is a requirement that applicants have prior experience from anthropological field research in the Pacific Islands, and documented knowledge of the United Nations system and relevant diplomatic scenes is an advantage.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and must have the ability to cooperate with others. Experience from working in larger collaborative projects is an advantage.
  • Applicants must have proficiency in oral and written English.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Research experience, ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the applicants.

Potential candidates may be invited to the university for an interview with the multidisciplinary project team, and may be asked to give a trial lecture on a given topic.

Special requirements for the position include the willingness and ability to work in a team across disciplinary boundaries.

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The position of postdoctoral research fellow is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The fixed-term period for this position is 3 (4) years. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution.

A research proposal of maximum 4 pages must accompany the application. The proposal should contain (i) a progress plan for the different parts of the research work, (ii) a publishing plan, and (iii) a budget for operating expences, including data acquisition. It is a requirement that the project is completed within the period of employment.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging working environment.
  • Salary at pay grade 59-62 (code 1352/pay range 24) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This currently amounts to an annual salary of NOK 523 200 – 552 800 before taxes. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position. For particulary highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IW).
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the the main advisor from the PhD programme.
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted
  • Relevant certificates
  • List of own scientific works
  • Publications in PDF format

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

Applications must be submitted in English.

The application has to be marked with: 2019/7405

General information:

For further details about the position, please contact:

  • Professor Edvard Hviding, director and PI of the Mare Nullius project, email [email protected]

Practical questions about the application process should be directed to Adviser HR Anita Helen Spurkeland, e-mail [email protected]

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.

Apply for position