Ledig stilling på Høyskolen Kristiania

PhD Research Fellow within Source Criticism and Mediated Disinformation

Deadline: 15.06.2020

Kristiania University College

Kristiania University College (founded 1914) is an educational foundation with campuses in Oslo and Bergen, and online. We are an accredited college with 10,000 students, 600 employees, and currently four academic schools offering more than 100 programmes with studies in leadership, organisation, technology, marketing, communication, health and creative arts. We have had a formidable growth in recent years, and we will continue to expand. Our ambition is to become Norway’s first private independent university.

Kristiania University College is offering a fully funded PhD fellowship in Communication and Leadership Studies. The successful applicant will be included in a team of researchers with ambitious plans to further develop research and pedagogical activities related to Communication and Leadership Studies at Kristiania University College.

The PhD project will be closely connected to the international research project Source Criticism and Mediated Disinformation (SCAM) funded by the Norwegian Research Council (2020-2024). The project is based on a collaboration between Kristiania University College and Oslo Metropolitan University with Steen Steensen at the Oslo Metropolitan University as principal investigator. Bente Kalsnes at Kristiania University College leads a work package about source criticism and fact checking during elections on which the PhD fellow will contribute. The program description of this project can be given on request.

The SCAM project’s overall objective is to develop principles for and practices of digital source criticism and media- and information literacy in relation to emerging technologies, with special emphasis on detection and countering of disinformation. This objective includes the advancement of journalists’ ability to critically scrutinize sources and information in a digital age; journalism educators’ ability to teach digital source criticism; and an improvement of the skills and knowledge needed to enhance media and information literacy in societies at large. The program description of this project can be given on request. The successful candidate will be a part of the SCAM team, and the PhD project is to be designed and conducted in a way that contributes significantly to the SCAM project.

We search for a candidate with an interest in media practices, fact-checking and challenges related to mis- and disinformation. Further, the candidate should have an understanding of how new technologies, audiences and media practices are developing. The PhD research fellow will contribute with research on fact-checking efforts, source criticism practices and technology employment within newsrooms during the Norwegian 2021 general election. Additionally, leadership aspects concerning strategies to fight misinformation and disinformation will be an important part of the research field for the PhD research fellow. The PhD research fellow will participate in national and international events and workshops organized by the SCAM project.Key research questions are:

  • How do news and platform companies employ technology in relation to practices of fact-checking and source criticism in election periods?
  • What are the key technological developments influencing digital source criticism practices?


  • A master’s degree (120 ETCS) in a relevant field; preferably, but not limited to, Journalism Studies, Media and Communication, Information Science or Leadership Studies
  • Good competence in methods (quantitative and/or qualitative)
  • Good language skills in English
  • Ability to work independently and goal oriented
  • Strong interest in research

The PhD fellow is expected

  • to conduct research that contributes significantly to realizing the objectives of the SCAM project
  • to contribute to project workshops and engage in department meetings at Høyskolen Kristiania
  • to be part of and contribute to the research group fACT at Høyskolen Kristiania and potentially the OsloMet Digital Journalism Research Group


  • The PhD position require admission to the PhD Program at the University of Bergen, Faculty of Social Sciences. Currently Kristiania University College does not offer a PhD-program, and consequently, the selected candidate must be admitted to the PhD-program of the collaborating university. Confirmed admission to this PhD program must be available at the latest six months after signing the employment contract
  • To be accepted for this program, it is required with a relevant 180 ECTS bachelor’s degree, and a relevant 120 ECTS master’s degree (or integrated bachelor and master) with minimum 30 ECTS master thesis, and with grade similar to the Norwegian/European grade B or higher in average for the master thesis
  • Because the Norwegian context will constitute (parts of or the whole) empirical field, applicants need to have proficiency in the Norwegian language comparable to level B2/C1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages. Applicants from outside Scandinavia need to document this with having passed the Bergen-Test

The application must hold:

  • Motivation letter for the position
  • A proposal for a research project (max five pages including references) that includes a brief overview of the specific issue the applicant wishes to focus on; ideas regarding planned sub projects and how they relate to the overarching goal of the project; reflections on methods and theoretical perspectives
  • CV
  • Other relevant scientific works or papers/presentations
  • Summary of relevant publications or research experiences
  • Approved Diplomas and Transcripts (in Scandinavian or English language). The certificates/diplomas must include ECTS grades (A–F).
  • At least two references
  • Your Master thesis

We offer:

  • A full-time Ph.D. research fellowship of 3 years
  • Working place at the School of Communication, Leadership and Marketing, Kristiania University College. The school is located in downtown Oslo, with numerous amenities, recreational spaces, and urban fun right next door
  • The opportunity for academic support and development in a large and comprehensive educational and research environment
  • An active research group and a project group with regular meetings, seminars and support networks
  • Salary is estimated to be between 450,000 and 480,000 NOK a year

Kristiania University College welcomes and encourages applications from diverse backgrounds. Women and persons with minority background are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: June 15th, 2020


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