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Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)
Blindern og Urbygningen (Foto: Wikimedia og Colourbox)

Postdoctoral Fellow - CREATE

Deadline: 15.03.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

CREATE (Centre of Research on Equality in Education) is an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Faculty of Educational Sciences. CREATE’s objective is to generate novel knowledge about how to reduce inequalities in education.

In the fields of special needs education, educational psychology, education and psychology

Job description

Applicants are invited for 1-2 three to four year fulltime positions as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway. The intended starting date is May 1, 2024.

The positions have a double affiliation with the Centre for Research on Equality in Education (CREATE) and either the Department of Special Needs Education or The Department of Education.

CREATE is an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway (2023-2033) with the objective to generate novel knowledge about how to reduce inequalities in education, see web site. The interdisciplinary centre integrates researchers with substantive expertise from education, psychology, sociology, economics, genetics and methodological expertise from educational measurement, psychometrics, econometrics, statistics and biostatistics. The postdoctoral fellowships are associated with CREATE’s research strand 2: “Intervening on the barriers to equality in education". 

The Department of Special Needs Education offers a Bachelor’s degree in special needs education and five special education majors (among them speech and language therapy and specific learning difficulties) at the Master’s level, in addition to an international Master’s program (Master in Special Needs Education). The department’s lab, Oslo Special Education and Learning Lab (Oslo SPeLL) offers an excellent possibility to incorporate research, innovation and student activities into a clinical context.

The Department of Education offers a Bachelor’s degree in education and four education majors (among them educational psychology) at the Master’s level, in addition to an international Master’s program (Master in Education) and two majors. 

More about the position

The Postdoctoral fellow is expected to pursue quantitative research in line with the aims of CREATE’s research strand 2: 1) to develop and examine effects from reliable, durable, and educationally meaningful interventions addressing the barriers to equality in skill development, and 2) to design theoretically oriented experiments to examine the causal mechanisms that operate in interventions. CREATE focuses on oral language, literacy (reading and writing), and mathematics as fundamental skills critical to educational success. The current positions are tied to a planned randomized controlled trial that will test the effects of two interventions for upper primary school children (5th -7th grade). Children will be randomized to receive either an intervention targeting language/literacy (e.g. writing skills), or an intervention targeting mathematical skills.

As part of the work on these intervention studies, the postdoctoral fellow is expected to contribute to the administration and implementation, including the development of assessment tools and intervention materials and the coordination of research assistants and data collection. 

The Postdoctoral fellow is expected to work with the interdisciplinary team strand 2 of CREATE, and will have the opportunity to define and pursue their own research interests within the scope of CREATE’s research aims and the planned intervention studies. 

The appointment is a fulltime position and is made for a period of 3 years, included ten percent work duties at the Centre. If there is a good match between the candidate’s competence and the teaching needs at the Department of Special Needs Education or at the Department of Education, the position may be extended to four years, 25 percent of which are devoted to teaching, supervision, and research assistance.

Postdoctoral fellows who are appointed for a period of four years are expected to acquire basic pedagogical competency during their fellowship period within the duty component of 25 %.

The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in top academic positions. 

Further information about the position/s and CREATE’s research program can be obtained from:

  • CREATE director Prof. Arne Lervåg, a.o.lervag@iped.uio.no or 
  • Prof. Janne von Koss Torkildsen (Strand 2 leader), j.von.k.torkildsen@isp.uio.no

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a degree or equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in special needs education, psychology, education, cognitive science, speech-language therapy, language sciences or another relevant field. The doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date of application. The candidate should have successfully defended the doctoral dissertation before the start date of the postdoctoral fellowship.
  • A strong interest in the fields of language development, writing development and/or mathematical development
  • Quantitative research skills and eagerness to develop such skills further
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in both a Scandinavian language and English

In the assessment of applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The project description as a proof of the candidate’s mastery of idea development and scientific writing, the description of the research topic’s relevance to strand 2 of CREATE’s research program, the specific problems to be studied, the choice of scientific theory and method, and the proposed implementation plan for the study
  • The applicant’s experience, personal suitability and motivation for the post, including their ability to collaborate and to form part of a cross-disciplinary academic community
  • The applicant’s academic attitude and motivation

Personal skills

  • A cooperative, friendly and team-oriented work style
  • Ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities
  • Ability to focus and work independently
  • Ability to work with children and educators

We offer

  • Salary NOK 584 500 – 657 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • An interdisciplinary and international working environment, nationally recognized as a Centre of Excellence
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter (1 page, including a statement of motivation)
  • Project description (2000-4000 words, including a short summary of research gaps, research questions the candidate regards relevant to pursue, theoretical and methodological approaches, and a progress plan). As the candidate will carry out research in CREATE’s planned intervention studies, the project description is regarded more as a proof of the candidate’s ability to develop research ideas and scientific writing skills than a concrete plan for the research that will be carried out during the postdoctoral period
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, publications and other relevant academic work)
  • 5 publications/academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered
  • A copy of the PhD thesis
  • Copy of PhD Diploma or documentation of thesis submission. Applicants who have not yet defended their PhD dissertation need to include an advisor’s letter confirming specific expectations about when the degree will be received
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • Documentation of English proficiency (for information on required documentation, see information on this webpage)
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references , incl. the PhD supervisor (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

Incomplete applications will not be assessed. 

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link: "Apply for this job". Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the project description and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

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