PhD Fellow in Indigenous knowledge systems for climate and watershed resiliency

Deadline: 20.06.2024

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus comprehensive university at the international forefront. Our vision is to be a driving force for developing the High North. The Northern Sami notion eallju, which means eagerness to work, sets the tone for this motive power at UiT. Along with students, staff and the wider community, we aim to utilise our location in Northern Norway and Sápmi, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio and interdisciplinary advantage to shape the future.

Our social mission is to provide research-based education of high quality, perform artistic development and carry out research of the highest international quality standards in the entire range from basic to applied. We will convey knowledge about disciplines and contribute to innovation. Our social mission unites UiT across various studies, research fields and large geographical distances. This demands good cooperation with trade and industry and civil society as well as with international partners. We will strengthen knowledge-based and sustainable development at a regional, national and international level.

Academic freedom and scientific and ethical principles form the basis for all UiT’s activities. Participation, co-determination, transparency and good processes will provide the decision-making basis we need to make wise and far-sighted priorities. Our students and staff will have the opportunity to develop their abilities and potential. Founded on academic integrity, we will be courageous, committed and generous in close contact with disciplines, people and contemporary developments.

We will demonstrate adaptability and seek good and purposeful utilisation of resources, so we are ready to meet the expectations and opportunities of the future. We will strengthen the quality and impact of our disciplines and core tasks through the following three strategic priority areas.

The Arctic University Museum of Norway and Academy of Arts

The position

A PhD position is available at the Arctic University Museum of NorwayArctic University Museum of Norway and Academy of Arts. The position is tied to the project “Sharing our knowledge: incorporating Indigenous knowledge systems to build governance for climate resiliency” and affiliated with the research group SAMFORSK at UiT – the Arctic University of Norway.

The position is for a period of three years.

The PhD position is for a fixed term, with the objective of completion of research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position. The PhD Candidate shall participate in an organized research training, and the PhD project shall be completed during the period of employment.

The workplace is at UiT in Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The position’s affiliation

The successful candidate will defend his/her thesis at the Department for Humanities and Social Sciences, UiT – the Arctic University of Norway.

The SAMFORSK research group is based at the Arctic University Museum of Norway, a conglomerate consisting of The Norwegian Arctic University Museum, The Polar Museum, MS Polstjerna and the Tromsø Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden.

The Arctic University Museum of Norway was founded in 1872 and is North Norway’s oldest research institution. The museum was incorporated in Tromsø University in 1976. Our main tasks are research, research communication, development and maintenance of research collections, outreach, management and teaching.

The position’s field of research

The project “Sharing our knowledge” is a transdisciplinary project with a focus on documentation and inclusion of Sami and Indigenous knowledge in the field of climate risk and resilience research. The PhD work is expected to contribute to the ongoing work of the project where broadening the knowledge base in terms of inter and transdisciplinary knowledge of the Deatnu- Tana watershed is one of the focus areas for the project. The PhD candidate will work with an international group of Indigenous scholars, watershed and climate researchers as well as with local and Sami communities in the Deatnu- Tana watershed border region. Knowledge of Sami culture and language, the geographical context, as well as prior knowledge or the ability to gain knowledge of ecological and scientific research on watersheds are key prerequisites for the position.

The PhD candidate is invited to develop a project related to investigation of Sami and Indigenous knowledge of watersheds and its relations with scientific research where the concept of “Two-Eyed Seeing” is included. As the “Sharing our knowledge” project focuses on climate risk and resilience, the project should contribute to the identification of climate risks or other relevant topics based on Indigenous methodologies and/or other methodologies appropriate to the context and the field of Indigenous and transdisciplinary research in general.

The PhD student will work on assessing the cultural impacts of climate-related risks on river Sámi culture and livelihoods.

The PhD candidate will be appointed at least one supervisor and will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers in the project group that work on related issues and projects, where the overall goal is to develop a novel approach to the study of the interconnections between academic knowledge and Indigenous representations of knowledge.

The applicants must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. The project description shall not exceed 6 pages, literature references included. It must include a description of the topic, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It should also indicate the methodologies to be used. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor. Template for project description can be found here.


For further information about the position, please contact:


This position requires a master’s degree or equivalent in humanities or social sciences, such as cultural or linguistics studies, museology, anthropology, history of science, Indigenous studies or related fields. A Master’s degree in water ecology/blue sciences is also relevant. If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply.

The successful applicant must document their knowledge of Sami language and culture (i.e from bachelor level education or Sami language courses). Knowledge of one of the Sami languages is considered a requirement.

The candidate is expected to have good knowledge of English and one of the Scandinavian languages, both written and verbal and be able to work in an international environment. Nordic applicants can document their English capabilities by attaching their high school diploma.

The applicant must present a project description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project (max 6 pages).

The candidate should show good academic performances, and a genuine interest and motivation for performing research.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant's potential to complete a research education based on the master's thesis or equivalent, especially knowledge of the local and regional context of the project focus and any other scientific work. The project description will also be considered. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position. 

We are looking for candidates who:

  • Have good collaboration skills
  • Have good communication and interaction with colleagues and students
  • Wants to contribute to a good working environment

As many people as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

Admission to the PhD programme 

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:

  • A bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS and a master's degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS. 
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master's degree of 120 ECTS. 
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS. 

UiT normally accepts higher education from countries that are part of the Lisbon Recognition Convention.

All applicants should have a grade point average of B (or equivalent) on their master’s degree in order to be admitted to the PhD programme. The grade point average also applies to 300 ECTS points integrated five-year master’s degrees, in which all courses are to be included in the grade point average. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree. 

 If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than two months after taking up the position. 

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength, and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project 
  • Good career opportunities 
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund 
  • PhD Fellows are normally given a salary of 532 200 NOK/year with a 3% yearly increase

Norwegian health policy aims to ensure that everyone, irrespective of their personal finances and where they live, has access to good health and care services of equal standard. As an employee you will become member of the National Insurance Scheme which also include health care services.

More practical information about working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your application must include: 

  • Letter of application with motivation for the position
  • CV (containing a complete overview of education, supervised professional training and professional work)
  • Diploma for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • Documentation of proficiency in Norwegian (or a Scandinavian language)
  • Documentation of Sami language proficiency (i.e from high school and university level education)
  • 2-4 references with contact information
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project description (6 pages)
  • Academic works: (published or unpublished) which the applicant wishes to be taken into consideration during the assessment process must be submitted

Qualification with a master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. You may still apply if you are in the final stages of the master’s degree, but the master’s thesis must be submitted for evaluation within the application deadline. You must submit the thesis and transcript of grades for the master’s degree with your application.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. If English proficiency is not documented in the application, it must be documented before starting in the position. All documents mentioned above are mandatory for evaluation. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline. 

General information 

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted. You will become a member of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which gives you many benefits in addition to a lifelong pension: You may be entitled to financial support if you become ill or disabled, your family may be entitled to financial support when you die, you become insured against occupational injury or occupational disease, and you can get good terms on a mortgage. Read more about your employee benefits at: spk.no.

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years. 

Questions concerning the organisation of the working environment, such as the physical state of the place of employment, health service, possibility for flexible working hours, part time, etc. as well as questions about the PhD programme may be directed to the telephone reference in this announcement.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure. 

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