Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Fellow in Science and Technology Studies; Anthropogenic Soils

Deadline: 10.12.2022

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.


TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture is a cross disciplinary unit at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Oslo. TIK is home to 40 staff members working in research, education and research communication in innovation and science and technology studies (STS). A major part of TIK’s activity is externally funded research. TIK also offers postgraduate education; a PhD-programme and two Master programmes. The Centre also hosts OSIRIS - Oslo Institute for Research on the Impact of Science.

The position

A PhD position in Science & Technology Studies (STS) is available at TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture from 1 May 2023. Candidates are invited to apply for a three-year Ph.D. Research Fellowship associated with the interdisciplinary project “Anthropogenic Soils: Recuperating Human-Soil Relationships on a Troubled Planet (SOILS)”. The project recruits a total of three Doctoral Research Fellows in Environmental Humanities (IKOS), Medical Anthropology (HELSAM), and Science and Technology Studies (TIK).

About SOILS

SOILS studies various dimensions of transforming human-soil relations in the Anthropocene. Our multidisciplinary research investigates how people in different parts of the world have invented, practiced, and imagined ways of recuperating soil health. The project conceptualizes soil not as natural resource to be exploited, but as “anthropogenic”, as lively and dynamic natural-cultural composition responsive to human recuperation and healing. Closely collaborating in five work packages, SOILS combines empirical studies of repairing contaminated, toxic, and depleted soils in different parts of the globe – from South Asia to Norway and the Arctic – with speculative and artistic studies and research into the ways in which Indigenous writers and artists offer alternative modes of relating to soils, and for building possible future of earthly survival. SOILS has three major objectives: 1) Develop knowledge about dispersed and little-known technologies and practices of soil repair in landscapes damaged by industrial agriculture, or toxic and radioactive legacies; 2) Explore the role of relational and multispecies soil imaginaries in technoscience, agriculture, literature, and the arts for building more sustainable futures; 3) Create awareness of soils as living multispecies ecologies responsive to human care, both within academia and in the public sphere.

The Doctoral Research Fellow will carry out an individual sub-project as part of the larger SOILS team, connected to the work package 3 “Decontaminating Soils”, led by Susanne Bauer (TIK). The work package focuses on practices of (bio)remediation applied to recuperate soils with legacies of anthropogenic pollution. The Doctoral Fellow is expected to formulate and implement a research project connected to this work package. We particularly welcome proposals studying cases in Eastern and Northern Europe or Central Asia. WP3 studies modes of knowing and acting on polluted soils through biomonitoring practices and remediation experiments. This work package aims to rethink soil pollution beyond damage science, asking how soils in a permanently polluted world be known and lived with, taking on a more-than-human approach. We take practices of soil biomonitoring and remediation as a starting point to conceptualize and act upon anthropogenic pollution and climate change – from the ground up. The Doctoral Fellow will conduct research with ecologists, toxicologists, citizen scientists and practitioners who are experimenting multispecies technologies (involving plants, fungi, bacteria) to recuperate soils from legacies of industrial pollution.

More about the position

The appointed candidate will become part of the TIK Centre’s research group “Science, Technology and Culture”. The Science, Technology and Culture group at TIK analyses the relations between science, technology and society; how scientific knowledge and technologies emerge and how science and technology are employed in different social contexts, and with what social and political implications. Research within the research group is situated within the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS). The group has a strong tradition for combining empirical research spanning across the humanities and the social sciences and is open to the study of both historical as well as contemporary issues and materials.

The research fellow must take part in the Faculty’s approved PhD programme (TIK track) and is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

In addition to their own research work, fellows may be invited to participate in teaching and/or administration activities connected to research and teaching in the masters’ programs offered at the Centre. All such work will be compensated with an equivalent extension of the research fellowship. The total duration of the extension may not exceed twelve months.

Qualification requirements

Applicants must hold a 2 year Master’s degree or equivalent in the social sciences, the humanities or relevant interdisciplinary studies and meet the requirements to be enrolled in the PhD-programme.

In addition, the Ph.D. candidates must have

  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Good professional writing skills
  • Demonstrated research capabilities
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position

Very good skills in languages relevant to the proposed research project (such as a Scandinavian, Eastern European or Central Asian language) is an advantage, but not a requirement.

Extensive knowledge of Science & Technology Studies/STS, strong interest in the development of STS research both theoretically and empirically, collaboration skills and an ability to work in interdisciplinary academic communities will be an advantage.

The candidates are expected to take active part in activities like seminars and workshops at TIK. Residency in or close to Oslo is therefore expected.

Evaluation of the application

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the applicant’s project description for the proposed PhD project, its merit, research relevance and originality, as well as the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out this project. A good match between the candidate's proposal and the research profile, strategies and activities within the STS research group at the centre will be given weight along with the quality of the proposal and the qualifications of the candidate.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

We offer

  • Salary between NOK 501 200-544 400 per year, depending on qualifications.
  • Academically stimulating working environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits including excellent benefits for families (kindergarten, paid paternal/maternal leave etc) and a generous pension agreement.
  • In addition, Oslo offers a family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities in its immediate surroundings.

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Project proposal and progress plan (5 to 10 pages) for the work to be undertaken during the course of the term of appointment
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • A copy of the master thesis and, if applicable, a list of other scientific publications.
  • List of 2-3 reference persons (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

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).

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship 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 appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

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

Apply for this job

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