MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship – Eco-literacy and education for sustainability in the primary school

Søknadsfrist: 31.01.2021


OsloMet – storbyuniversitetet er landets tredje største universitet, med over 20 000 studenter og mer enn 2000 ansatte. OsloMet leverer kunnskap og yrkesutøvere samfunnet er avhengig av, og er tett på arbeidslivets behov. OsloMet er et urbant og mangfoldig universitet med internasjonalt preg og et attraktivt studie- og arbeidssted med studiesteder midt i Oslo og på Kjeller ved Lillestrøm. Tilstedeværelsen i hovedstadsregionen gir universitetet gode muligheter til å forstå og høste fordelene av byens varierte befolkningssammensetning.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship – Eco-literacy and education for sustainability in the primary school

Department of Primary and Secondary Teachers Education

The Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education conducts high-impact research on a broad range of topics within national, European and international educational policy and practice. The research at the Department includes a focus on school subjects, educational sciences and digital competence with focus on educating teachers for the Norwegian school system in close cooperation with the field of practical training.

Call for Expression of Interest for a joint application under the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship funding programme

We invite top-class researchers of any nationality, after having obtained a PhD degree and up to six years of research experience, to apply for an EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA-PF-2021) to conduct research at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University at the Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education for a period of two years.

Area of research

With the continuous increase in humans’ extractive and destructive behaviour, children of the 21st century will be disproportionately affected by uncertain ecological futures as manifested in runaway climate change and the accelerating loss of biodiversity. Given the urgency and complexity of the problem, the early years of education play an important role in helping and preparing young people to cope with, challenge and respond to what some refer to as a systemic global dysfunction. Primary school is considered as a phase in a child’s life, where ways of being and ways of knowing are “established” that are crucial for future life chances and prospects. It is argued that if young people are not engaged and involved in the endeavour towards sustainability from an early age, they will be forced to live in a world that adults have created and designed for them. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is calling for a change. Here, the development of ecological literacy is crucial. Eco-literacy refers to the ability to understand the natural system that makes life on earth possible and to apply it to everyday life.

In the BeProS project (Better Provision for Norway’s Children from Early Childhood Education and Care through Primary School), funded by the Norwegian Research Council, one of the work packages focuses on children’s writing and development of writing skills in the 4th and 5th grade, while relating writing skills to family background and the quality of the child’s previous kindergarten participation. BeProS can be strengthened by integrating meaning making literacy with eco literacy and considering that a key aspect of the current post-truth era is the simplification of complex issues. The fundamental principles of ESD call for a change and a transition towards addressing environmental issues in a complex and intertwined manner – not as separate and discrete subject knowledge.

Candidates will be encouraged to develop an ESD framework to support 4th and the 5th grade students’ writing skills. The framework should embrace ESD and its major components, such as eco-literacy, beyond the limitation of discrete subject-based approach.

Tasks and responsibilities

The candidates may want to address questions such as: What are the everyday competencies and capabilities needed to live and learn in a society that is undergoing a digital transformation? What makes individuals, communities and ecosystems resilient? How is human resilience impacted by technologies and what potential role can new technologies play in developing resilience? How can individuals and technology be used to co-create overall well-being and contribute towards a sustainable future? How can the digital generation be empowered to participate in the co-creation of digital environments (the shaping and making of their digital futures)? How can teachers and teacher educators be actively involved in shaping and co-creating digital tools? How can teacher education institutions be supported in innovating their programmes for pre-service teachers to foster professional digital competence and ICT self-efficacy? How can educational institutions adapt and mainstream the pedagogical use of new and emerging technologies in order to foster 21st-century skills?

Successful candidates will be supervised by Professor Halla B. Holmarsdottir. Professor Holmarsdottir has more than 20 years’ experience studying comparative educational policies and practices, particularly regarding marginalisation and social justice. She is currently the PI for an EU Horizon 2020 project entitled The impact of technological transformation on the Digital Generation (DigiGen)

The successful candidate will primarily work on the Marie Curie funded project, but will be integrated in the Department in general, taking part in regular meetings and discussion groups; also the candidate will specifically be introduced with Prof. Holmarsdottir’s national and international network of researchers on comparative educational policies and practices and her networks in the area of marginalisation and social justice. In agreement with the candidate, he/she will also contribute with seminars focusing their Marie Curie funded project for Master- and Ph.D. students at the Department and the Faculty of Education and International Studies.

Expected qualification of candidates

Candidates must have a PhD in educational research, sociology, media science, anthropology or human-centered technology as the minimum requirement. We are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this period as an opportunity to further develop their research, and to develop longer term research collaborations with OsloMet and other institutions conducting research in the field. The candidates must be eligible for a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (PhD successfully defended and up to 6 years research experience).

We are looking for applicants who have

  • Knowledge of policy context and quality and availability of quantitative or qualitative (also participatory methodologies) data in the field.
  • An excellent track record in research and publications, necessary for being able to develop a competitive Marie Curie Fellowship application
  • An open and cooperation-oriented nature, with strong abilities for independent academic work.

Application process

With this call for Expression of Interest, we invite postdoctoral researchers to apply; they must submit their CV, including publications list and a one-page description of the research project idea, that together with a virtual interview will be the basis for assessing and selecting two candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-PF grant applications.

If you would like to apply for the position you must do so electronically through our recruitment system.

Assessment and selection of candidates

Candidates will be pre-selected based on an internal evaluation and the availability of suitable supervision. A maximum of five candidates will be invited for a virtual interview and a maximum of two candidates will be invited to submit a proposal to the EU funded MSCA-PF programme. Candidates will be informed of the results of the pre-selection to apply by 25 March 2021. The deadline for submitting the MSCA-FP proposal is 15 September 2021.

Selected candidates will be invited and must participate in the MSCA-FP masterclass, a two-day online workshop organized by OsloMet on the first week of May 2021, exact date to be confirmed. In this first phase, the cooperation will be carried out remotely, with regular communication via email and online meeting platforms. If applicants are successful in their MSCA grant application, the place of work will be at the OsloMet main campus, Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, located in the center of Oslo.

The postdoctoral position

Successful applicants who obtain a MSCA-PF grant will be offered a position at OsloMet to be hired as postdoc researchers in conditions as explained below.

Starting Date

The EU informs the evaluation results on the MSCA-PF-2021 applications in February 2022. Successful applicants who receive the MSCA-PF grant are expected to be available to start in their postdoctoral position at OsloMet within the following two months of the evaluation results and no later than summer of 2022

It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavours to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. If there are periods where you have not been in work, under education or in training, you are also welcome to apply.

We offer

Initially, we offer assistance in developing competitive Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship proposals. Then, to successful applicants to the Marie Curie program, we offer:

  • An exciting opportunity at Norway’s third largest and most urban university
  • Participation in a dynamic professional environment and unique academic community
  • Flexible working conditions
  • An inclusive and friendly work environment
  • Unique academic network the possibility for the right candidate(s) to pursue his/her academic goals under the auspices of Professor Margareth Sandvik
  • Beneficial welfare schemes and a wide range of sports and cultural offers
  • Free Norwegian language classes to employees and their partners/spouses
  • Work-place in downtown Oslo with multiple cultural offers
  • On-boarding assistance and other services

OsloMet has implemented the Charter & Code for researchers and been granted the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4) by the EU Commission and is part of the EU network for mobility of Researchers EURAXESS. Practical information about relocation to OsloMet to at EURAXESS Norway.

Remuneration and employment

The competitive fellowship opportunities are 100% funded and include living and mobility allowances.

  • Type of employment: Temporary position
  • Contract type: Full time
  • Annual Salary: Approx. EUR 60,000
  • Starting day of employment: Expected starting date 1 April 2022
  • Number of positions: 2
  • Working hours: 37.5 hours/week

Other information

For more information about the position, feel free to contact:    

We only process applications sent via our electronic recruitment system and all documents must be uploaded for your application to be processed. The documents must be in English. Translations must be authorised. OsloMet performs document checks in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.

OsloMet has adhered to the principles in the DORA declaration and obliged the institution to follow the recommendations in this declaration.

Deadline for application:       January 31, 2021

Ref.:     20/12120

OsloMet er Charter & Code sertifisert av EU-kommisjonen med rettigheter til å bruke logoen HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) og medlem i nettverket EURAXESS som bidrar til gode arbeidsforhold for mobile forskere. OsloMet har sluttet seg til prinsippene og forpliktet institusjonen til å følge anbefalingene i DORA-erklæringen (The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment).

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