MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship – Pandemic Studies

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.

Work Research Institute - Center for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA)

The Work Research Institute (AFI) is a social science research institute performing multidisciplinary action-oriented research to provide new systematic knowledge about trends in working life. AFI is part of the Centre for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA) at OsloMet, which consists of four research institutes: Work Research Institute (AFI), Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), and Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), involving nearly 250 researchers and 213 active research projects.

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

We hereby invite top-class researchers of any nationality, who have a PhD degree and up to eight years of research experience after PhD, for the study of COVID-19 or other historical pandemics such as the 1918 influenza, to apply for a EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (call MSCA-PF-2021) to conduct research at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University for a period of 1 or 2 years at the Work Research Institute, supervised by Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund, who leads AFI’s research group Work, Health and Inclusion.

Area of research

COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic with more than 1.6 million deaths having occurred globally as of the end of 2020. The 1918 flu pandemic killed up to 100 million people within a similar span of time. In both pandemics not all individuals had an equal risk of illness and death. COVID-19 deaths have been disproportionately among the elderly, while deaths in 1918 were disproportionately among young adults.

We are seeking proposals for research on COVID-19 and/or the 1918 influenza pandemic focusing on how social, biological, historical, and economic variation shapes the disease experience. Potential research questions could include: How the economically disadvantaged, people of color, immigrants, or indigenous communities have been disproportionally affected in both pandemics? What biological, historical and social factors influenced the differential impact of the pandemic among these groups? What role does unequal exposure, differential medical susceptibility, and variation in access to healthcare shape pandemic outcomes? How have underrepresented groups used their perceived disadvantages as tools to promote community and individual health?

We would also welcome studies on COVID-19 vaccination schemes – i.e. what groups are nations prioritizing? Will the socially vulnerable have access in addition to the medically vulnerable? Are the countries who had updated pandemic influenza plans prior to COVID-19 pandemic faring better? Will uptake of vaccines be widespread, and how will the anti-vaccination movement influence their distribution and acceptance? It would also be interesting to look at the early responses to COVID-19 - how did so many countries fail to take it seriously in the beginning? Why didn't we learn from SARS in 2002-2003? Studies on the short and/or long-term impacts of the pandemic disease burden and the lockdown on physical or mental health, non-COVID-19 related deaths, fertility, unemployment and the economy are also warranted.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Research Prof. Mamelund. He has 25 years’ experience studying the demography of epidemic diseases and has published extensively on the 1918 influenza pandemic, influenza in general and preparedness planning. See recent publications and projects on COVID-19 and influenza: Svein-Erik Mamelund profile at OsloMet and profile at ResearchGate.

Tasks and responsibilities

The successful fellow will primarily work on the MSCA funded project but will be integrated at the Work Research Institute in general, taking part in regular meetings and discussion groups. The fellow will specifically be introduced to Prof. Mamelund’s national and international network of researchers on the field of COVID-19 and influenza pandemics. In agreement with the research fellow, he/she may also be included in other ongoing projects and/or in proposal development processes.

Expected qualification of candidates

Candidates must have a PhD in history, historical demography, economics, economic history, medicine, psychology, epidemiology, medical biostatistics-, history- or anthropology and global health, as the minimum requirement. But 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 will be assessed as in principle eligible for a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship.

We are looking for applicants who have

  • Excellent skills in statistical methods and in using statistical programs such as SAS, Stata, SPSS etc., if a quantitative project is proposed.
  • Knowledge of societal, medical and historical context and quality and availability of quantitative or qualitative data in the field.
  • An excellent track record in research and publications, necessary for being able to develop a competitive MSCA 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 in the Work Research Institute, OsloMet main campus, 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 and the possibility for the right candidate(s) to pursue his/her academic goals under the auspices of Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund
  • 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.:      20/12065

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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