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

Doctoral Research Fellowship in applied linguistics

Deadline: 01.04.2021

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.


The Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages is involved in extensive research, teaching and outreach in the fields of literature, area studies and linguistics within European languages apart from the Nordic ones. The Department has an active research environment with a wide range of international collaboration. Many of our researchers play a part in giving the general public insight into the results of this research. The Department has about 130 members of staff: approximately 80 in academic posts, approximately 30 Ph.D. fellows and postdoctoral fellows, and 18 in administrative posts. The Department has approximately 300 master students and 1000 bachelor students.

Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages

Job description

A Doctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1017) in applied linguistics is available at the Section for English language and linguistics within the Department of Literature, Area Studies and European Languages, University of Oslo.

The Doctoral research fellowship will be affiliated with the research group TRAWL (Tracking Written Learner Language), led by Associate Professor Hildegunn Dirdal. The aim of the TRAWL group is to map Norwegian pupils’ writing development in their second (English) and foreign languages (French, German and Spanish) and involves the creation of a corpus of authentic pupil texts. The research also focuses on comparisons with the first language, Norwegian.

Recently, the idea of an individual’s languages interacting as parts of one complex system has gained ground. However, there is little research taking into account all of the languages involved and their interaction over time. There is also a lack of systematic study of feedback practices across the language subjects in school.

Applicants are invited to submit a project proposal for a doctoral dissertation, focusing on one of the following areas:

1) The use and development of clausal and phrasal complexity across the three languages of individual pupils (first, second and foreign)

2) The use and development of linking words/phrases across the three languages of individual pupils

3) Similarities and differences in feedback given on texts written in the first, second and foreign languages in school

The subproject does not need to involve more than one of the foreign languages commonly taught in Norwegian schools – French, German or Spanish. The research fellow will be involved in the collection of sets of texts from the same pupils written in Norwegian, English and the chosen foreign language(s) and will use corpus-linguistic methods of investigation.

The successful applicant will be part of the TRAWL research group, which has members at different departments of the University of Oslo, as well as the University of Agder. He/she will also be a part of the research community at the Section for English language and linguistics, where there is a focus on corpus linguistics, contrastive linguistics and learner language research. The research fellow will be supervised by Associate professor Hildegunn Dirdal.

Application deadline: 1 April 2021

Expected start date: 1 September 2021

More about the position

The person appointed will be affiliated with the Faculty's organized research training. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty with a view to obtaining the degree of PhD. The successful candidate is expected to join the existing research milieu or network and contribute to its development. Read more about the doctoral degree.

The appointment is for a duration of 3 years. All PhD Candidates who submit their doctoral dissertation for assessment with a written recommendation from their supervisor within 3 years or 3 ½ years after the start of their PhD position, will be offered, respectively, a 12 or 6 month Completion Grant.

Qualification requirements

  • A Master's degree or equivalent in English linguistics. The Master's degree must have been obtained and the final evaluation must be available by the application deadline.
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English and Norwegian (or another Scandinavian language) and good knowledge of German, French or Spanish.
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Oslo, applicants must, as a minimum, have completed a five-year graduation course (Master’s degree or equivalent), including a Master’s thesis of at least 30 ECTS. In special cases, the Faculty may grant admission on the basis of a one-year Master course following an assessment of the study programme’s scope and quality.

Further qualifications

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • The project's scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation
  • The applicant's estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame
  • The applicant's ability to complete research training
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities

Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may be given preference.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (with a list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Transcript of records of your Bachelor’s and Master's degrees. Applicants with education from a foreign university must attach an explanation of their university's grading system
  • Project description, including a detailed progress plan for the project (approx. 3 - 5 pages, max 14,000 characters including spaces, see Template for project descriptions)

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Educational certificates, master theses and the like are not to be submitted with the application, but applicants may be asked to submit such information or works later.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

Formal regulations

See also regulations as well as guidelines for the application assessment process and appointments to research fellowships.

Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, demographic information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

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