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Doctoral Research Fellowship in popular music, citizenship, and democracy

Deadline: 01.02.2024

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 Musicology teaches musicology at all levels and participates in research within a number of different fields, with a particular focus on music history and aesthetics, popular music and cultural analysis, and music cognition and technology. The Department has approximately 50 employees, including PhD and postdoctoral students, and admits a total of 90 bachelor- and master students each autumn.

Department of Musicology

Job description

A Doctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1017) in popular music, citizenship, and democracy is available at the Department of Musicology, University of Oslo.

The Department of Musicology has a strong and vibrant research community within popular music research, and faculty at the department conduct research in a wide range of musicological areas including music history, analysis, cognition and technology, the cultural study of music, and music and media. The candidate is expected to work on a project that strengthens and/or expands this profile by carrying out research on popular music, broadly conceived, and bridging the gap between music, citizenship and democracy, ethics and aesthetics, and politics and meaning. 

The position is affiliated with the research project PRISONS OF NOTE: Mapping music and nuances in penal exceptionalism from the periphery (uio.no). PRISONS OF NOTE investigates the experiences of, circumstances surrounding, and approaches to music and imprisonment in the lives of prisoners, staff, and stakeholders. It examines the relationship between prison music – which includes music education, music therapy, music-making and listening initiatives – and the sociocultural, political, ethical and aesthetic implications of this creative practice from multiple perspectives. Using an international, comparative approach grounded in empirical research, PRISONS OF NOTE maps the nuances and asymmetries in penal exceptionalism from the smaller, peripheral jurisdictions of Norway, Iceland and the Republic of Ireland, to untangle the ways music is used – and is useful – in prison. We seek candidates whose work intersects with at least one of the specialised areas of the PRISONS OF NOTE project as well as its broader themes.

The profile of the project should also be relevant to the interdisciplinary initiative UiO: Democracy in addressing one of this program’s following prioritized areas of research: (1) Citizens, diversity, and inequality, for example, how citizenship, diversity, inequality, or forms of discrimination are reflected, negotiated, or opposed via popular music practice; or (2) Democracy in everyday life, for example, how popular music may create new arenas for cultural as well as social and political participation and inclusion, and conversely: to what extent current popular music practices may work to exclude various groups from participating in music.

The methodological approach may include – but is not limited to – one of the following:

(1) popular music analysis, including socio-cultural, historical, textual and/or contextual approaches (2) ethnography (e.g. participant observation and/or interviews); (3) new media research, including that of audiovisual cultures, non-text data, and/or narrative analysis of social media text

Applicants must upload a project description that meets the above criteria. The candidate will be supervised by Associate Professor Áine Mangaoang.

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 (uio.no).

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 (uio.no).

Qualification requirements

  • A Master's degree or equivalent in musicology, music studies, sociology, cultural studies, or another relevant field. The applicant is required to document that the degree corresponds to the profile for the post. The Master's degree must have been obtained and the final evaluation must be available by the application deadline. 
  • Methodological competence in ethnographic approaches (e.g. participatory observation and/or interviews), music analysis and/or practice-based research related to popular music, or other relevant methodological competencies) 
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English, see Language requirements (hf.uio.no)
  • 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.

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
  • Documentation of Language requirements (hf.uio.no) (if applicable)
  • Project description, including a detailed progress plan for the project (3 - 5 pages, maximum 14,000 characters. See Template for project descriptions (hf.uio.no)

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, jobbnorge.no

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo, as well as guidelines for the application assessment process at The Faculty of Humanities. 

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.

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.

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.

Contact information

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