Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD - ‘Working Through Violence: SMEs and the SDGs in Fragile Urban Spaces’

Deadline: 02.06.2020

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 Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo is inviting applications for a 3-year PhD research fellowship. SUM is an international research institution at the University of Oslo with a well-established track record of undertaking critical, independent and high quality interdisciplinary and policy-related research on the challenges and dilemmas posed by sustainable development.

SUM’s current research is anchored in the following research areas: Poverty and Development in the 21st Century, Energy and Consumption, Culture, Ethics and Sustainability, Global Governance for Sustainable Development and Global Health.


SUM is primarily a research institution, but also offers PhD courses and an International Master in Development, Environment and Cultural Change. The Centre has the status of Research School specializing in educating scholars interested in interdisciplinary perspectives on development and the environment.

Job description

The Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM) at the University of Oslo is inviting applications for a 3 year PhD research fellowship. This project studies comparatively the role of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in supporting peace and development in violent urban contexts. It studies SME strategies in seven case cities: Beirut, Cape Town, Bogotá, Kampala, Medellin, San Pedro Sula and San Salvador to identify the core factors, relationships and strategies that explain how and why SMEs survive and grow in violent settings. The project combines surveys and qualitative analysis to understand how successful SMEs relate to violent actors (including gangs and organized crime) and what strategies and relationships (to governments, large companies etc.) that bolster or weaken those strategies. We further seek to study the role of SMEs in generating more peaceful urban environment. The overall goal is to identify generalizable mechanisms that link SMEs’ strategies to the development of more peaceful urban settings, and thus how they contribute to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 8, SDG 11 and SDG 16.

We invite applicants to submit proposals that study SME strategies in violent urban settings aimed to survive, grow and contribute to more peaceful contexts. The proposal should include empirical research in one or more of the case cities, preferably in Latin America. It should outline a theoretical approach as well as methods for the study it seeks to undertake.

Applicants should enclose a project description (max. 5 pages), which shows clearly how the PhD will contribute to achieving the overall goals of the project. The project description should also include a budget and progress plan.

For this project we seek candidates with a strong record of working in fragile/conflict settings, experience with qualitative research in fragile/conflict settings, as well as research on the role of business in development and urban governance. Specific experience with SMEs in such settings is welcomed but not required.

More about the position

SUM does not grant doctoral degrees, so while the selected candidate will have their place of work at SUM, they must apply and be admitted to a doctoral program at one of the faculties of the University of Oslo. The academic work will result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended with a view to obtaining a PhD degree. The PhD Fellow is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. Read more about doctoral degrees at UiO here.

Qualification requirements

  • A 2-year Master’s degree in humanities or social sciences (including urban studies, international relations, development studies, business, or other relevant fields)
  • Academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame (3 years)
  • Collaboration and communication skills (including written and spoken English, and Spanish if a Latin American case city is chosen)
  • Interest in interdisciplinary academic work
  • Research experience in at least one of the project’s case cities
  • Prior experience / research on the role of business in development and governance

The selected candidate will have their place of work at SUM, but will – as a condition of being granted the fellowship – have to be admitted to a doctoral program at one of the faculties of the University of Oslo, and follow the researcher education course at that faculty. The academic work will result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at one of these faculties with a view to obtaining a PhD degree.

Personal skills

  • The quality, relevance and originality of the project proposal
  • Academic merit (degrees and grades obtained)
  • Relevant previous publications and work experience
  • Experience deemed specifically beneficial for the topic in focus
  • Applicants must be fluent in English (and have knowledge of Spanish if a Latin American case city is chosen). Knowledge of Norwegian or another Nordic language is an advantage.

Short-listed applicants may be invited for an interview at the University of Oslo, either in person or via Skype/Zoom.

We offer

  • A professionally stimulating and friendly working environment.
  • Salary NOK 479 600 - NOK 523 200 per annum depending on qualifications.
  • Funds for research, travel, conference participation and dissemination, books and equipment.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, in addition to Oslo’s family friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications, research interests and motivation for the position.
  • Project description, including theory, methodological approach, relevant literature, and progress plan.
  • You must follow SUM’s template when writing your project description.
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and any relevant academic work or publications).
  • Certified copies of diplomas/academic transcripts. Applicants with education from a foreign university are advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.
  • One written work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee.
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 academic referees (including relation to candidate, email and phone details).
  • You must follow SUM’s template when writing your project description.

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.

In assessing the applications, the evaluation committee will emphasize the quality of the project description and the assumed academic and personal ability on the part of the candidates to complete the project within the given period. Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview at the University of Oslo or we will arrange for a video-based interview.

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.

Contact information

Apply for position