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PhD Research Fellow in human geography - Urban sustainability strategies and social inclusion

Deadline: 15.08.2023

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 Sociology and Human Geography is Norway's leading department for both Sociology and Human Geography. The Department offers four Bachelor's and three Master's programmes. Research, teaching and dissemination activities within both fields are of the highest level. The Department is renowned both for the breadth of topics and methodologies employed and for its highly qualified researchers. Gender balance among the academic staff is an important distinguishing feature. The Department has 35 permanent academic staff, nearly 40 doctoral and post doctoral research fellows and 12 administrative staff members. There are approximately 80 PhD. candidates and 1500 students enrolled in the Department.

Job description

There is a vacant position at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography for a PhD research fellow (SKO 1017) in human geography. The position is for a period of three years without compulsory work or four year with compulsory work (primarily teaching duties).

More about the position

The PhD fellow will be part of Include – a research centre for socially inclusive energy transitions – and the work package Energy Flows and Spaces. This work package investigates policies for energy transitions and decarbonisation within urban and regional planning and development. We focus on processes of social inclusion in design, planning and development of low carbon and energy smart urban/regional landscapes (i.e. compact city development and densification strategies). We also focus on the outcome of social inclusion/exclusion in terms of access to environmentally friendly energy and transport (i.e. public transport), and exposure to energy-related negative externalities (i.e. pollution). 

The PhD project will study the implications of current decarbonisation and energy transitions in spatial planning, design and transport in the Oslo region, using qualitative methodologies to reveal and investigate how these planning and design strategies may create exclusionary spaces and contribute to socio-spatial inequalities. Relevant themes for the PhD project fall within the project’s work package 2 Steder i endring (website in Norwegian only) and include compact city development, urban transformation, transit-oriented development, green or low-carbon gentrification, financialisation and exclusionary urban design. 

Include is made up of seven research institutions and more than 20 user partners. The successful candidate will join the Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, where the work package Energy Flows and Spaces is led by Professor Per Gunnar Røe.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must have a master's degree/second-level degree in human geography or equivalent. Applicants are expected to demonstrate through their application letter and project proposal how they will contribute to the development of human geography at the department. Applicants from other disciplinary backgrounds who wish to apply must demonstrate in their application letter that their educational background, master’s thesis and project proposal fall within the scope of human geography. 
  • The master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS. Applicants must have a minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The master's thesis must have been submitted before the application deadline. A prerequisite for taking up the position is the successful completion of a master’s degree. 
  • Applicants should have research interests within the field described above, and competitive candidates have skills in qualitative methodologies.
  • Applicants must have excellent written and oral proficiency in English, and must have proficiency in a Scandinavian language (Danish, Swedish or Norwegian) in order to conduct a qualitative in-depth study of cases in Oslo.
  • The position requires that the person who is hired participates in the Faculty of Social Sciences' organised research education programme (PhD programme) and that the work results in a doctorate in human geography. The person who is hired will automatically be admitted to the PhD programme. The PhD candidate will also be part of a larger group of PhD students within the Include center.
  • Residence in Norway is expected, but PhD fellows are also encouraged to spend time abroad during the fellowship period.

The hiring process will include an interview. In addition to an overall evaluation of the applicant’s grades, particular emphasis will be placed on the quality of the master's thesis and the candidate’s general preparation for doing advanced qualitative investigations. The final hiring decision is the responsibility of the department’s board and will be based on an evaluation of the overall qualifications of the shortlisted candidates as well as the project’s and department’s needs.

We offer

• Salary NOK 532.200-575.400 per annum depending on qualifications, at pay rate 54-59 (SKO 1017)• An academically stimulating working environment• Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich• opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • A letter of application. Please describe your motivation for applying for this position and explain how your background, research and experience is relevant to the research project 
  • A short presentation (2-3 pages) of the research the applicant wishes to pursue within the framework of the project.
  • CV with full summary of education, practice and academic work. The period of enrolment (admission-completion) in the master's study programme must be specified.
  • Academic transcripts (university degrees only)
  • Copy of Master's degree diploma
  • Master's thesis. Please note that your thesis must be uploaded and registered as an «Attachment» in the electronic application.
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number).
  • Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. This may be uploaded as an “Attachment.”
  • Documents should be uploaded in the order presented above. Please submit documents individually and name them accordingly, e.g. Letter of application, Project proposal, CV, etc. Do NOT submit them as a single, combined file.


The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

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.

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.

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.

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

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