Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Oslo

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

PhD Research Fellow in the futures of sustainable AI

Deadline: 29.02.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

The Department of Informatics (IFI) is one of nine departments belonging to the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. IFI is Norway’s largest university department for general education and research in Computer Science and related topics. 

The Department has more than 1800 students on bachelor level, 600 master students, and over 240 PhDs and postdocs. The overall staff of the Department is close to 370 employees, about 280 of these in full time positions. The full time tenured academic staff is 75, mostly Full/Associate Professors.


About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in the futures of sustainable AI available at the Department of Informatics. 

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date no later than October 1, 2024.

The fellowship period is three (3) years.

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the department.

Job description

Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a major breakthrough and is currently routinely promoted as the solution to a wide range of social, economic, and environmental problems. At the same time, AI gives rise serious challenges in the same domains. For example, AI systems pose risks to the principles of equality and non-discrimination, they impact work and labour markets, and they have a significant carbon and environmental footprint. 

This position entails researching the potential and limitations of AI for shaping and promoting the sustainable development through the methods of futures studies. The candidate will develop and explore creative qualitative scenarios based on speculative fiction and science fiction, with a particular emphasis on the linkages between technological change and societal change. One example is how technology interacts with moral beliefs and practices through certain mechanisms that can be used in scenario development and analysis. Others are how AI systems can change and shape human relationships (e.g. trusting relationships, care, and loving relationships) and perceptions of what it means to be human. The specific scope and focus of attention will be developed by the candidate in collaboration with the supervisor and relevant collaborators.

The PhD candidate will be part of the Regenerative Technologies research group, an interdisciplinary group of researchers bringing different knowledges and skills to the project. The candidate must be comfortable with highly interdisciplinary work and should ideally have a good grasp of technologies combined with a knowledge of and interest in, for example, methods, theories and approaches from social science, humanities, design, and futures studies.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

Required qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in informatics, design, futures studies, so-cial sciences, humanities
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

Desired qualifications:

  • Experience or training in, for example, strategy, futures studies, scenario planning, sociotechnical analysis
  • An interdisciplinary educational background

Candidates without a master’s degree have until 30 June, 2024 to complete the final exam.

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educa-tional system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. 

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

  • Intellectually curious and open to a wide diversity of perspectives, theories, and methodologies
  • Creative, critical, and open to the exploration and serious consideration of radically different ways of organizing society and evaluation the role of technology in it

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per year depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma and transcripts of records
  • Documentation of English proficiency if applicable
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

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.

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

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 disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information please contact:

  • Associate Professor Henrik Skaug Sætra, phone: +47 997 35 224, e-mail: henrsae@ifi.uio.no

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Therese Ringvold, email: therese.ringvold@mn.uio.no

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