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Postdoctoral Fellow in Educational Measurement

Deadline: 01.08.2023

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.

CREATE (Centre of Research on Equality in Education) is an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Faculty of Educational Sciences. CREATE’s objective is to generate novel knowledge about how to reduce inequalities in education.

Job description

Applicants are invited for 1-2 three to four year fulltime positions as Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway. Intended starting date is January 1, 2024.

The positions have a double affiliation with the Centre for Research on Equality in Education (CREATE) and the Centre for Educational Measurement (CEMO).

CREATE is an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway with the objective to generate novel knowledge about how to reduce inequalities in education, see web site. The interdisciplinary centre integrates researchers with substantive expertise from education, psychology, sociology, economics, and genetics, and methodological expertise from educational measurement, psychometrics, econometrics, statistics, and biostatistics. The postdoctoral fellowship is associated with CREATE’s research strand «Addressing key methodological challenges». 

The Centre for Educational Measurement at the University of Oslo (CEMO) provides a stimulating research environment by bringing internationally renowned substantive and methodological experts together. Research at CEMO combines basic research and applications of advanced measurement techniques to solve core educational problems. CEMO also contributes to the development of measurement competence through teaching and outreach. 

More about the position

The Postdoctoral fellowship is associated with CREATE’s research strand 3 “Addressing key methodological challenges” and the successful candidate is expected to pursue research in one of two possible research profiles:

(1) Modern Test Design: Progressive tests for screening.

Screening for learning difficulties in children relies among others on so-called progressive tests where a fixed-set of items are ordered in terms of difficulty and semi-adaptively administered using basal and ceiling rules. Classic examples are for instance the Test for Reception of Grammar (TROG) or the British picture vocabulary scale (BPVS). Within CREATE, one of the research objectives is to develop methodology that supports the construction and validation of such progressive tests according to modern test design principles within an item response theory (IRT) framework. This includes among others the study of radical and incidental item features using experiments and explanatory item response models, modeling and validation of an invariant item order, and the development and validation of adaptive administration schemes.

For more information on this research profile, contact Prof.dr. Johan Braeken johan.braeken@cemo.uio.no

(2) Developing flexible, robust, and scalable estimation methods.

Complex latent variable models for longitudinal and multilevel studies of educational processes are challenging to estimate due to the high dimensionality of the latent variable. One of the aims of CREATE is to develop flexible, robust, and scalable estimation methods for such models. In this research profile, the successful candidate will contribute to the development of an approximate maximum likelihood estimation method for multilevel and longitudinal generalized linear latent and mixed models.

The appointment is a fulltime position and is made for a period of 3 years. Ten percent of the workload will be devoted to teaching, supervision, and research assistance.

If there is a good match between the candidate’s competence and the teaching needs at CEMO, the position may be extended to four years, 25 percent of which are devoted to teaching, supervision, and research assistance. Postdoctoral fellows who are appointed for a period of four years are expected to acquire basic pedagogical competency during their fellowship period within the duty component of 25 percent.

The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in top academic positions.

For more information on this research profile, contact Associate professor Björn Andersson bjorn.andersson@cemo.uio.no.

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a degree or equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree in educational or social sciences, psychology, psychometrics, statistics or another relevant field. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • Publication record in international high-quality journals
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English.
  • Experience with applications of Item Response Theory as for instance exemplified in a published journal article
  • Programming skills in R for data management, visualization, and automation

In the assessment of applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The quality of the research plan
  • The applicant’s experience, personal suitability and motivation for the post, including her/his ability to collaborate and to form part of a cross-disciplinary academic community

Personal skills

  • Open and proactive communication
  • Ability to cope constructively with criticism
  • Time management and punctuality
  • Ability to focus and work independently

We offer

  • Salary NOK 584 500 – 657 300 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • An interdisciplinary and international working enviroment, nationally recognized as a Centre of Excellence
  • 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

  • Cover letter (1 page, including a statement of motivation)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, publications, teaching experience, administrative and and other relevants activites)
  • 5 publications/academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered
  • Project description (approximately 3-4 pages, indicating research interests, theoretical and methodological approaches, ambitions for international research stays and applications for external grants, progress plan)
    • Choose one of the two research profiles and motivate your interest
    • Situate the research field in your chosen research profile by identifying what you consider to be three key references
  • Copy of PhD Diploma or documentation of thesis submission. Applicants who have not yet defended their PhD dissertation need to include an advisor’s letter confirming specific expectations about when the degree will be received
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references , incl. the PhD supervisor (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)
  • Documentation of teaching and supervision experience (optional)

Incomplete applications will not be assessed. 

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).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description and the quality of the project as well as the candidates’ motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow 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.

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

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