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

Postdoctoral fellowship on Sustainability Transitions and Innovation Policy

Deadline: 06.12.2020

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.


TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture is a cross disciplinary unit at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Oslo. TIK is home to 40 staff members working in research, education and research communication in innovation and science and technology studies (STS). A major part of TIK’s activity is externally funded research. TIK also offers postgraduate education; a PhD-programme and two Master programmes. The Centre also hosts OSIRIS - Oslo Institute for Research on the Impact of Science.

Job description

TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture offer a three-year postdoctoral positon to work in the Norwegian Centre for Energy Transition Studies (NTRANS). NTRANS is an 8-year research center for environmental-friendly energy funded by the Norwegian Research Council. NTRANS focuses on the role of the energy system in the decarbonization of sectors such as energy, transport, industry, and buildings, as well as our everyday lives. The postdoc will work within Research Area (RA) 2 entitled “Accelerating the energy transition” and be linked to work package three (WP 3) “Transformative innovation policy and the direction of innovation”. The postdoc is expected to contribute to other, relevant parts of NTRANS as well.

WP3 will study how policy may accelerate transitions by overcoming ‘transition failures’, with reference to directionality, policy learning and experimentation, inclusive policy design, and policy coordination. It asks how policymakers can instigate a particular direction of change across multiple sectors amidst political contestation, including facilitating phase-out of environmentally unsustainable activities. A key issue is how to deal with social backlashes against transition policies. Considering how a transition can not only ensure decarbonization to avoid breaching planetary boundaries but also compensate those who stand to ‘loose’ from energy transition will be crucial for identifying politically feasible transition pathways. The WP3 description is a point of departure for the postdoc to develop his/her own postdoc project which may elaborate and extend it. Note that empirical research is expected to be mostly focused on Norwegian experiences and cases although comparative work is possible.

Qualification requirements

The candidates will have to fulfill the following criteria:

  • A PhD degree in a social science discipline, with relevance for the area of innovation studies (innovation studies, economics, management studies, sustainability transitions studies, etc)
  • Only candidates that have submitted their PhD before the closing date for this position can apply. Appointment is dependent on the public defense of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • Demonstrated experience with relevant theories and methods for studies of innovation and sustainability transitions is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of a Scandinavian language is important for performing parts of the empirical work.
  • High-level proficiency in written and spoken English is required.
  • The ability to perform high impact academic work, demonstrated by previous publications in relevant journals, will be positive.

It is expected that the applicants have reviewed the project description for NTRANS, and can describe how their research will contribute to the work and the goals set for the Center. The project description is available on request (see contact information below) / from the project web site.

It is expected that the successful candidate participate actively in the NTRANS project group at the University of Oslo, and contribute to a high standard of collegiality in the project group and the TIK Centre’s working environment. Residence in or close to Oslo is thus expected.

In assessing applicants, we will emphasize each candidates’ academic background and potential, as well as motivation and match with the project. Interviews will be performed as part of the selection process.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 523 200 - 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications
  • A professionally 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
  • Female postdocs can take part in the UiO Mentorprogram for female postdocs

How to apply

The application must include:

  • An application letter
  • A project description that explains how the applicant would mobilize theoretical perspectives and empirical strategies to carry out the work. The text should link to NTRANS project description, and explain how this position will contribute to it, and to the broader literature on sustainability transitions (maximum 5 pages).
  • A detailed academic CV listing education, prior employment, academic experience, other relevant experiences and qualifications, detailed list of publications.
  • Up to three publications that the applicant wishes to have considered in the assessment process.
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only).
  • A list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number).

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. 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.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

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