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

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Criminology - Crime in Latin America

Deadline: 15.10.2021

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Criminology - Crime in Latin America: The role of family, employment, culture and the state

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 Criminology and Sociology of Law is situated at the Faculty of Law. The Department is Norway's only department for research and education in Criminology and Sociology of Law. Research, teaching and dissemination activities within both fields are at the highest international level. The Department has about 30 employees and 500 students.

Job description

1 Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Criminology is available, to undertake research as part of the project “Crime in Latin America: The role of family, employment, culture and the state”. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway. The candidate will work closely together with the principal investigator of CRIMLA, Prof. Sveinung Sandberg at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law.

The period of appointment runs for three or four years. A four-year fellowship requires that the candidate can contribute to the current teaching needs of the Faculty of Law and that pedagogical base competences are acquired as part of the 25% teaching duties. See this list for examples of courses that may be relevant for teaching duties.

More about the position

Crime in Latin America has risen sharply the last two decades. This is closely connected to the growth of US drug markets, brutalization of drug trafficking, increasingly important role of gangs, poverty, diminishing trust in governments, and weakness or failure of states. By developing a culturally sensitive life-course criminology, CRIMLA aims to understand the role of family, employment, culture and the state in criminal trajectories and careers in Latin America. Combining criminological theory, with institutional, cultural and narrative perspectives the objective is to develop research and theorizing from the Global South.

CRIMLA explores the overall research question ‘What is the best way to theorize and understand the criminal careers and life-course trajectories of Latin American offenders?’ through several sub-questions such as: ‘How does crime enter into the life-courses of offenders in different Latin American countries?’ ‘Do major life-course transitions and turning points coincide with changes in crime?’ ‘What is the role of state institutions and local cultures for criminal careers?’ ’What is the role of drug trafficking organizations?’ ‘How is crime conveyed in offenders’ life-stories?’

These questions are addressed through 300 qualitative life-story interviews with prisoners in six Latin American countries; Mexico, El Salvador, Columbia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile. The selected countries represent important differences in terms of state organization and stability, incarceration rates, and culture, but share similar languages, challenges, and colonial history.

The candidate will be in charge of WP 3 in CRIMLA, which has a particular focus on Argentina and Chile (alternatively Mexico and El Salvador, WP 1), and will author at least 5 articles for publication in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, single-authored and/or with other members of the research team. Themes to explore could include, but is not limited to, issues of life-course criminology, and the candidate is free to develop and explore own research interests as part of this project.

Empirically the candidate will partake in the data collection of the overall project, which is 100 qualitative interviews with inmates in each WP. This will be done in close collaboration with research assistants and the rest of the research team.

In order to address CRIMLA’s overall questions, the candidate is expected to engage with the interdisciplinary scholarship on life-course trajectories, life-history narratives and crime in Latin America. The candidate is expected to work close with the project team, engage with the Department and relevant international research communities and contribute to their developments. The candidate will take part in group activities with the core project team, such as seminars and workshops and other dissemination activities as per the project plan – and assist the PI in the overall organization of the project. The candidate is expected to spend considerable time on fieldwork in Latin America and at least two years at the Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law at the University of Oslo.

The core project team consists of the Principal Investigator (PI), Prof. Sveinung Sandberg, Prof. Gustavo Fondevila, Prof. Carolina Agoff, Research Fellow 1, Post-doctoral Research Fellow 1 (this vacancy). The candidate will also get the chance to build an international network and to engage with key scholars in this field, who are part of the project’s Advisory Board.

The parts of the CRIMLA project description relevant to this position can be accessed on request from the PI. Interested candidates are strongly advised to consult these before writing their project description.

Qualification requirements and other qualities

  • Applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree (PhD) in Criminology, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science, Law or other relevant social science background.
  • The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defense of the doctoral thesis being approved.
  • A demonstrated knowledge of, experience with and interest for life-history interviews, narrative analysis and life-course criminology is desirable.
  • Qualitative research skills and experience is necessary.
  • Applicants must submit a project description of 5-10 pages explaining how they would tackle their research task in the given time period.
  • The project language is English and Spanish and the applicants should have an excellent command of both languages, written and spoken.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured way.
  • Applicants must have good collaboration skills and the ability, willingness and commitment to work in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Applicants must have knowledge and understanding of research ethics processes in the fields covered by CRIMLA.

We offer

  • Salary 543 500 to 604 700 NOK per annum depending on qualifications (position code 1352)
  • Academically stimulating working environment
  • Pension arrangements in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Welfare arrangements

How to apply

The application must include:

  • A cover letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • Curriculum Vitae with grades listed (with a list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities).
  • Complete list of publications.
  • Up to five previous academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered. If work is written by several authors, the division of work between them must be documented with the co-author's declaration.
  • A project description of 5-10 pages, including a description of the theoretical background, the aims, methodologies with suggestions for entry points for data collection (prisons), and reflections about potential ethical challenges. The proposal must clearly demonstrate how the research will contribute towards the aims of the CRIMLA project. The applicant should present a publication strategy for the research done within the project.
  • Copies of educational certificates (PhD and MA). Foreign diplomas must be provided in the original language as well as in an English translation. Applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university grading system. Please note that all documents must be in English or Scandinavian.
  • Names and contact details for at least two reference persons.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “Apply for this job”.

The project starts 1. October 2021.

Evaluation of the applicant

  • In the evaluation of candidates, emphasis will be placed on the candidate’s academic achievements, previous relevant publications, the project description, and the applicant’s professional and personal qualifications, particularly in relation to their ability to perform the proposed project within the allotted time.
  • Short-listed applicants will be invited for an interview with the University of Oslo, personally or digitally
  • The candidates are evaluated by a Selection Board, which ranks the candidates based on the criteria indicated above and conducts interviews with short-listed candidates. In a few cases a dedicated interview committee will be formed.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Faculty of Law will take a final decision about the hiring of the candidate.

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 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.

The University of Oslo aims for its employees to reflect the diversity of the population to the greatest degree possible. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition and to recruit people with an immigrant background. We encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the position. The University of Oslo will adapt the workplace to suit employees with disabilities.

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

Contact information

For questions concerning the project: Sveinung Sandberg, [email protected]

For administrative questions: Andreas Mobråthen, [email protected]

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