PhD Fellow in Law

Deadline: 24.08.2021

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

Faculty of Law - Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea

The position

The Faculty of Law has one position vacant for applicants who wish to obtain the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). The position is affiliated with the Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea (NCLOS).

The work place is Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The Faculty of Law has about 950 law students, 25 PhD fellows, 35 members of the academic staff and 15 members of the administrative staff. The Faculty may award the degrees of Master and PhD in Law as well as the degrees of Master of Laws (LL.M.) in the Law of the Sea and Joint Nordic Master`s Programme in Environmental Law.

NCLOS has a staff of 20 - 25 employees; academic staff and PhD fellows. The Centre is located at the Faculty of Law, providing for close contact and collaboration between the staff. The Centre also has an extensive national and international academic network. NCLOS has been awarded status as UiT Aurora Centre 2021- 25. More information on NCLOS and the UiT Aurora Centre, see our website.

The position is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD programme is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % each year and will consist of teaching and other duties.

The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The position’s field of research

The PhD position is a part of the research project Developing good ocean governance of the Arctic in times of unpredictable and rapid changes (DOGA), funded by the Norwegian Research Council.

The DOGA project investigates the ecosystem approach to ocean governance as a strategy for sustainable development. The primary objective of DOGA is to contribute to good ocean governance of the marine Arctic by critically investigating the implementation of ecosystem approach in Norway, in the context of regional and global law and policy. The project examines how ecosystem approach can be implemented within the legal framework and provide for adaptive, integrated and holistic management without undermining the rule of law and its core values, such as accountability, participation, legal certainty and predictability.

The DOGA project also investigates how ecosystem approach is integrated into different sectors such as fisheries, shipping/tourism, hydrocarbons and new activities eg. bioprospecting in Norwegian law. This research theme is based on the assumption that sectorial legislation does not adequately provide for consideration and weighing of environmental impacts of human activities. Based on the assumption that the existing legal framework does not provide for adequate coordination between the sectors to ensure coherency and address cumulative effects, the DOGA project moreover aims to investigate the implementation of specific tools and measures for ecosystem approach beyond sectorial and administrative boundaries, e.g. marine spatial planning and marine protected areas.

As the ecosystems of the marine Arctic as well as the effects of human activities are transboundary, the project also examines how the ecosystem approach can be successfully implemented across jurisdictions through cooperation with the neighboring states and within the region. The project aims to respond to questions such as whether and how the Arctic Council could be strengthened to facilitate a more coherent practice in the Arctic region when it comes to the implementation of an ecosystem approach as well as what implications a potential new internationally legally binding treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity beyond national jurisdiction will have for Arctic governance.

NCLOS seeks candidates for one PhD position within the following themes:

  • The implementation of ecosystem approach into different sectors such as shipping, fishing, hydrocarbons etc. in Norwegian law and in the context of regional and global law
  • The implementation of ecosystem approach beyond sectorial and administrative boundaries by the use of specific tools and mechanisms such as e.g. marine spatial planning and marine protected areas
  • The implementation of ecosystem approach across jurisdictions through cooperation with the neighboring states and within the Arctic region

Project proposals that cover one or more of these themes are welcome. The candidate selected for employment must be willing to adjust her/his project proposals to the research plans under the DOGA project and of NCLOS. More details on the themes of NCLOS are available at Norwegian Centre for the Law of the Sea | UiT


For further information about the position, please contact:


The applicants must have a five years Master’s degree in Law or Cand. jur. with good grades. The Faculty may accept equivalent education in law from foreign universities.

The successful applicants must fulfil the requirements for admission to the Faculty's PhD programme. Applicants who meet the grade requirement (including the master's thesis) with an average of B or equivalent, are normally qualified unless the project description is unsatisfactory. Consideration may also be given to any previously published works, progression in studies, and an extensive master's thesis with good results, if the applicant does not have a straight B grade average. In the same way, emphasis can be placed on whether the applicant has experience of special significance for the implementation of the PhD project.

Documented proficiency in English language as stated here is required.

The applicants must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. The project description shall not exceed 10 pages, literature references included. It shall include a description of the theme, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It shall also indicate the methodologies to be used. The applicant may be asked to supplement the description.

Emphasis will be put on the candidate’s potential for research, motivation and personal suitability for the position.

The applicants must understand Norwegian or commit himself/herself to participate in the Norwegian Language Courses held by the UiT at the outset of the employment.

Admission to the PhD programme

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Law and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:

  • A bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS and a master's degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS.
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master's degree of 120 ECTS.
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS.

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT. Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree.

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer

  • Involvement in an interesting research project
  • Good career opportunities
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues 
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement 
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund 
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diploma for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • References with contact information
  • Master’s thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project description (max 10 pages)

Qualification with a master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position. You must still submit your transcripts for the master’s degree with your application.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline.

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years.

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure.

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