PhD Fellow in the field of Social Sciences and Peace studies

Deadline: 31.08.2021

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 Humanities, Social Sciences and Education

The position

A PhD position is available at the Centre for Peace Studies (CPS), Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education. The position will be associated with the newly established research group PEACE and the project "Stateless in the Bengali borderlands: New technologies and challenges for identity and identification".

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

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 PhD fellow position is for a period of three years and full time studies with the possibility of an extension of the appointment period. If the doctoral dissertation is submitted for appraisal within 3 years or within 3,5 years, the PhD candidate is qualified for a completion grant for either 12 or 6 months. The completion grant should be used to further qualification measures such as courses in teaching in higher education, lecturing and other relevant work at the faculty. More information about the completion grant scheme here.

The position’s field of research and project

The PhD Fellow in this position will work on expanding the focus of the larger Norwegian Research Council funded project ‘Stateless in the Bengali borderlands: New technologies and challenges for identity and identification’, which deals with the major crisis of statelessness in the Bengali borderlands, a region spanning lower Assam in India, Sylhet and Chittagong in Bangladesh, and northern Rakhine in Myanmar that hosts almost half of the world’s stateless people (including the Rohingya and Assamese Bengalis).

The project intends to examine the implications of statelessness in the region, studying how people self-identify, and the strategies they use to survive. Aiming to understand the contemporary forms of discrimination that produce loss of citizenship, we examine the impact of new communication tools (smartphones; social media) and technologies of biometric identification (digital IDs) on the identity and identification practices in the region.

As part of the broader research project, the advertised PhD position will focus on how different actors, such as as civil society and grassroots organizations, make sense of their everyday protests against political oppression and statelessness in Myanmar, India and Bangladesh. With the rise of the religious and ultra-right populism in India and a military takeover in Myanmar, it has become crucial to understand how grassroot mobilization trough arts and popular culture are working to create peace. As such, the goal of this research is to help us understand the ‘peace from below’ initiatives occurring in the region. Such insights enable us to shed light on how and why those countries that are undergoing transitions from autocracy to a more democratic system often fail to solve internal political and violent conflicts, which then leads to oppression and statelessness. Through its focus on peace from below, this PhD project is anchored in the UN`s sustainability goal 16 ‘Peace, justice and well-functioning institutions’, specifically in the strategy area ‘Social Development and Democratization’.

The PhD project will be associated with the newly established research group PEACE at CPS, led by Marcela Douglas. The PEACE research group seeks to understand the processes that bring societies together, the ways in which peace can be built, maintained and spread, and on how local ownership and participation impacts peace processes as individuals, groups and nations navigate their way in divided societies.

Research environment

The position is attached to Centre for Peace Studies. CPS’ activities revolve around three main components: research, outreach and a Master’s program. Currently, the Centre holds a total of 11 positions, whereof 3 are administrative.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Associate Professor Mohammad Salehin, and co-supervised by Professor Ana Luisa Sánchez and Centre Director Marcela Douglas. Mohammad Salehin is a sociologist and has experience in conducting long-term fieldwork in multi-ethnic communities in areas of Bangladesh and is a native Bengali speaker and reader. Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws is professor in interdisciplinary methodologies and methods at CPS and has previous experience in investigating how various artistic expressions function to represent and thereby often reclaim legitimacy for muted or silenced stories of political and ethnic conflict. Marcela Douglas is Centre Director at Centre for Peace Studies, and has a background as an visual anthropologist as well as experience in visual research in a human rights context.


For further information about the position, please contact:

Centre Director Marcela Douglas:

or Associate professor and project leader Mohammad Salehin:


This position requires a Master’s degree in social science, humanities or other relevant fields. Preference will be given to candidates who:

  • Have experience with a range of interdisciplinary methods
  • Have experience with participatory fieldwork with vulnerable communities

Applicants must document fluency of English and have competence in a Bengali-Assamese language to be able to work in an international environment.

The applicants must submit a project proposal. The proposal should not exceed three pages, including references. It must include a description of the theme, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It should also indicate the methodologies to be used. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant's potential to complete a research education, personal suitability for the position as well as motivation. The project description will also be considered. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

Those already posessing a PhD degree or equivalant will not be appointe this position.

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 Humanities, Social Sciences and Education 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.

All applicants should have a grade point average of B (or equivalent) on their Master’s degree in order to be admitted to the PhD programme. The grade point average also applies to 300 ECTS points integrated five-year Master’s degrees, in which all courses are to be included in the grade point average. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here.

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 strengths 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 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: https://uit.no/staffmobility


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 (3 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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