PhD Fellow in Transformative Change for Sustainable Blue Food Systems

Deadline: 23.02.2023

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is a multi-campus research university 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.

Find information about taking a PhD at UiT The Arctic University of Norway here and a PhD-guide from Tromsø Doctoral Students (TODOS) here, as well as information about travelling to and working in Norway here.

The Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) consists of Department of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NCFS) and School of Business and Economics.

The main task of BFE is to conduct teaching and research dissemination at a high national and international level within all relevant fields. Prioritized research areas are aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, climate, life in the arctic, marine bioprospecting, fish health, seafood products, business and macroeconomics, resources and environment, markets and management of marine resources. The interdisciplinary profile of the faculty provides good opportunity to develop research projects involving several research groups at the faculty according to its strategy.

Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics

Changing Arctic Research School

UiT the Arctic University of Norway kick-started a transdisciplinary research school "Changing Arctic" in August 2022, with PhD candidates and supervisors from all seven university faculties. The research school has a focus on renewable energy, food security, health and welfare. “Changing Arctic” will collaborate with actors in private and public sector. The research outcomes will contribute to resilience and transformation in the Arctic and will thus operationalize Sustainable Development Goals.

The training will provide PhD candidates with knowledge, professional and transferable skills, and general competences that enables them to contribute to innovative and sustainable solutions for the Arctic. The research school will arrange courses, seminars, workshops, and excursions, and will organise secondments in private enterprises, NGOs, and public institutions. This is to ensure the relevance of project outcomes and enhance the employability of the PhD graduates. Read more about the research school Changing Arctic | UiT.

The position

A PhD position is available at the Norwegian College of Fishery Science (NCFS), Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics (BFE) with the Research School Changing Arctic.

The position is for a period of four years. Within this four-year duration, 25 % of each year’s effort will consist of teaching (10 %) and other duties, such as secondments and interactions with the industry or the public sector. 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 workplace is at UiT Campus Tromsø. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The Research School will begin activities for the 2023 cohort on the 1st of September.

The position’s affiliation and field of research

While the PhD fellow will be a member of the Changing Arctic research school, they will be employed by The Norwegian College of Fishery Science, within the Faculty of Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics, at UiT the Arctic University of Norway.

The PhD fellow will also be an integrated member of the sustainability research group at the faculty. This research group will officially be established January 1st 2023 and will include the Arctic Sustainability Lab.

The PhD project will have opportunities to connect with a number of local and international research collaborations on related topics. There will, for example, be possibilities to connect to the international EU Horizon AA_Agora project, which aims to create a lighthouse for transformative change for enhancing climate resilience of socio-ecological systems in the Arctic and Atlantic coastal region. It will also be possible to draw on the research of the CoastShift project, which aims to evaluate pathways toward an area-optimal sustainable production of more local, healthy food, while minimizing the impact on the arctic ecosystem along the coast. The fellow will have opportunities to teach in the Sustainability Science and Ocean Leadership Masters programs. They will also have opportunities to connect with the ongoing IPBES Transformative Change Assessment, specifically through the involvement of the project’s supervisors as coordinating and lead authors in this important international initiative.

The PhD project will be on the topic of “Transformative change for sustainable blue food systems in Northern Norway”.

Human activities are undermining the health and well-being of the living world at unprecedented levels. Our inability to effectively and equitably address converging ecological crises (i.e., the dramatic loss of biodiversity, the persistent problems of pollution, and the rapid onset of climate change) has led to increasing international calls for radical transformative change. Transformative change is a fundamental, system-wide social reorganization that requires shifts in the views and values we hold individually and collectively as a culture, shifts in the institutions and structures that shape our society, and shifts in the actions and practices of our daily lives.

This PhD project will focus on the concept and practice of transformative change for sustainable and equitable futures. This will include exploring the meaning and different dimensions of transformative change, deepening our understanding of the barriers and enablers to transformative change, and experimenting with how to advance transformative change in practice. To ground its investigation into these larger questions, the project will focus on blue food systems in Northern Norway.

The aims of the project will be to:

  • Examine and advance theories of transformative change for sustainable and equitable futures.
  • Investigate the potential for transformative change in blue food systems in Northern Norway.
  • Perform transdisciplinary research with coastal communities to deepen insights regarding drivers, barriers, and enablers to establishing sustainable future blue food systems in Northern Norway.

The research in this PhD project may be performed in relation to a particular selected case study (e.g. sea urchin harvesting, low trophic aquaculture such as seaweed or shellfish farming, or their integration through approaches such as 3D ocean farming or integrated multitrophic aquaculture). Alternatively, the PhD project may choose to develop insights on transformative change through working across a range of emerging and innovative developments in the blue food industry.


For further information about the position, please contact:

This project:

The Changing Arctic Research School:


This position requires:

  • A master's degree in a relevant field such as sustainability science, environmental science, environmental law, geography, human ecology, social science, political science, business management etc.
  • A master's thesis that meets the specifications outlined below under “Admission to PhD programme”.
  • Experience with inter- and/or trans-disciplinarity, especially working across natural and social sciences and/or performing academic research in collaboration with local communities or stakeholders.
  • Fluency in English

It is considered an advantage if the candidate has:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of the concepts/theories of sustainability and transformative change
  • Knowledge or experience with existing or emerging blue food systems
  • Working knowledge of Norwegian or a Scandinavian language
  • Experience with project management
  • Academic publications and/or other published works (e.g., reports, media articles, popular science)

In the assessment for the position, emphasis is given to the applicant's potential to complete a research education, which is often based on the grades received in the master programme, the master's thesis or equivalent, and any other scientific work. The structure, quality, and novelty of the project description will also be given considerable weight in the assessment. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme will be considered, e.g. working experience.

We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.

Since as many people as possible should have the opportunity to undertake research training, those already holding a PhD or equivalent will not be considered for 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 Biosciences, Fisheries and Economics 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.

Grade requirements apply both to the master thesis as well as courses part of the master’s degree. The minimum requirements are grade C or better on the master’s degree, and grade C or better on courses that are part of the master’s degree. A grade lower than C in one course may be compensated by a higher grade than C in another course. If the applicant has two subjects with the grade D or lower, the applicant is not qualified for admission. 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.

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than six weeks after taking up the position.

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 a research project and a transdisciplinary research school that actively aims to address societal challenges in a sustainable manner
  • An interesting interdisciplinary academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Good career opportunities, and high employability after successful graduation
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Remuneration, normally starting at 501 200 NOK/year
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund
  • A stunning and inspiring Arctic landscape offering a diversity of outdoor activities
  • A vibrant cosmopolitan Arctic city offering a diversity of cultural events and opportunities

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here.


Your submitted application must include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation for the position, background and research interests
  • CV outlining past education, employment and achievements
  • 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
  • Copy of the Master’s thesis and any other published academic works
  • References with contact information
  • Project description (max. 4 pages outlining the project you propose doing for this PhD)

Applicants must present a description outlining the academic research that is proposed to be conducted within this PhD project. The project description shall not exceed 4 pages, literature references included. It must include a description of the general topic and specific focal area, the research question(s) to be addressed, the proposed method/s, and an explanation or justification of the choices, including what is academically novel about this particular project. It should also indicate the actors outside of academia it would be relevant to involve. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervision team after employment.

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.

Apply for position

Powered by Labrador CMS