PhD Research Fellow in Mathematics Education

Deadline: 21.03.2023

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1500 employees and almost 14 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

About the position

One 100 % position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science as a PhD Research Fellow in Mathematics Education, affiliated to the Department of Mathematical Sciences, for a period of three years, or for suitable candidates four years with 25% required duties. The position is located, at present, at Campus Kristiansand. The starting date is negotiable with the Faculty.

The department has a large and active research group in mathematics education, MERGA, with about 20 fellows on its PhD programme. MERGA was rated very high in a national survey of educational research conducted by The Research Council of Norway in 2017, and since autumn 2018 has been recognised as one of six Priority Research Centres at the University of Agder. The person appointed will join this research group.

MERGA pursues a variety of research interests focusing especially on six main strands within mathematics education:

A. Emergent technologies in mathematics teaching and learning.

B. Mathematics in non-mathematical practices.

C. Teaching and learning mathematics in kindergarten and early school years.

D. Mathematical thinking processes in school.

E. Mathematics teaching and learning in teacher education and professional development.

F. Teaching and learning mathematics in higher education.

The mathematics education research group has substantial and on-going experience of leading and contributing to large research projects funded by The EU, The Research Council of Norway, Nordforsk, the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway, and others. The Department hosts the Graduate School in Mathematics and Science Education in Norway, and contributes actively to the Nordic mathematics education community. The University of Agder has excellent library support and collection of research literature in mathematics education (in English and Scandinavian languages) and on-line access to all leading journals in the field. MatRIC, The Centre for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching is a national Centre for Excellence in Higher Education, established in January 2014, and is led by the Department of Mathematical Sciences. The person appointed, with research in an appropriate area could contribute to the work and development of the Centre.

The Department also has a research group is the Pure and Applied Mathematical Analysis Research Group (PAMAR).

Research proposal area

The area of research will be linked to current development in formative assessment occurring in several courses in mathematics at the Faculty of Engineering and Science (MERGA, Strand E and/or F above). This involves both courses in Mathematics for Engineering students and for students in Mathematics in Teacher Education programmes. Elements of focus could include characterization of mathematical tasks and learning activities, implementation of these activities and tasks in teaching, students’ responses, and related issues such as time students spend on these activities and their performance in regular assessments. We are especially interested in the use of digital technologies in formative assessment. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods are supported within the research group. In the proposal that should form part of the application, candidates are expected to make visible their preliminary plan and choices according to the above. For further details, see below under the heading “Application”.


A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Required qualifications

Desired qualifications

  • A master's degree in mathematics education with experience relevant to the position, and competence in Norwegian and/or Scandinavian language are desired and will be prioritized in the valuation of the candidates. The research group includes Norwegian and international scholars, and the research will be carried out at the University of Agder and in classes being taught in Norwegian. Additional University classes from elsewhere in Norway might also be included.
  • Length of relevant school/university teaching experience will also be taken into account in the selection of a suitable candidate.
  • Experience in one or several of the below are also beneficial
    • Collaboration in larger or smaller research projects and / or working groups
    • Knowledge and experience of conducting literature reviews
    • Documented competence in qualitative and/or quantitative research methods.

At the University of Agder, PhD dissertations may be written in Norwegian, another Scandinavian Language or English.

Personal qualities

Personal suitability and good teamwork skills will be emphasized in the evaluation as well as relevant practical experience. Research Fellows are expected to contribute to the active research community at the University. The position places demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail.

Ability to familiarise oneself with new issues and methodological approaches. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research activity, in addition to a (preliminary) research proposal submitted with the application (see below).

Research visits to an external institution or with a national or international partner for part of the period of employment may be anticipated.

We offer

  • professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation
  • a positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers
  • membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 501 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position irrespective of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • A letter of application which includes a rationale for applying for the position, together with an outline of the applicant’s research interests and ability to conduct the proposed project within the outlined research proposal area
  • Certificates with grades
  • Master’s thesis
  • References
  • A list, summary and links to the applicant's scientific publications if produced must be included if the be considered
  • A short research proposal (preliminary) that sets out background, rationale, recent work and research design for the intended study.This should not extend beyond about 5 pages, but it will form an important part of the evaluation of candidates. It must be evident that it relates well to the proposed area above (under the heading “Research proposal area”).
  • Any other relevant documentation

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

Application deadline: 21.03.23


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For questions about the application process:

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