LEDIG STILLING VED UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

PhD position in Social Anthropology

Deadline: 05.03.2021

University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad.


There are seven departments and three centres at Faculty of Social Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments.

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PhD position

There is a vacancy for a PhD position at the Department of Social Anthropology, as a part of the project ‘Island Lives, Ocean States: Sea Level Rise and Maritime Sovereignties in the Pacific’ (OceanStates), which is funded by the Research Council of Norway’s Toppforsk programme for 2018-2024. The position is for a fixed-term period of 4 years, of which 25% will be dedicated to teaching, contributions to the network operations of the OceanStates project and the Bergen Pacific Studies research group, as well as specific administrative tasks for the Norhed II-funded Norway-Pacific Ocean-Climate Scholarship Programme (N-POC).

About the project and tasks:

The OceanStates project carries out interdisciplinary research on the consequences of sea level rise and other effects of climate change in the Pacific Islands, with a primary focus on how geographical changes of islands and coastlines affect the security and conditions for life in Pacific Islands and their maritime Exclusive Economic Zones. With three postdoctoral fellows and collaborating professors at UiB in anthropology, law, and oceanography, the OceanStates project studies local, regional, and global responses of Pacific Islanders and their states to climate change; reviews legal processes concerning sea level rise and the Law of the Sea; and develops physical projections of sea level rise with consequences for maritime boundaries throughput the Pacific. The OceanStates project cooperates with Norwegian colleagues and a wide international network that includes universities in the Pacific, Australia, and North America, as well as diplomatic missions of Pacific Islands states at the United Nations.

The PhD fellow will have a primary responsibility for Task 5 in the research agenda of OceanStates, entitled Our Sea of Islands: Pacific Cultural Heritage and Global Climate Change.

This research task is summarised as follows:

  • Cultural heritage in the Pacific draws on relationships between human lives and the ocean. The ‘people of the sea’ express their concerns about the future in terms of changing relationships to their ocean, including what may be concept-shattering experiences when the ocean rises and turns against its people. Multiple questions emerge, for example, as to how ocean-related observations and arguments in Pacific climate change activism are converted across scales of political communication. Fieldwork shall include a focus on social media.

Applicants are requested to develop a research proposal, including suggested fieldwork locations and timeline, that addresses these dimensions of research outlined for Task 5, and that relates the research to the overall information on the project available at this link.

Due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, the first year of this 4-year appointment is unlikely to involve fieldwork in the Pacific. The PhD fellow will therefore be encouraged to complete mandatory coursework in 2021, as well as be tasked with producing a research review for the OceanStates project. From 2022, a substantial period of fieldwork in several Pacific locations will be required, in close collaboration with project partners at the University of the South Pacific.

A particular dimension of the posiion’s 25% institutional work in teaching, project networking and administration is the responsibility for research and scholarship administration in the new Norhed II-funded Norway-Pacific Ocean-Climate Scholarship Programme (N-POC), information on which is at this link. This programme involves the University of Bergen and the University of the South Pacific in close cooperation on research and PhD training over four years (2021-2024). Approximately half of the position’s 25% institutional work component will be dedicated to serving as UiB’s contact person vis-á-vis the University of the South Pacific.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must hold a master's degree or the equivalent in social anthropology.
  • The degree has to be completed by the application deadline.
  • The requirement is generally grade B or better on the master’s thesis and for the master’s degree in total.
  • As an applicant you should be able to work independently while also cooperating in a larger research group, have considerable work capacity, as well as an enthusiasm for research and the active communication of research results.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.
  • Familiarity with the Pacific Islands region and fieldwork experience from one or more Pacific localities is an advantage.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to the department for an interview, in person or digitally.

About the PhD position:

The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time each year comprises required duties associated with teaching, administration, and dissemination of results. The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a recruitment position.

About the PhD training:

As a PhD research fellow, you will take part in the PhD training programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UiB. The programme corresponds to a 3-year period and leads to the PhD degree. To be eligible for admission you must normally have an educational background corresponding to a master’s degree with a scope of 120 ECTS credits, which builds on a bachelor’s degree with a scope of 180 ECTS credits (normally 2 + 3 years), or an integrated master’s degree with a scope of 300 ECTS credits (5 years). Master’s degrees must normally include an independent work of a minimum of 30 ECTS credits. It is expected that the topic of the master’s degree is connected to the academic field to which you are seeking admission for the PhD.

We can offer:

  • Salary at pay grade 54 upon appointment (Code 1017) on the government salary scale (equivalent to NOK 482 200 per year). Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • A good and professionally inspiring working environment
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A cover letter including a brief account of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position.
  • Project proposal: A research proposal of 5-8 pages must accompany the application. The proposal should present the topic, the research problem(s) and choice of theory and methods, according to the specific requirements given above. The proposal should also include a progress plan for the different parts of the project.
  • Admittance to the PhD programme will be based on the research proposal
  • CV
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees.
  • Relevant certificates/references
  • A list of academic publications
  • Academic publications that you want to submit for assessment.
  • Master Thesis
  • If you have a master's degree from an institution outside of the Nordic countries, or a 2-year discipline- based master's degree (or the equivalent) in a subject area other than the one associated with the application, you may later in the application process be asked to submit an overview of the syllabus for the degree you have completed.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of them must be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis.
  • The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

Closing date: March 5, 2021.

The application has to be marked: 21/1804.

Applications submitted without a project description or applications sent as e-mails will not be considered. Only submitted documents will be subjected to an expert assessment.

General information:

Additional information about the position is obtainable by contacting the:

Practical questions regarding the application procedures should be directed to Senior HR Consultant, Jannicke Lervik, [email protected]

Appointed research fellows will be admitted to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Questions about the programme may be directed to Adviser-PhD [email protected]

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here.

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