PhD position on Global Challenges at CET

Deadline: 01.06.2021

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.

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PhD position on Global Challenges at Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET)

The Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation (CET) at the University of Bergen (UiB) is announcing a PhD position on the environmental and social consequences of electric vehicles (EVs) and renewables.

CET is an interdisciplinary research centre that aims to produce actionable knowledge about how to achieve deep, rapid and sustainable transformation of society to meet the climate challenge. CET is based at the UiB Faculty of Social Sciences and works closely with scientists from a variety of disciplines.

We are now recruiting a PhD candidate for a period of four years, including one year of teaching or project work. The position is for the project “The global implications of Norway’s electric car revolution”, funded by UiB’s Global Challenges strategic priority area.

The project will assess the global socio-economic and environmental implications of the production and waste chain of Norway’s growing electric car fleet, in order to shed light on the global impacts of decarbonizing the country’s transport sector.

Norway is among the leaders worldwide in making transport more sustainable and climate-friendly. The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has been celebrated and inspired attempts at emulation by a range of other countries. In this project, we aim to point attention to the ‘dark side’ of this shift, by tracing the origins and commodity chains of the EVs and digital tools upon which the shift depends, and assessing implications for inequality, labour rights and health. For example, EVs require mining of rare-earth minerals, and digital tools and electric storage generate e-waste. These resources (especially batteries) are sourced from, and often discarded in, countries in the Global South. The project aims to piece together the life-cycle commodity chain of Norway’s green transport revolution in a global perspective and examine its implications for development in selected locations along this chain.

The PhD project is envisioned to have two main parts: (1) reconstruct global production and waste chains of EVs in Norway, and (2) conduct in-depth fieldwork at selected sites along this chain in order to investigate the socio-economic and environmental implications.

The PhD candidate will work directly with a team of supervisors and be the main researcher responsible for carrying out the project. The supervisors, Håvard Haarstad, Kjetil Rommetveit and Siddharth Sareen, have an established track record of successful collaboration on themes relevant to this project. A close working relationship with the supervisory team is envisaged in order to ensure an interdisciplinary PhD project that draws synergistically on energy social science and humanities research.

The PhD fellow is expected to develop a research project fulfilling the requirements of a PhD in collaboration with supervisors in the early phase of the fellowship. At the application stage, candidates are expected to submit a letter of motivation, which describes how her/his competence contributes to the project. The PhD candidate will have her/his work place at CET, and is expected to contribute to making CET a dynamic and productive academic environment.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • A master's degree or the equivalent within social science. The requirements are generally grade B or better on master thesis and for the master’s degree in total. Candidates who are scheduled to complete their master’s degrees during spring semester 2021 can apply. (The master’s degree must be completed before the candidate can start in the position, and the same grade limits apply.)
  • Competence and experience relevant to conduct the proposed research. The project requires qualitative fieldwork, so experience with interviews, ethnography and similar approaches are required.
  • An interest in interdisciplinary research, and a demonstrated ability to work with others
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English. Norwegian or Scandinavian language proficiency is a requirement.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview.

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 research, teaching and dissemination of results. The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a recruitment position.

The PhD research fellow will take part in the doctoral educational programme at UiB. The programme corresponds to a period of three years and leads to the submission of the PhD dissertation. To be eligible for admission, the candidate must have completed a master’s degree. The educational background must be equivalent to a five-year master’s education, including a two-year master’s degree and a Master thesis. It is expected that the topic of the master’s degree is connected to the academic field to which the candidate is seeking admission.

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 supportive and professionally challenging working environment
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise)
  • Competitive welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • A cover letter including a brief account of the candidate’s competence and motivation.
  • A letter of motivation (3-4 pages) describing the relevant competence of the candidate, and how this competence contributes to the project. This should include both theoretical and methodological competence, as well as a suggested and tentative plan for the research.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of them should be the main advisor for the master's thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV, including publications (if any)
  • Transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor's and master's degrees, and relevant certificates/references
  • Academic publications that the candidate wants to submit for assessment, including master’s thesis or equivalent.

Candidates with 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, may later in the application process be asked to submit an overview of the syllabus for the degree that has been completed.

Applications submitted without a cover letter 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:

  • Professor Håvard Haarstad (human geography, prospective supervisor), e-mail [email protected], phone +47 55 58 45 81

Practical questions regarding the application procedures should be directed to advisor HR Bodil Hægland, [email protected]

Appointed research fellows will be admitted to the doctoral education program at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Further information about the program is available on the webpage.. Questions about the program may be directed to senior officer Hanne Gravermoen, e-mail: [email protected], phone: +47 55 58 90 68.

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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