PhD Research Fellow in Maker-Centered Learning

Deadline: 14.10.2021

University of South-Eastern Norway

The University of South-Eastern Norway, USN, is one of Norway’s largest higher education institutions, with around 18,000 students and 1,900 employees across eight different campuses.

We offer studies, research and knowledge dissemination, all targeting various professions and working life and with a high level of quality internationally. Our goal as a University is to create value both for the individual student and for business and commerce, the public sector and society in general. We achieve this by utilising the best tools we have: education and research.

USN is a University with a strong social commitment where studies and working life are integrated. At USN, we focus on practice-relevant, profession-oriented and applied research and education.

The students shall benefit from innovative educational methods and challenging studies closely associated with society's requirements and needs. They will learn how to adapt to a society and working life that is constantly changing. The University shall meet major social challenges with knowledge and expertise, helping to promote practical solutions, structural changes and new ways of thinking. USN’s academic activities shall be embodied by a clear dedication to the UN’s sustainable development goals. The University aims to realise this main profile in close cooperation with society and working life.

For more information on USN, please go to www.usn.no

The Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences have a vacancy for a position as PhD Research Fellow in Maker-Centered Learning

About the position

The Faculty of Humanities, Sports and Educational Sciences has a vacancy for a 100 % position as PhD Candidate in Maker-Centered Learning from 01.01.2022.

The position is located at the Department of Visual and Performing Arts Education and reports to the Head of Department, Eirin E. Sæther. The place of employment is Campus Notodden, Telemark, Norway.

The appointment is for a term of three years full time of developing and delivering a PhD dissertation as part of the NFR-funded research project Maker-Centered Learning: Cultivating creativity in tomorrow’s schools (MAKER). There is a premise for employment that the PhD Research Fellow is enrolled in USN’s PhD-program in Pedagogical Resources and Learning Processes (PEDRES) within three months of accession in the position. For admission to the Programme the weighted average grade of B or higher, is usually required.

Project summary of the Maker-Centered Learning: Cultivating creativity in tomorrow’s schools (MAKER):

Our children live in an increasingly complex world, with enormous cultural, societal, and environmental challenges. To help them tackle these problems in the future we need informed educational practices that cultivate 21st century competences such as creative problem solving, collaboration skills, technology and programming skills and a transdisciplinary mindset. To facilitate this development, it is critical to better understand how creativity is educated and cultivated in schools. Digital fabrication technologies have given rise to maker-centered learning, providing new digital instruments, practices, and materials for creative production and STEAM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). These fabrication technologies are already brought into several Norwegian schools in the form of makerspaces.

For teachers there is now an urgent need for pedagogical methods and tools for implementing schools’ maker projects in effective and conscious ways. In this project we will enhance knowledge on how deliberate teaching for creativity can be realized in school Makerspaces. In this project we will develop and implement new pedagogical practices in schools through researcher-teacher partnerships in Norwegian schools. We work together with arts and crafts teacher educators and researchers from OsloMet, Helsinki University in Finland, and with creativity researchers and experts on maker centered learning in the USA, University of North Carolina, and University of California.

The PhD-candidate will collaborate with the other researchers in the project and collect research data in Norwegian School settings through qualitative interviews, observation etcetera, and collaborate with analysing these data with the other researchers, and write articles for an article-based dissertation. Within this framework, the PhD-candidate can develop their own research questions that contribute towards the general aims of the project.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent higher education in the area of Education, and must have experience in areas relevant for the project such as arts and crafts education, STEAM-education, or educational technology.

The degree must be accomplished before application deadline.

The candidate must have the ability to work independently and at the same time have the motivation to share knowledge and take part in team work. Co-operation between staff members is an integrated part of the working atmosphere at the University of South-Eastern Norway. The candidate must be motivated and demonstrate a proven ability to work effectively within a team and in a collegiate manner to formulate and realise common objectives. Personal suitability for the post will be emphasised.

The successful candidate must be proficient in one of the Scandinavian languages (Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) and English before starting in the position, as the data collection will be done in Norwegian schools and aricles will be written in English. Language proficiency will be tested in the interview with the selected candidates.

Candidates with previous experience in maker spaces, maker centered learning or fablabs will be given priority.

We offer

  • A stimulating and growing research environment, with good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hours


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 491 200 a year. Further promotion will be based on time served in the position. A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

A statutory contribution to the state pension plan will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

Other information

The Academic Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellowships is responsible for the appointment. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. The candidates deemed best qualified will be invited to an interview.

The person appointed must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply at any given time to the post. Please note that approved work permit is a prerequisite for the employment.

According to its human resources policy, the University of South-Eastern Norway targets a balanced gender composition and aims to recruit persons with a background as an immigrant.

The Department has few men appointed in scientific positions, and women/men are therefore particularly encouraged to apply.

The University contributes to the Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. We therefore encourage qualified applicants with disabilities to apply for the post. The University will facilitate the workplace for employees with disabilities.

Pursuant to section 25, 2nd paragraph of the Freedom of Information Act, information on the applicant may be disclosed even if the applicant has requested not be included on the list of applicants. Applicants will be notified if such requests are not allowed.

Contact information

For more information about the position, please contact:

  • Professor Marte S. Gulliksen, +47 35 03 63 97

For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact:

How to apply

The University of South-Eastern Norway makes use of online application management. Applicants to the post must register their application and CV with enclosures online via the Jobbnorge recruitment portal by clicking on the link on the right-hand side – “Søk stillingen” (Apply for the post).

The following documents shall be attached to the online application:

  • Transcripts and diplomas of Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (120 ECTS)
  • Other relevant certificates (for example pedagogical qualifications)
  • A motivation letter (max 2 pages)
  • Any scientific publications and a list of these
  • Three references (contact information)

Please note that all documents must be in a Scandinavian language or in English. Any translations must be certified.

The application will be assessed on the basis of the attached documentation as requested above. Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the required documentation has been uploaded with the application deadline.

The University has been awarded a Charter & Code certificate by the European Commission, and is entitled to use the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) logo. The University is also a member of the EURAXESS network, which contributes to good working conditions for mobile researchers.

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