PhD Research Fellow in sustainable rural business development

Deadline: 14.03.2021

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 USN School of Business have a vacancy for a position as PhD Research Fellow in sustainable rural business development.

About the position

USN School of Business has a vacancy for a 100% position as PhD Research Fellow in sustainable rural business development from 01.08.2021. Earlier appointment can be agreed with the head of department.

The position is located at the Department of Business and IT and reports to the Head of Department. The place of employment is campus Bø.

The department offers a variety of undergraduate programs and a Master of Sustainability Management. The PhD position will also be affiliated with the newly founded USN Center for Sustainability Transition and to a relevant research group within the USN School of Business.

The appointment is for a term of four years with 25% workload consisting of teaching obligations at the Department of Business and IT and/or administrative tasks at the Center for Sustainability Transition. It is a premise for employment that the PhD Research Fellow is enrolled in USN’s PhD-program in Marketing management within three months of accession in the position.

About the PhD-project

This is a PhD position dedicated to the management of public sector support for rural business development as part of a research agenda on sustainability management. The Department of Business Administration and IT is currently a partner in two EU Interreg North Sea Region projects, through which we have established strong local and regional collaboration across sectors. The current projects both look at the role of public sector support for rural SME’s in building a sustainable rural economy. The new PhD project will share this focus with the current projects by investigating means and ways of value creation in the rural economy.

The focus will be the relations between public, private and non-profit sectors in unlocking entrepreneurial and innovative potential for rural development with stakeholder involvement in the rural business ecosystem.

The PhD project should involve:

1. Conceptualization and theoretical development from empirical insights on the synergies from the two projects through a comparative study based on partners involved from other pilot regions in Cupido/Com3 projects

2. A critical review and evaluation of the theoretical foundations of and methodologies in current schemes for public sector business support for sustainable rural development,

3. Empirical work to validate the conceptual and theoretical proposals beyond the projects.


Applicants to the PhD position must must hold a master of science degree in marketing, business, management or equivalent. Students currently enrolled in a master programme are also welcome to apply, but must have earned their degree before the appointment date. Applicants with an MSc degree in fields such as innovation, rural and/or regional development, sustainability management, human and economic geography will also be considered qualified for the position and the PhD program.

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. Research and project work experience and publication record are desirable. Good oral and written communication in Norwegian or other Scandinavian language is an asset. Personal suitability for the post will be emphasised.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Marketing management within three months of accession in the position. For admission requirements please consult our web-pages.

The minimum average grade required for admission to the PhD programme, is B or equivalent.

Co-operation between staff members is an integral part of the working environment 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.

The applicant must document that he/she is fluent in English orally and in writing.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

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 482 200 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

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 USN human resources policy, it is our aim that our employees, to the fullest extent possible, shall reflect the diversity of the general population. 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 women appointed in scientific positions, and women are therefore particularly encouraged to apply.

The University of South-Eastern Norway is an inclusive workplace engaged in the programme Inkluderingsdugnaden (a voluntary scheme to promote inclusion), and we 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:

For questions regarding the recruitment process:

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 certified diplomas of Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (120 ECTS)
    • Applicants who are in the last semester of their Master’s program must provide a transcript of records with their application and a certified diploma of completion before eventual appointment
  • Other relevant certificates (if applicable, must be specified)
  • A 1-5 page project description and a 1 page motivation letter
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • A list of scientific publications and copies of publications
  • Contact information for three persons who can provide references

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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