LEDIG STILLING VED UNIVERSITETET I BERGEN

Postdoctoral Fellow Philosophy of Criminal Law

Deadline: 25.03.2021

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.

Postdoctoral Fellow Philosophy of Criminal Law in a Project at the Faculty of Law Funded by the Research Council of Norway

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Postdoctoral Research Fellow position

At the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, there is a vacant position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in philosophy of criminal law. The position is connected to the project ‘Remodelling criminal insanity and psychosis through the philosophical, legal, and medical DIMENSIONS of the medical model (DIMENSIONS)’, funded by the Research Council of Norway (RCN).

About the research project

DIMENSIONS studies criminal insanity and how this legal doctrine is related to mental disorders, particularly psychosis. In most countries, the application of this doctrine depends on the teachings of psychiatry and on diagnostic categorizations. At the same time, the legal understanding of psychosis is unclear and contested. By fusing philosophy, legal research, and mental health research, DIMENSIONS seeks to develop the legal understanding of psychosis and how it is related to criminal insanity. DIMENSIONS utilizes the Norwegian ‘medical model’ for criminal insanity as a legal basis. This model identifies insanity exclusively with mental disorder and essentially with psychosis and carries specific opportunities to explore the interrelations between philosophical, legal, and medical premises involved in the problem. Ultimately DIMENSIONS targets a ‘unified insanity model’ that is valid across involved disciplines and that opens research paths beyond current insanity models. DIMENSIONS is highly interdisciplinary and has an international research team with members from Norway, Sweden and U.S.A., and collaborators and advisors from the Netherlands, U.K., and Australia. The project gathers word-leading experts from different fields of research and will provide the first basis for an academic criminal law and mental health science program in Norway. For further information, see the project description for DIMENSIONS that will be provided after request to Randi Sæbøe (contact information below).

About the project group that the Postdoctoral Fellow will work with

The Principal Investigator of DIMENSIONS is Linda Gröning, prof. law, leader of the research group in criminal law and criminal procedure, University of Bergen and Senior researcher at Regional Centre for Research and Education in Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen (Norway). The research team also includes three Postdoctoral Fellows, three senior researchers and a research assistant. In addition to the vacant Postdoctoral position in philosophy of criminal law, the group will involve one Postdoctoral Fellow with focus on law/legal empirical studies and one with a focus on psychiatry/psychology and law. The senior researchers involved in the project group are Unn K. Haukvik, Ass. Prof. psychiatry, Institute for clinical medicine, CoE NORMENT, University of Oslo (Norway), Stephen J. Morse, Ferdinand Wakeman Hubbel prof. of law, University of Pennsylvania school of law, prof. psychology and law in psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania school of medicine. (U.S.A.), and Susanna Radovic, ass. prof. philosophy (Sweden).

DIMENSIONS has an advisory committee of world leading scholars: Michael S. Moore, prof. law/philosophy Charles R. Wahlgren chair, University of Illinois (U.S.A.), Ingrid Melle, prof. psychiatry, University of Oslo, CoE NORMENT (Norway), Ian Freckelton QC, prof. law and psychiatry, University of Melbourne (Australia).

DIMENSIONS has specific collaborators who will take actively part in the project: Gerben Meynen, prof. ethics and psychiatry, VU University Amsterdam/prof. forensic psychiatry, Utrecht University (the Netherlands), Kenneth Hugdahl, prof. biological psychology, University of Bergen (Norway), Jørn Jacobsen, prof. law, University of Bergen (Norway), Ronnie Mackay, prof. law, De Montfort University (U.K.). The institutional platforms of the project also involve strong collaboration with inter alia the Surrey University Centre for Law and Philosophy (U.K.), Bergen Psychosis research group (Norway), and the Simon Fraser University Mental Health Law and Policy Institute, (Canada).

About the postdoctoral position

The Postdoctoral Fellow will research the philosophical dimensions of the insanity doctrine. This study is included in a separate work package of the DIMENSIONS project (WP1). Central tasks will be to explore and analyze the foundations and justifications of the insanity doctrine, with emphasis on a clarification of alternative ways of understanding the relevance of mental disorder for criminal responsibility. Overall questions are how the insanity doctrine generally (i.e., in different models) and the medical model specially, can be philosophically founded and justified and to what extent and in what way choices between alternative philosophical justifications in general and the medical model in particular, set premises for the legal relevance of mental disorder. Philosophical analysis of core concepts such as action, responsibility, and justice, will be required, as well as deeper investigations of different philosophical views on mental disorder as an excuse and its societal and legal implications. What kind of mental deficits that may qualify for insanity and why, included how diagnostic classifications matter, are other relevant issues.

DIMENSIONS is a highly interdisciplinary and collaborative project that requires knowledge development across disciplines and beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries. The Postdoctoral Fellow will be expected to work in close collaboration with the other research members of the project.

The position is attached to the Faculty of Law where the Postdoctoral Fellow will have his/her main institutional affiliation and office space. A main residence in the Bergen area for the duration of the position is required. There will be opportunities to get a mobility grant for research stays abroad. The Postdoctoral Fellow will at the faculty be included as a member of the Research group for criminal law and criminal procedure, the strongest research environment in criminal law in the Nordic countries, and the Research group for legal theory.

The position is a fixed term contract with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for work in top academic positions. The term of employment for a Postdoctoral Fellow position is 3 years. If the applicant is qualified to teach in compulsory courses at the Masters level at the Faculty of Law, and wants to teach, the position may after agreement be prolonged to 4 years. Starting date is 1st October. This date may be adjusted upon agreement. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed term period as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the same institution.

Required qualifications and essential personal qualities

  • Applicants must hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree abroad within law and/or philosophy that demonstrate high level legal philosophical/theoretical skills. Experience from studies regarding philosophy of criminal law, criminal responsibility, and criminal insanity as well as interdisciplinary skills are valuable but not formally required.
  • Applicants must have submitted their doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner and to collaborate with others. Applicants will particularly be expected to show resourcefulness and enthusiasm and demonstrate the ability to collaborate with colleagues and work as part of a supportive team.

The applicant is expected to do the following during the period of employment

  • As a minimum produce four publications in high impact international journals, of which two will be joint publications with other researchers in the project.
  • Attend all research activities in the project, and present the research project on international conferences
  • Collaborate closely with the other members of the project as part of a supportive team.
  • Communicate results from the project actively on relevant arenas, including in new papers and in social media.

We can offer

  • An excellent opportunity for exciting carrier development in a professionally challenging interdisciplinary working environment.
  • To be a part of an outstanding research environment in Criminal Law with a very broad research profile at the Faculty of Law in Bergen. Participation in interdisciplinary research in the scientific frontline.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise) at a recognized law faculty in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
  • Generous welfare benefits
  • Opportunities to get a mobility grant for research stays abroad during the period of employment.
  • Salary at pay grade 72 (code 1352/pay range 24) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 670 100 per year. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered.

Read more about what UiB can offer its employees.

Your application must include

  • Certified copies of diplomas and transcripts of grades and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted. Applicants whose education is from another country than Norway, need to also attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcript of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, if the original is not in any of these languages. They are also advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.
  • The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these must be the main supervisor of the PhD thesis.
  • CV, including a complete list of scientific publications.
  • A selection of maximum 5 academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered by the valuation committee. One of these should be the applicant’s PhD thesis. If the submitted publications are co-authored, the division of work between the authors must be confirmed in the form of a co-author statement. The submitted publications must be in English or in a Scandinavian language unless otherwise specifically agreed upon.
  • A 3-5 pages explanation of the applicant’s research agenda/research interests, including his or her motivation for applying for the position, and how this agenda fit with the aims of the overall DIMENSIONS project. It is expected that the applicants read the project description for DIMENSIONS that will be provided after request to Randi Sæbøe (contact information below). This 3–5-page explanation must include:

- An explanation of how the applicant consider exploring the philosophical dimensions of criminal insanity in relation to the overall aims and ambitions of DIMENSIONS.

- A brief (maximum 300 words) explanation of how the applicant consider his/her carrier development beyond this position, and how the position will contribute to carrier development.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be sent electronically via the link «Apply for position» on this page.

General information

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting:

Practical questions regarding the application procedures should be directed to email: [email protected]

For specific questions about DIMENSIONS’ research ambitions, interested candidates should get in touch with Professor Linda Gröning, email: [email protected] , tel. + 47 55 58 96 35.

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. 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.

Further information about our employment process can be found here.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time. Successful applicants may be called in for an interview.

Apply for position

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