Ledig stilling ved UNIS

Post-doctoral research fellow in university pedagogy / higher education research on field learning

Deadline: 24.11.2019

Flere stillinger:


UNIS is located in a modern working environment in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, and is well equipped with both technical and scientific equipment and laboratories. The institution has an infrastructure for both marine and terrestrial field research in Svalbard.


UNIS is the world's northernmost educational institution, located in Longyearbyen. UNIS has technical and scientific equipment, laboratories and infrastructure well suited for teaching and research in Arctic natural science and technology for sea, land and atmosphere. The disciplines include Arctic Biology, - Geophysics, - Geology and - Technology. All courses are taught in English, and about half of the staff and students are from abroad. UNIS is a state-owned corporation.

Longyearbyen is located in Svalbard, in the midst of a varied and beautiful Arctic nature with good opportunities for outdoor activities. Longyearbyen is a modern town with approx. 2200 inhabitants and has a good service offering including kindergartens, swimming / sports hall and a varied association, sports and cultural life

The University Centre in Svalbard, UNIS, is seeking candidates for a full-time, 2 year position as Post-doctoral research fellow within the field of higher education research, with focus on research on educational development of field teaching and field assessment.

About the position

The position is affiliated with a 3 year project to promote course alignment in field teaching (FieldPass), and funded by the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU). The project is coordinated by UNIS, with the Department of Education (HERU) and the Department of Biology (BIO) at the University of Bergen (UiB) as partners. The main activities in FieldPass will be at UNIS.

The candidate will work together with a cross-disciplinary project group coordinated by the AB department at UNIS, with members from four different scientific disciplines (biology, geology, geophysics, and pedagogy), and from academic affairs (administrative support), and IT service (technical support). In dialog with the project group, the candidate will develop focused research within the framework of the FieldPass project, clealy aiming towards the overall research questions on how to improve constructive alignment of fieldbased education, with focus on assessment of field related learning outcomes, and using an appropriate methodological approach.

Field learning is a core activity in several scientific disciplines. A range of learning outcomes related to field activities are stated in both course- and study program descriptions, but very few are assessed. Much of the learning students are achieving in the field is related to tacit knowledge and transferable skills, and is perceived difficult to assess. The main aim of the FieldPass project is to promote course alignment in field teaching, in particular through the development and evaluation of new assessment methods.

The project has three focus areas:

• Develop digital bridges – from preparation to assessment. We will extend and further develop the use of virtual field guides and virtual reality (VR) technology to both prepare and extend field work, and test VR technology as an assessment tool.

• Certification of skills. UNIS has and expands local field laboratories, where a range of instrumentation is co-located, and many variables are being observed. We aim for increased use of our field laboratories to develop a framework for assessment and certification of methodological skills obtained during the field learning.

• Reflection as assessment tool for process-related learning goals (i.e. project development, team-work, trouble-shooting). We will extend and further develop the use of e.g. reflective diaries, blogs, structured dialog and student interviews to document and enhance process-related learning goals.

Combined knowledge from these three focus areas will form the basis for developing an overall design for assessment of field learning in line with the principles of constructive alignment.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

The applicant must have completed a doctoral degree in pedagogics or a related field, or have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment, prior to the application deadline. It is a condition for employment that the PhD has been awarded.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of Norwegian higher educational systems is advantageous.
  • Research and fieldwork experience from the Arctic is advantageous.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Previous experience and/or documented interest in university teaching, educational faculty development, and/or course design are advantageous.
  • Motivation and personal suitability will be emphasized.

We require that applicants write a brief research outline (ca. 4 pages, including references) in which you propose how you would design and conduct your research in this project (e.g., choice of theory and methods). A full project description can be provided upon request (in Norwegian only). Preference will be given to candidates who are able to provide strong evidence of existing research skills and/or knowledge to match the project topic, e.g., via PhD’s thesis, and/or via prior research/publications.

Employment conditions

The employment contract is of 2 years. All salaries are set in accordance with the Norwegian government’s University salary scale. Post-doctoral research fellows follow position code 1352 and are remunerated with a minimum gross salary of NOK 514 800.- annually, depending on experience/seniority. As a resident in Svalbard an annual allowance of NOK 34 560 (Svalbardtillegg) will be added to the salary. A Social Security contribution of 2 per cent, to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, will be deducted from the salary. Income tax on Svalbard is 8 per cent, plus 8.2 per cent toward National Insurance coverage. UNIS offers a membership in the Norwegian Public Pension Fund.

The successful candidate is expected to live and work in Longyearbyen, Svalbard where UNIS will provide favorable arrangements for employee rent assisted housing. UNIS will cover passage journey and moving expenses when relocating to Longyearbyen, holiday grants, five weeks’ of vacation per year and flexible working hours. Longyearbyen is a modern and family oriented society that provides schools at all levels and state subsidized day care centers for children. The town offers a wide range of sports and cultural activities for residents of all ages. To read more about life in Longyearbyen, please visit www.lokalstyre.no/

Selection and appointment

A committee appointed by the Managing director of UNIS will evaluate the qualifications of the applicants, and invite the highest ranked person(s) for an interview. The appointment will be made by the Director of UNIS based on the recommendation from the committee.


Inquiries about this position may be directed to:

  • Ass. Prof. Pernille Bronken Eidesen, Department of Arctic Biology, Project coordinator, phone: +47 79023343, e-mail: [email protected]
  • Professor Arild Raaheim, Department of Education, Faculty of Psychology, UiB [email protected]
  • Ass. Prof. Lena Håkansson, Department of Arctic Geology, project partner, phone, +47 79023346, e-mail: [email protected]

The application, submitted electronically in www.jobbnorge.no, must include:

  • Letter of motivation
  • A brief research outline (ca. 4 pages)
  • CV (including a complete overview of education, professional training and professional work)
  • Education, pedagogic or teaching certificates (including a list of previously supervised graduate and PhD students, where applicable)
  • relevant certificates/references
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any peer review publications in your name

Short-listed applicants may be asked to submit their PhD-thesis and other journal papers, reports or material of relevance for the evaluation.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded in Jobbnorge.

Deadline for applications is 24.11.2019.

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