Ledig stilling ved UiT Norges arktiske universitet

PhD in Russian Linguistics - Language of perceived threats in Russian Media

Deadline: 30.09.2020

UiT The Arctic University of Norway

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education/ Department of Language and Culture

The Department of Language and Culture (ISK)

The position is affiliated with the Department of Language and Culture (ISK). The Department consists of 75 permanent employees, 10 adjunct professors, and approximately 25 PhD fellows. Additionally, the Department has approximately 35 temporary research and teaching positions. The Department’s core activates are research, teaching, and dissemination within linguistics, literature, art history, and media and documentation studies.

The Department has a very active and diverse research profile. It houses one of the world’s most excellent research communities in linguistics with the AcqVA Aurora Center on language acquisition and multilingualism, as well as research groups within cognitive linguistics (CLEAR), Sami language technology (Giellatekno and Divvun), theoretical linguistics (CASTL-FISH) and sociolinguistics. The Department’s research communities within literature, art history, and media and documentation studies are nationally highly competitive, and are organised into research groups such as «Health, Art and Society» (HAS), Russian Space (RSCPR), Libraries, archives, museums, in the community (LAMCOM), Arctic Voices in Art and Literature (ARCTIC VOICES), Just Literature (JUL), Interdisciplinary Phenomenology (IP) Worlding Northern Art (WONA) and Multilingual North, Diversity, Education and Revitalisation.

ISK offers one-year programmes, as well as full Bachelor and Master programmes in the following fields: General linguistics, literature, art history, media and documentation studies, English, Kven, Finnish, Norwegian, Russian, Sami, Spanish, and German. It also offers PhD programmes in linguistics, cultural/literary studies, art history, as well as media and documentation studies.

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of Language and Culture (ISK) which belongs to the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education (HSL). The position is part of the THREAT-DEFUSER project which explores the role of “soft” information strategies propagated through mass and social media that can be used in hybrid warfare. We investigate Norwegian perceptions of Russia, as well as Russian perceptions of Norway, in the context of Norwegian national security.

The successful candidate will:

  • Assemble a so-called “seed” vocabulary of dominant words and collocations that are symptomatic of news articles/broadcasts that highlight threats in Russian
  • Learn to use functions such as semantic vectors and word embeddings in resources such as the Russian corpus in the Aranea Family of Gigaword Web Corpora and Collocations Colligations Corpora for Russian, with the aim of enhancing the seed vocabulary
  • Further enhance seed vocabulary by extracting texts for analysis and comparison with reference corpora
  • Identify texts with prominent threat-related content that can be tracked for connectivity in social media
  • Identify texts with alternative messages for comparison
  • Assist others in assembling and enhancing similar seed vocabularies and identifying texts for English, Norwegian, and North Saami
  • Write up results in dissertation/articles for scholarly journals
  • Assist in production of a webpage and podcast series to disseminate results
  • Assist in organizing conferences and outreach activities

Work place is Campus Tromsø.

The position is for a period of three years.The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to a PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position. The PhD Fellow shall participate in the faculty’s organized research training, and the PhD project shall be completed during the period of employment. Information about the application process for admission to the PhD programme, application form and regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor(PhD) is available at our website.

The project

THREAT-DEFUSER is a multi-disciplinary project that combines state-of-the-art tools from political science, linguistics and media studies to forge new methodologies. Whereas academic disciplines tend to be disproportionately focused on the English-speaking world, THREAT-DEFUSER breaks away from that narrow view and focuses instead on Russian and two official languages in Norway: Norwegian and North Saami. Three cultural perspectives are opened up:

1) a major international language, since Russian is the second most-used language on the Internet;

2) a majority national language (Norwegian);

3) a minority indigenous language (North Saami).

The tools created by THREAT-DEFUSER are portable to other languages, cultures, and domains, and will be shared open source with the international research community.

THREAT-DEFUSER actively disseminates research findings to political authorities (via evidence briefs and closed workshops), to academics (via high-quality open access scholarly journals), and to the public at large through a dedicated, regularly updated website, podcasts, school visits and an app that facilitates rapid response to the dynamic landscape of news and social media.

THREAT-DEFUSER assesses Russia’s increasingly important role in matters of foreign and security policy, particularly with regard to hybrid warfare. The same tools are implemented also to analyze Russian attitudes to Europe that have a direct bearing on Norwegian-Russian relations.


For further information about the position, please contact:

We offer

  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Affiliation with both the CLEAR (Cognitive Linguistics: Empirical Approaches to Russian) and Sami language technology (Giellatekno) research groups
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund

More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here: Welcome to UiT!


  • Master's degree in a relevant field for the position, such as Russian language and or linguistics
  • Knowledge of corpus linguistics
  • Documented knowledge of English is required as stated here
  • Knowledge of Russian
  • Working knowledge of Norwegian or a Scandinavian language is desirable

Qualification with a Master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your Master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis. You must document completion of your degree before commencement in the position.

Emphasis will be put on the candidate's potential for research, motivation and personal suitability for the position.

The position requires admission to the Faculty's PhD programme. Information about requirements is available here: uit.no/phd-en.


The application must be submitted electronically via www.jobbnorge.no and shall include:

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diplomas, diploma supplements and transcripts (all degrees)
  • Documentation on English proficiency. This website states how English profiency shall be documented
  • Written references
  • Contact information to 1-3 references
  • Master thesis, and any other academic works
  • Project description

The documentation has to be in English or a Scandinavian language.

General information

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years.Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017. A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. UiT will emphasize making the necessary adaptations to the working conditions for employees with reduced functional abilitWe process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to Offentleglova information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure.

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