Applications are invited for a full time 3 to 4 year position as PhD Research Fellow in the project “Better Equipped for school

Applications are invited for a full time 3 to 4 year position as PhD Research Fellow in the project “Better Equipped for school: Identifying children who needs extra language support in preschool”, financed by the Research Council of Norway and based at the Department of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo.

The Department of Special Needs Education at the University of Oslo is one of three departments at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The department focuses on basic and applied research and education of bachelor-, master- and doctoral level candidates within the field of special needs education in Norway. One central topic within special needs education concerns language and reading, with delays or deficits in children’s language development as one of several topics. This is focused both in bachelor and master programs as well as in research at the Department.

The project «Better Equipped» address the need to ascertain more information about language assessment practices in preschools and to develop a valid, well-designed tool to assess children’s language skills from an early age. It has two studies where the aim of Study 1 is to generate fresh insights into the use of language assessment tools in preschools today through a nationwide survey. The goal is to uncover whether and how preschools assess the children’s language skills (including why and at what age) and understand how we can support preschool teachers in this important work. Study 2 focuses on development and evaluation of a screening tool that can be used by preschool teachers to identify children in need of deeper assessment and extra language support.

The research fellow will be expected to be involved in both studies and is asked to draft a project proposal to be submitted with this application. International researchers are involved in the project and the successful applicant will have the possibility to take part in networks meetings and research collaboration abroad. It is expected that the research fellow take part in collaboration in the project as a whole.

As a part of the project, the research fellow will participate in the research group “Literacy and Numeracy in Context” (LiNCon).

More about the position

The fellowship period is 3 or 4 years. For Research fellows that are employed for a period of 4 years, the position entails a compulsory workload of 25% that consists of teaching and supervision duties and research assistance. Positions as research fellows are fixed-term educational posts where the aim is that the research fellow completes a doctoral degree (PhD) during the period of employment.

A prerequisite for the employment is admission to the Faculty’s doctoral degree program, and applicants’ formal and other qualifications for admission will therefore also be assessed.

Research fellowship positions are defined as recruitment posts and represent an important instrument in the sector’s work of generating qualified applicants for other academic posts at universities and university colleges in the long-term perspective. The doctoral candidate is expected to participate actively in the organized research training and in the Faculty’s research community.

Please visit our website for more information about the PhD programme.

Qualification requirements

Applicants must satisfy the requirements for admission to the Faculty’s PhD program. This include:

  • Successful completion of a Master’s degree, or equivalent qualifications, with sufficient relevance to the announced research field.
  • Minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent on the Master’s degree, and explicit indication of the grade achieved on the thesis part. The Master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS with a minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale). 
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English and in Norwegian or another  Scandinavian language

In the assessment of applications, emphasis will be put on:

  • The applicant’s academic aptitude for completing the research training program
  • The project description, which must be submitted with the application
  • The applicant’s personal suitability and motivation for the post, including his/her ability to collaborate and to form part of a cross-disciplinary academic community
  • Other qualifications that meet the objectives which form the basis of this type of post

Further information on admission requirements to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences can be found on this website.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 491 200 – NOK 534 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

  • Cover letter including statement of motivation and research interests, and an explanation of how your background, research and experience is relevant to the research project
  • A project description, including progress plan, 8-10 pages. Please see our guidance.
  • Completed application form for admission to the doctoral degree program (see this page)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work)
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • Master’s thesis
  • Documentation of English proficiency (for information on required documentation please see information on this web page)
  • A complete list of publications and academic works
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link: “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Incomplete applications will not be assessed.

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the “project description” and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project. Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

Associate Professor Åste Mjelve Hagen

Professor/Head of Research Henrik Daae Zachrisson

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About the University of Oslo 

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Department of Special Needs Education is one of the three departments at UiO’s Faculty of Educational Sciences.

The department has today approximately 25 permanent employees that work with research, 14 temporary research fellows and postdoctoral fellows, in addition to 12 administrative employees. The department has approximately 800 students distributed between bachelor- and master’s degree studies in Special Needs Education, master’s degree studies in Special Needs Education, as well as PhD-studies.

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