Job description

A two-year post-doctoral research fellowship in Music, Criminology and Social Justice is available at the Department of Musicology (IMV), University of Oslo.

The position is affiliated with the research project PRISONS OF NOTE: Mapping music and nuances in penal exceptionalism from the periphery, funded by the Research Council of Norway. The successful candidate will work as part of a team led by Principal Investigator Áine Mangaoang, alongside research assistants and an international scientific advisory board. We seek candidates whose work intersects with at least one of the specialised areas of the PRISONS OF NOTE project as well as its broader themes. The post-doctoral fellow is expected to publish independently and in collaboration with the PRISONS OF NOTE team, to present research papers at international conferences, and contribute to wider public communication of the research results.

More about the position

The PRISONS OF NOTE project investigates the experiences of, circumstances surrounding, and approaches to music and imprisonment in the lives of prisoners, staff, and stakeholders. It will examine the relationship between prison music – which includes music education, music therapy, music-making and listening initiatives – and the sociocultural, political, ethical and aesthetic implications of this creative practice from multiple perspectives. Using an international, comparative approach grounded in empirical research, PRISONS OF NOTE maps the nuances and asymmetries in penal exceptionalism from the smaller, peripheral jurisdictions of Norway, Iceland and the Republic of Ireland, to untangle the ways music is used – and is useful – in prison. 

PRISONS OF NOTE builds on recent scholarship from musicology and comparative penology, drawing from models of prison ethnography, sociology and ethnomusicology to compare prison music experiences in smaller jurisdictions of penal exceptionalism – places that have been largely overlooked in comparative criminological and musicological discourse. The project collects qualitative data from prison case studies across three countries in order to contribute new, interdisciplinary knowledge on how music is used and is useful in prisons from a peripheral perspective, and changing how we study music and imprisonment – from isolated, single-nation case studies to connected, transcultural experiences that transcend national borders.

The Postdoctoral Research Fellow will be a central member of the project team and a core contributor to Work Package 2: Supporting Music in Prisons: Prison Staff, Music Facilitators & Prison Stakeholders’ Perspectives. The aim is to provide the first nuanced and detailed understanding of the multifaceted levels of gatekeeping and politics involved in planning, delivering, facilitating, and sustaining prison music initiatives across a range of contexts (for e.g. in high, medium and open prisons, in different national milieus with varying political and economic backgrounds). The applicant is expected to detail their planned approach and methods for this research in their project description, which must be submitted as a part of the application.

The successful candidate is expected to become part of the research milieu at the Department of Musicology and participate in its working environment and development. The candidate is expected to live in the vicinity of Oslo, Norway.

The appointment is for a duration of two years. The post is available from January 1st 2023 (candidates must take up the post by May 1st 2023). There might be a possibility to extend to three years depending on the qualifications of the recruited candidate, the departments’ needs for teaching, and the departments need for assistance.

Qualification requirements

  • PhD within an area with relevance to the planned postdoctoral work, for instance within musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies, community music, criminology, sociology, or other fields that can be demonstrated to offer a solid foundation for the project.
  • The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline.
  • The candidate’s research project must be closely connected to and relevant for the PRISONS OF NOTE project
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • The proposed research project’s scientific merit, research-related relevance and closely-connected to the central themes of the PRISONS OF NOTE project.
  • The applicant’s track-record, potential, and personal ability to complete their research project within the stipulated time and contribute actively to the PRISONS OF NOTE project.
  • Knowledge and interest in the theories and methods used in the PRISONS OF NOTE project.
  • Good collaboration skills and the ability to join and contribute to the Department’s research environment and interdisciplinary academic communities.
  • Research ambition such as demonstrated through academic publications and conference presentations is advantageous, but not a requirement.
  • Storng communication skills in a Scandinavian/Nordic language is also advantageous, but not a requirement.

Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position.
  • Curriculum Vitae (with a list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities).
  • List of publications. Information about publications should preferably include DOI or downloadable links.
  • Project Description (approximately 3-5 pages, maximum 14,000 characters. See Template for project descriptions). The project description must present a feasible progress plan. It is expected that the applicant will be able to complete the project during the period of appointment.
  • A list of 2-3 reference persons (name, relationships to the candidate, contact information).

Diplomas, certificates, doctoral thesis and other academic works will be requested later. DO NOT include any certificates or transcripts that are not listed above.

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system,

Short-listed candidates will be invited to interview.

Formal regulations

See also Regulations concerning Post-Doctoral Research Fellowships.

Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

Project Leader of the PRISONS OF NOTE project, Dr Áine Mangaoang, email:

Head of Administration Nina Rundgren, email:

For questions on how to apply:

HR Adviser Tonje Olsen

Foto: Colourbox

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 Musicology teaches musicology at all levels and participates in research within a number of different fields, with a particular focus on music history and aesthetics, popular music and cultural analysis, and music cognition and technology. The Department has approximately 50 employees, including PhD and postdoctoral students, and admits a total of 90 bachelor- and master students each autumn.

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