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 Education was established in 1938 and is one of three departments at the Faculty of Educational Sciences. The research is based on traditions from both the social and the human sciences, and the department thus accommodates great breadth in topics and perspectives. The department employs approximately 100 people; 49 scientific staff, 35 doctoral and post-doctoral students, and 16 administrative/technical staff. The number of students is approximately 900.

Doctoral Research Fellow

A position as a Doctoral Research Fellow is vacant in the Department of Education related to rigorous applied quantitative analysis.

The TextDIM research group investigates oral language and discourse in relation to reading literacy in both language minority and language majority students across the age span. Ongoing projects research long-term effects of promoting oral language development in preschool, as well as understanding and promoting critical  reading and learning skills among upper-secondary school students.

Activities of this position may be related to two ongoing projects. The first involves modelling English academic vocabulary knowledge with data from student with different levels of English language proficiency using a wide range of item-level data in an IRT framework. The goal of this work is to understand what words may be particularly difficult for second language learners, and how to make tests fair and accurate. The second project aims to determine the key vocabulary words in each academic discipline, and determine how vocabulary knowledge relates to content knowledge across content areas. These projects support the larger mission of using modern quantitative methods in statistics, computer science, and corpus linguistics to improve educational outcomes.

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 programme, 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 and the research group. Also, a successful candidate will be expected to complete the project and publish articles in recognized international journals in collaboration with the project team during the period of appointment.

Each applicant will be expected to write a project description of maximum five pages stating an individual PhD project within the thematic priorities mentioned above. You need to contact Joshua Lawrence for more information about this process in order to complete the project description.

The appointment applies for a four-year period. The guidelines concerning appointment to post doctoral and research fellowship positions at the University of Oslo can be viewed here: website.

Qualification requirements

Basic training in statistics is required. Specialization in psychometrics, corpus linguistics, statistics and/or machine learning would be an advantage. Understanding reading and language development, second language acquisition, and higher order verbal processes would be an advantage.

Applicants must satisfy the requirements for admission to the Faculty’s PhD programme. This normally includes:

  • Successful completion of a Master’s degree programme or similar higher education programme in the subject area in question or in another relevant subject area by the time of employment (normally equivalent to two years /ECTS 120 credits), including a Master thesis or equivalent scientific records
  • Minimum B grade or equivalent for the Master’s degree

Further information on admission requirements and an application form can be found at this website.

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

  • The applicant’s academic aptitude for completing the research training programme
  • The quality of the project description
  • The project’s alignment with the main project
  • The applicants’ academic and personal qualifications for conducting the project
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the post
  • Good ability to collaborate nationally and internationally and to contribute to the advancement of knowledge in the area.

Applications must be written in English. Good English language skills are required.

Application procedure

The application must be submitted electronically and must include the following:

  • Project description of maximum five pages stating an individual PhD project within the thematic priorities mentioned above (cf. Guidance).
  • Letter of application
  • Completed application form for admission to the doctoral degree programme
  • Certified copies of diplomas, grade transcripts and any other testimonials
  • In the event of diplomas from other countries: a copy of the handbook or an equivalent document that describes the content and framework of the course completed must be provided
  • Master’s thesis and any other academic works that may be of relevance to the application
  • CV that also includes an overview of any previously published academic/scientific works
  • Two academic references

Applicants from countries other than Nordic countries where English is not the official language must attach a TOEFL test with a minimum score of 105 (electronical version). Exceptions to this are for applicant’s who have obtained a diploma/degree from a university in an English-speaking country.

Incomplete applications will in normal circumstances not be assessed.

As a rule, interviews will be conducted as part of the appointment process. At the interview the applicant will be asked to present original diplomas and grade transcripts from previous courses of study.

We offer:

  • Salary NOK 436 900 – 490 900 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as Doctoral Research fellow, (position code 1017) (roughly 53,000 USD per annum)
  • 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
  • A positive and stimulating working environment
  • Pension arrangements in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • A position in an inclusive working life enterprise
  • Office space with networked PC and all software
  • Support for travel to international conferences

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for all employees for the purpose of securing intellectual property rights to research results etc.

Pursuant to section 25, paragraph 2 of the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list even though the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo also aims to recruit more individuals with an immigrant background to academic positions. Candidates with an immigrant background are encouraged to apply.

Contact information:
Associate Professor Joshua Lawrence, (for questions about the position)
Head of Office Elin Østbø Sørensen, 

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About this job

  • Deadline
    Sunday, February 4, 2018
  • Employer
    University of Oslo
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  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
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