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 Social Anthropology is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Since its establishment in 1964, the Department has been a leading anthropological research and teaching environemnt internationally. It is one of the largest university departments for social anthropology in Europe and the largest in the Nordic countries, offering a broad and creative work environment. Approximately 400 students are currently enrolled in the Bachelor and Master programmes at the Department. The Faculty of Social Sciences offers a PhD program, with 330 students currently enrolled. Of these, about thirty are currently following the study track in Social Anthropology.

Aarhus University

Currently, 275 PhD students are enrolled at the Graduate School, Arts. Aarhus University is a modern, academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 44,500 students and 11,500 employees, and has an annual budget of EUR 830 million. Over the course of the past decade, the university has consolidated its position in the top 100 on the most influential rankings of universities world-wide. Learn more at

PhD Candidate in anthropology - Joint PhD degree between University of Oslo and Aarhus University

Department of Social anthropology, University of Oslo (UiO), in collaboration with the Aarhus University (AU), invites applications for one joint fully-funded 3-year PhD fellowship in Anthropology of Human Security in Africa Starting on September 1, 2018. The positions are funded by the EU Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020, under a grant by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks (MSCA-ITN). The successful applicants must commence their PhD degree programme on 1 September, 2018.


AU and UiO have embarked on the collaborative project ANTHUSIA: Anthropology of Human Security in Africa. ANTHUSIA is a multi-disciplinary research project conducted by a consortium of four universities in Aarhus (Denmark), Edinburgh (Scotland), Leuven (Belgium) and Oslo (Norway). The consortium draws together academics, practitioners and activists with expertise in understanding and enhancing human security in Africa. This programme enables candidates to combine interdisciplinary insights from Anthropology, Human Security and African Studies in order to develop analytical tools to critically understand and contribute to strengthening human security in Africa, and beyond. In this process, students will be encouraged to critically explore how human security has been conceptualised; how and why particular issues are classified as human security issues; and how these understandings shape everyday interventions. This critical approach can be applied to a range of phenomena, such as the expansion of young populations, processes of urbanisation, unequally distributed growth, recurring conflicts, emerging health issues, and population displacement.

The research network offers an academically stimulating and interdisciplinary working environment, an innovative training programme that allows the PhD fellows to obtain specialist knowledge on a specific research topic as well as transferable skills that can be employed in non-academic institutions. The ANTHUSIA PhD education includes one year of fieldwork in Africa, with a 2-3 month period of secondment to a non-academic partner organisation, annual summer/winter schools and a 6 months stay with the secondary university. ANTHUSIA also offers an attractive salary, the opportunity of favourable pension benefits as well as funding for research, travel, conference participation and dissemination, books and equipment.

Available position

ANTHUSIA will recruit altogether 16 PhD fellows, called Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). As part of the project, AU and UiO invite applications for 1 joint PhD fellowship in the fields of anthropology where the two universities have mutual strengths and can offer excellent research environments. The available position is hosted by University of Oslo (Primary University) and Aarhus University (Secondary University):

ESR project 7: Land and Environmental Security: Consequences of Large-Scale Investments in Land in Southern or Eastern Africa

Main supervisor is Knut Nustad, UiO. The applicants must contact the main supervisor before applying for the position.

Please write a maximum of 5 A4 pages of 2400 characters per page (total 12.000 characters) and use the following structure in your proposal:

  • Introduction/background
  • Research questions and study objectives
  • Theory
  • Methodology (incl. ethics)
  • Plan for non-academic secondment
  • Work schedule

Please include a separate reference list with up-to-date literature on the chosen topic (max 2 A4 pages).


Eligible candidates must have an internationally recognised Master’s or an equivalent degree in anthropology or related social sciences and humanities disciplines. They must have received their Master’s degree or equivalent (120 ECTS) no later than 31 August, 2018. They must have less than four years of research experience after their Master’s degree and not hold a PhD degree. All applicants must have achieved a high grade point average in their BA and Master’s studies and must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English and submit their dissertation in English. Applicants can be of any nationality. We encourage applicants who have African language skills and relevant experience outside the academy. However, in order to be eligible, candidates have not resided, worked or studied in Norway for more than 12 of the last 36 months before the recruitment date.

The ESRs are required to spend time at each university, have a supervisor at each institution and will receive a single joint degree signed by both universities.

The ESR is expected to take part in the Anthusia joint degree PhD programme and to complete the project within the set fellowship period. Since the doctoral student will receive a single joint degree, his/her research project will be subject to an evaluation meeting according to the standards of both the University of Oslo and Aarhus University. The format of the evaluation will be a public defence.

The details regarding time spent at each university, supervision, evaluation as well as other legal matters will be specified in a contract prior to the start of the PhD project.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests)
  • CV (including a complete list of education with grades, positions, pedagogical and administrative experience, publications and other qualifying activities)
  • project description (for details see above)
  • reference list
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • list of publications and academic work (if applicable)
  • names and contact details of 3 academic referees

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. International 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).

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.

The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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 University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The Universities of Oslo and Aarhus are equal opportunity employers and strive for diversity among the ESRs. We encourage in particular candidates from the African continent to apply.

Deadline: 15 March 2018

Contact persons:

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  • Søknadsfrist
    15. mars 2018
  • Arbeidsgiver
    University of Oslo
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