PhD Candidate connected to the research of CHAIN

Trondheim, Norway
Tuesday, 13 October 2020
End of advertisement period
Friday, 30 October 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Sociology and Political Science (ISS) is committed to carrying out teaching, research, and dissemination of knowledge in sociology, political science, sport science, and media studies. The Department has approximately 95 employees and is involved in 11 study programs. ISS is characterised by a strong focus on the social sciences with the emphasis on sociology and political science, contributing to multidisciplinary study programs and research at NTNU. Sociology and political science also impact the Department`s sport science and media studies profile. Further information is available on
The Department of Sociology and Political Science (ISS) has a vacancy for a position as PhD Candidate connected to the research of CHAIN.

CHAIN, the Centre for Global Health Inequalities Research, brings together researchers from diverse regions and disciplines, public health experts, the UN system and civil society organisations, to examine the causes and magnitude of health inequalities, and to identify solutions to decrease these inequalities. It aims to empower governments, businesses and civil society to act on evidence-based solutions to increase health equity. 

The centre’s main objectives are to

  • monitor variations in health inequalities both between and within countries
  • identify the causal drivers of health inequalities throughout the life course
  • evaluate interventions that could reduce health inequalities
  • reduce the gap between research, policy and practice
  • develop the next generation of health inequality researchers

CHAIN identifies and analyses the most important determinants of health inequalities in different contexts, and the policy responses that are most effective in reducing them. To do this, we 

  • monitor health inequalities: we collect and harmonise data on health inequalities and their determinants, covering all world regions. 
  • explain health inequalities: we assess the magnitude of health inequalities and identify the most important mechanisms responsible for socioeconomic inequalities in health.
  • reduce health inequalities: through systematic reviews and evaluation studies, we identify policies, programmes, and interventions that are effective in reducing socioeconomic inequalities in health.
  • bridge research, policy and practice by focusing on dissemination, knowledge transfer and translation of findings in the fields of health, environment, social and corporate policy. This work is led by EuroHealthNet and UNICEF Norway, and includes capacity building activities, policy exchanges at local, national and international levels and general communication activities.  

For more information about CHAIN, see:

The PhD position is a temporary position for a period of four years, where 25% of the time will be ascribed obligation to work/required duties. The PhD position will focus on CHAIN’s third mission: “to evaluate interventions that can reduce health inequalities”. The overall aim of this project would be to examine the health equity effects of UNICEF programs, particularly in urban settings, in different world regions.

The main collaborating partner for the candidate is UNICEF Office of Research - Innocenti (UNICEF Innocenti). In line with UNICEF Innocenti’s historical focus on poor and vulnerable populations, gender inequalities and education, we would advise on the use of MICS ( and DHS surveys ( to study inequalities in child health and their determinants, with an emphasis on vulnerable populations and on the importance of parental education.

Possible research topics could be to examine urban/rural inequalities in health amongst children in Africa and Asia, inequalities between low and middle income countries (LMICs) and high-income countries (HIC) related to access to services and programming in mental health amongst children and adolescents, and to examine the effect of air pollution on early childhood development.

However, the project could also take a qualitative pathway. UNICEF Innocenti has a strong interest in studying the implementations of interventions. This would imply to identify specific interventions together with UNICEF Innocenti, examine how previous interventions have been planned and implemented, and working with key stakeholders to generate relevant research questions and frameworks.

Qualitative data collection may proceed through in-depth interviews and/or ethnographic fieldwork. The project can also study the drivers of health inequalities from a causal inference perspective. This can be done by conducting primary evaluation studies, which will, in close partnership with UNICEF, examine the health equity effects of their ongoing projects. Alternatively, the project can rely on quasi-experimental approaches (e.g., diff-in-diff analysis, regression discontinuity, propensity score matching, etc.) to identify the effects of interventions and policies on health inequalities.

The PhD candidate may have the possibility to carry out a research stay at UNICEF’s offices, either in New York (headquarters) or Florence (Innocenti) as part of the PhD project.

CHAIN has developed a concept note on our collaboration on cash transfers with UNICEF, which can be obtained by contacting Prof. Terje A. Eikemo ( 

Duties of the position

  • Conduct a stand-alone research project.
  • The candidate will participate in CHAIN’s research activities and in particular strengthen CHAIN’s ongoing collaborations with UNICEF.
  • Participate in the general activities of the department, and in international activities such as conference attendance and/or research stays at educational institutions abroad. The applicant will be assessed by (1) the quality and potential of the project sketch, (2) the quality and relevance of previous academic work, and (3) the potential to contribute to CHAIN’s main objectives. 
  • The candidate will be given teaching obligations, equivalent to 25% of the time.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in sociology, political science or an, equivalent social science education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

  • Good methodological skills are a requirement
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English. 
  • The quality of the PhD project sketch (approximately 5 pages).
  • 1-2 years relevant experience in research, such as dissemination and participation in research project (for example with UNICEF), is advantageous. 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant. 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Preferred selection criteria

  • 1-2 years relevant experience in research, such as dissemination and participation in research project (for example with UNICEF), is advantageous. 

Personal characteristics

Personal qualifications such as independence, well organized, initiative, cooperative spirit, and motivation to contribute to an including work milieu will be ascribed high importance.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, grades from master’s degree, the quality of the PhD project sketch, experience, personal suitability and motivation for the position. 

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 4 years including 25% obligation to work/required duties.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in the PhD programme in Social Sciences, specializing in political science/sociology.  within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English 

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

Applicants must attach the following documents to their application within the closing date for applications: 

  • A project sketch (approx. 5 pages). In the sketch the applicant should give an outline for research questions, theoretical perspectives and a methodological design for the research project. 
  • Personal motivation 
  • CV, recommendations, certificates and diplomas.
  • Publications and other relevant scientific work (max. 3 publications)

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Under the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Terje Andreas Eikemo, e-mail:

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-consultant Tove Rønsberg Røe, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-499 when applying.

Application deadline: October 30th, 2020

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Sociology and Political Science

We conduct research, teaching and dissemination in sociology, political science, media, communication and information technology, and sport sciences. The Department offers five-year master’s programmes in teacher education (lektorutdanning) in social sciences as well as in physical education and sports. As a social science department we have a special obligation to contribute to the public debate on important social issues. The Department of Sociology and Political Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

Deadline 30th October 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Dragvoll