PhD in English Literary Studies

Trondheim, Norway
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
End of advertisement period
Monday, 25 October 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

Applications are invited for one fully funded three-year PhD fellowship in Literature in English, based in the Department of Language and Literature (ISL) at the Faculty of the Humanities (HF) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The PhD position is funded byfunded by NTNU Sustainability (TSO Sustainability), and is tied to the transdisciplinary research project, Narratives of Sustainability, across the fields of Literature, Psychology, and Design. The project is led by Hanna Musiol (Literature / NTNU Environmental Humanities), Christian A. Klöckner (Psychology), and Casper Boks (Design). The PhD student will be part of a transdisciplinary network of scholarship addressing ethical, cultural, aesthetic, communicative, sociopolitical, and historical dimensions of sustainability (Narrating SustainabilityTSO SustainabilityNTNU Environmental HumanitiesTransLitNTNU Oceans). Thus, applicants are encouraged to discuss how their research may contribute not only to the Narrating Sustainability project but to NTNU’s research ecosystem more widely, the city, or other relevant research networks.

TSO Sustainability promotes transdisciplinary collaborations and inclusive research involving the humanities, social sciences, and art/design approaches, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals’ (UN SDGs), which redefine sustainability as a matter of sociopolitical, cultural, and environmental justice. The proposed PhD project should, therefore, employ intersectional and critical perspectives to narrative/storytelling and concepts of sustainability in print and/or nonprint or transmedia literature in English from any region of the world. 

While the proposal can explore any topic related Narrating Sustainability, the following questions are pertinent to the project and may be addressed in the application:

  • How does literature contribute to, de-habituate, or challenge the contemporary discourse of sustainability?
  • How does it imagine and narrate sustainability as complex biosocial processes and relations across different temporalities, worlds, and cultures?
  • How do specific literary works/genres/traditions anticipate, challenge, and expand the UNSGDs?
  • How can narrative/aesthetic literacy and literary training in multiple modes of reading/interpretation help scholars outside the humanities understand how other stakeholders also “plot” narratives of sustainable futures, the crisis, equity, or the imperiled present or extinct pasts?

We invite PhD project proposals on literature broadly understood—print fiction, poetry, theatre, orature, transmodal literature, or transmedia storytelling, etc.—with a firm basis in research methodologies relevant to the chosen medium/genre.; and wWe especially encourage proposals that take up literary productions that embrace post/decolonial, diasporic, Indigenous, feminist, queer, trans, materialist, and other nonhegemonic approaches to sustainability and environmental justice. The successful PhD student in Literatureapplicant will be based in the English Literature Section of ISL, but is encouraged to collaborate broadly with

  1. the NTNU Environmental Humanities Research Group within the HF, and Translit at ILU;
  2. the Narrating Sustainability team outside the Faculty of Humanities Faculty, and specifically senior scholars in Psychology and Design, a doctoral fellow in Psychology, and a postdoctoral fellow in Design, directly linked to the project;,
  3. and, and regional and wider networks which cross disciplinary and cultural boundaries.

Thus, applicants are encouraged to discuss how their research may contribute not only to the Narrating Sustainability project but to NTNU’s research ecosystem more widely, the city, or other relevant research networks.

Duties of the position

The successful applicant will be supervised by Hanna Musiol (and may be co-supervised by local scholars, Julia Leyda or Libe García Zarranz, for instance, and one external supervisor selected after a consultation with Hanna Musiol) and mentored by the Narrating Sustainability team. The successful applicant

  • must participate in and complete the PhD program in the Humanities and Arts at the Faculty of the Humanities within the period of the appointment. For information about the PhD program, please visit: . Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD program in the humanities and art within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD program during the employment period
  • must be based at the Dragvoll campus and formally report to the Head of the Department of Language and Literature
  • must pursue individual research and fulfil all the PhD program requirements

Aside from these duties, the PhD student is also expected to disseminate research results at conferences and take active part in the internal and public-facing activities of Narrating Sustainability and other relevant groups at NTNU

The anticipated start date for the position is January 2022.

Required selection criteria

We will rank qualified applicants based on their education experience, the quality, originality, and potential of the proposed project, its relevance for the overarching project, and their commitment to transdisciplinary and inclusive humanistic inquiry, and their personal suitability for the position.

In order to qualify for the position, the candidate must:

  • hold an MA degree in English literature or related fields (across transcontinental Anglophone literary studies)
  • demonstrate a high level of scholastic ability as reflected by a strong academic record, specified as a grade point average of at least B for the 2 last years of the MA degree program (in NTNU’s grading scale) and B or above on an MA thesis
  • possess education that corresponds to five years of higher education training, including an MA degree and a grade point average of B or above in the last 2 years of the MA program and/or B or above on the MA thesis
  • present an original and feasible research proposal related to the theme of the project
  • have basic familiarity with post/decolonial, Indigenous, critical race, feminist, transmedia, materialist, critical pedagogy, or other relevant intersectional approaches to environmental humanities (EH) and literature
  • possess very strong research skills and very good written and oral English-language skills
  • meet the requirement for admission to the PhD program in the humanities and art: 

If all, or parts, of your education have been completed abroad, the candidate will need to attach documentation (transcripts) of the scope and quality of their education at both, BA-and MA-levels, in addition to other higher education certificates. Description of the documentation required can be found here.

NOTE that that Diploma Supplement is required for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI). If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

Optional Criteria (in oder of importance)

  • Academic or professional experience in transdisciplinary research collaborations, civic engagement, action research/ activism, pedagogical outreach in any area
  • Record of conference presentations, public humanities, or publications related to the theme of the project or social / environmental justice
  • MA thesis or professional work experience with an Environmental Humanities or social/ environmental justice and literature focus
  • Demonstrated experience with any of the theoretical approaches listed above
  • Experience with comparatist research in diverse Anglophone literatures or in literature in English and another language
  • Specific interest in affect studies, reader response, or design

Personal characteristics

  • Ability to work independently and in a team
  • Curiosity and enthusiasm for transdisciplinary methods and transcultural collaborations
  • Very good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Flexibility and ability to work well under pressure
  • Commitment to building an inclusive research project and work environment

We offer

  • Generous salary and research and conference travel support
  • Stimulating and international academic research environment
  • Participation in an innovative and transdisciplinary research project and freedom to design research activities, participate in external training, and choose research methods, within the project’s boundaries
  • Access to the newly established NoRS-EH consortium and EH training network and the ANEST environmental storytelling network
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Humanities and Arts at the Faculty of the Humanities 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.

Application Process

Stage 1: application submissions:

The application must be submitted electronically through jobbnorge before the application deadline on October 15, 2021. Applications submitted after the deadline or not via the jobbnorge portal will not be considered. The application must include the following documents in English (gathered in a single PDF document).

  1. A cover letter (stating the applicant’s interests, aspirations, explaining plans to draw from and contribute to the Narrating Sustainability project and the wider NTNU’s research ecosystem, etc.). Maximum 2 pages.
  2. A research proposal connected to the Narrating Sustainability project, and a short (½-page) research plan. Maximum 4-5 pages + Works Cited.
  3. A CV (including a list of conference, presentations, collaborative, public humanities, civic, or pedagogical engagement activities, or publications, if any, and names and contact information of 2 references). Maximum 4-5 pages.
  4. Scanned copies of education certificates (originals must be presented at the interview; translation must be provided for documents not in Norwegian or English).
  5. Optional: Any additional documentation pertinent to the position advertisement (e.g. a short writing sample, conference abstracts, etc.). Maximum 5 pages.

Stage 2: Interview and references check

At this stage, the top candidates will be shortlisted, and their references will be contacted. The shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview in fall of 2021. The purpose of the interview is to assess the candidates’ projects, motivation, ambitions, interpersonal skills, and suitability for the position. If you are invited for an interview, you must submit certified copies of transcripts and up-to-date contact information for references.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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.

In accordance with The Public 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.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the research project leader, Hanna Musiol (, before submitting their application with any questions about the Narrating Sustainability project. If you have questions about the recruitment process, contact Kristian Arne Iversen (

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. 

Application deadline:  25.10.2021

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 Language and Literature

We conduct research and teaching in comparative literature, English, French, Spanish, German, Scandinavian studies, linguistics, phonetics, applied linguistics, sign language and interpreting, and cultural history. We are also responsible for the five-year master’s programmes in teacher education (lektorutdanning) in language subjects. The Department has an active research environment with responsibility for several large research projects. The Department of Language and Literature is one of six departments in the Faculty of Humanities.

Deadline 25th October 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service NTNU Dragvoll