PhD Candidate in Sustainable Digitalization of Built Environments

Trondheim, Norway
Friday, 26 November 2021
End of advertisement period
Friday, 7 January 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

Research Collaboration Sustainability

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures.

NTNU is now announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary projects with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each project. Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research - Calls - NTNU

In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD students in the project Sustainability - Digital transformations - NTNU

About the position

This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree. The appointment is for 3 or 4 years, where a potential 4-year contract will include 25% dedicated to teaching.

The position is connected to the newly established project Sustainable Digital Transformations. The PhD candidate is expected to contribute to deliverables in this project. The academic discipline is computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), human-computer interaction (HCI), and information systems (IS). Envisaged publications will be in high-quality journals within the CSCW, HCI, IS and related disciplines. The research will be based on real-world case studies of built environments, including homes, neighborhoods, and cities with a focus on digitalization aspects such as sensor data, use of algorithms and platforms and their consequences.

Qualitative research, such as case studies and action research, will be the main type of research. The research will follow the principles of engaged scholarship, with a focus on user involvement. The candidate will work in an interdisciplinary group.

The research contained in this position must be aligned with the overall goals of the research group at IDI. The PhD fellow is expected to cooperate with the other members of the group to conduct empirical research and disseminate the results in high-quality outlets selected in cooperation with the supervisors. The candidate is required to develop and supervise master theses in relevant research areas. The candidates with teaching duties are also required to participate in the design and teaching of courses in related areas that are part of IDI's educational offering.

The position reports to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • Conduct empirically grounded qualitative research on sustainable digitalization of public spaces.
  • Contribute to the state of the art by developing a theoretical framework to describe the findings and inform ongoing projects.
  • Publish in international conferences and journals in the relevant fields.
  • Contribute towards the project’s deliverables, goal, and ambition.
  • Participate in professional communities within areas relevant to the position.
  • Participate in supervision of master students, and development and teaching of relevant course at IDI.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in CSCW, HCI and/or information systems.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.
  • You must document good written and oral English language skills.

The following tests can be used as such documentation of English knowledge: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • As the users and participants to the research will mostly be Norwegians, knowledge of a Scandinavian language is desired. Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken, and attend Norwegian courses upon their start in the position.
  • Experience from projects within public sector digitalization and/or smart spaces/cities.
  • Understanding of and experience with applying qualitative research methods in real-world organizations.
  • The ability and willingness to conduct research in a multidisciplinary setting.
  • Prior scientific publications in the research fields of CSCW, HCI and information systems will count as a big plus.

Personal characteristics

We emphasize personal suitability of the individual applicants. We are looking for candidates who:

  • Are passionate about research and have a high level of curiosity and willingness to learn.
  • Can document their ability to work in a team, deliver high-quality results independently, and preferably have demonstrable leadership capabilities.
  • Can demonstrate analytical skills. Potential candidates will be required to write and present an analytical text as part of their application.
  • Can demonstrate the ability to engage with users and beneficiaries of research.
  • Can demonstrate that they can rapidly acquire and apply knowledge in a research area.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement. NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

We offer

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 or 4 years (4-year contracts will include 25% teaching tasks).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in information technology 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 on a daily basis. The position is located at NTNU's Gløshaugen campus in Trondheim.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English or in a Scandinavian language.

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.

The application must contain:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience.
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas for the whole bachelor and master’s degree. An English translation of all education documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.
  • A project description of 3-5 pages, including
    • A short presentation of the motivation for applying to this position.
    • How the candidate sees her/his background as suitable.
    • Theoretical and methodological knowledge about the research area. A sketch of important research problems and questions.
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons.
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis.
  • PDF copies of prior publications, with associated bibliographical data.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

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.

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.

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 Babak Farshchian, telephone +47 73593677, email

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 2021/59033 when applying.

Application deadline: 07.01.2022

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 Computer Science

We are the leading academic IT environment in Norway, and offer a wide range of theoretical and applied IT programmes of study at all levels. Our subject areas include hardware, algorithms, visual computing, AI, databases, software engineering, information systems, learning technology, HCI, CSCW, IT operations and applied data processing. The Department has groups in both Trondheim and Gjøvik. The Department of Computer Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

Deadline 7th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Campus Gløshaugen

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