PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology

Trondheim, Norway
Jul 10, 2020
End of advertisement period
Aug 31, 2020
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate to be affiliated at the Department of Social Anthropology. This is a 3-year PhD position without teaching duties. It is an educational position that provides a promising research recruit the opportunity for professional development through studies towards a PhD degree.

The position will report to the Head of Department of Social Anthropology at NTNU. 

About the position

This position builds research capacity within the social sciences at NTNU on the topic of the New Arctic and Digital Ocean (NADO). The NADO initiative is associated with NTNU Oceans. In addition to actively taking part in NTNU Oceans, the PhD candidate will also participate in activities organized by other relevant communities such as Pilot on Arctic Marine EnvironmentTeam SocietyNTNU Energy, and relevant Research Areas from NTNU Oceans. The Department of Social Anthropology’s Organizations and Sustainability research group will promote collaboration between the candidate and involved research communities through events and initiatives that the candidate is expected to participate in.

The PhD candidate will collaborate on research that frames the “New Arctic” predominantly characterized by the rapidly and radically transforming Arctic Ocean as inextricable from infrastructures, representational techniques, and systems of governance through which it is rendered as a digital ocean. In turn, the PhD candidate will produce original research on the emerging New Arctic–digital ocean complex via select intersections into the geo-economics of Arctic resources, logistics, and finance; forms of valuing information of environmental technologies; the geopolitics of polar militarism and international law; and geophysical observation, modeling, and simulation. This will entail interrogating the interface between digital ocean platforms, technologies, and institutions and forms of knowledge production outside dominant scientific paradigms. Key themes include exploring ways that environmental technologies and data are valued not only in scientific terms but also in economic, political and cultural ways including relationships involving risk and security. Research and collaboration are expected to be robustly grounded in the project’s various institutional hubs (UC Berkeley, UiT), providing comparative and conjunctural research, while centered at NTNU with its strength in Arctic studies and the presence of marine fisheries, extractive and energy industries in Norway. 

Duties of the position

  • complete a training component as part of the PhD degree of a minimum of 30 ECTS
  • contribute to Organization and Sustainability research group programming and participate in the research community at the Department of social anthropology
  • participate in activities organized through NTNU Oceans 
  • disseminate knowledge in relevant national and international venues such as conference attendance and/or research stays at educational institutions abroad
  • participate in NTNU sponsored Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe initiatives

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 anthropology or related fields and equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Due to the interdisciplinarity nature of this position a Master degree in Arctic engineering, management or other Arctic disciplines may be relevant. But, in this case the candidate needs to document the relevance of her/his academic background.

If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet the grade criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

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.

  • other required selection criteria
  • other required selection criteria

Preferred selection criteria

  • an interest in ethnographic fieldwork or related anthropologically-grounded research 
  • excellent knowledge of written and spoken English
  • experience from Arctic communities and Arctic field work  
  • capacity and interest in cross-disciplinary research teams is a prerequisite. 
  • candidates should have the ability to cooperate, have good communication skills

Personal characteristics

  • a high level of individual responsibility
  • initiative, and ability to work in project teams
  • curiosity and interest in international research
  • social adaptability and communication skills (oral, written and visual)

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

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 three years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Social Sciences with specialization in social anthropology, 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 national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant, 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

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

General information

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.

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

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 Arthur Mason, e-mail

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Lillian Johansen, e-mail:

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-430 when applying.

Application deadline: 31.08.2020

About the application

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

The application should contain documentation about the applicant’s education and exams.

The application must also include:

  • CV (2 pages max)
  • a research statement (2- 3 pages of text including notes and references) that matches the position/project description in English
  • 2 references
  • scientific publications (if you have any)
  • a publication list if available

For more information on the overall research project of which the PhD position is part, please contact Associate Professor Arthur Mason ( 

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. 

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.

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).

For more information on the overall research project of which the PhD position is part, please contact Associate Professor Arthur Mason ( 

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 Social Anthropology

We explore topics such as global inequality, ways of living, sustainable development, multicultural working life and global systems of production. We have also a socio-anthropological approach to technology, in which we study technological development and the use of technology in the light of the modern global context as well as the cultural consequences of technological change. The Department of Social Anthropology is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

Deadline 31st August 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Dragvoll