PhD in Science and Technology Studies

Trondheim, Norway
15 Oct 2019
End of advertisement period
15 Nov 2019
HF 19-033
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

There is a temporary position available at the Department of interdisciplinary studies of culture as a PhD candidate ( The position is a fixed-term position with the primary goal of qualifying for work in professional or academic research positions. This is one of four positions announced simultaneously, within the new PhD cluster S-MOB, the other three departments being the Department of Sociology and Political Science, the Department of Psychology, and the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology.

The successful candidate will become part of the Centre for Energy, Climate and Environment, and will be a central member of a newly established strategic initiative analyzing sustainable mobility (S-Mob) from a social scientific perspective. The PhD will work closely with other projects on energy transitions at the department and will also participate in activities organized through FME NTRANS (

Main duties and responsibilities

The candidate will work on a project tentatively titled: Innovation, engagement and justice across the life cycle: a socio-technical analysis of resource flows serving Nordic mobility transitions. Current low carbon scenarios highlight road transport electrification as a key to achieving a world with less than 2 degrees global warming. Large-scale electrification of shipping and aviation is further away, but the technology is developing rapidly. While battery technology might allow for the pursuit of technology substitution strategies in places like Norway, they are also based on resources that opens a set of new industrial opportunities across places and scales, new global commodity chains as well as new social, political and environmental controversies. Such controversies and new socio-technical relations might also feed into new modes of public engagement with energy transition issues and broader environmental issues, and possibly feed into consumer choices. Hence, this topic benefits from insights rooted in fields as diverse as political science, psychology, sociology and industrial economics.

Rooted in the interdisciplinary field of science and technology studies (STS), this PhD project will explore the socio-technical relations that batteries enter from cradle to grave. Through a set of targeted case studies focusing on sites of resource extraction, battery production and finally battery disposal and recycling practices, the PhD candidate will explore ways in which battery technologies spurs new forms of innovation, controversy and engagement around sustainable mobility transitions. The case studies will provide much-needed practice-oriented analyses of processes that in academic terms have been primarily studied through life cycle analysis. The case studies will represent complex temporal “snapshots”, which serve to illustrate the complexity of the ecological, technological, industrial and commercial realities that battery technologies are part of through their life span.

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Science and technology studies (STS) or other relevant social science and humanities disciplines (examples include sociology, human geography, anthropology, political science etc.) or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates 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, postdoctor and research assistant

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

Other qualifications

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent with excellent results in science and technology Studies (STS) or other relevant social scientific or humanities disciplines (e.g. sociology, human geography, anthropology, political science).
  • Applicants must have a strong record from their previous studies and must have a weighted average grade for the last two years of their master's or equivalent education (equivalent to 120 ECTS credits) of B or higher in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation.
  • Has an interest in, and preferably experience with, empirical qualitative research methods.
  • Ability to conduct empirical data collection through a series of qualitative case studies
  • Ability to analyze data through theories and concepts from science and technology studies
  • Experience with, or interest in, social scientific research that explores societal aspects of new technologies
  • Aptitude for both collaboration and individual work
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Experience in interdisciplinary work will be regarded as an advantage
  • Personal suitability to enter cross-disciplinary research teams. Suitable candidates should have the ability to cooperate, have good communication skills, be flexible and solution-oriented

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 before tax per year. 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 admission to the PhD programme in Social Sciences, specializing in sociology or political science.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

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 criterias 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.

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. Under the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

About the application:

The application should contain:

  • CV
  • A letter of motivation describing your scholarly profile which relates to the project (1-2 pages).
  • References
  • A list of publications (if any)

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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):

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please refer to the application number HF 19-033 when applying.

For further information about the position, contact Professor Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, +47 73550189,

Application deadline: 15.11.2019

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.

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities offers a wide range of study programmes in the humanities, and is Norway’s second largest faculty of humanities measured in the number of students. We develop leading academic groups in the action-oriented humanities, as well as innovative and inquiry-based teaching and learning. The Faculty consists of six departments as well as a Faculty administration.

Deadline 15th November 2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary

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