Research Position in Ethics/RRI Technology for a Good Society

Trondheim, Norway
15 Oct 2020
End of advertisement period
10 Nov 2020
HF 20-041
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

This researcher position is at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies (IFR) at the Dragvoll campus, NTNU Trondheim. The position has a duration of 1,5 years. It offers challenging and varied tasks in a research group engaged in fundamental as well as applied questions in bioethics and theory of science.

The research group members have been and are currently part of various multidisciplinary research projects. The researcher will work in close collaboration with Associate Professor Rune Nydal and Associate Professor Lars Ursin.

The project

The research task of this position consists of the ethics and RRI work package of the multidisciplinary research project Bio-engineered palladium nanoparticles (BEDPAN).

The BEDPAN project deals with palladium nanoparticles (Pd NPs) that have a wide range of applications in chemical catalysis, fuel cells, antimicrobial textile coatings, and targeted cancer treatments. Flaws of current production modes prevent its innovation potential, however, and the BEDPAN project aims to develop a more efficient and environmentally friendly production process involving microbe modification to release that potential.

BEDPAN will interact with relevant industry in the development process, as the fine-tuning of the Pd NPs physical size and shape ultimately need to be validated in relevant application contexts. In order to succeed, the BEDPAN project thus needs to identify and be responsive to the current needs of relevant industry, preference of consumers, and governmental policy and regulation.

Central to the BEDPAN project is engineering bacterial strains to make Pd NPs with tailored properties, by fine-tuning their size and shape in a systems biology approach. This novel production mode might open up for novel qualities of Pd NPs to be explored in new products and product use contexts. Such novel uses need to be handled in terms of risk assessments, commercial use, and IPR protection. Such novel uses should also be analyzed in terms of broader requirements of social responsibility involving work of anticipation and reflection on possible societal and environmental challenges and impacts.

The successful applicant will research the ethos of the BEDPAN project. Researching the ethos means exploring the normative good that drive innovation processes. The aim is to analyze ideals of and challenges to good scientific practice: What does it mean to do good research – in a wide sense? This further engages questions of how basic researchers, stakeholders and industry partners understand their role in solving global environmental and societal grand challenges, and which visions of global development and good societies that motivate the research.

Qualification requirements

  • We require a PhD in philosophy, ethics, bioethics, RRI, or equivalent
  • Interest in normative bioethics and/or theory of science
  • High motivation for both disciplinary and multidisciplinary research cooperation
  • Ability to work and write both independently and in a team
  • Eagerness to present work in progress in research group meetings and at workshops and conferences
  • Written and oral fluency in English

Emphasis will also be placed on:

  • Prior relevant academic output
  • Prior relevant job experience
  • Fluency in one of the Scandinavian languages
  • Communication abilities
  • Motivation and personal aptitude

We offer

Salary and conditions

The gross salary for the position of researcher (code 1109) is normally remunerated at gross from NOK 500.000 – 615.000 before tax per year, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund,

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. 

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

About the application

The application and supporting documentation must be in English.

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.

Please submit your application electronically using the appropriate link in Applicants will only be assessed based on the information submitted. The applicant is responsible to ensure that everything is submitted by the deadline of November 1st 2020.

Please complete the online application form. In addition, the following PDFs must be attached:

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation for this position, how your skills and experience relate to the research project, and a description of your previous work and academic interests
  • A list of publications, and if applicable English language test scores, and other supporting documents (like proof of the candidates’ study and language abilities)
  • Contact information of 1-2 persons of reference, preferably academic supervisor(s)

Chosen applicants will be invited to undergo an interview.

Candidates from universities outside Norway are requested to send a Diploma Supplement or similar official document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

Candidates from non-English speaking countries outside the Nordic countries must provide official documentation of their English competence. Approved tests and results are:

  • TOEFL: 600 / writing 4.5 (paper-based test), 92 / writing 22 (internet- based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS tests accepted)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): grade A or B

In the assessment of the best qualified applicant, we will emphasize education, experience and personal suitability as well as your motivation for the position. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. This means that we pay special attention to the quality and professional breadth of these works. We also consider experience from research management and participation in research projects. We place great emphasis on your scientific work from the last five years.

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.

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 Associate Professor Lars Ursin, telephone +47 73 59 75 78, email

Please submit your application and supporting documentation via If you are invited for interview, you must bring certified copies of certificates and diplomas. Mark the application with reference number: HF 20-041

Application deadline: 10.11.2020

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 Philosophy and Religious Studies

We conduct research and teaching in philosophy and religious studies, and offer education at bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral level in both subject areas. We are also responsible for the introductory course examen philosophicum for all of NTNU. The Department has an active and international research environment. The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Humanities.

Deadline 10th November 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Jobbnorge ID 194425

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