PhD Candidate in Human-Environment Geography

Trondheim, Norway
09 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
01 Dec 2021
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Geography
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Geography has an opening for a PhD candidate in human-environment geography. This is a three year position with the possibility of additional time for teaching duties. The position is related to the theme of ‘gathering and commoning with wild species in Norway’ and environmental governance, and located in the ‘political ecology’ research group.

Thematic focus

Wild plants and fungi are the building blocks of ecosystems and represent a significant source of global biodiversity. They provide living materials for a range of human needs and wants, and have potential to help us address micro to macro environmental challenges. Gathering wild plants and fungi provides food, income and nutritional diversity for an estimated 1 in 5 people around the world, in particular women, children, and others in vulnerable situations. Results of surveys conducted in Europe, North America, and the United Kingdom over the last 20 years suggest high rates of participation in gathering by individuals and households. In Norway it is well known that collecting wild foods is a popular activity through amateur societies, clubs, and as part of traditional family practice.

In addition to these biophysical, material and cultural elements, at the local level gathering wild plants and fungi provides a key way in which people interact with and “know nature”, which in turn influences their motivations and perspectives on nature conservation and environmental policy. At the international level Norway participates in biodiversity governance through active membership in such platforms as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and is positioning itself to be a global leader in biodiversity conservation and sustainability.

This research project will examine the intersection of these domestic-facing practices and the international-facing science-policy agendas of the Norwegian government at national and international levels. Identifying synergies and tensions across scales can uncover potential issues for environmental management and the uptake of biodiversity agendas by local and regional communities. The analysis will contribute to theory building on emplaced sustainability and the inclusion of diverse knowledge and value systems in biodiversity governance.

You will report to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • Develop and carry out a PhD project on the theme ‘Gathering and commoning with wild species in Norway’
  • Teaching and supervision in association with the bachelor’s and master’s programs in geography
  • Other duties that may arise on a case-by-case basis in discussion with the supervisor

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions.

  • The qualification requirement is a completed master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in human geography or equivalent education
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education,with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.
  • Knowledge of qualitative methodology and demonstrated experience using qualitative methods
  • Fluency in Norwegian or any other Scandinavian language
  • Very good written and oral English
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program in Social Sciences with a specialization in Geography.

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

  • Ability to spend weeks to months in the field for data collection
  • Working knowledge of common wild plants and mushrooms found in Norwegian forests
  • Very good written and oral Norwegian or another Scandinavian language

Personal characteristics

Qualities such as a willingness to learn independently and with others, good communication, motivation to contribute to a positive working environment, and ability to adapt to changing conditions and situations are important characteristics for success.

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 four years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in PhD program in social science specializing in geography 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.

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  

About the application

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

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 include: 

  • CV
  • certificates and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees
  • research plan or project proposal of maximum five pages (excl. references) and in line with the thematic priorities above
  • academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 3 works)
  • name and address of three referees

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.

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.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Elizabeth Barron, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Johansen, e-mail:

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 SU-660​ when applying.

Application deadline: 01.12.2021

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 Geography

We conduct research and teach in subject areas related to the major societal challenges of our time: climate change, migration, urbanization, economic transition and environmental threats. We have a robust fieldwork tradition, and our teaching activities are closely linked to our research. The Department of Geography is one of seven departments at the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

Deadline 1st December 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Dragvoll