PhD Candidate within Interdisciplinary Cooperation for Sustainability

Trondheim, Norway
25 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
07 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

PhD candidate within Interdisciplinary cooperation for Sustainability

There is a PhD position available at the Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management section Experts in teamwork. The position is resident at NTNUs campus in Trondheim. It is an educational position, which will provide promising research talents the opportunity for professional development towards a PhD-degree. The position is connected to the PhD program at the Faculty of Economics and Management and the faculty will be your employer.


The section Experts in teamwork is a professional environment within interdisciplinary collaboration.

The section's research covers interdisciplinary collaboration within the areas of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship, learning and teaching in higher education, and team. Research in the section Experts in teamwork will contribute to new insights for higher education, for business and for the public sector.

It has the overall professional responsibility for the implementation of the course Experts in teams (EiT), which is compulsory for all students at a higher degree at NTNU. In addition, the section is now in a process of offering training to other teams, including at PhD level.

About the position

The purpose of this position is to develop new knowledge about the role and impact of interdisciplinary cooperation in projects for sustainability. The candidate is to investigate if and how interdisciplinarity in projects leads to increased sustainability. The candidate’s project is to build on an understanding of sustainability where the social and economic development must take place within planetary boundaries. Moreover, NTNU is guided by UNESCOs key competencies for sustainability, and this project will be focused on the competences of interdisciplinary collaboration, system thinking and normative competences.

There are two data sources at NTNU available for this analysis. The first is linked to 9 new interdisciplinary research projects at NTNU starting in 2022. The participants of the 9 projects will be offered training in the competence of interdisciplinary collaboration. 

The other and larger data source is the EiT compulsory course at master level. The course's goal is for students to develop interdisciplinary collaborative skills by reflecting on and learning from specific collaborative situations in the implementation of a project. The projects are largely about how to achieve increased sustainability. With about 3,000 students divided into 600 student teams working within different frameworks (physical, hybrid and fully digital), there are unique opportunities for both quantitative and qualitative research. A survey is conducted every year among all students that can be used as an instrument in research, including data from previous years.

The PhD candidate will be supervised by Associate Professor Heidi Rapp Nilsen with co-supervision by colleagues from the section Experts in teamwork, or at other relevant Departments depending on the profile of the candidate. 

The 100% position will be fully funded for 4 years. 25% of the position is dedicated to department duties which may include research assistance or teaching students and educational staff related to the courses offered by the section Experts in teamwork.

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 the fields specified below, or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Candidates who will complete their master’s degree in the spring semester of 2022 may also apply. 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.

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. 

Required selection criteria

  • A master’s degree in Industrial Economics and Technology Management, Sustainability sciences, or a related field relevant for the theme of this position. Candidates who will complete their master’s degree in the spring semester of 2022 may also apply.
  • Documented theoretical and practical understanding of one or more of the topics mentioned in this announcement.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both written and spoken.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Experience with sustainability research 
  • Experience with interdisciplinary cooperation as a research theme
  • Communication skills in Norwegian, both written and spoken
  • A relevant existing national or international professional network

Personal characteristics

We are searching for candidates who are

  • Result oriented 
  • Enjoy working independently as well as cooperate in interdisciplinary teams
  • Able to network professionally and disseminate research 
  • Able to communicate information and results with clarity and ease, both orally and in writing.

We offer

  • An opportunity to analyze 9 new interdisciplinary research projects for sustainability at NTNU  
  • Access to data from 3500 master students at NTNU working interdisciplinary for sustainability
  • An opportunity to become an expert in a topic of high importance for realising Sustainable Development Goals
  • An existing international network of relevant scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs
  • An open and inclusive interdisciplinary work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • Favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Employee benefits

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017 and are remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 per annum before tax. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 4 years with 25% duties related to teaching or research, in agreement with the section.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Industrial Economics and Technology Management 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.

About the application

Applications must include:

  • Application letter (1-2 A4) concerning your motivation for undertaking a PhD as well as your reflections on your suitability and ambitions for the position. 
  • Project proposal (2-4 pages) where you present the idea for the PhD project, including theoretical and methodological approach. The proposal’s focus must be linked to interdisciplinary cooperation for sustainability, but the emphasis within this broad theme is up to the candidate to suggest.
  • A complete CV with information on education, previous research experience, together with authorized documentation of certificates and study records.

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

Any publications as master’s thesis and other scientific work must follow the application. Publications can be in their original language. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your contribution.

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

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. 

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. 

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 Associate professor Heidi Rapp Nilsen, via email . 

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, contact HR Consultant Svein Olav Antonsen,

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas, certificates and publications. 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)

Application deadline: 7 January 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.

Faculty of Economics and Management

The Faculty of Economics and Management is NTNU’s newest faculty, with academic communities in Trondheim, Ålesund and Gjøvik. Our research and programmes of study cover a wide range within economics, management and technology, focusing on interdisciplinarity and collaboration at regional, national and international levels. Our academic groups are important contributors to Norwegian industry and economic policy. The Faculty has four departments and a Faculty administration. 

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