PhD Candidate in the Area of ICT for Sustainable Cities

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

Research Collaboration Sustainability

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures.

NTNU is now announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary projects with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each project. Interdisciplinary Sustainability Research - Calls - NTNU

In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD students in the project Sustainability - Built environments by SWELL - NTNU

About the position

Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Computer Science (IDI), has the following vacancy:

PhD research fellowship position within “ICT for Sustainable Cities”.

This PhD position is one of four PhD fellowships within a multi-disciplinary project SWELL (Sustainable Built Environments for better Health and Well-being), which is a collaboration among the Department of Computer Science (IDI), Department of Neuromedicine and Movement Science (INB) and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (IBM). The SWELL project’s goal is to address the complex interaction between individual Humans’ HWB (health and wellbeing) and the Built Environment (BE). For additional information about the SWELL project, see link.

This particular PhD fellowship will focus on the use of ICT to affect behaviour change among individuals and communities by raising awareness about their own carbon footprint and lifestyle, through their daily activities, e.g. mobility choices and short and long term goals. This activity will support citizens make decisions to transition to a more sustainable future, using an ICT-enabled “personal/community-based sustainability manager”, which could help short and long term planning and make trade-offs, through a better understanding of sustainability. It will enhance the human-in-the-loop and make them active participants through increased understanding of sustainability. The work will be based on the Urban Living Labs methodology to engage and work with citizens to co-design solutions. The technologies and solutions that will be explored will include pervasive and ubiquitous technologies that could be used to relate the global/national Sustainable Development Goals (e.g. UN SDGs) and climate related goals to citizens’ behaviours. The research will explore how ICT solution(s) can be designed and developed to enhance citizens’ understanding of health and sustainable choices, achieve a broader outreach to larger and varied groups of people, and scalable technology that has the potential to engage a variety of stakeholders (e.g. educators, communities, investors, public authorities and service providers).

You will report to the Head of the Department.

Duties of the position

The research activities will focus on the role of ICT in supporting better health and well-being in built environments and cities. The candidate will be a member of the Information Systems and Software Engineering research group.

We are seeking a highly motivated individual that wants to excel in a research environment. Part of the main duties and responsibilities include conducting the following tasks: 

  • Develop a systemic understanding of Sustainability and SDGs, particularly within the scope of the SWELL project.
  • Engage with citizens through Urban Living Lab activities, to gather needs, ideas and feedback.
  • Conduct literature reviews related to the relevant research areas.
  • Prototype ICT solutions and conduct evaluation studies.
  • Publish scientific articles.
  • Participate in the collaborative activities within the SWELL project and other activities related to Sustainability at NTNU and internationally.
  • Submit PhD thesis.

Required selection criteria

For this position, the selection committee will prioritise candidates with a strong knowledge of personal and persuasive technologies and the application of ICT for sustainability related research and activities. The following qualifications are required:

  • Documented strong background in the design and development of personal, persuasive and/or ubiquitous technologies.
  • Experience with designing and developing interactive systems.
  • Experience and/or knowledge in the area of sustainability and sustainable cities.
  • Knowledge on quantitative and qualitative research methods.
  • Programming skills.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the PhD in Computer Science.
  • Good written and oral English skills.

Preferred selection criteria

The following qualifications will be considered as advantages:

  • Experience in conducting activities using participatory methods such as co-design workshops and Living Labs.
  • Published or submitted relevant research work.
  • Excellent written and oral Norwegian language skills will be beneficial.

Excellent English skills, written and spoken, are required. Applicants from non-European countries where English is not the official language must present an official language test report. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with related collaborative projects.

Emphasis will be put on personal qualities and potential as a researcher. High importance will also be attached to personal communication and cooperation skills. 

Personal characteristics

  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.
  • You are motivated to contribute to a more sustainable future.
  • Strong motivation to contribute to good working and social environment.

We seek an ambitious and highly motivated individual with a Masters degree in Information Systems. Applicants are required to justify their candidateship by explicitly explaining their personal motivation and academic aptitude for pursuing a doctoral degree within this research field.

Applicants that expect to complete their Master’s degree studies by summer 2021 can apply.

Academic results, publications, relevant specialisation, work or research experience, personal qualifications and motivations will be considered when evaluating the application.

It is a prerequisite that the PhD scholar applies for and is granted admission to the NTNU PhD studies as soon as possible after employment. NTNUs PhD-rules require a master’s degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average ECTS grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best). Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU.

Appointments are made in accordance with the regulations in force regarding terms of employment for PhD candidates issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, with relevant parts of the additional guidelines for appointment as a PhD candidate at NTNU.

Applicants must undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme of study during their period of employment. The person who is appointed must comply with the conditions that apply at any time to employees in the public sector. In addition, a contract will be signed regarding the period of employment.

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  

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 Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of the gender, disability or cultural background.

Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

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.

The period of employment is 3 years.

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

About the application

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

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:

  • One-page cover letter including your motivation and how your background would fit the position. 
  • CV, including information relevant for the qualifications and contact information for at least 2 reference persons.
  • Certificates and Diplomas.
  • Applicants from universities outside of Norway are requested to send a diploma supplement (or a similar document) which describes in detail the study and grading system, and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.
  • A Research statement (max. 3 pages) including:
    • A short presentation of the motivation for a PhD study in this topic.
    • Why the applicant is suited for the position.
    • The applicant’s view of research challenges for the PhD position, as well as his/her theoretical and methodological approach to the challenges.
  • The Master’s thesis and any other academic work - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (max 5). Joint work will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint work, 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 suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement. 

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.

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.

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 Sobah Abbas Petersen, email, or Head of Department Prof. Heri Ramampiaro, email:

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. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline: 07.01.2022

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.

Department of Computer Science 

We are the leading academic IT environment in Norway, and offer a wide range of theoretical and applied IT programmes of study at all levels. Our subject areas include hardware, algorithms, visual computing, AI, databases, software engineering, information systems, learning technology, HCI, CSCW, IT operations and applied data processing. The Department has groups in both Trondheim and Gjøvik. The Department of Computer Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

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

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