PhD Candidate in Eco-Visualization for Zero Emission Neighborhoods

Trondheim, Norway
29 Apr 2022
End of advertisement period
07 Aug 2022
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Psychology
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position 

We have a vacancy for a 3 years PhD fellowship without teaching duties or up to 4 years with teaching duties, depending on the candidate´s match with the teaching needs of the Department. Trondheim is the place of duty.

The candidate will be situated at the Department of Computer Science, Trondheim, and will be a member of the Research Centre on Zero Emission Neighborhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN) in the work package on “Pilot projects and living labs” (WP6).  The ZEN center creates solutions for the zero emission buildings and neighborhoods of the future low carbon society. ZEN has nine pilot projects spread over Norway. The pilot projects are test areas that aim at reducing their greenhouse gas emissions towards zero within their life cycle.

Serving as innovation hubs, this is where the project tests new solutions for developing zero emission neighborhoods. The pilot projects reflect the interdisciplinary character of the center as different parties are working together: building professionals, property developers, public authorities, energy companies, building owners and users, and of course the researchers.

The focus of the PhD is eco-visualization, defined as “the dynamic means of revealing the consequences of resource use in order to promote sustainable behavior, decision making and/or attitudes.” (

The pilot projects include both new and well-established areas that will be upgraded and developed further, involve more than 30.000 people, and cover more than 1 mio. square meters. (

The main supervisor of the position will be Erica Löfström. You will report to the Head of IDI. 

Duties of the position

The candidate will work specifically on one or more of the ZEN pilot projects to develop eco-visualizations for households and neighborhoods. This includes:

  • a. To map and categorize existing eco-visualization theories and concepts relevant for zero emission neighborhoods.
  • b. To develop a toolbox of eco-visualization concepts and/or prototypes of different functionality levels relevant for zero emission neighborhoods.

The ZEN neighborhood(s) will be used as test site(s) for developing the concepts. In addition, the ZEN living lab(s) will be used for testing of evaluation of the developed prototypes and concepts. 

The project is multi-disciplinary, drawing on expertise in the team from user-centered design, human computer interaction, information systems research, environmental psychology and the social sciences. The PhD supervisors have an extensive international network in the above areas of expertise. 

Required 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 an area of relevance for the project, 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.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.
  • A master degree in a relevant field of study. Relevant educational backgrounds include, but are not limited to: design (interaction-, product- and co-design etc.), human-computer interaction, architecture, social sciences and behavioral sciences.
  • Applicants must document well-developed analytical and problem solving skills, be motivated for doing research, and be able to work independently (short essay).
  • Good written and oral English skills.

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.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Applicants with an interdisciplinary background will be looked upon favorably. 
  • Experience with co-design, prototyping, qualitative/quantitative user studies, and/or usability testing, will also be looked upon favorably.
  • Good written and oral skills in a Scandinavian language is an advantage.

Personal characteristics

  • Good levels of cooperative and communicative skills are important. 
  • Works together with others across established reporting lines.
  •  Approaches others to develop new relationships or strengthen existing ones.
  • Relates to other people in an open and accepting way.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross 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 3 years without teaching duties or 4 years with teaching duties, depending on the candidate´s match with the teaching needs of the department. 

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Computer Science 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.

The successful applicant is required to remain a resident of Trondheim throughout the entire project period (no exceptions).

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 candidate(s) must submit a short essay (max. 1000 words) together with the application. The essay shall describe:

  1. at least one relevant project where the applicant had a major role (e.g. research project, course project, thesis work, start-up, hobby project), and show how it relates to the challenges of the PhD topic as described above, and
  2. suggest how the applicant would involve users in the pilot neighborhood(s) in developing eco-visualizations (

The main working languages are Norwegian and English. The candidate is expected to possess strong skills in oral and written English. As the end users are Norwegian, skills in a Scandinavian Language is desired, but not required.

The application must include:

  • A cover letter including an explanation of how your research interests and background would fit the position.
  • Information about education and relevant experience (a CV).
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates.
  • Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. 
  • A short essay (max. 1000 words) as described above, documenting at least one relevant project where the applicant had a major role, how it relates to the challenges in the eco-visualization project, and a suggestion for how to involve users in the design process.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

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.

If the applicant’s mother tongue is not English or a Scandinavian language, and the Master’s Degree is not from an English-speaking country, the following tests can be used as documentation of English language skills: TOEFL, IELTS and 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

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

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

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.

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.

Potential successful candidates will be interviewed via Skype or other means.

For further information, please contact associate professor Erica Löfström,, phone: +47 47 66 87 66 or professor Dag Svanæs, e-mail:, phone: +47 73 59 18 42.

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 an interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2021/9216 when applying. 

Application deadline: 07.08.22

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