PhD Candidate in Mathematics Education

Trondheim, Norway
06 Jun 2022
End of advertisement period
31 Aug 2022
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD candidate in mathematics education at the Department of Teacher Education

The Department of Teacher Education has about 400 employees and has teacher education programs for primary and secondary education with approximately 4000 students. The department has a broad continuing education portfolio for teachers and principals and offers bachelor, master’s, and integrated master’s degrees. Several programmes are given in collaboration with other parts of NTNU. The Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education, The Norwegian Centre for Writing Education and Research are within the department. The Department of Teacher Education (and NTNU) is the host institution for the Norwegian National Research School in Teacher Education (NAFOL). The department has extensive research activity and PhD education related to research on school and education. 

The topic of this PhD research is task design in mathematics education which is at the heart of effective mathematics teaching and learning.

An attempt has been made by the project leader to elaborate a (multidimensional) framework. In the current PhD project, the tentative framework will be refined and extended by collaborating, cooperating and communicating with mathematic teachers, lecturers, and mathematics educators. The successful candidate will conduct a research-based collaboration with (a) mathematics teachers in schools at primary and secondary levels; (b) mathematics lecturers at tertiary (university) level, and (c) mathematics educators. The focus will be on conducting semi-structured interviews with these three groups to explore (a) what principles they consider when designing tasks for teaching and research purposes, (b) what types of tasks address these principles, and (c) seek their feedback on the theoretical and practical aspect of the framework. The refined framework based on these interviews will then be further examined by mathematics teachers, lecturers, and educators to design tasks for teaching mathematics and mathematics education. 

Your immediate leader will be Head of mathematics section at the Department of Teacher education. 

Duties of the position

The PhD position provides an exciting opportunity to gain broad experience and expertise working on task design in mathematics, collaborating with mathematics teachers, lecturers, mathematics educators and international researchers. The main duties are: 

  • Complete obligatory coursework in the PhD program; 
  • Conduct semi-structured interviews with mathematics teachers, lecturers, and mathematics educators; 
  • Analyse qualitative data obtained from the interviews, and work with the project leader to refine the tentative framework; 
  • Collecting data regarding the implementation of the refined framework by mathematics teachers, lecturers, and educator; 
  • Collaborate with others and co-authoring research papers; 
  • Disseminate project findings at national/international key conferences; and 
  • Complete a PhD thesis, preferably based on referred articles published in the key journals. 

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in mathematics education or mathematics; 
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level 
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program

Master’s students who are expected to complete their master’s degree studies by summer 2022 are also encouraged to apply. Employment will then be postponed until the master’s degree is finished. 

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

  • A master’s degree in mathematics education is an advantage. 
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral). The candidates from universities outside Scandinavia and English-speaking countries are kindly requested to document English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English). 
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language will be considered an advantage. 

Personal characteristics

The candidate 

  • is good at anticipating challenges and identifying logical solutions as well as contradictions and inconsistencies; 
  • develops effective, sensible and practical solutions to challenges; 
  • is positive and enthusiastic, even in difficult situations; and 
  • keeps others informed, provides specific and constructive feedback. 

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 three years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Educational Sciences 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.

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:

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes the personal motivation, summarising scientific work, and how the applicant sees her/his background suitable; 
  • A draft research proposal (max. 4 pages) for the PhD study, where the candidate presents her/his own ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the position description. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the PhD activities; 
  • CV (summarising education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity etc); 
  • Copies of educational academic transcript of record (both bachelor and master); 
  • The documentation of English language proficiency; 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position; 
  • Name and contact information of three referees (name, relation to candidate, work e-mail and telephone number); and 
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 items). 

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

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is a strength. We want our faculty and staff to reflect Norway’s culturally diverse population and we continuously seek to hire the best minds. This enables NTNU to increase productivity and innovation, improve decision making processes, raise employee satisfaction, compete academically with global top-ranking institutions and carry out our social responsibilities within education and research. NTNU emphasizes accessibility and encourages qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender identity, ability status, periods of unemployment or ethnic and 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 Associate Professor Farzad Radmehr, telephone +47 73591897, email: 

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Adviser Aaste Line Strand, 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. Please refer to the application number SU-743 when applying.

Application deadline: August 31st, 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 Teacher Education

The Department of Teacher Education offers a full range of study programmes for primary and secondary education in Norway.

Our department supports several active research and development projects in learning, teaching, and school leadership and management, as well as artistic work. The Department of Teacher Education is part of the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences at NTNU. We offer an open and inclusive work environment.  

Deadline 31st August 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Kalvskinnet