PhD Position in Digital Infrastructures and Citizen Empowerment

Trondheim, Norway
17 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has a vacancy for a 100% position as a PhD research fellowship affiliated with the Department of Computer Science (IDI) at Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (IE)

This position is one of 4 positions within the project Digital Infrastructures and citizen empowerment (DICE):, and 

Information about the department

The Department of Computer Science currently has 24 professors and 14 associate professors. In addition there are 16 adjunct associate professors, 23 postdoctoral researchers, approx. 65 active PhD students, and 18 technical/administrative staff. Five of the tenured scientific positions are held by women, and eight are from other countries than Norway.

Work description

This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree.

Digitalization has created disruptive and deeply transformative processes in all areas of society and all aspects of social life. The DICE project will focus critically on the development of digital infrastructures and the various ways in which they overtly or covertly shape life changes, in order to reduce economic and political risks, provide a basis for better governance and improve societal preparedness related to digitalization. The project we will analyze and evaluate both the public benefits and risks that digital infrastructures pose to democracy and citizen empowerment across four key fields of social life: access to media and culture, enabling of citizen-government relations, empowerment in social interaction, and autonomy and influence in working life. The project is the first truly comparative study internationally of the influence of digital infrastructures across social fields. The project will have a total of four PhD students, of which one is at the Department of Computer Science.

The position at the Department of Computer Science will focus on workers empowerment, identifying challenges and opportunities related to worker’s autonomy and influence in the age of automation and robotization. How are practices, competence, control and power restructured through digital infrastructuring? The first case will be the new electronic medical record system currently being procured for all hospitals in central Norway. How are the users involved in the procurement and deployment processes, and how does it affect their working life? The second case will most probably be in the financial sector.

The research will be carried out in an interdisciplinary environment between department of Computer Science and Department of Sociology and Political Science at NTNU.

All of the ph.d. positions are connected to the research program DICE, and applicants are requested to read the project description carefully. The project plan is available at

The candidate will be responsible for conducting the research within the respective subproject of DICE, and shall conduct this in co-operation with supervisor and the intentions of the DICE project plan.

The candidate shall deliver empirical material and contribute to the comparative analyses, that are an overarching goal of DICE.

The candidate shall participate and co-operate actively with the other candidates in the DICE-project and the members of the research group “Digitalization and social life”, i.e. contribute to the organization of meetings, seminars and workshops, and disseminate from the project through scientific publishing and on websites, blogs and social media.

The appointment is for a term of 3 years without teaching assistance, or up to 4 years including 25% teaching assistance.


We seek a highly-motivated individual holding a master’s degree in computer science or similar with experience doing empirical qualitative research on user involvement (user-centred design) and/or information systems research. The average grade must be B or better.

The applicant should have good communication skills and be willing to collaborate with other researchers in the cross-disciplinary group of people connected to this project.

See here for regulations concerning appointment and promotion to teaching and research posts:

Language requirements

The main working languages are Norwegian and English. As the informants are mostly Norwegian, skills in a Scandinavian Language is desired, but not required.

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. 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.

Formal regulations

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.

Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU. Together with the application, include a description of the research work that is planned for completion during the period of the grant.

Salary conditions

The position is in code 1017 Research fellow, and is remunerated at a gross NOK 436.900 – 537.700 per year, depending on qualifications. A deduction of 2% is made as a statutory contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.


We can offer

  • an informal and friendly workplace with dedicated colleagues
  • academic challenges
  • attractive schemes for housing loan, insurance and pension in 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. We encourage especially women to apply.

The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector, and assessments regarding the legislations regulating export control and knowledge transfer.

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. 

For further information about the position, please contact Professor Dag Svanæs (

The application

The application must be sent electronically through this page ( with information about education and relevant experience (preferably, all in one combined PDF file). Mark the application with the IE code given below.

The application must contain information of educational background and prior training, exams, and work experience. In addition, the applicant must submit a research statement (max. 3 pages), detailing research interests and initial plans with regard to the above project description. The statement should also describe why the applicant is suited for the position, and how the DICE project relates to previous education, research and competence. Describe 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 DICE project. Publications and other work that the applicant wishes to be taken into account must be enclosed (including a brief description of the contribution if not obvious).

The application must contain:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree
  • Research statement (max. 3 pages) including
    • A short presentation of the motivation for a PhD study
    • How the applicant sees his/her background suitable,
    • The applicant’s view of research challenges within the area of the PhD position
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis (1 page, delivery of master thesis no later than June 30th.)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Signing of the employment contract should happen within 01.09.2018.

More information regarding moving to Trondheim, Norway, and working at NTNU:

The application deadline is: May 27, 2018

Mark the application: IE-074-2018

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Place of service Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 151325
  • Internal ID 2018/10860
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Standard CV
  • Please refer to where you first saw this job advertised!