PhD Position at the Department of Language and Literature

Trondheim, Norway
17 Apr 2018
End of advertisement period
27 May 2018
HF 18-019
Contract Type
Full Time

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU, Trondheim) offers a full-time fully funded 4-year PhD position within the European Studies group at the Department of Historical Studies, Faculty of Humanities. The PhD-position is part of the interdisciplinary project Trondheim Analytica and includes three years of research and one year of work for the department.

The project will be anchored in the Division of Literature and Cultural History. Research within the Division of Literature explores a wide variety of topics from many different cultures and eras. The Division includes specialists working on Nordic, German, French, English (British and American), and Spanish literature, as well as literary theory. Research within cultural history emphasises European political history – particularly British – as well as the history of the European Union. There is a focus on economic, social, and cultural themes, as well as the history of ideas and politics. The candidate will also be able to enter into fruitful discussions with the European Studies research group on Trust in European Governance at the History Department and will benefit from co-supervision in the Department of Computer Science. For more information see:

This call for applications invites project proposals that elaborate the theme described below. A description of the research project and a short overview of the tasks of this PhD position is available upon request from the project coordinator (

Emotion and Identity in Politics on Social Media

This PhD project seeks to answer the research question: how do political issues become emotionally meaningful for people on social media? Existing research on political movements as well as on social media tends to focus on the level of groups and networks. But movements are made up of individual actors who have to find the questions at hand important. In line with the overall aims of Trondheim Analytica, this PhD project shifts the attention to these individual users of social media. It seeks to explain democratic engagement by considering the role of emotions, stories, and identities. What is it that makes some questions relevant on a personal level? Storytelling is related to questions of identity and is vital for the creation and sustenance of political movements on social media. So are some stories more engaging than others? Do people make connections between their own life stories and the narratives promoted by politicians, activists, and organisations?

As case studies, the project may examine citizen attitudes to the EU, specifically the social media debate preceding the Brexit referendum and more or less successful campaigns aimed at fostering European identity. Through a framework that takes into account the dialogue between individual and collective narratives and the emotional side of politics, the project should seek to explain the relative success and failure of such campaigns. The candidate may use these findings to develop guidelines for constructive democratic engagement.

The main supervisor will be associate professor Astrid Rasch from the English section, the secondary supervisor will be Professor Jon Atle Gulla from the Department of Computer Science. The PhD candidate will also collaborate with the other project members of Trondheim Analytica.


The successful applicant must hold an MA degree in a relevant area: Media Studies, English, Communication, History, Anthropology, Cultural Studies or related discipline by the time the project starts. They should have strong proficiency in English and in the study of culture and discourse. Knowledge about social media, public opinion on European integration, computer programming and/or data collection will be considered of added value.

To be accepted to a PhD-programme at NTNU, you must have:

  • completed at least five years of higher education that includes a master's degree or other equivalent degree.
  • a strong academic record and a weighted average for the last two years of your master's degree equivalent to a B or higher in NTNU's grading scale.

Candidates who are currently finishing their MA/MSc may apply, provided they have completed their degree before taking up the position.

PhD study at NTNU is organized in PhD programmes. Within 3 months after appointing the successful PhD scholarship holder, he/she must apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme at the Faculty of Humanities. For further information please see


The application and the project proposal must be written in English. Educational certificates and other documents should be in English or in a Scandinavian language.

The application and attachments must be sent electronically through the website Jobbnorge (, and be marked with the file number for the postion HF 18-019.

Complete applications include:

  • a letter of motivation
  • a project proposal of up to 1.200 words outlining in further detail how the project will be carried out.
  • a full CV
  • up to two letters of recommendation

Applicants that are considered for the position will be asked for references and called in for an interview. Applications that are not sent through Jobbnorge and/or are sent after the application deadline will not be taken into consideration.

Terms and benefits

The position is remunerated according to salary level 50 in the national salary scheme, gross NOK 436.900, - annually, of which 2 per cent is deducted for the State Pension scheme.

The appointment will be made in accordance with regulations for fellowship appointments at universities, and with regulations concerning State Employees and Civil Servants. A contract will be drawn up detailing the period of appointment and required duties

Desired starting date is 1 August 2018.

The successful applicant's work place will be at the Department of Language and Literature. Primary residency in Trondheim is a prerequisite. Women are encouraged to apply.

It is a major political objective to achieve a balance of age and gender in the national labor force and to recruit persons with a diverse background. Candidates who fit the latter description are encouraged to apply.

For further information:

To receive a full description of the research project, please contact Pieter de Wilde ( Any other inquiries concerning the post should also be directed to him or to main supervisor Astrid Rasch (

Questions about the application process can be directed to administrative consultant Hege Kissten;  

For more information about the project Trondheim Analytica, please see: Trondheim Analytica

Application deadline: May 27th 2018

About this job

  • Deadline Sunday, May 27, 2018
  • Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Website
  • Municipality Trondheim
  • Jobbnorge ID 151157
  • Internal ID 2018/11661
  • Scope Fulltime
  • Duration Temporary

About applications

  • Applications on this job are registered in an electronic form on
  • You must complete: Academic CV
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