PhD Candidate in anthropology - Joint PhD degree between University of Oslo and University of Leuven University of Oslo, Department of Social Anthropology Norway

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.


The Department of Social Anthropology is part of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Since its establishment in 1964, the Department has been a leading anthropological research and teaching environemnt internationally. It is one of the largest university departments for social anthropology in Europe and the largest in the Nordic countries, offering a broad and creative work environment. Approximately 400 students are currently enrolled in the Bachelor and Master programmes at the Department. The Faculty of Social Sciences offers a PhD program, with 330 students currently enrolled. Of these, about thirty are currently following the study track in Social Anthropology.


KU Leuven


KU Leuven is dedicated to education and research in nearly all fields, its 15 faculties offer education, accommodating more than 55.000 students. About 1500 PhD students are registered in the Humanities and Social Sciences Group; of which 170 in the faculty of Social Sciences. The faculty’s objective is to contribute to the quality of society and analyse and inform societal trends through its education and research.


The Institute for Anthropology in Africa (IARA) investigates the political and social challenges facing the African continent through fieldwork, participant observation, case studies and historiographic research from an anthropological perspective.


PhD Candidate in anthropology - Joint PhD degree between University of Oslo and University of Leuven


Department of Social anthropology, University of Oslo (UiO), in collaboration with the University of Leuven (KUL), invites applications for one joint fully-funded 3-year PhD fellowship in Anthropology of Human Security in Africa Starting on September 1, 2018. The positions are funded by the EU Research and Innovation program Horizon 2020, under a grant by Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Innovative Training Networks (MSCA-ITN). The successful applicants must commence their PhD degree programme on 1 September, 2018.




KUL and UiO have embarked on the collaborative project ANTHUSIA: Anthropology of Human Security in Africa. ANTHUSIA is a multi-disciplinary research project conducted by a consortium of four universities in Aarhus (Denmark), Edinburgh (Scotland), Leuven (Belgium) and Oslo (Norway). The consortium draws together academics, practitioners and activists with expertise in understanding and enhancing human security in Africa. This programme enables candidates to combine interdisciplinary insights from Anthropology, Human Security and African Studies in order to develop analytical tools to critically understand and contribute to strengthening human security in Africa, and beyond. In this process, students will be encouraged to critically explore how human security has been conceptualised; how and why particular issues are classified as human security issues; and how these understandings shape everyday interventions. This critical approach can be applied to a range of phenomena, such as the expansion of young populations, processes of urbanisation, unequally distributed growth, recurring conflicts, emerging health issues, and population displacement.


The research network offers an academically stimulating and interdisciplinary working environment, an innovative training programme that allows the PhD fellows to obtain specialist knowledge on a specific research topic as well as transferable skills that can be employed in non-academic institutions. The ANTHUSIA PhD education includes one year of fieldwork in Africa, with a 2-3 month period of secondment to a non-academic partner organisation, annual summer/winter schools and a 6 months stay with the secondary university. ANTHUSIA also offers an attractive salary, the opportunity of favourable pension benefits as well as funding for research, travel, conference participation and dissemination, books and equipment.


Available position


ANTHUSIA will recruit altogether 16 PhD fellows, called Early Stage Researchers (ESRs). As part of the project, KUL and UiO invite applications for 1 joint PhD fellowship in the field of anthropology where the two universities have mutual strengths and can offer excellent research environments. The available position is hosted by University of Oslo (Primary University) and University of Leuven (Secondary University):


ESR project 9: Infrastructures of Human Security: Post-Conflict Re-Building of Societies and Futures


Main supervisor is Paul Wenzel Geissler, UiO. The applicants must contact the main supervisor before applying for the position.


Please write a maximum of 5 A4 pages of 2400 characters per page (total 12.000 characters) and use the following structure in your proposal:

  • Introduction/background
  • Research questions and study objectives
  • Theory
  • Methodology (incl. ethics)
  • Plan for non-academic secondment
  • Work schedule


Please include a separate reference list with up-to-date literature on the chosen topic (max 2 A4 pages).




Eligible candidates must have an internationally recognised Master’s or an equivalent degree in anthropology or related social sciences and humanities disciplines. They must have received their Master’s degree or equivalent (120 ECTS) no later than 31 August, 2018. They must have less than four years of research experience after their Master’s degree and not hold a PhD degree. All applicants must have achieved a high grade point average in their BA and Master’s studies and must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English and submit their dissertation in English. Applicants can be of any nationality. We encourage applicants who have African language skills and relevant experience outside the academy. However, in order to be eligible, candidates have not resided, worked or studied in Norway for more than 12 of the last 36 months before the recruitment date.


The ESRs are required to spend time at each university, have a supervisor at each institution and will receive a single joint degree signed by both universities.


The ESR is expected to take part in the Anthusia joint degree PhD programme and to complete the project within the set fellowship period. Since the doctoral student will receive a single joint degree, his/her research project will be subject to an evaluation meeting according to the standards of both the University of Oslo and KU Leuven. The format of the evaluation will be a public defence.


The details regarding time spent at each university, supervision, evaluation as well as other legal matters will be specified in a contract prior to the start of the PhD project.


We offer

  • salary NOK 436 900 – 490 900 per annum depending on qualifications
  • favourable pension benefits
  • attractive employee benefits


How to apply


The application must include:

  • cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests)
  • CV (including a complete list of education with grades, positions, pedagogical and administrative experience, publications and other qualifying activities)
  • project description (for details see above)
  • reference list
  • copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)
  • list of publications and academic work (if applicable)
  • names and contact details of 3 academic referees


The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. International applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).


Applicants may be called in for an interview.


Formal regulations


Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.


The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.


According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.


The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.


The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.


The Universities of Oslo and Leuven are equal opportunity employers and strive for diversity among the ESRs. We encourage in particular candidates from the African continent to apply.


Deadline: 15 March 2018


Contact persons:

  • Professor Paul Wenzel Geissler
  • Head of Administration Nina Rundgren (practical queries)

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