PhD Research Fellow in Sociology
University of Oslo Department of Sociology and Human Geography

PhD Research Fellow in Sociology




Job description

There is a vacant position at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography for a PhD research fellow (SKO 1017) in Sociology. The position is for a period of three years without compulsory work or four year with compulsory work (primarily teaching duties).


Persons working together

More about the position

The position is funded by the Research Council of Norway and is dedicated to the newly established interdisciplinary research center PROMENTA in which the Department of Sociology and Human Geography will participate with the project Drug Policy Reform. We will investigate the development of international drug policy, new knowledge regimes, drug user careers, social marginalization and the possible consequences of decriminalization of the use and possession of drugs. We will also monitor new patterns of alcohol and drug use among adolescents, associated sociocultural aspects and identities, and new models of prevention and sanctioning by social workers, the police and the court system.


The PhD fellow is expect to design a project that explores patterns of illegal drug use (in particular cannabis) and drug dealing among adolescents and young adults, in the wealthier Western areas of Oslo, where such use is prevalent. Many violations of the Act relating to medicinal goods will, after the reform, probably no longer result in criminal sanctions. What are the consequences for these drug users with regard to patterns of drug use, identity development and possible marginalization? To what degree are they met with preventive efforts from the school, health care services and social workers? Is the police force present in their milieu? The PhD is expected to explore what happens with regard to illegal drug use among seemingly resourceful youth in the wake of the reform, by means of ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative data, expanding on previous research at our department.


The successful candidate will design a project that builds on qualitative data sources, such as participant observation and qualitative interviews. The PhD fellow is expected to contribute to the theorizing about socialization to drug use and methods of prevention.


The PhD fellow will be part of the larger interdisciplinary PROMENTA center and take part in activities involving researchers from other disciplines and institutes. The fellow will work closely with a research group lead by Professor Willy Pedersen.


Qualification requirements

Applicants must have a master's degree/second-level degree in Sociology or equivalent. Candidates from other disciplinary backgrounds must demonstrate in their application letter that their educational background, master’s thesis and project proposal fall within the scope of Sociology. Candidates must have documented skills in qualitative data collection and analysis. The Master’s degree must include a master thesis. Applicants must have a minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The master's thesis must have been submitted before the application deadline. A prerequisite for taking up the position is the successful completion of a master’s degree. The successful applicant must be able to carry out interviews in Norwegian (or another Scandinavian language) and English.


Applicants should have research interests within the areas described above. The position requires that the person who is hired participates in the Faculty of Social Sciences' organised research education programme (PhD programme) and that the work results in a doctorate in Sociology. The person who is hired will automatically be admitted to the PhD programme.


Residence in Norway is expected, but PhD fellows are also encouraged to spend time abroad during the fellowship period.


The hiring process will include an interview. In addition to an overall evaluation of the applicant’s grades, particular emphasis will be placed on the quality of the project proposal and the master's thesis.


The final hiring decision is the responsibility of the Department Board. The length of the employment period will be based on a consideration of the Department’s  budget situation. In addition teaching needs and the overall qualifications of the successful candidate will be taken into consideration


We offer

salary NOK 449 400 - 505 800 per annum, depending on qualifications

an academically stimulating working environment

attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include


A letter of application

A project proposal (approximately 5 pages) which must include the topic, relevant theory and methods and time-line. Applicants are expected to be able to complete the project during the appointment period.

CV with full summary of education, practice, academic employment and any publications. The period of enrolment (admission-completion) in the master's study programme must be specified.

Academic transcripts (university degrees only)

Copy of Master's degree diploma

Master's thesis.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign 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).


Formal regulations

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


No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.


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.


Contact information

Professor Willy Pedersen (project leader)

Head of Administration, Inger-Lise Schwab

Faculty of Social Sciences

About the University of Oslo

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 Sociology and Human Geography is Norway's leading department for both Sociology and Human Geography. The Department offers four Bachelor's and three Master's programmes. Research, teaching and dissemination activities within both fields are of the highest level. The Department is renowned both for the breadth of topics and methodologies employed and for its highly qualified researchers. Gender balance among the academic staff is an important distinguishing feature. The Department has 35 permanent academic staff, nearly 40 doctoral and post doctoral research fellows and 12 administrative staff members. There are approximately 80 PhD. candidates and 1500 students enrolled in the Department.


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12th August 2019


University of Oslo




Full time



Self employed


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