2-year postdoc in STS: Electricity grids as a site of transformative innovation

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 06 Aug 2023

6th August 2023

  • English

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture has a vacancy for a 
2-year postdoc in STS: Electricity grids as a site of transformative innovation
Apply for this job
See advertisement
This is NTNU

NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities with headquarters in Trondheim.

At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 43,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

You can find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here .



(Video unable to load from YouTube. Accept cookie and refresh page to watch video, or click here to open video)

About the job

NTNU, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture (KULT), is announcing a 2-year post-doctoral position at the intersection of STS and sustainability transitions research. KULT is an interdisciplinary unit with a staff trained in humanities and social sciences, with a vibrant community of committed scholars who engage in a combination of research and teaching across all levels.

The project focuses on the role of electricity grids and electricity grid operators in energy transitions, with a particular focus on their potential role in transformative innovation processes. The position will be part of KULTs Centre for technology and society and the research group on energy, climate, and environment. The position is funded by the Centre for intelligent electricity distribution (Cineldi).  Cineldi is a national centre for environmentally friendly energy, which is focused on understanding and developing the electricity grid of the future.

Electrification lies at the heart of Norwegian energy transition strategies. This entails ramping up a combination of renewable energy production and storage, to electrify transport and industry. Electricity grids are key to this process: they connect production, consumption, and storage across energy carriers. Conceptually, this means that they are central in processes of sector coupling or multi-system interaction, which has been highlighted as a key characteristic of current energy transitions. At the same time, grid expansion is increasingly contested due to land-use issues and other sustainability concerns.

We are looking for a post-doc with a background in sustainability transitions research or STS who is interested in exploring electricity grids as a site of innovation. We define innovation broadly but are particularly interested in exploring a) what characterizes current innovation activities, b) how such activities can affect the direction and speed of transition across sectors and systems, and c) understanding how different policy mixes affects innovation in this domain.

The postdoc will work closely with other researchers within FME Cineldi and related projects.

Your immediate leader is Head of Department

Duties of the position

The successful applicant must

  • Engage in literature work and in carving out a socio-technical research agenda for understanding electricity grids as a site of transformative innovation.
  • Conduct systematic empirical data collection as described above.
  • Be able to analyze such data through theories and concepts from sustainability transitions research, science and technology studies or related theories within the social sciences and humanities.
  • Produce and publish research articles based on such methods and analyses together with the rest of the project team.
  • Present and disseminate work at relevant national and international venues.
  • Be an active participant in the day-to-day activities at KULT, the centre for technology and society and in relevant initiatives at the department and in Cineldi.

Required selection criteria

Qualified candidates must

  • Hold a PhD in Science and technology studies (STS) or sustainability transitions research. PhD in another relevant social scientific or humanities discipline might also be considered. Examples include sociology, innovation studies, political science, human geography, or anthropology.
  • Be highly motivated to conduct cutting edge research through an intense and collaborative two-year project.
  • Have an interest in and be experienced with qualitative research methods.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key theories within sustainability transitions research and/or STS.
  • Have Excellent English skills (written and oral).

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Ph.D Candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate.

Preferred selection criteria

Qualified candidates should

  • Demonstrate relevant research experiences, either within social scientific and humanities studies of sustainability transitions, or through past analyses of the role of technology in society.
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language will be considered an advantage.

Personal characteristics

Be able to enter cross-disciplinary research teams and have the ability to cooperate, have good communication skills, be flexible and solution-oriented.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer 
  • An exciting and stimulating set of tasks in a strong international academic environment 
  • An open and inclusive work environment  with dedicated colleagues 
  • Favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund 
  • Employee benefits 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 575 400 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 2 years.

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.

The position is subject to external funding.

The appointed candidate is required to have the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU as a daily working place.

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.  

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include: 

  • CV 
  • A maximum 3-page statement describing how your scholarly profile fits with the work of the project
  • A list of publications
  • Relevant documentation and transcripts
  • Name and contact information of three referees

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. 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.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality . (tas bort hvis ikke aktuelt) 

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. 

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation . You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact professor Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, email: tomas.skjolsvold@ntnu.no . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Senior Adviser Hege Kissten, e-mail: hege.kissten@ntnu.no 

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation. 

Application deadline: August 6, 2023

via Unsplash

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 Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture

We conduct research and teaching in two subject areas: equality and diversity, and science and technology studies. The Department has an active research environment with a high proportion of external funding. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture is one of six departments in the Faculty of Humanities .

Apply for this job

6th August 2023


NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)


Fixed Term

Place of service
Trondheim, 7491 Trondheim


View or Apply

Similar Positions