PhD Research Fellow in Mathematics Education

Updated: 2 months ago
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PhD Research Fellow in Mathematics Education
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About the position

1-2 100 % positions are available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science as a PhD Research Fellow in Mathematics Education, affiliated to the Department of Mathematical Sciences , for a period of three years, or for suitable candidates four years with 25% required duties. The position is located, at present, at Campus Kristiansand. The starting date is negotiable with the Faculty.

The department has a large and active research group in mathematics education, MERGA , with about 20 fellows on its PhD programme. The research group MERGA was rated very high in a national survey of educational research conducted by The Research Council of Norway in 2017, and since autumn 2018 has been recognised as one of six Priority Research Centres at the University of Agder. The person appointed will join this research group.

MERGA pursues a variety of research interests focusing especially on six main strands within mathematics education:

  • Mathematical thinking processes in school
  • Teaching and learning mathematics in kindergarten and early school years
  • Teaching and learning mathematics in higher education
  • Mathematics teaching and learning in teacher education and professional development
  • Emergent technologies in mathematics teaching and learning
  • Mathematics in non-mathematical practices.

The mathematics education research group has substantial and on-going experience of leading and contributing to large research projects funded by The EU, The Research Council of Norway, Nordforsk, the Competence Development Fund of Southern Norway, and others. The Department has hosted the Nordic Graduate School in Mathematics Education and contributes actively to the Nordic mathematics education community. The University of Agder has excellent library support and collection of research literature in mathematics education (in English and Scandinavian languages) and on-line access to all leading journals in the field. MatRIC, The Centre for Research, Innovation and Coordination of Mathematics Teaching is a national Centre for Excellence in Higher Education, established in January 2014, and is led by the Department of Mathematical Sciences. The person appointed, with research in an appropriate area could contribute to the work and development of the Centre.

Proposals are sought that seek to explore and understand mathematical thinking processes in school (Strand 1 listed above). More specifically: The PhD position will focus on research on the design of learning-teaching activities to develop algebraic reasoning at the middle school level (grades 5-8). “Algebraic reasoning” is taken to encompass reasoning about and with generalisations, including modelling realistic situations and deductive argumentation. The learning-teaching activities will make use of concrete and digital tools, and be embedded in problem-based teaching practices. The research fellow in question will collaborate with other research fellows, as well as a larger research group consisting of researchers focussed on proof and argumentation, algebra learning, and the use of digital tools in teaching. The main focus of the research fellow will be to investigate the effects of the learning-teaching activities on students’ algebraic reasoning in normal school contexts, and to develop design principles for further development of such activities. The research fellow is expected to conduct independent research in the above-mentioned research area.

Required qualifications

The candidate must hold a cand. scient. or master’s degree in Mathematics Education. This year’s master’s candidates/candidates where the final evaluation result is ready by June 15, 2021 can also apply. A teaching qualification is also essential.

The successful applicant must have written and spoken English proficiency. International candidates that are not exempt from the English language requirements pursuant to the guidelines of the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT).

The applicant must submit an approved project description within three months of appointment. A prerequisite for employment is that the candidate is to be admitted to UiA’s PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science .

Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellows can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident .

Desired qualifications

A master's degree in mathematics education with an emphasis on algebra, argumentation, digital and/or learning environments, or with other experience relevant to the position, and competence in Norwegian and/or Scandinavian language are desired and will be prioritized in the valuation of the candidates. The research group includes Norwegian and international scholars, and the research will be carried out in Norwegian schools.

Length of relevant school experience will also be taken into account in the selection of a suitable candidate.

Experience in one or several of the below are also beneficial

  • Collaboration in larger or smaller research projects and / or working groups
  • Knowledge and experience of conducting literature reviews
  • Documented competence in qualitative research methods
  • Software development

At the University of Agder, PhD dissertations may be written in Norwegian, another Scandinavian Language or English.

Personal qualities

Personal suitability and good teamwork skills will be emphasized in the evaluation as well as relevant practical experience. Research Fellows are expected to contribute to the active research community at the University. The position places demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail.

Ability to familiarise oneself with new issues and methodological approaches. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research activity, in addition to a (preliminary) research proposal submitted with the application (see below).

Research visits to an external institution or with a national or international partner for part of the period of employment may be anticipated.


We offer
  • professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organisation
  • a positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers 
  • membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

More about working at UiA .

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 491 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

General information

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organisational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process .

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for this job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • A letter of application which includes a rationale for applying for the position together with an outline of the applicant’s research interests and background for the proposed project
  • Certificates with grades
  • Master’s thesis
  • References
  • A list, summary and links to the applicant's scientific publications if produced must be included if the be considered
  • A short research proposal (preliminary) that sets out background, rationale, recent work and research design for the intended study.This should not extend beyond about 5 pages, but it will form an important part of the evaluation of candidates. It must be evident that it relates well to the proposed area above: design of learning-teaching activities to develop algebraic reasoning at the middle school level (grades 5-8).
  • Any other relevant documentation

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English.

Application deadline: 20.08.21


For questions about the position:

  • Professor David Reid, tel. (+47) 38 14 12 67, e-mail  
  • Professor Martin Carlsen, tel. (+47) 38 14 16 59, e-mail
  • Head of Department Ingvald Erfjord, tel. (+47) 38 14 15 47, e-mail

For questions about the application process:

  • Higher executive officer Lise Askbo Fylkesnes, tel. (+47) 37 23 31 25, e-mail
  • HR-adviser Solveig Svendsberget, tel. (+47) 99 40 03 49, e-mail

University of Agder

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

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20th August 2021


University of Agder




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