PhD Candidate in Psychology

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Aug 2022

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 42,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

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

About the position

The position is for the duration of four years, of which one year duty work upon agreement. The candidate must be resident at NTNUs campus in Trondheim. It is an educational position, which will provide promising research talents the opportunity for professional development towards a PhD-degree. The position is connected to the PhD program at the Faculty of Education and Social Sciences.

The PhD project will focus on how interventions aimed at increasing growth mindset influence motivational factors and psychological well-being in Norwegian high school students and how this is reflected in their academic achievement. Mindsets refer to the implicit beliefs we have about ourselves and others. In particular, mindsets refer to implicit beliefs about intelligence. A fixed mindset is characterised by the belief that intelligence is fixed and unchangeable, whereas a growth mindset is manifested by the belief that intelligence can be changed through experience or action. Mindset has been shown to influence academic achievement and a growth mindset appears to be particularly beneficial in students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. 

Therefore, the purpose of this study is to develop a short psychoeducational mindset intervention similar to that used by Yeager et al. (2019) adapted to a Norwegian high school context and to evaluate the intervention’s effects on mindset, motivational factors, well-being and academic achievement. Based on the data associated with the project, 4-5 articles will be written and submitted to highly ranked scientific journals (e.g., Scandinavian Journal of Educational Studies, Journal of Personality, Plos one, Sage Open and New Ideas in Psychology).  

The PhD candidate will be responsible for data collection and analysis and the writing of scientific articles. The main supervisor for this project is professor Hermundur Sigmundsson and co-supervisor is professor Trond Nordfjærn. The candidate will be a part of a large and active interdisciplinary research community.

You will report to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position
  • Data collection
  • The PhD is expected to complete the necessary doctoral coursework
  • Conduct research and apply methods in line with the project description, publish, and write publishable papers that constitute the requirement for the PhD position. 
  • Data analysis
  • Write articles and reports
  • Present findings at various events

Required selection criteria
  • Good written and oral English and Norwegian language skills.
  • You must have a strong academic background in psychology.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at the master's level.
  • You must have an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to or better than B on NTNU's grading scale . If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program .

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant. 

Preferred selection criteria

In the assessment of the candidates the following qualifications will be emphasized:

  • Grades from the master’s degree/cand.psychol
  • Research relevant experience such as publications and being involved in research
  • Recommendations/references
  • Interest and experience in emotional development and developmental psychology 
  • Good written and oral Norwegian language skills is a surplus
  • Competence in quantitative research methodologies is a surplus
  • Motivated to engage in international exchange

Personal characteristics

Personal characteristics such as eagerness to learn, creative and critical thinking, conscientiousness, perseverance, excellent cooperation and independent working skills, autonomous motivation to contribute to excellent research and a good work environment will be emphasized.

We offer
Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 491 200 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 4 years, of which one year duty work upon agreement. 

Appointment to the PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in social sciences  within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.  

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months. 

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work. 

Primary residency in Trondheim is a prerequisite. The person appointed must live in a location enabling him/her to be present at and available to the institution.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English or Norwegian.

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. 

The application must include: 

  • An application letter concerning your motivation for completing a PhD in this particular project, outlining previous relevant experience.
  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • Name and contact information of three references
  • Publications or other relevant research work should be sent in

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, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher 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

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

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.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Hermundur Sigmundsson, e-mail . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Terese Brå, e-mail:  

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-738 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.08.2022

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 Psychology

Our research and teaching are based on five perspectives: biological, cognitive, social, personality and developmental psychology. We offer a clinical programme in psychology as well as study programmes in the psychology of learning and in work and organizational psychology. We have also three outpatient clinics in which we treat patients as part of the clinical programme. The Department of Psychology  is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences .

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