PhD Candidate in STS with Focus on Sustainable Hydropower Development

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Jan 2022

Research Collaboration in Sustainability

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures. 

NTNU is now announcing 43 individual PhD positions that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary projects with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each project. 

About the position

At NTNU, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture , we have a 3-year vacancy for a PhD Candidate in STS (science and technology studies). The PhD position is part of the interdisciplinary project SusHydro – Sustainable hydropower development and reservoir management as an enabler of the renewable energy transition and an accelerator to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The PhD will further be part of the Centre of Technology and Society and the research group on energy, climate and the environment .

The SusHydro project seeks to find innovative and cross-sectoral solutions that shed light on a wider range of services that hydropower and water reservoirs can contribute to, and focuses on how synergies and conflicts between different sustainable development goals can be identified and balanced. SusHydro will do this by putting together a team of experienced professionals and talented young researchers with a background in hydrology and water resource analysis, life cycle assessment, modeling of the energy system, economics, biology and social science and humanities. Solutions will be developed through case studies in Norway and areas of Africa with rich hydropower resources.

This specific PhD project addresses sustainable hydropower development from social science and humanities perspectives. Based on theoretical concepts such as energy justice and energy citizenship, the candidate will study controversies about hydropower and water reservoirs and their multiple uses and services and explore controversies that might emerge in the navigation between different sustainable development goals. As part of this work, the candidate will investigate processes of public participation related to hydropower development in Norway and possibly Sweden. This PhD project will employ qualitative social science methods such as interviews, focus groups, document analysis and participatory observation.

Interdisciplinary collaboration within the SusHydro project and the Centre for energy, climate and environment are envisaged.

Duties of the position

The successful candidate must

  • Conduct empirical data collection through qualitative methods such as interviews, focus groups, document analysis, or participatory observation.
  • Analyse the collected data through theories and concepts from STS (science and technology studies) or related frameworks
  • Complete the obligatory coursework in the PhD program for Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture
  • Produce a PhD thesis, preferably based on 3-4 peer-reviewed articles published in key international journals
  • Disseminate results in scholarly journals and at national and international venues
  • Be an active participant in the day-to-day activities at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, the centre for technology and society and in relevant research groups at the department.
  • Show clear interest in and dedication to interdisciplinary research, which will include:
    • Attendance to joint courses with other candidates recruited for the SuSHyro-program
    • Contribute to the arrangement of inter-disciplinary meetings and social gatherings hosted by or with the involvement of SusHydro
    • Contribute to papers by the other candidates in SusHydro from a different field of science, if this becomes relevant 
    • Attend meetings with the hydropower sector, including those hosted by HydroCen

Required selection criteria

  • You must hold an MA or equivalent in Science and Technology Studies (STS), or another relevant social scientific or humanities background. Examples of other relevant disciplines are Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science or Anthropology. The average grade of your master’s degree must be B or better in terms of compared with 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.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the PhD programme in Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture (Phkult) - Faculty of Humanities - NTNU
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral) are needed

Preferred selection criteria

  • Knowledge of social scientific studies of energy
  • Interest in and experience with qualitative social science research methods
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language will be considered a strong advantage

Personal characteristics

  • The successful candidate should be enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • The candidate should be capable to work both independently and with other researchers and partners in the project
  • The candidate should be open to interdisciplinary scientific cooperation

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from 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 3 years.

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

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.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

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  

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: 

  • 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.
  • A letter of motivation (max three pages), describing your scholarly profile and preliminary ideas related to the further development of the PhD project
  • Name and address of three referees
  • If you have, publications or other relevant research work

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 Sara Heidenreich, email:  or Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Åse Marit Skarholt, .

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. 

Application deadline:  07.01.22

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 seven departments in the Faculty of Humanities .

Deadline 7th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Dragvoll

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