PhD candidate in the didactics of programming and software development

Updated: 10 months ago
Deadline: 14 Nov 2019

This is NTNU

At NTNU, creating knowledge for a better world is the vision that unites our 7 000 employees and 40 000 students.

We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.

About the position

The appointment is for a term of 4 years, with 25% dedicated to teaching. This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree. The PhD candidate will be part of the Excited Centre for Excellent IT Education, more specifically the centre’s project P2: "Projects of Becoming". The research undertaken by the PhD candidate must be aligned with the goals of this project. Some examples of possible research topics:

  • How can introductory programming courses be designed to provide a good first-year experience for IT students?
  • Innovative learning approaches for programming and software development; innovative tools, platforms, and ways of assessment.
  • Automated analysis of students’ work products and processes, to provide guidance and feedback.

The position reports to head of department/leader of the Excited centre. The main supervisor of the PhD student will be the leader of the P2 project.

Main duties and responsibilities

The person employed will mainly have the following work tasks:

  • Conduct research on the didactics of programming and software development, aligned with the Excited P2 project.
  • Take courses required for the PhD degree.
  • Publish in international conferences and journals in the relevant fields, write and ultimately defend a PhD thesis.
  • Participate in professional communities within areas relevant to the position.
  • Participate in supervision of master students, and development and teaching of relevant courses.

A candidate who lacks mastery of Norwegian (or other Scandinavian language), will be expected to learn Norwegian during the first year of employment.

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) either in computing / informatics or in pedagogy / didactics. Applicants from pedagogy / didactics must at the same time be able to document programming competence of at least 30 ECTS, in the form of passed courses and/or practical programming experience. The average grade from the master degree must be B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

The candidate should also have the following qualifications:

  • A good, documented understanding of the research field of IT education
  • The ability and willingness to conduct research in a multidisciplinary setting
  • Experience from practical software development
  • Good written and oral English language skills

As the courses that the research seeks to improve are mainly taught in Norwegian, knowledge of a Scandinavian language is desired, but it is not a prerequisite. Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must be motivated to put in extra effort to learn Norwegian during the first year of employment, and must also provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as documentation of English language skills:

  • TOEFL (minimum score paper-based test: 600, Internet-based: 92), or
  • Academic IELTS (minimum score 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5), or
  • Cambridge CAE or Cambridge CPE (minimum grade B or A).

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Personal characteristics

We emphasize personal suitability of the individual applicants. We are looking for candidates who

  • Are passionate about research and have a high level of curiosity and willingness to learn
  • Have good team-work skills, and ability to deliver high-quality results independently
  • Have good pedagogical and analytical skills
  • Can engage emphatically with students and other stakeholders of their research
  • Can rapidly acquire and apply knowledge in a research area

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer
Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 4 years with required dutie Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Information Technology

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.

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 criterias 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.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( ). Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate professor Hallvard Trætteberg, phone number+47 73593443, e-mail

About the application:

The application should contain the following material:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience.
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas for the whole bachelor and master’s degree. An English translation of all education documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.
  • A project description of 3-5 pages, including
    • A short presentation of the motivation for applying to this position.
    • How the candidate sees her/his background as suitable for the research in the Excited P2 project.
    • A sketch of one or more important research problems that the candidate is especially interested in addressing within the scope of Excited P2 and the examples of research topics given in the section "About the position".
    • A summary of theoretical and methodological knowledge for the sketched research problem(s).
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons.
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis.
  • PDF copies of any prior publications, with associated bibliographical data.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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

Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number2019/34887when applying.

Application deadline: 14.11.2019

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 Computer Science 

We are the leading academic IT environment in Norway, and offer a wide range of theoretical and applied IT programmes of study at all levels. Our subject areas include hardware, algorithms, visual computing, AI, databases, software engineering, information systems, learning technology, HCI, CSCW, IT operations and applied data processing. The Department has groups in both Trondheim and Gjøvik. The Department of Computer Science  is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering  .

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