PhD position at the Department of Comparative Politics

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 17 Aug 2020

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PhD position

There is a vacancy for a PhD position at the Department of Comparative Politics , University of Bergen. The Department of Comparative Politics offers an exciting place for research and education on political institutions, organizations, processes and behaviour at local, regional, national, and international levels. The Department offers bachelor's and master’s programmes in comparative politics, as well as a bachelor's programme in European studies. The staff participates actively in national and international cross-disciplinary research.

Tentative starting date of the position is October 1, 2020

About the project/work tasks:

The successful applicant will conduct research within the research project “Strengthening Regional Democracy – Contributing to Good Democratic Governance” funded by the Trond Mohn Foundation (TMS) and the University of Bergen (UiB). This research project sets out to identify the conditions which facilitate good democratic regional governance.

We are looking for a PhD-candidate who can contribute to the overall research project and conduct independent research linked to important questions of governance and democracy at the regional level. The PhD-candidate can field questions to a panel of regional and local voters and a panel of regional and local politicians on an annual basis. In addition, the PhD-candidate will have access to aggregate election data for 392 regions in 23 European countries for 1950 to 2020 and to a regional election survey dataset which includes 410 regional elections surveys conducted in 68 regions in 8 countries.

Applicants are asked to write a research proposal of maximum two pages with an outline on how the applicant would like to contribute to the overall goals of the project and how the applicant would like to pursue an own research agenda. Funding will be dedicated towards the professional training of the PhD candidate, for example summer school courses for training in statistical methods. There is plenty of opportunity to collaborate with the other team members and the successful candidate will also have the opportunity to carry out visits to the Centre on Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

A full outline of the project can be obtained by contacting the principal investigator, Arjan Schakel,

Qualifications and personal qualities:

The successful candidate will be expected to relocate to the University of Bergen, participate in the scholarly activities of the Department, and conform to the regulations that apply to the position.

The applicant:

  • Must have been awarded a MA degree in political science or in a relevant field within social sciences (e.g. public administration/policy, sociology, economics) or must have submitted his/her master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. The candidate must meet the educational requirements for admission to the Phd programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences.
  • The requirements are generally a grade B or better on the master thesis and for the Master’s degree in total.
  • Should be proficient in both written and oral English.
  • Has some knowledge of quantitative methods and has an eagerness to work with mainstream statistical packages (e.g. SPSS, Stata, SAS, or R)
  • Is able to work independently as well as in a team.
  • Preferably has some knowledge on one or more themes that relate to the project, for example, democracy (elections, voting behaviour, political parties, representation) or governance (institutions, policy making, policy implementation, multilevel governance).
  • Is willing to disseminate research results beyond the academic community.
  • Is willing to collaborate on an international level and to contribute to building an international collaborative network.

Potential candidates will be invited for an interview in September 2020. Candidates will be asked to deliver a presentation during which they present their research plans and their potential contribution to the research project (see below).

Applicants are advised to familiarize themselves with the teaching and research profile at the Department. The teaching language is Norwegian, one of the Scandinavian languages and English. Proficiency in Norwegian or one of the Scandinavian language is not a requirement but is desirable.

About the PhD position:

Project proposal:

The application must include a research proposal of maximum 2 pages. The proposal should outline how the applicant would like to contribute to the overall goals of the project and how the applicant would like to pursue their own research. The proposal should contain a preliminary timeline and milestones as well as a publication plan which includes a PhD dissertation. It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment. The budget of the project enables the team members to enrol in summer school courses for training in statistical methods.

About the research training:

As a PhD research fellow, you will take part in the PhD programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UiB. The programme corresponds to a period of three years and leads to the PhD degree. To be eligible for admission you must normally have an educational background corresponding to a master’s degree with a scope of 120 ECTS credits, which builds on a bachelor’s degree with a scope of 180 ECTS credits (normally 2 + 3 years), or an integrated master’s degree with a scope of 300 ECTS credits (5 years). Master’s degrees must normally include an independent work of a minimum of 30 ECTS credits. It is expected that the topic of the master’s degree is connected to the academic field to which you are seeking admission.

We can offer:
  • Salary at pay grade 54 upon appointment (Code 1017) on the government salary scale (equivalent to NOK 479 600). Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position
  • A good and professionally challenging working environment
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits, including paid parental leave.
  • The city of Bergen - a unique mix of vibrant cultural life and extraordinary nature.

Your application must include:
  • A cover letter detailing the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position (1-2 pages).
  • A CV.
  • A research proposal (up to 2 pages).
  • The names and contact information for two references. One of these must be the main supervisor of the MA-thesis.
  • Transcripts and diplomas of bachelor's and master's degrees, or official confirmation that the MA-thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/letters of recommendation.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at

The closing date is August 17, 2020, and the application has to be marked with: 20/5467

Applications sent by e-mail will not be evaluated

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting: Arjan Schakel, Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen:

Practical questions about the application process should be directed to Adviser - HR, Even Michal Endresen, e-mail:

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position. 

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at all times.

For further information about the recruitment process, click here .

Life as a PhD candidate at UiB

Marion Claireaux tells about life and work as a PhD candidate at UiB.

About The University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is a renowned educational and research institution, organised into seven faculties and approximately 54 institutes and academic centres. Campus is located in the centre of Bergen with university areas at Nygårdshøyden, Haukeland, Marineholmen, Møllendalsveien and Årstad. 

There are seven departments and three centres at Faculty of Social Sciences. Read more about the faculty and departments . 

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