PhD Position, Department of Language and Literature

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Apr 2020

‘Language use in the Norwegian Deaf community’

About the position

A position as a PhD fellow is available in the Section for Signed Language and Interpreting at the Department of Language and Literature, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, in Trondheim, Norway. The position is linked to a linguistics and language documentation project entitled “Language use in the Norwegian Deaf community: reflections of a signed language ecology” funded by the Research Council of Norway ( ).

The main goal of the project is to investigate empirically the systematic and constantly evolving communication practices within Norwegian Sign Language interactions. Secondary objectives of the project include:

  • the development of a linguistic corpus and lexical database,
  • investigation of the multilingual repertoires by deaf people in Norway,
  • investigation of indexicality and referential cohesion in Norwegian Sign Language, and
  • investigation of depiction across the lexicon and grammar.

The PhD fellow’s project and doctoral dissertation will focus on some relevant topic related to the project and should engage and help to expand the language resources built by the project (namely, the linguistic corpus and lexical database).

Main duties and responsibilities

The PhD fellow will:

  • Conduct the research as outlined in the submitted project description, which must be within the scope of the project’s main goal.
  • Support completion of the larger project by contributing to corpus creation, data annotation and analysis.
  • Present project results at conferences, as well as share results through popular channels.
  • Participate in a formal PhD program at the faculty (see below).

The PhD fellow will be supervised by Associate Professor Lindsay N. Ferrara . In addition, the fellow will join the existing research milieu and network in the Program for Signed Language and Interpreting and contribute to its development, which will include close collaboration with the project’s team of national and international partners.

Qualification requirements

The candidate must have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) or equivalent education, with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale . The candidate should demonstrate a strong academic background in (signed language) linguistics or a field related to deaf communities and their signed languages (for example, signed language interpreting, deaf studies, deaf education).

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.

Other required qualifications include:

  • High fluency in a signed language.
  • A proficient level of English reading and writing (and when relevant, spoken) skills.

Additional, preferred qualifications:

  • High degree of fluency in Norwegian Sign Language.
  • Proficient reading and writing (and when relevant, spoken) skills in Norwegian, Swedish, and/or Danish.
  • Experience with qualitative or quantitative research methods.

Required personal characteristics

  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position.
  • Social and communication skills with deaf communities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

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, post doctor and research assistant .

The post is a fixed-term position from 1 December 2020 for three years.

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 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.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in the Faculty of Humanities ( ). The candidate is expected to participate in this organized PhD programme during the employment period and must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months of hiring. In addition, the candidate is expected to complete the PhD project within the set fellowship 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.

The position is subject to external funding.

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

About the application

The application can be written in English or Norwegian, and it should include:

  • A letter of motivation.
  • An independent research proposal for a PhD project (between 6 and 10 pages) related to the overall aims of the research project, Language use in the Norwegian Deaf community: reflections of a signed language ecology, mentioned above. The proposed project should engage and help to expand the language resources built by the project (namely, the linguistic corpus and lexical database).
  • CV with information about education and previous relevant work experience, as well as a full list of publications (if applicable). Please attach relevant diplomas and certificates.
  • Any relevant publications, including the Master’s thesis (maximum 5).
  • Name and contact information of at least two academic references.

If it is difficult to identify the contributions from individuals in a joint piece of work, applicants should enclose a short descriptive summary of what he/she contributed to the work.

Short-listed candidates may be invited for an interview at NTNU.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The scientific merit of the proposed PhD-project, research-related relevance and innovation,
  • The applicant's estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame,
  • The applicant’s experience working with deaf communities and communicating in a signed language
  • The applicant's ability to complete research training, and
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join international and interdisciplinary academic communities.

Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may be given preference.

Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may be given preference. NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Please submit your application electronically via Applications submitted elsewhere, or after the deadline, 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): .

Applicants invited for interview must submit certified copies of transcripts and reference letters.

Please contact Principle Investigator, Associate Professor Lindsay Ferrara at with any questions related the position or to receive a copy of the full description of the main project.

The application including attachments should be sent electronically through:

Please refer to the application number HF 20-002 when applying.

Application deadline: 01.04.2020

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. 

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.

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.

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.

Faculty of Humanities

The Faculty of Humanities offers a wide range of study programmes in the humanities, and is Norway’s second largest faculty of humanities measured in the number of students. We develop leading academic groups in the action-oriented humanities, as well as innovative and inquiry-based teaching and learning. The Faculty consists of six departments as well as a Faculty administration.

Deadline 1st April 2020
EmployerNTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Dragvoll

View or Apply

Similar Positions