PhD position connected to Plastic-free Norwegian waters

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Trondheim, Norway 🇳🇴

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.

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.

In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD students in the project Combining skills to identify the «sweet spot» to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway

About the position

There is a PhD position available at the Department of Psychology – within Social and Environmental Psychology. The position is for the duration of three years, with the possibility of 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.

You will report to the Head of Department.

The position is part of the project Combining skills to identify the “sweet spot” to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway is one of five PhD positions connected to the work packages of this project. The project is a newly established, interdisciplinary initiative led by NTNU Ă…lesund. The objective of Combining skills to identify the “sweet spot” to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway is to generate outstanding research that builds on current activities at NTNU to investigate transformative solutions to the marine plastic problem. The terminology “sweet spots” reflects the idea of using mutually complementing knowledge systems to build a comprehensive picture of marine plastic pollution in Norway and to use this as a springboard for co-developing interventions that are eco-effective.

This PhD-position will focus on applying knowledge from behaviour change psychology and geography to develop and pilot interventions that enable a transformation in the production and consumption of plastics in Norway. The prospective candidate will work on the identification of key parameters needed to develop behavioral interventions needed to solve the problem of marine plastic pollution. An innovative and comprehensive combination of methodologies from environmental psychology and geography can be applied. This combination of methods can include citizen science, geographic information systems (GIS), surveys and focus groups. Activities the successful candidate will be involved in include beach cleans, subsequent litter analysis, geographic analysis of litter using GIS tracking (through mobile phones) and focus groups with target group members (e.g., fishing and aquaculture sector, SME consumers, communities). In addition, online surveys covering psychological drivers of key behaviours, literature reviews and stakeholder consultations, and eventually a pilot intervention are aspired. The candidate is encouraged to shape the project description according to their own strengths and further to co-develop the process together with the other PhD candidates working in this project.

Duties of the position

  • The PhD fellowship holder is expected to work on the project Combining skills to identify the “sweet spot” to solve marine plastic pollution in Norway, Work Package 5.
  • 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.
  • The PhD is expected to collaborate with his/her fellow PhDs across work packages to identify potential syntheses.

Required selection criteria

  • 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) with a strong academic background in Social or Environmental Psychology, Geography or equivalent education with a grade of 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.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences’ PhD programme

Other qualifications:

  • Excellent written and oral English language skills, ideally supported by evidence. The following tests can be used as a documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE), or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).
  • The position also requires excellent skills for working in a large team and across disciplines as well as experiences with communicating scientific content outside the own discipline and outside academia.
  • The ability to carry out and finish projects successfully will be given weight.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Level 2 or higher in any of the Scandinavian languages is an advantage, especially for community and stakeholder interaction, but is not obligatory.
  • Previous experience in quantitative methods, survey design and analysis, qualitative data collection and analysis as well as GIS are considered beneficial, but not a prerequisite.
  • Interest and relevant experience in marine plastic pollution is an advantage.

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  

Incomplete applications will not be considered. This also applies to applications from candidates originating from countries covered by ITAR or “Electronic Code of Federal Regulations”

Personal characteristics

Personal qualifications which we see contributing positively to the research team are independence, work capacity and enthusiasm. We are also looking for candidates with social skills benefiting the work environment for the PhD candidates and in general.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, 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 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 with the possibility of one year duty workl upon agreement.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme of the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences, Department of Psychology 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.

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 must include:

1)      An application letter concerning your motivation for completing a PhD in this particular project, outlining previous relevant experience.

2)      A research proposal (in a separate document as motivation letter) describing activities, plans and timeline for this PhD project. The proposal shall not exceed five pages including references, timeline and any visuals.

3)      A CV with information on education, previous research experience

4)      Authorized documentation of certificates, diplomas and study records for both bachelor and master degrees.

5)      Any academic work such as scientific publications.

6)      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.

7)      Name and address of at least two references.

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.

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint work will be evaluated. 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 she/he contributed to the work.

Please submit your application electronically via including your CV, diplomas/grade transcripts, certificates, motivation letter, research proposal, and academic works (if any).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).

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.

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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Dr. Isabel Richter ([email protected]) or Professor Jan Ketil Rød ([email protected])

If you have questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Nine Jonstad: [email protected]

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-663 when applying.

Application deadline: 07.01.2022