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Postdoctoral Fellowship on Innovation and Sustainability Transitions

University of Oslo

About the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

TIK Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture is a cross disciplinary unit at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Oslo. TIK is home to 40 staff members working in research, education and research communication in innovation and science and technology studies (STS). A major part of TIK’s activity is externally funded research. TIK also offers postgraduate education; a PhD-programme and two Master programmes. The Centre also hosts OSIRIS - Oslo Institute for Research on the Impact of Science.

Job description

We offer a 4-year postdoctoral positon which is funded by two complementary research projects under the theme of deep decarbonization. Ambitious policy goals of reaching net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century requires that ongoing energy transitions grow in scope and speed. Exploring these qualitative changes in ongoing energy transitions will be key pillars of the postdoc position.

More about the position

Increasing scope involves transitions in hard-to-decarbonize sectors as waste, cement, and chemicals where solutions as carbon capture and hydrogen are discussed. The project “Socio-technical drivers, opportunities and challenges for large-scale CCUS (CaptureX)” (2021-2024) funds 2 years of the position. In collaboration with researchers at TIK, SINTEF and NTNU, the postdoc will analyze carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) innovation systems in a Northern European context to identify opportunities and challenges for this set of technologies to help meet net-zero emission goals. Empirically the work will take the Norwegian "Longship" and "Northern Lights" CCUS projects as starting points. The work includes analysis of actor strategies, technology value chain dynamics, and opportunities for local value creation. The full project description is available upon request.

Accelerating energy transitions is a central research topic in the Norwegian Centre for Energy Transition Studies (NTRANS) which also funds the postdoc position. NTRANS is an 8-year (2019-2027) research center for environmental-friendly energy funded by the Norwegian Research Council. The postdoc will work within Research Area 2 entitled “Accelerating the Energy Transition”. It explores different aspects of accelerating transitions organized around 3 work packages (WPs) including understanding the pace of diffusion of key zero-emission innovations (WP1), augmenting resource mobilization for energy transition e.g. via incumbent firm reorientation and change in the financial sector, and whether and how transformative innovation policy can accelerate transition processes across multiple sectors in parallel (WP3). While the work in the CaptureX project is well-defined, the work on NTRANS is relatively open for the postdoc to develop her/his own postdoc research project and plan by building on and extending elements of Research Area 2. It is expected that the applicants have reviewed the project description for NTRANS RA2, and can describe how their research will contribute to the work and the goals set for the Center. The full project description is available on TIK’s website, follow link.

Depending on the preference of the candidate, up to 1 year of the position might be dedicated to teaching and supervision duties in TIK’s master programmes in science and innovation studies. Candidates who have some previous experience in teaching and supervision, should mention this in their application letter. The NTRANS-part of the project will in this case be reduced correspondingly.

Qualification requirements

The candidates will have to fulfil the following criteria:

  • A PhD degree in a social science discipline, with relevance for the area of innovation studies (innovation studies, sustainability transitions studies, management studies, sociology, economics, etc.)
  • Only candidates that have submitted their PhD before the closing date for this position can apply. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved
  • Demonstrated experience with relevant theories and methods for studies of innovation and sustainability transitions is an advantage
  • Experience in teaching and supervision at bachelor and/or master level will be positive
  • Knowledge of a Scandinavian language is an advantage but not strictly necessary
  • High-level proficiency in written and spoken English is required
  • The ability to perform high impact academic work, demonstrated by previous publications in relevant journals, will be positive

It is expected that the successful candidate participate actively in the CaptureX and NTRANS project groups at the University of Oslo, and contribute to a high standard of collegiality and the TIK Centre’s working environment. Residence in or close to Oslo is thus expected.

In assessing applicants, we will emphasize each candidates’ academic background and potential, as well as motivation and match with the projects. Interviews will be performed as part of the selection process.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 526 000 – 608 200 per annum depending on qualifications
  • A pleasant and stimulating working environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits, including possibilities for University’s kindergarten and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • The University of Oslo offers a mentoring programme for female postdocs

How to apply

The application must include, preferably in PDF-format:

  • An application letter
  • A project description that explains how the applicant would mobilize theoretical perspectives and empirical strategies to carry out the work. The text should link to NTRANS project description, and explain how this position will contribute to it, and to the broader literature on sustainability transitions (maximum 5 pages)
  • A detailed academic CV listing education, prior employment, academic experience, other relevant experiences and qualifications, detailed list of publications
  • Up to three publications that the applicant wishes to have considered in the assessment process
  • Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)

Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system Jobbnorge, please follow the link “Apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. We also want to have employees with diverse expertise, combinations of subjects, life experience and perspectives. We will make adjustments for employees who require this.

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

Associate Professor Allan Dahl Andersen, email:

Head of Administration Inger-Johanne Ullern, email:

Location: Oslo - Norway
Salary: NOK526,000 to NOK608,200
£45,775.15 to £52,928.61 converted salary* per annum depending on qualifications
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 28th October 2021
Closes: 15th December 2021
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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