Research Fellowship within Speech and Language Disorders University of Oslo, Department of Special Needs Education Norway

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.


The department of Special Needs Education is one of the three departments at UiO's Faculty of Education. The department has today approximately 25 permanent employees that work with research, 14 temporary research fellows and postdoctoral fellows, in addition to 12 administrative employees. The department has approximately 800 students distributed between bachelor- and master’s degree studies in Special Needs Education, master’s degree studies in Special Needs Education, as well as PhD-studies.


Research Fellowship within Speech and Language Disorders


Applications are invited for a three year position in a Research Fellowship as PhD Candidate within Speech and Language Disorder to be based at the Department of Special Needs Education, University of Oslo.


Job description


A PhD research fellow position in the area of vocabulary development is available in the Department of Special Needs Education. The vacant position is embedded within the Down Syndrome LanguagePlus- project (DSL+-project). DSL+ is a subproject in the research group Child Language and Learning. See for information about the research group.


The successful applicant will conduct their research within the DSL+–project. He/she will be responsible for:

• Data collection 
• Investigating the impact of implementation quality in the DSL+ 
• Investigating differences in intervention effects between participants with and without oral language skills 
• Revising the DSL+ - intervention and implementing it with another clinical group (main responsibility)
• Publication of project results in international peer-reviewed journals and at scientific conferences


We are seeking highly motivated candidates who have a particular interest in special education research and more specifically vocabulary development. The successful candidate will be required to participate actively in our research community including the DSL+-project team, Child Language and Learning research group and the department. Periods abroad are encouraged; we have various international collaborators that may be potential hosts.


Brief overview of the Down syndrome LanguagePlus-projectT


The Down syndrome LanguagePlus-project is financed by the FINNUT programme of the Norwegian Research Council, and focuses on enhancing the quality of vocabulary learning in children with Down syndrome. The project involves an interdisciplinary team of national and international researchers, teacher educators, students and practitioners. Additionally, the project involves artists, an author, technicians and a reference group.


The primary objective of the project is to develop an effective language intervention for children with developmental disabilities: to increase their vocabulary breadth and depth with the intention of improving language skills. The secondary objective is to design a rigorous intervention studycontributing to theoretical development and allowing for methodological discussions within the field of language research involving children with intellectual disabilities.


A new language intervention programme for children with Down syndrome, called “DSL+,” has been developed through the project. The programme focuses on both systematic training and natural dialogue with special education teachers, teachers and classmates, based on picture books and related specially designed visual materials. Prior to the intervention, distance-learning methods are used to train teachers and special education teachers in this new evidence-based approach.To test both the direct and transfer effects of the programme, a national age cohort of six-year olds with Down syndrome has been randomly allocated to either an experiment group or a control group. Importantly, the material is also implemented as a text-free iPad app, making it easily transferable to a variety of settings, and adaptable to other languages. Data collection is ongoing and publications are in progress. The app will also be adapted to meet the needs of different groups of children with language difficulties.


 PhD research fellow positions are fixed-term educational posts. The research fellow should complete an article based PhD thesis during the period of employment. A prerequisite for this position is admission to the Faculty’s doctoral degree program and the applicants’ formal and other qualifications for admission will be assessed.  Research fellowship positions are recruitment posts, which represent an important aspect of the sector’s work to foster the development of doctoral research fellows for academic posts at universities and university colleges after the completion of their PhD.


The appointment is for a period of 3 years with a possible extension to four years (including 25% duty work, f. ex. teaching). For more information please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.


Qualification requirements


Applicants must have strong analytical abilities and an eagerness to explore and learn.Experience in the areas of vocabulary assessment development, vocabulary interventions and assessment of implementation quality is preferred.


Applicants must also satisfy the requirements for admission to the Faculty’s PhD program. This includes completion of a Master degree by the time of employment with a minimum grade B or equivalent (ECTS grading scale) in speech and language therapy or another relevant field (e.g., special needs education or psychology) or a similar higher education program (normally equivalent to two years /ECTS 120 credits), including a Master thesis or equivalent scientific records.


Proficient Norwegian and English language skills are required. Proficient Norwegian language skills are required for this as the successful candidate will be required to liaise with Norwegian speaking informants, teachers and parents.


 When reviewing applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The applicant’s academic aptitude for completing a PhD
  • The applicant’s personal suitability and motivation for the position, including his/her ability to and collaborate and form part of a cross-disciplinary academic community
  • The scientific quality of a 5 page document discussing the key points of the following papers (a narrative review):


Carroll, C., Patterson, M., Wood, S., Booth, A., Rick, J., & Balain, S. (2007). A conceptual framework for implementation fidelity. Implementation Science, 2(1), 1.


Lieberman-Betz, R. G. (2015). A systematic review of fidelity of implementation in parent-mediated early communication intervention. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 35(1), 15-27.


We offer

  • Salary NOK 436 900 - 490 900 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017 )
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement , in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities
  • A positive and stimulating working environment


How to apply


The application must include:

  • Cover letter
  • A 5 page narrative review (see above)
  • Completed application form for admission to the doctoral degree program
  • Certified copies of diplomas, grade transcripts and any other testimonials
  • In the event of diplomas from other countries: a copy of the handbook or an equivalent document that describes the content and framework of the course completed must be provided
  • Master’s thesis and any other academic work that is of relevance to the application
  • CV that includes an overview of any previously published academic/scientific work
  • 1-2 references with contact information (e.g., Master thesis supervisor).


The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, 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).


Applicants from countries other than Nordic countries where English is not the official language must attach a TOEFL test with a minimum score of 105 (electronical version). Exceptions to this are for applicant’s who have obtained a diploma/degree from a university in an English-speaking country.


Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Interviews will be conducted as part of the appointment process. At the interview the applicant will be asked to present original diplomas and grade transcripts from previous courses of study.


Formal regulations


Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.


According to the Norwegian Freedom and 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.


The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.


The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.


The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.


Deadline: 4 December 2017


Contact persons:

Associate Professor Kari-Anne Bottegaard Næss (for questions about the position)

HR-Officer Linda Valdø-Schwarz (for questions about the recruitment process)

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