Postdoctoral Fellow within the research project BIODIAL 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.


Postdoctoral Fellow within the research project BIODIAL


Applications are invited for a position as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Special Needs Education in conjunction with the project on “The Biopolitics of Disability, Illness, and Animality: Cultural Representations and Societal Significance” (BIODIAL)


Job description


Short summary of the overall project

BIODIAL is financed by the FRIPRO program of the Norwegian Research Council. Its purpose is to investigate how various human and nonhuman lives are socially constructed as more or less valuable, and how such constructions are informed and troubled by cultural, literary, and social representations of disability, illness, and animality.The project brings interdisciplinary and intersectional attention to the ways that certain lives can be considered somehow less than “human”—whether the lives are those of disabled human beings, or nonhuman animals, or dehumanized and animalized human populations. Biopolitics is a theoretical field that offers new ways of bringing together disability studies, animal studies, and posthumanism, including Foucauldian-inspired work on social constructions of “life” that have become politicized terrain. The result of these constructions include dominant discourses about which forms of life should be allowed to live or die, as well as stigmatization and discrimination based upon what is considered “normal” or “natural”


The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.


Responsibilities for the position

We are seeking candidates who have a strong interest in disability studies and biopolitics. The successful candidate will be expected to participate actively in the research community in the department, and in the ILLREP research group (Representations of Illness and Disability in Literary and Cultural Texts)


One of the candidate’s tasks will be to maintain a blog or website which will provide a public forum for the discussion of literary and cultural texts in relation to illness, disability, and animality. The main objective of appointments to the position of post-doctoral fellow is to qualify researchers for work in top academic positions within their respective area of study.


The appointment applies for a two-year period.


Qualification requirements


The appointment requires a PhD, or a degree equivalent to a Norwegian PhD, in a relevant field in the humanities or social sciences, such as disability studies, history, sociology, literary and/or cultural studies, the history of ideas, special needs education, and education. A prerequisite for applicants who have not yet defended their thesis is that the PhD work is submitted for assessment before the closing date for applications. Appointment to the post-doctoral position is dependent on the doctoral thesis being approved. Applicants must have fluent oral and written communication skills in English.


Applicants must submit a research proposal that is related to the overall goals of the BIODIAL project, with a clear engagement with biopolitics and posthumanism, as well as disability studies or animal studies. Applicants will be hosted by the Department of Special Needs Education and are encouraged to develop projects that engage with issues of education and the social construction of dominant discourses or valuation systems. Potential topics of inquiry include but are not limited to: humanizing and dehumanizing practices; discourses of classification and sorting; representations of disability, embodiment, and/or humanity; normative educational and didactic practices; histories of disability in relation to biopolitics and posthumanism in various cultural, national, or social contexts. The research proposal must outline plans for dissemination in international, academically recognized journals, and must include a clear timeline for the work proposed.


Furthermore, applications will be assessed with an emphasis on:

  • The quality of the project description and the potential for publication in international journals.
  • The applicant’s research experience and publication record, particularly in fields relevant to BIODIAL.
  • General academic qualifications that indicate an ability to work in collaboration with researchers from multiple disciplines.
  • Experience and/or interest in public research dissemination, e.g., through digital media, blogs, newspapers, or engagement with societal and public policy debates.
  • Background and/or interest in representations of disability in literary and cultural texts.


We offer

  • Salary NOK 490 900 - 569 000 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)
  • A professionally stimulating working environment
  • 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


How to apply


The application must include

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)
  • Project description, including progress plan (max. 10 pages).
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)
  • Certified copies of diplomas and testimonials
  • A complete list of publications
  • Academic works that the applicant wishes to be considered (max. 5 works)


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).


In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description, and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.


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 specified period at the same institution.

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 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: 1. March 2018


Contact persons:

Professor Jan Grue (for questions regarding the position)

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

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Educaloxy


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