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PhD Candidate in Political Communication

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    NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    Communication sciencesMedia studies
    Political sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    01/06/2021 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Norway › Trondheim


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You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the position

The Department of Sociology and Political Science has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate in the project “Evolution of the Social Construction of Crisis  (ESCC) – A long-term study of newspaper coverage (1788-2020)”. 

The PhD-position is a temporary position for a period of three years. The position may be extended by up to one year if the candidate is assigned teaching responsibilities.

The PhD position is an educational position that gives a promising research recruit the possibility for scientific development. The research field for the position is political communication, and the position is connected to the research group “Elections, Values and Political Communication (EVPOC)”. The project is rooted in the international collaborative research group “Evolution of the Social Construction of Crisis (ESCC)”. To put public responses to recent crises such as the Coronavirus pandemic into perspective, this longitudinal content analysis project analyzes the trajectory of the coverage of social emergencies and crises through the lens of newspaper coverage of more than two centuries. It mainly draws on “The Times Historical Archive”. This promises unique insights into how the social construction of crisis has changed through the ages, how different types of crisis are covered, how the changes in crisis coverage drive and express long-term social change, and regarding the role of crisis construction in political communication. It also pushes the boundaries of application of automated content analysis methods in conjunction with quantitative as well as qualitative manual content analysis.

The PhD candidate will conduct research on the long-term development of crisis coverage in newspapers, for example using framing theory. The focus within the project is chosen in dialogue with the main supervisor. It is expected that the PhD candidate contributes to both the manual and the automated content analysis components of the project, but can choose to specialize on quantitative-manual, qualitative-manual, or automated methods. Combining several methods is also possible.

You will report to Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The PhD-candidate will:

  • participate in the research group “Elections, Values and Political Communication (EVPOC)”, and contribute to the “ESCC” project.
  • analyze the long-term development of crisis coverage in “The Times” from the 18th into the 21st century and use it to trace the evolution of crisis definitions, political communication practices, and broader patterns of social change.
  • participate in international activities, among others through conference attendance and/or research stays at educational institutions abroad.

The position may be ascribed obligation to work and extended with up to one year, and it is expected that the candidate contributes to teaching in the special fields of the Department as part of this. 

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in social science preferably political science, media/communication science, or sociology, or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

Candidates who are in the final stage of their master's degree can apply and will be considered, but cannot be hired until they have completed the master's degree.

Other requirements:

  • good oral and written communication skills in English (because the texts to be analyzed will be in English).
  • the quality of the PhD project sketch (1,500 words maximum)
  • 1-2 years relevant experience in research, such as dissemination and participation in research project, is advantageous.
  • strong training in quantitative research methods will be considered advantageous.
  • methodological experience with quantitative content analysis will be considered advantageous.
  • methodological experience with (semi-)automated content/text analysis will be considered advantageous

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

Personal characteristics

Personal qualifications such as independence, well organized, initiative, cooperative spirit, and motivation to contribute to an including work milieu will be ascribed high importance.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 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, but can be extended to 4 years if teaching obligation is added to the position.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Social Sciences, specializing in political science/sociology. As a PhD candidate, you are expected to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

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.

It is a prerequisite that you settle down so you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include:

  • a project proposal for the PhD project (1,500 words maximum) connected to the project “Evolutions of the Social Construction of Crisis (ESCC)”. In the sketch the applicant should give an outline for research questions, theoretical perspectives and a methodological design for the PhD project.
  • a short letter of motivation
  • CV, recommendations, certificates and diplomas
  • Publications and other relevant scientific work (max. 3 publications)
  • 2-3 references


Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

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).

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Applicants invited for interview must bring certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SU-566 when applying.

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.

In accordance with The Public 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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Stefan Geiss, e-mail:  stefan.geiss@ntnu.no If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Renate Lillian Johansen, e-mail: renate.johansen@ntnu.no

Application deadline: 01.06.2021

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.

Department of Sociology and Political Science

We conduct research, teaching and dissemination in sociology, political science, media, communication and information technology, and sport sciences. The Department offers five-year master’s programmes in teacher education (lektorutdanning) in social sciences as well as in physical education and sports. As a social science department we have a special obligation to contribute to the public debate on important social issues. The Department of Sociology and Political Science is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences.

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