Announcement: PhD scholarships

2-3 PhD scholarships within the research program «Religion in the public sphere. A Comparative Study of the Five Nordic Countries» (NOREL).

KIFO Centre for Church Research, Oslo Norway invites applications for two-three full-time PhD scholarships within the research program «Religion in the public sphere. A Comparative Study of the Five Nordic Countries» (NOREL) for a period of three or four years, starting April 1, 2010. One position will be located in Oslo, Norway. The other one-two positions will be located either in Uppsala Sweden, Aarhus Denmark or Tampere Finland. It is expected that the PhD students will finish a PhD within the scholarship period. The scholarships follow local regulations of the host institution.

NOREL is a four year NORDCORP research project (2009-2013) funded by Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NOS-HS). The program systematically compares religious changes empirically in the five Nordic countries during 1988-2008. The findings will be interpreted within social science theories. The language of the program is English. Currently, fourteen senior researchers from all the five Nordic countries are involved in the program. The PhD students will be part of this highly qualified research group.

Within the NOREL program, the PhD students will conduct research within one of the following three areas:  

  1. Religion and the media
  2. The role of religion in civil society
  3. Religion and politics

The students will write a PhD dissertation based on an empirical study. The study will be comparative, including data from all the five Nordic countries. The study will provide the basis for reflections on sociological or social science theory. The students will receive practical support from the research group regarding data collection in the various Nordic countries.

Selected applicants will be asked to submit a project outline which is relevant to one of these three areas.

Enrollment as a PhD student at a relevant graduate school is a prerequisite for being granted a PhD scholarship. The successful applicant must have a relevant BA degree of 180 ECTS and have, prior to April 1 2010, satisfactorily completed a relevant MA degree consisting of at least 120 ECTS.

Relevant academic fields are: sociology, media studies, religious studies, theology, social sciences.

In assessing applications, we will focus on the candidates’ ability to present an original and interesting research project that can contribute productively to the NOREL program within one of the three areas outlined above. Applicants must also demonstrate their personal suitability for the position. Emphasis will be placed on good teamwork skills.

The working language is English. A high level of oral and written proficiency in English is required.

Appointment will be made by a committee consisting of researches involved in the NOREL program and one or more external senior researchers.

It is a goal to achieve a balanced gender representation, and include different age groups and ethnic minorities. Women and ethnic minorities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Salaries for the PhD students will follow the regulations for PhD students in the country where the student is enrolled. The holder of the scholarship will be expected to carry out duties equivalent of 25% of the position for administrative work, participation in research projects, and dissemination of research for the host institution.

Selected applicants will be asked to submit a project outline which is relevant to one of the areas of the NOREL program described above. The outline must be maximum 8 pages and include a presentation and discussion of research questions, theory, data and methods. The combination of empirical study and theoretical reflection will be emphasized. The holder of the scholarship will be expected to further develop and alter the project in cooperation with the program director and the supervisor.

We highly recommend the applicants to learn about the NOREL program, its goals, objectives and research outline. For more information about the NOREL-program, please visit our website.

Please submit your application to:
KIFO, Postbox 45, Vindern
N-0319 Oslo

Please ensure that you include the following:

a cover letter, a current curriculum vitae, statement of the area of interest within the NOREL program, a statement where you would like to be enrolled, certified copies of diplomas, and the names, addresses and email addresses of three references in 4 copies, and 3 copies of academic publications and a list of publications.

The applicants are fully responsible for submitting complete documentation in a sufficient number of copies. 

The application must be submitted in English. Certified diplomas in the Nordic languages are accepted.

Position start date: April 1 2010

Application deadline: January 15, 2010

Further information about the scholarships may be obtained by contacting Inger Furseth, phone: +47 23 33 47 24 or email: