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Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM)
Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship - Nordic Branding

A Post-doctoral research fellowship within the project ‘Nordic Branding’ is available at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. The project is part of the programme UiO:Norden.

Nordic Branding is an interdisciplinary programme that analyses how Nordic states have explicitly and implicitly branded themselves (or been branded by others). It is coordinated by three faculties (law, social science, and humanities) and the Centre for Development and the Environment. Drawing on the disciplines of law, sociology, criminology, psychology, history, political science, economics, marketing and anthropology this research programme explores the idea and images of Nordic through the lens of nation/regional branding. Contemporarily and historically, it will focus on the constructionof Nordic brands and their subsequent use in politics (including in the field of law). Given the international prominence of institutionalised Nordic social models and their salience for Nordic self-understanding, there will be a focus on social welfare, gender equality, and democracy/rights models (the programme ‘pillars’) but also cross-cutting themes of agents and audiences, brand aesthetics, and related themes such as the environment. The programme also seeks to advance the theory of branding as an analytical concept.

Candidates are expected to present a research project closely connected to the main programme. The successful candidate is expected to become part of the research environment/network of the center and contribute to its development. The academic work is to result in research articles and/or chapters in edited volumes, as well as popular dissemination.

The postdoc project may be conceived as interdisciplinary, but should preferably include a rhetorical dimension. The rhetorical dimension may include a focus on how the Nordic brand is created through “constitutive rhetoric”, on the role and interrelations of different publics, or on the sites and social dynamics of rhetorical processes. The postdoc candidate should have proven competence – theoretical, methodological or thematic – relevant to the project proposal. The Centre for Development and the Environment will be particularly interested in projects related to the social welfare pillar of the programme (as this pillar is coordinated by the Centre). In particular, preference will be given to projects that deal with the image of the Nordics as “humanitarians” in international relations and/or Nordic exceptionalism in development aid – as well as how these aspects of the Nordic “brand” relate to the Nordic welfare state model. However, projects may also address other pillars or have broader theoretical and empirical ambitions. For instance, a rhetorical perspective combined with studies of branding audiences would be ideal. See the programme description for various sub-themes, such as labour/tax models, peace/security, penal exceptionalism, sexual violence, prostitution, migration, consensus democracy, ombudsmen, judicial review and human rights.

The appointment is for a duration of up to 3 years, with teaching and project coordination duties constituting up to 25% of the workload.


The candidate must hold a doctoral degree in rhetoric or another relevant discipline.

The project language is English, yet since the empirical work will mainly be carried out in Norwegian, candidates should have an excellent command of a Scandinavian language and English, written and spoken.

In the evaluation of the applications, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The quality and relevance of the project description;
  • Academic and personal ability to carry out the project within the allotted time frame and contribute to the Nordic Branding project;
  • Good co-operative skills and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines.
  • Theoretical and/or methodological competence
  • Communication and dissemination skills in both academic and popular genres

  We offer:

  • Salary NOK 489 300 - 588 100 per year (salary levels 57 to 65)
  • An inspiring and friendly working environment
  • A favorable pension arrangement
  • Attractive welfare arrangements

The applicants should include:

  • Cover letter (statement of motivation and research interests)
  • CV (summarizing education, positions, academic work, scientific publications)
  • Certified copies of certificates and academic diplomas. (If the original language is not English or a Scandinavian language, an English language translation must be provided in addition to a copy of the original.)
  • Project description (approximately 5 pages), including a progress plan
  • A complete list of academic publications
  • Up to 3 publications. (If the publications are written by more than one author, a declaration of authorship and of the contribution of the applicant should be submitted.)
  • A list of up to 3 references. (Name, relation to candidate, e-mail address and telephone number)

The short-listed candidates will be invited to an interview at the University of Oslo or we will arrange for an interview on Skype.

Please remember that the application and the project outline as well as all other documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Applicants from countries outside the Nordic countries where English is not the official language must attach a TOEFL test with a minimum score of 550 unless they have a diploma from a university in an English-speaking country.

See the guidelines concerning appointments to research posts at the University of Oslo for more details.

The University of Oslo has an agreement in place for all employees that aims to secure the rights to research results.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act § 25 (Offentleglova), information about the candidate may be included in the public applicant list even if the candidate has requested non-disclosure.

In accordance with the University of Oslo’s equal opportunities policy, we invite applications from all interested individuals regardless of, for instance, gender or ethnicity.


  • Region:
  • Oslo
  • Job type:
  • Contract
  • Working hours:
  • Full-time
  • Working days:
  • Day
  • Application deadline:
  • 31/03/2017
  • Expected Start Date:
  • 01/05/2017
  • Reference number:
  • 2017/2341