PhD position within STS: exploring sustainability transitions within and from aviation

About the job

NTNU, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture (KULT,, is announcing a 3-year PhD position within Science and Technology Studies (STS). The position will be part of the KULTs Centre for technology and society and the research group on energy, climate and environment. The PhD is funded by the Norwegian Centre for Energy Transition Strategies (NTRANS), where the candidate will be part of Research Area 1: Deep Decarbonisation and Wide Societal Change. NTRANS is a national centre for environmentally friendly energy, working to understand and advance the Norwegian energy and climate transition from a social science and humanities perspective. 

The project focuses on the pervasive role that aviation plays in Norwegian society, with flying being an integrated element of most industries, as well as in the personal life of a large share of the population. From a socio-technical perspective, this project probes both the supply and the demand side of aviation, the goal being on the one hand to explore the opportunities and challenges for decarbonizing aviation, and on the other hand, the opportunities, and challenges for reducing aviation.

As part of this effort, the PhD project will involve the following research activities.

  • A mapping of green innovation activities targeting aviation, and a mapping of current work done to reduce aviation demand.
  • In-depth socio-technical case studies focusing on key selected technologies and fuels that might decarbonize aviation.
  • In-depth socio-technical case studies of selected sites with a high demand for aviation.

The PhD will work closely with other PhDs/postdocs and researchers within NTRANS and other researchers focusing on energy and climate transition at the department.

Main duties and responsibilities

The successful applicant must

  • Conduct empirical data collection through qualitative methods such as interviews, participant observation and focus groups, or other methods relevant to the research design
  • Analyse such data through theories and concepts from Science and Technology Studies (STS) or other relevant disciplines
  • Complete the obligatory coursework in the Ph.D.-program for Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture.
  • Produce a PhD thesis, preferably based on peer reviewed articles published in key international journals.
  • Participate actively in at least one NTRANS user case.
  • Participate in other NTRANS activities when relevant, such as the development of scenarios.
  • Present, communicate and disseminate work at relevant national and international venues.
  • Be an active participant in the day-to-day activities at the department, the Centre for Technology and Society, and the research group on Energy, climate and environment.

Qualification requirements

The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 ECTS) with a strong academic background in Science and Technology studies (STS) or equivalent education. Examples of other relevant backgrounds that may be considered are Sociology, Anthropology, Political science, Innovation studies, or Human geography. Candidates with a different academic background might be considered if they can document relevant research experience from related research activities. The master’s thesis needs to have received a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. In addition:

  • Applicants should have knowledge of or interest in Social Science and Humanities studies of energy, sustainability transitions, controversies, participation, public engagement and inclusion, and/or interdisciplinarity.
  • The applicant should have experience with qualitative research methods.
  • Applicants should have excellent English skills (written and oral).

When evaluating relevant candidates:

  • We emphasize the ability to collaborate with others e.g., through co-authoring research papers, as well as the ability to conduct independent research.  
  • We will emphasise completion of the Master’s thesis on time
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language will be considered an advantage.

Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates for education leading to a PhD degree.

The employee must complete the PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture within three years. The appointment period is divided with ½ year for compulsory course work and 2 ½ years for completion of the PhD project.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 (LTR 58) 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.

The appointed candidate is required to have dept. of interdisciplinary studies of culture, NTNU as a daily working place.

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 criterias 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.

About the application

The application should contain:

  • CV
  • A maximum 3-page statement and motivational letter containing some initial research ideas
  • 3 references.
  • A list of publications, if available
  • Relevant documentation and transcripts

The application with attachments should be marked HF xx-xxx and must be sent electronically via Jobbnorge. For relevant applicants we will gather references and conduct interviews.

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant’s contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

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):

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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

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. Under the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

The national labour force must reflect the composition of the population to the greatest possible extent, NTNU wants to increase the proportion of women in its scientific posts. Women are encouraged to apply. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life ( Having a population of 200 000, Trondheim is a small city by international standards with low crime rates and little pollution. It also has easy access to a beautiful countryside with mountains and a dramatic coastline.

More information can be obtained by contacting profesor Tomas Moe Skjølsvold, email:, Researcher Gisle Solbu, email: or recruitment consultant Hilde Saxi Gildberg for administrative questions:

Application deadline: 05.06.2023

NTNU – knowledge for a better world

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 Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture

We conduct research and teaching in two subject areas: equality and diversity, and science and technology studies. The Department has an active research environment with a high proportion of external funding. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture is one of six departments in the Faculty of Humanities.