PhD Research Fellowship at VID Specialized University

Be part of an exciting, interdisciplinary research environment at the Centre for Diaconia & Professional Practice and the Faculty of Social Studies at VID Specialized University.


VID Specialized University has up to four 100% positions as a PhD Research Fellow within the fields of Social Work, Family Therapy and Professional Practice for a period of 3 years. The advertised positions are available at the Centre for Diaconia & Professional Practice and will be linked to the research groups Family Therapy and Systematic Practice Research (FAMSYS) or Social Policies and the Welfare State (SOSPOL) at the Faculty of Social Studies.

A closer description of the intended profile of the advertised positions is as follows:

Up to two positions in existential health among men and family therapy (FAMSYS)

A growing body of research suggests that men seek mental health care to a much lesser extent than women. They are more often dissatisfied with professional help, drop-out more often and are more likely to engage in problematic substance use behaviour. The steady increase in suicide as a leading cause of death among men under 60 is also a worrying aspect of this problem, which can broadly be considered a problem of existential health. Experience from couples and family therapy (CFT) indicates that this has major consequences for relationships and family life and points in the direction that existential issues need to be incorporated into systemic CFT. The aim of this position is to explore existential health and existential concerns among men, how it affects their relationship and family life and potential consequences for systemic couples and family therapy. We welcome applicants from any relevant background interested in researching aspects of this issue from either a qualitative or mixed methods perspective.

Up to two positions on comparative perspectives on social work in changing Europe (SOSPOL)

Over the past decades, there have been significant changes in social policies across European welfare states. These policy changes impact on social work in various ways. We welcome project proposals that seek to develop comparative perspectives on social policies and how these policies impact on social work and social workers in different European settings. We welcome applicants from any relevant background interested in researching aspects of the issue from a comparative perspective, preferably through qualitative methods or based on document analysis.

PhD programmes at VID

The project description must relate to either FAMSYS or SOSPOL. Candidates are asked to clearly specify this in both the cover letter and the project description.

The position as research fellow aims at achieving a PhD Degree after completed research training. The length of the PhD position is 3 years.

The position will be within the PhD-programme Diaconia, Values and Professional Practice (DVP). DVP is a practice near, interdisciplinary programme dedicated to researching professional practice within health and social services and value-based organizations. The programme has a particular focus on the practitioner’s encounter with and navigation of complex knowledge and value landscapes from individual, collective, and societal perspectives.

More information about the PhD programmes at VID can be found on our website:

Applicants are requested to specify the connection between their own project proposal and the PhD programme.

General criteria for appointment as a research fellow are stipulated in the Guidelines and additional provisions for the PhD Programmes at VID Specialized University.

The position will organizationally be located at Centre for Diaconia and Professional Practice. The position is based at VID’s campus in Oslo.

Qualifications and personal abilities

  • Master’s degree (120 ECTS) in a field relevant to the call, with a grade of B or better
  • Fluent written and oral presentation skills in English
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities
  • Capacity to complete tasks in a timely and structured manner

The following are also desirable:

  • Relevant research and/or practical experience

In an overall assessment of the applicants, emphasis will be placed on personal qualifications, relevant competence and experience, and the scientific quality of the project proposal.

Diversity is one of the characteristics of a good working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of gender, functional abilities, and cultural background. Applicants with a minority background are therefore encouraged to apply.

Template for project descriptions

All project descriptions should be written according to VID’s template for project descriptions – fil – VID vitenskapelige høgskole

The applicant must submit a project description of max 3500 words (reference list, tables and all text included) written in English or a Scandinavian language.

Applicants must disclose any connection between their submitted project description and any on-going, external research project.

Since VID seeks to strengthen research collaboration with international educational and research institutions, it is expected that applicants indicate plans for research visits abroad during the course of the PhD fellowship.

We offer

  • Opportunities of academic development with highly qualified and committed colleagues
  • A value-based and church-based specialized university with high academic teaching and research ambitions relevant to society and the church
  • Membership in the State Pension Plan with beneficial loan-and pension terms. VID conforms to the main agreement between the Enterprise Federation of Norway (VIRKE) and Employees Unions
  • The position is placed in code 1017 PhD student of the Basic Collective Agreement, (from kr. 501.200,- a year) and follow ordinary meriting regulations. Membership in the State Pension Plan, accident-and group-life insurance scheme is required. The salary will be adjusted yearly according to the collective agreement


Please upload the application, CV, diplomas, transcripts, diploma supplements and the project description through the «Apply here» link above. It is the full responsibility of the applicant to submit a complete application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Diploma supplements for non-Norwegian diplomas must be included when relevant. Documents in languages other than English or Norwegian, must include an official translation. For applicants with an education that cannot be documented with Diploma Supplements, confirmation of education, its content and grade must be provided.

A sorting committee will select the applications that are to be assessed by the expert committee. Please note that the project descriptions of applicants not selected for expert assessment will not receive a written evaluation. The decision of the sorting committee will not be made public.

The expert committee will assess applicants based on competence, relevance to the call, and the quality of the project description. Emphasis will also be placed on the interview conducted with shortlisted applicants.

Applicants must provide a list of 2-3 references that can be contacted in the event of shortlisting. Applicants invited to the interview must be able to submit certified copies of diplomas and certificates.

If you have documents that cannot be sent electronically, please contact HR

Application deadline: June 26th, 2023.

Starting date: February 1st, 2024, or by agreement

For further information about the position or guidance related to the project draft, please contact Vice-dean for Research at the Faculty of Social Studies, Professor Aleksandra Bartoszko, email, or Centre Director, Professor James McGuirk, email  phone +4748110185.

Comitted to humanity – locally and globally

VID Specialized University undertakes education and research in the fields of health and social sciences, educational science, management, diaconia and theology. We offer approximately 50 programs of study as Bachelor, Master’s, and PhD degrees. Our ambition is to become Norway’s first private university within 2028.

With about 6000 students and 600 employees, VID is the biggest private school of higher education in Norway. You’ll find our campuses in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Sandvika and Tromsø. We also have decentralized schooling at Helgeland.

VID is a private specialized university with a value-based and ecclesiastical connection. Through our programs of study, we educate knowledgeable, reflective, and brave professional practitioners. Our research is of high international standard and our work sheds light on social differences and people in difficult situations.

The letters in VID are a Norwegian acronym for Specialized (Vitenskapelig), International (Internasjonal) and diaconal (diakonial).

Our motto is Committed to humanity – locally and globally.