VID Specialized University
PhD position in diaconal studies
VID Specialized University
January 1, 2016 Diakonhjemmet University College, Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Betanien University College and School of Mission and Theology merged and became VID Specialized University
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Published: 1 month ago
Application deadline: Apr 04
Location: Oslo, Norway
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PhD position in diaconal studies

The work place will be located in Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger.

VID Specialized University is a private, accredited specialized university. VID was established on January 1 2016 after the merger between four Norwegian institutions: Diakonhjemmet University College, Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Betanien University College and MHS - School of Mission and Theology. The objective is to offer higher education and conduct research within Health- and Social Sciences, Pedagogy, Management, Diakonia and Theology. VID has approximately 4400 students, 410 employees and campuses in Bergen, Oslo, Sandnes, and Stavanger, and the University offers 50 different study programmes at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels.

PhD position in diaconal studies

VID Specialized University announces a scholarship for a PhD project that explores the intersection between the research fields of diaconia, values and professional practice. In the PhD program Diaconia, Values and Professional Practice at VID diaconia is understood as a value-based professional practice in a broad sense. This means that the field could be approached from various disciplines and traditions, such as health studies, leadership studies, religious studies and theology, sociology or social work. In the PhD program, PhD projects can both focus on professionalized diaconal institutions and on diaconal practice in congregations and local communities. In this announcement, we invite applications focusing on the latter; diaconal practice in congretations and local communities. They could for example ask how diaconal work is embedded in the congregation’s life and team of professional and voluntary actors, how diaconal actors participate in the welfare and health sector, if there is a specific diaconal professionalism and voluntarism, how diaconia reacts to growing diversity and secularism in society, how diaconal agency/organisations relate to civil society, marketisation or new technical resources or how they include citizens in vulnerable situations. They could also start from social challenges like migration, exclusion and inequality. The projects should apply empirical methods and be open for the interdisciplinary profile of the PhD program. The applicants are expected to contribute to the overarching aim of the PhD program to renew the discipline of diaconal studies.

The project proposal should also relate to one of VID’s research groups, where senior researchers, as well as PhD fellows and master students, will make up a dynamic research environment.

The position will be located at the Centre for Diaconia, Values and Leadership. The work place will be located in Oslo, Bergen or Stavanger.

The stipulated length of the PhD positions is three years.

The position as research fellow is educational; it aims at the candidate achieving a PhD Degree after completed research education at one of the University’s two PhD programmes. This position is an opportunity for VID to recruit younger candidates for research, academic development and teaching within the University’s disciplines. Young candidates are especially encouraged to apply

Read more about the PhD programme in Diaconia, Values and Professional Practice

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

Qualifications and personal abilities

Requirements for the position:

  • Master's Degree (120 ECTS) or equivalent in health- or social sciences or diaconia, with relevance to the PhD programme and the announcement.

The following are also desirable:

  • Ability to work independently and focused

  • Ability to work well with others

  • Experience with relevant research- and development work

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. The person appointed must be loyal to the basic values of VID Specialized University.

Project description

The applicant must submit a project description of maximum 3,000 words (reference list not included) where he/she accounts for the chosen topic, research question, choice of theories and methods. A progress plan for the various parts of the research project must be part of the description.

VID expects that applicants indicate any plans for studies abroad during the appointed period. The project description must be written in English or a Scandinavian language. You can find guidelines for applicants to the PhD positions.

Applicants will be assessed by an expert committee. Emphasis will be given to the relevance and quality of the project description, quality of the Master’s Thesis or thesis at second degree level and any publications or R&D-experience in the last 3-5 years. Please note that applicants without an A or B or equivalent on their Master’s Thesis will normally not be considered.

Emphasis will also be placed on the interview with the applicant (in person or per skype). The person who is appointed must be loyal to and work in accordance with the aims and values of VID and submit to current laws, regulations, guidelines and agreements applying to the position.

Applicants from non-Scandinavian countries who do not have a university degree from an English-speaking country must submit results from a TOEFL test, with a minimum of 550 points (80 points on the Internet).

We offer

  • Opportunities of academic development with highly qualified and committed colleagues

  • An educational institution with high ambitions, based on Christian values

  • An IW-Registered University (Inclusive Workplace)

  • 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 Union and the position is placed in code 1017 of the tariff agreement 20, pay scale 54 (NOK 466.500,-). Membership in the State Pension Plan, accident- and group-life insurance scheme is required.


Send application, CV and project description (maximum 3,000 words, reference list not included) by the «Apply here» link on top of this page.

Application deadline: 4 April 2018.

If you have documents that cannot be sent electronically, please contact the HR-department, phone + 47 2245 1941 or

Date of commencement: 1 September 2018 or by agreement.

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

Applicants who are invited for interviews must submit certified copies of diplomas, grade transcripts and certificates. For further information about the position or guidance related to the project draft, please contact Associate Professor Dr. Annette Rose Leis-Peters,  Centre for Diaconia and Professional Practice/Faculty of Theological, Diaconia and Leadership Studies,, phone +47 22451927/488 93 113, Associate Professor Dr. Oddgeir Synnes, Director of Centre the Centre for Diaconia and Professional Practice,, phone +47 22963740/ 90974849  , or Research Advisor Anja Nieuwenhuis, phone +47 2296 3788 / +47 9866 3138.

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