Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Second-language communication: Poles in Norway 72 views

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Job description

A three-year Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1352), financed by the Research Council of Norway, is available at the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing) at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, University of Oslo, starting December 2020. The fellowship is part of one of MultiLing’s research projects, which is entitled Second-language communication in workplace settings – the case of Polish migrants in Norway (NorPol).

MultiLing is a Center of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway (2013-2023). The Center is located at the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies. MultiLing aims to generate scientific knowledge on multilingualism across the lifespan, related to three themes: Theme 1 Multilingual competence, Theme 2 Multilingual practices, and Theme 3 Multilingualism, ideologies and language policies (for more information, see The Research Strategy Plan for MultiLing’s Second Five-Year Period (2018 – 2023) can be found here.

MultiLing seeks to recruit postdoctoral candidates with excellent research qualifications who will work with members of the research project Second-language communication in workplace settings – the case of Polish migrants in Norway (NorPol), a project that draws on perspectives from all three of MultiLing’s research themes (see above) and involves both senior and junior researchers. The project investigates socio-cultural, interactional, and linguistic factors that enhance or inhibit communication in workplace interaction between Poles and Norwegians. A description of the NorPol project can be found here.

Applicants are expected to present an independent research project proposal and articulate how the proposed project fits into the NorPol project. We particularly welcome projects relating to the role of interactional factors affecting mutual understanding in L2 communication, and projects relating to the role of grammatical, lexical and stylistic aspects in L2 communication; however, other projects relating to second-language communication in workplace settings involving Polish speakers of Norwegian will also be considered. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to data collection; hence, experience with fieldwork and/or data collection in workplace settings is an advantage.

MultiLing engages innovative methodologies and scrutinizes critical concepts and theoretical approaches in studying multilingualism, as emphasized in the Research Strategy Plan, and the successful candidate is expected to become part of MultiLing’s research environment and contribute to its development. The successful candidate is expected to strengthen the research areas addressed in the NorPol project, to contribute to and participate in the various workshops, conferences and activities organized by MultiLing and the NorPol project, and to be an active member of the MultiLing team in Oslo, and of the research environment of the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian studies. The duration of the fellowships exceeds the Center’s period of operation by a few months in 2023, and the finalization of the projects will take place in direct affiliation with the Department.

The position is available for a period of three years, starting December 2020. There is a 10% duty component devoted to teaching or other qualifying work. The main purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

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Qualification requirements

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the quality of the project description and its relevance for the NorPol project and MultiLing’s research strategy. We seek strongly motivated, competent candidates, with high-ranking academic qualifications in the relevant area of research.


  • The candidate should have a PhD degree or equivalent in Linguistics, Scandinavian languages, Second Language Acquisition, Rhetoric and Communication, Linguistic Anthropology or some other relevant discipline related to the NorPol project
  • The doctoral dissertation must have been submitted for evaluation before the application deadline
  • Experience in working on bilingualism or multilingualism, preferably involving Polish and/or Norwegian
  • Excellent written and spoken language skills in English

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

  • The project’s scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation
  • The applicant’s international experience and network of relevance to the project
  • The applicant’s academic and personal qualifications to carry out the project within the allotted time frame
  • Good cooperative skills, and the ability to successfully join in academic collaboration within and across disciplines, as an active member of the NorPol project group
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position

Good knowledge of Norwegian and/or Polish will be an advantage, as will experience with fieldwork and/or data collection in workplace settings.

We offer

  • Salary NOK 523 200 – 605 500 per annum depending on qualifications
  • A challenging and stimulating working environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

Applicants must submit the following attachments with the electronic application, preferably in pdf format:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position and a specification of how the proposed project relates to the NorPol project (maximum 2 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae (complete list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Project description, including a detailed progress plan for the project (3 – 5 pages, see Template for project descriptions)

Please note that all documents must be in English.

Publications, MA theses or PhD theses and the like are not to be submitted with the application, but applicants may be asked to submit such information or works at a later date.

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

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For questions about the position:

Associate Professor Toril Opsahl (NorPol project leader)

Professor and Center Director Elizabeth Lanza

For questions on how to apply: HR-Adviser Tonje Nathalie Olsen

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About the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan (MultiLing) is a Center of Excellence (CoE) under the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, financed through the Research Council of Norway’s CoE scheme. The center also has status as one of five world-leading research communities at the University of Oslo, and is currently building a socio-cognitive laboratory. MultiLing’s vision is to contribute to the knowledge on multilingualism across the lifespan for the individual and for the society. Through this the center aims to shed light on the opportunities and challenges represented by multilingualism for the individual in the family, school, other institutions, and in the society as a whole. The staff consists of 40 employees from 15 different countries. Moreover, MultiLing has an extensive network of national and international collaborative partners working on multilingualism at various research institutions

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