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MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship – Digitalization of public welfare services and citizenship

OsloMet –  storbyuniversitetet er landets tredje største universitet, med over 20 000 studenter og mer enn 2000 ansatte. OsloMet leverer kunnskap og yrkesutøvere samfunnet er avhengig av, og er tett på arbeidslivets behov. OsloMet er et urbant og mangfoldig universitet med internasjonalt preg og et attraktivt studie- og arbeidssted med studiesteder midt i Oslo og på Kjeller ved Lillestrøm. Tilstedeværelsen i hovedstadsregionen gir universitetet gode muligheter til å forstå og høste fordelene av byens varierte befolkningssammensetning.

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship – Digitalization of public welfare services and citizenship

Department of Social Work, Child Welfare and Social Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences

The department conducts high-impact research on a broad range of topics within national, European and international social policy. The research typically builds on stakeholder involvement, including civil society organizations, local and national authorities and market actors. The department hosts the Centre for the study of digitization of public welfare services and citizenship (CEDIC), which has been awarded the status as an excellent academic environment.

Call for Expression of Interest for a joint application under the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship funding programme 

We hereby invite top-class researchers of any nationality, after having obtained a PhD degree and up to six years of research experience, to apply for an EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship (MSCA-PF-2021) to conduct research on digitization of public services and citizenship at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University for a period of two years.

Area of research 

The candidates are invited to contribute to develop multi-disciplinary knowledge about the relationship between digitization and the provision of welfare services, especially as this pertains to vulnerable persons. The successful candidate will participate as a members of the Centre for the study of digitization of public welfare services and citizenship (CEDIC). Starting in 2021, CEDIC will examine how processes of digitization influence both the provision of welfare state services, and the ability for persons in vulnerable positions to access, use and benefit from these services.

The welfare state is undergoing an unprecedented structural transformation with increasing digitization of public services. The impacts of this digitization and the effects of this transformation on populations in vulnerable positions is largely unknown. Digitization can relocate life chances in asymmetrical ways, raising questions about issues such as access, de-humanization, effectiveness, equity, service provision and precision. While scholars in the social sciences have addressed various consequences of the digitization of the labour market, less attention has been given to effects of the digitization of public welfare services. CEDIC will address this gap in the literature in innovative ways and contribute new theories by combining insights from the social sciences, law, humanities and technology.  Typically, digitization of public sector services is conceived as a technological problem. CEDIC will change the focus to law, policies, and practices that shape the design, implementation and take-up of digitized services by the end users. While most research addressing digitization focuses on health services or the use of ICT in education, CEDIC addresses digitization of social services and the consequences for the claimants, beneficiaries, and target groups of social services. 

Tasks and responsibilities 

The candidates are invited to address research questions among overall issues such as:

The successful candidate(s) will be supervised by Professor Rune Halvorsen and Professor Marit Haldar. Marit Haldar, director of CEDIC, has 25 years of experience form social science research, and she has been supervisor for 65 master students and 9 PhD students. Important topics in her research are childhood, gender, family, social inequality and vulnerable subjects in the welfare state. She has been project manager for serval research projects.  Recently, she has developed research projects on welfare technology and loneliness/social exclusion. She was head of department for three years and is now president of the Norwegian Sociological Association.  Rune Halvorsen, co-director of CEDIC, has more than 20 years of experience from social policy research. He is the scientific coordinator of the Horizon 2020 project “EUROSHIP – Closing gaps in social citizenship. New tools to foster social resilience in Europe”. From 2019, he is a board member of the Nordic ESPAnet – Network for European Social Policy Analysis. He has previously coordinated cross-national research on digital freedom for persons with disabilities.

Expected qualification of candidates 

Candidates must hold a PhD in social policy, sociology, political science, anthropology or political economy as the minimum requirement.  We are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this period as an opportunity to further develop their research career, and to develop longer term research collaborations with OsloMet and other institutions conducting groundbreaking research in the field. The candidates must be eligible for a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (PhD successfully defended and up to 6 years research experience).

We are looking for applicants who have 

Application process 

With this call for Expression of Interest, we invite postdoctoral researchers to apply; they must submit their CV, including publications list and a one-page description of the research project idea, that together with a virtual interview will be the basis for assessing and selecting two candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-PF grant applications.  

If you would like to apply for the position you must do so electronically through our recruitment system. 

Assessment and selection of candidates 

Candidates will be pre-selected based on an internal evaluation and the availability of suitable supervision. A maximum of five candidates will be invited for a virtual interview and a maximum of two candidates will be invited to submit a proposal to the EU funded MSCA-PF programme. Candidates will be informed of the results of the pre-selection to apply by 25 March 2021. The deadline for submitting the MSCA-FP proposal is 15 September 2021. 

Selected candidates will be invited and must participate in the MSCA-FP masterclass, a two-day online workshop organized by OsloMet on the first week of May 2021, exact date to be confirmed. In this first phase, the cooperation will be carried out remotely, with regular communication via email and online meeting platforms. If applicants are successful in their MSCA grant application, the place of work will be at the OsloMet main campus, located in the center of Oslo.

The postdoctoral position 

Successful applicants who obtain a MSCA-PF grant will be offered a position at OsloMet to be hired as postdoc researchers in conditions as explained below.   

Starting Date 

The EU informs the evaluation results on the MSCA-PF-2021 applications in February 2022. Successful applicants who receive the MSCA-PF grant are expected to be available to start in their postdoctoral position at OsloMet within the following two months of the evaluation results and no later than summer of 2022 

It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavours to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. If there are periods where you have not been in work, under education or in training, you are also welcome to apply.  

We offer 

Initially, we offer assistance in developing competitive Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship proposals. Then, to successful applicants to the Marie Curie program, we offer: 

OsloMet has implemented the Charter & Code for researchers and been granted the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4) by the EU Commission and is part of the EU network for mobility of Researchers EURAXESS. Practical information about relocation to OsloMet to at EURAXESS Norway. 

Remuneration and employment 

The competitive fellowship opportunities are 100% funded and include living and mobility allowances.  

Other information 

For more information about the position, feel free to contact:    

We only process applications sent via our electronic recruitment system and all documents must be uploaded for your application to be processed. The documents must be in English. Translations must be authorised. OsloMet performs document checks in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.  

OsloMet has adhered to the principles in the DORA declaration and obliged the institution to follow the recommendations in this declaration. 


Deadline for application:       January 31, 2021

Ref.:     20/12094

OsloMet er Charter & Code sertifisert av EU-kommisjonen med rettigheter til å bruke logoen HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) og medlem i nettverket EURAXESS som bidrar til gode arbeidsforhold for mobile forskere. OsloMet har sluttet seg til prinsippene og forpliktet institusjonen til å følge anbefalingene i DORA-erklæringen (The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment).