JOB by: The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, December 18, 2017

PhD Fellowship Rural Studies

at The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Oslo, NO

App deadline: February 01, 2018

About AHO and Institute of Urbanism and Landscape

The Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO) is a specialized university and a leading international architecture and design school that provides education within architecture, landscape architecture, urbanism and design. AHOs fields of knowledge focus on design in all scales; objects, buildings, urban areas and landscaping. AHO is organized into four institutes, and has approx. 700 students and 145 employees.

The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape has a multi-disciplinary approach to education and research within the fields of urbanism

and landscape architecture. Particular attention is paid to understanding change and transformation of cities and territories and to developing knowledge in order to enable strategy development and support design interventions in urban situations and landscapes. The institute has a strong international profile, with a well-established network of partner institutions within practice, teaching and research. Education activities comprise the MA in Architecture, MA in Landscape Architecture, MA in Urbanism as well as AHO’s PhD programme.

Background and research field

The Institute of Urbanism and Landscape (UL) is searching for a doctoral candidate who can strengthen and develop the institute’s ongoing research into the current development of rural areas. The concepts “rural” and “urban” are unsatisfactory in contemporary territorial discussions, because they do not denote clear categories. Economic, social, cultural and also urbanization as an architectural category, are influencing all territories. However, there are distinctive characteristics to the current development in rural areas. Examples are industrialization of primary production (agriculture, forestry and fisheries), changes in ownership and accessibility to the resources, changes in settlement structure, investments in national and international infrastructure and localization of huge industrial, commercial and recreational projects.

UL is engaged in this research field in a number of projects involving PhD students together with AHO and international researchers: The project “Countryside Construction” in cooperation with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. Studies of Norwegian fisheries and their impact on local habitat and settlement structure (Ellefsen/Lundevall, Fiskevær, Oslo: PAX forlag, 2017), and different studies of peri-urban areas.

Project proposals may focus on theoretical studies, studies on a territorial level or have the format of a case-study. Prospective candidates must base their analytical approach from disciplines such as architecture (morphological studies), urbanism (local and territorial strategies) or landscape architecture (local habitat).

In order to link the project closely to ongoing research at AHO, the empirical material in question should primarily be linked to the impact of fisheries in a Northern Norwegian setting or to the study of the urbanisation of habitat and villages in the Chinese Countryside. The candidate should in the project description and in the CV, demonstrate knowledge of the study area.

The four year PhD fellowship contains one year of educational and administrative duties.

The candidate will be placed in the context of the Institute’s research center and will be given a role in the organization of the further development of rural studies. The likely supervisor will be Professor Karl Otto Ellefsen

Academic requirements

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree in architecture or landscape architecture.
  • Candidates that speak and master written Norwegian will be given priority, however we also urge other candidates to apply.
  • Applicants who do not have English or Scandinavian language as their mother tongue must submit documentation of their proficiency in English by the deadline of the application (TOEFL test or similar). Students with university studies where English comprised the major component of the studies are exempted from the requirement.

Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according the following criteria:

  • The formal academic requirements for the position
  • The quality of the project description and its relevance for the call
  • The academic competence of the applicant and the applicant’s suitability within the context of the institute’s research and educational environment.
  • In this specific call, knowledge of the study area, gained through practice or academic work, will be important evaluation criteria.

The application must include:

  • A letter of application describing why the applicant is qualified for this position (maximum two A4 pages.)
  • A project proposal (maximum 5 A4 pages) which must include the topic, relevant theory, methods or practise, and a time line for the project. Applicants are expected to be able to complete the project during the appointment period. Special needs in terms of for instance technical equipment or association with national or international institutions or partners should be mentioned.
  • CV with a full summary of education, practice and academic employment, list of publications, projects and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee (Max 5 A4 pages).
  • Copies of educational certificates (foreign applicants must attach an explanations of their university’s grading system)
  • One example of written work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee, maximum 10 pages.
  • One presentation (where relevant) of practice-based work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee, maximum 5 pages

Please note that all documentation must be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Applications who do not fulfil the formal requirements will not be considered.

Attachments beyond the required documents will not be taken into consideration.

We offer

  • The PhD scholarship is fully funded and there is no tuition fee. The salary is NOK 443 900 for a full position, extensive relevant experience can give a higher start salary. From the salary, there will be a mandatory deduction of 2% as a contribution to the State Pension fund (SPK). Standard employment conditions for state employees in Norway apply for the position.
  • An annual sum of 20 000 NOK for literature and other necessary academic activities.
  • Office space in a professionally stimulating working environment.
  • Attractive welfare benefits and generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities.

Formal regulations

The educational component in the AHO PhD Programme is mandatory and requires fulltime attendance. Residency in Oslo for the employment period is preferable. Research stay at a relevant international academic institution is encouraged.

It is desirable that the PhD fellowship commence in the spring 2018. The PhD fellowship will start at latest on September 1st 2018.

More information about PhD fellowships at AHO can be found at information about the project and the position please contact: professor Karl Otto Ellefsen or Head of institute Marianne Skjulhaug

Please apply through our website or directly at

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