Faculty of Technology, Art and Design, Department of Product Design

OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway’s third largest university, with more than 20,000 students and 2,000 employees. OsloMet delivers knowledge to solve societal challenges, in close cooperation with the society and employers. OsloMet is an urban and diverse university with a clear international profile, and an attractive place to work and study with campuses in Oslo city centre and at Kjeller in the Municipality of Lillestrøm. Our location in the metropolitan area gives us good opportunities to understand and benefit from the city’s diverse population.

The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD) offers higher education and research and development (R&D) activities within technical subjects, arts and design. The Faculty has approximately 3.000 students and 280 staff members and is situated at Pilestredet Campus in downtown Oslo and at Kjeller Campus in Viken.

Department of Product Design offers offers bachelor’s degree programme and master’s degree programme in product design in addition to research and development activities.

The Faculty of Technology, Arts and Design (TKD) at OsloMet announces one open PhD fellowship in the area of Systems Oriented Design. The position will be connected to the Department of Product Design. The fellowship will be for a period of three years. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at OsloMet to obtain the degree PhD.

Area of research

We are seeking a PhD candidate for the research project REDUCE - rethinking everyday plastics, funded by the Research Council of Norway for the period 2021-2025, and led by the research institute Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at OsloMet. The project is conducted in partnership with the Department of Product Design.

The candidate is expected to conduct research outlined in the project description. The main research questions that must be addressed are

  • 1) What are the industrial, political, social and cultural barriers and opportunities for designing and redesigning systems, products and services to reduce plastic consumption?, and
  • 2) How can we rethink products, services, and systems to reduce plastic consumption within leisure, hygiene and childhoods?

The work will involve conducting workshops, analyzing results from other parts of the project in a systems oriented design perspective, visualizing complex systems to identify points of intervention and developing design concepts for alternative products, services and systems. Furthermore, to apply a co-design approach gathering researchers, design students, project partners, and other relevant actors to elicit concepts and scenarios for problematizing sustainable consumption futures.

The project REDUCE is an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers from the fields of design, sociology and history as well as a number of companies and organizations. Together, they will look at plastic in a systems perspective and investigate how the consumption of plastic products in everyday life can be reduced.

The project will focus on three consumption areas where large quantities of plastic materials are used: hygiene products (i.e. period products), leisure products (i.e. sports equipment and clothes) and products related to childhood, ( i.e.toys). As is well known, the plastic we use the most is made from non-renewable carbon resources associated with greenhouse gas emissions - namely oil. In addition, very little of the plastic we use is currently being recycled, due to lack of functioning systems Some plastics leak harmful chemicals and some turn into microplastics, and litter the landscape and the sea - therefore we must reduce its consumption. At the same time, plastic is a marvelous material that can be used for almost anything, shaped and colored in an infinity of possibilities. In some products, plastic is currently the most suitable material, and will continue to be so for some time to come, until we find an alternative that can match its properties. These are not the products that are focused on in REDUCE. Rather, the emphasis is on products where there already exist alternatives or where they can be developed. Moreover, on systemic innovations that can reduce the need for plastic products and prevent plastic pollution. By looking at plastic from different perspectives related to consumers' everyday lives, political regulations and processes, and product development in business - the project aims to identify barriers and opportunities to reduce plastic consumption in the future. Furthermore, to develop products, services and systems for a less plastic intensive future.

The project will contribute knowledge about:

  • How political framework conditions affect plastic consumption
  • How plastic products are part of consumers' everyday lives
  • How the role of plastic has developed historically and what it means for consumption today
  • Innovation opportunities through (re) design of systems, products and services, future scenarios and Designerly living Labs

Qualification requirements

  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree in design (120 ECTS) with a grade B or above.
  • Experience in working with issues regarding sustainability
  • Excellent written and spoken English.
  • Applicants from countries where English is not the first language must present an official language test report. The following tests qualify as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:
    • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test).
    • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test is accepted).

The following applicants are exempt from the above mentioned language requirements:

    • Applicants from EU/EEA countries.
    • Applicants who have completed one year of university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or USA.
    • Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

The Fellowship requires successful enrolment to a PhD program at OsloMet in attendance of the establishment of the Innovation for Sustainability program to be hosted by TKD and Centre for Welfare and Labour Research.

When assessing and ranking the qualified applicants, emphasis will be placed on

  • The relevance of the project description to the project REDUCE and the described area of research
  • The scientific quality of the project description, including originality, interdisciplinarity and potential
  • The feasibility of the project proposal regarding time schedule and planned activities
  • Experience from previous research activities and participation in research projects
  • Relevant work experience related to design practice or sustainability issues

Experience from teaching and/or supervision at college or university level

Desired personal skills

  • Ability to work with a systems oriented approach to design
  • Ability to work systematically and under pressure Ability to finish tasks
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, plan, dimension and direct own work
  • Ability and willingness to exploit possibilities for innovation and creativity as they arisens
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to collaborate and contribute in interdisciplinary teams

It is important to 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. You are also welcome to apply for a position with us if you have experienced periods where you have not been in work, education or training.

We can offer you

  • An exciting job opportunity at the third largest and most urban University in Norway
  • Experience with working in an interdisciplinary research project with both Norwegian and international partners as well as business actors
  • Opportunity for professional development
  • A dynamic, interdisciplinary, practice-oriented research environment
  • Participation in the doctoral program and a research group where the project is located
  • Beneficial pension arrangements with the Norwegian State Pension Fund

Practical information about relocation to Oslo and living in Norway

Expert evaluation

An expert committee will assess applicants. You must upload the following documents together with your application by the final date for applications:

  • Application letter, (max 2pages) describing your motivations for applying to this fellowship as well as a short overview of the qualifications, technical skills, experience, and personal skills that make you an attractive candidate for a successful and productive completion of this work.
  • CV, references and all pages of certificates/diplomas. The certificates/diplomas must include ECTS grades (A–F). Foreign diplomas must be translated into English by the degree-conferring institution. Education taken abroad should preferably be recognised in advance by NOKUT, and a confirmed copy of the letter of recognition should be enclosed.
  • Your master's degree/second degree thesis (and any other scholarly work that you wish the expert committee to take into consideration)
  • A list of your publications, if relevant
  • Approvals from ethical committees or other necessary permits/approvals
  • Project proposal which indicates that the project will realistically lead to a doctoral degree. The proposal should include: Research questions, theory and method, relevant knowledge within the research area, a schedule for the educational and research plan to answer the research questions and achieve the ambitions and research goals described under Area of research above. The project proposal should not exceed 5 pages ( A4, Size 12) excluding references.

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 either English or a Scandinavian language. Translations must be authorised. Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered. Originals must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document checks in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.

Before submitting the application documents to the Expert Committee, all applications will be reviewed by the faculty and applicants who do not meet the formal qualification requirements will not be submitted for assessment.

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

Other information

The candidates main supervisor will be professor Tore Gulden (Department of Product Design), and the co-supervisor will be dr. Marie Hebrok (Consumption Research Norway) who is the project leader of REDUCE.

If you would like more information about the position, feel free to contact:

  • Head of the Department of Product Design, Einar Stoltenberg, +47 91552441 – estolten@oslomet.no

The salary for the position is in accordance with the pay scale for Norwegian state employees, PhD Fellowship, code 1017. State salary wage scale 54 : NOK 491 200 per year.

If you wish to apply for the position, please apply electronically by clicking the button “click here and apply”.

Type of employment Fixed-term post
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Oslo
County Oslo
Country Norway
Reference number 21/09985
  • Einar Stoltenberg, 4791552441
Published 13.Oct.2021
Last application date 14.Nov.2021 11:59 PM CET
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