Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS)

Oslo Metropolitan University - Externally funded research project

OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway’s third largest university, with nearly 22,000 students and more than 2,200 employees. OsloMet has a dynamic and stimulating research-intensive academic environment and an attractive employment framework. OsloMet is a diverse and urban university with an international profile; its main campus is in the city centre, providing a vibrant setting in which to study, conduct research, and work. 

Call for Expressions of Interest for a joint application under the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Postdoctoral Fellowship scheme – Call: MSCA-PF-2023

The position of professions in society is changing. Today, most professional work takes place in organizational settings of public services or private sector firms, and the increasing complexity of professional tasks requires problem-solving across disciplinary and professional boundaries, as well as stakeholder involvement and civic participation. Meanwhile, in many countries, there is an increasing distrust of experts and expertise. Technical developments such as AI are also profoundly changing professions, a process that will only accelerate in the years ahead. Professional education must adapt to these and other changes, and in a rapidly changing society, it must somehow prepare professionals for tasks and roles that are yet unknown. Arguably, innovative cross-disciplinary research on professions and professional education has never been more important.

With this as background, the Centre for the Study of Professions at OsloMet invites interested researchers of any nationality, who have a PhD degree and a maximum of 8 years of consequent research experience, to apply for an EU-funded Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship (call HORIZON-MSCA-PF-2023) to conduct research on professions at the Centre for a period of two years.

Research at the Centre for the Study of Professions

The Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS) is a leading Nordic multidisciplinary centre devoted to research and doctoral training in topics such as expertise, professions, education, work, and policy. It houses an interdisciplinary group of scholars, from sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, and political science. The Centre is currently home to 13 permanent academic staff, 7 postdocs, and 20–30 doctoral fellows, supported by a dedicated team of administrative staff. We are located on OsloMet’s main campus in central Oslo.

The study of professions is an intrinsically inter- and multidisciplinary field of research, characterised by theoretical and methodological diversity and comparative approaches. The Centre combines empirical research with investigations of theoretical and ethical issues in various professional domains. Topics for our research on professions include: career paths and the labour market, recruitment to education, professional education as a source of identity and qualifications, the role of professions in the design and implementation of policy, and professional ethics and the exercise of professional discretion. We study both features common to all professions and those specific to individual professional domains. The Centre has a particular ambition to disseminate policy-oriented research, which is often relevant to a broad range of actors, including professionals, public authorities, NGOs, and citizens.

The Centre has five research groups, each with its own specific areas of interest:

Professional knowledge and qualification

  • Professional knowledge
  • Qualifying for professions
  • Coping with the tasks of professional life

Expertise, ethics and public policy

  • Professions as normative arrangements
  • Professions and societal governance

Professional practice and interaction

  • Professions and the implementation of public policies
  • Professional work and workplaces
  • Cooperation and collaboration

Professional careers and labour markets

  • The characteristics and development of professional education and labour markets
  • Recruitment, careers, and motivation

INTEGRATE – Pathways to work

  • Service coordination in work integration of groups at the margins of the labour market
  • The roles and relationships of public service professionals, service users, and employers

Our research groups have extensive formal and informal links with researchers in other faculties and centres at OsloMet and at other institutions, both in Norway and internationally. The following are some of our ongoing research projects:

Renewed perspectives on research use in education (REPOSE)

Organising for Outcome - Links between service integration and transitions to employment for citizens with complex service needs

Persistent Passion for Professional Education: Consequences for student completion and dropout (PERSIST)

The authority of expertise in professional tax law practice (TAXLAW)

The Centre welcomes expressions of interest from postdoctoral researchers whose project ideas fit within one of the research areas indicated above (see links for further information). Professions that can be studied include, but are not limited to, teaching, medicine, law, engineering, nursing, social work, the police, and the military. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches would be relevant, and comparative approaches (cross-sector, cross-institutional, cross-national, or other) are welcome, but not required.


MSCA grantees will be supervised by one of the following experienced faculty members at the Centre:

Professor Wilfried Admiraal

  • Teachers, higher education, teaching, learning, technology

Professor Tone Alm Andreassen

  • Organizational reform, inter-organizational collaboration, activation, service user involvement

Associate Professor Nicolai Borgen

  • Social stratification, returns to education, causal inference, program evaluation

Associate Professor Andreas Eriksen

  • Political philosophy, professional ethics, commitment, normativity, legitimacy

Professor Håvard Helland

  • Inequalities, education, labour market

Professor Edmund Henden

  • Ethics, theory of science, theory of actions

Associate Professor Hege Hermansen

  • Professional knowledge, epistemic communities, professional education, technology-enhanced teaching and learning in higher education

Associate Professor Lars E. F. Johannessen

  • Digitalization, sociology of knowledge, qualitative methods, standardization and discretion

Professor Anne Birgitte Leseth

  • Work inclusion, professional integration, knowledge and culture, body practices, ethnography

Professor Sølvi Mausethagen

  • Qualitative methods, education policy, the teaching profession, steering and reform

Research Professor Jan Messel

  • History of professions, history of education, history of the labour movement, history of social work

Professor Fredrik Thue

  • History and theory of professions, history of higher education

Please follow the links above for further information about the Centre for the Study of Professions, our research groups, and individual staff members.

We are looking for applicants who

  • hold a PhD in a relevant subject, such as sociology, education, history, philosophy, political science, social anthropology, economics, or psychology.
  • have a good track record in research and publications and preferably some postdoctoral research experience.
  • have an interest in the study of professions, a commitment to developing a competitive MSCA-PF application, and the necessary academic background to carry out the proposed project.
  • are highly proficient in spoken and written English.
  • fulfill the eligibility criteria for applying for an MSCA-PF at OsloMet for the 2023 call. Eligible candidates have a PhD successfully defended by the submission deadline (mid-September 2023), a maximum of 8 years research experience after the PhD, and have not worked/studied in Norway for more than 12 months during the last three years.

Application and assessment process

Applicants who are successful in receiving EU funding must relocate to Oslo to work as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for the Study of Professions for the duration of the project (c. 2024-2026).

Interested candidates must submit with their application the following documents:

  • CV (including research track record and list of publications)
  • A short description of the project idea for an MSCA-PF application (approximately 1 page)

The one-page project description should indicate how the proposed project fits with the Centre’s areas of focus. Candidates are also encouraged to identify which member(s) of staff they would prefer to work with.

All documents that you submit to OsloMet, including your proposal idea, will be handled in full confidentiality and in strict compliance with GDPR regulations.

Evaluation will be based on the applicant’s qualifications and project idea, including its fit with the Centre’s research areas and (one of) our faculty members’ research profile. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a virtual interview in February 2023. Based on the applications and interviews, up to 10 candidates may be invited to develop a full MSCA-PF application in collaboration with the Centre for the Study of Professions.

Candidates who are invited to develop a full application will be expected to do so under the supervision of one of the Centre’s faculty members and with the support of the professional research administration staff at OsloMet. For these candidates, participation in OsloMet’s virtual masterclass on MSCA-PF on 19–20 April 2023 is obligatory. This will be a two-day workshop with detailed, tailored and necessary instruction concerning the application process and template. Further cooperation on the proposal development will be done remotely in the period from April until the deadline in mid-September 2023, with regular online communication via email and virtual meeting platforms.

The postdoctoral position (if the MSCA-PF application is successful)

MSCA-PF-2023 decisions will be announced by the EU in February 2024. To successful applicants who are awarded the MSCA-PF grant, we will offer:

  • a position at OsloMet as a postdoctoral researcher to implement the research project
  • the possibility for the right candidate(s) to pursue his/her academic goals with guidance from an experienced supervisor
  • a unique academic network at the Centre for the Study of Professions, and integration in the supervisor’s national and international networks
  • membership in an active research group and joint academic seminars and discussion groups
  • flexible working conditions
  • an inclusive and friendly working environment
  • attractive premises in downtown Oslo with a wide range of cultural activities
  • free Norwegian language classes
  • onboarding assistance for relocation and other services

MSCA-PF fellowships are 100 % funded and include living and mobility allowances. Practical information about relocation to OsloMet can be found on Oslomet’s website and on the website of EURAXESS Norway.

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 make adaptations to the workplace where required. You are welcome to apply even if you have had periods where you have not been in employment, education, or training.


Questions may be directed to the individual supervisors listed above (follow the links for contact info), or to research advisor Jon Anstein Olsen, jonanste@oslomet.no.

Application deadline: 31 January 2023

Reference number: 22/09138

Type of employment Temporary position (shorter than 10 days)
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Flexible between April–December 2024
Salary Approx. EUR 60.000 annually
Number of positions 10
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Oslo
County Oslo
Country Norway
Reference number 22/09138
  • Jon Anstein Olsen, +4767236780
Published 21.Dec.2022
Last application date 31.Jan.2023 11:59 PM CET

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