Centre for Welfare and Labour Research, Work Research Institute (AFI)

OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is one of Norway’s largest universities, 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 center 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.

Centre for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA) consists of Work Research Institute (AFI), Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), and Consumption Research Norway (SIFO).

Research - Knowledge - Action

- for a better working life

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Pandemic Studies

Work Research Institute - Center for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA) 

The Work Research Institute (AFI) is a social science research institute performing multidisciplinary action-oriented research to provide new systematic knowledge about trends in working life. AFI is part of the Centre for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA) at OsloMet, which consists of four research institutes: Work Research Institute (AFI), Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), and Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), involving nearly 250 researchers and 213 active research projects.  

A temporary Postdoctoral Fellow position in the field of pandemic studies is offered for the period of 2-2,5 years, with a possible extension, at the Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University.

The candidate will be affiliated to the Work Research Institute, working within the Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society (PANSOC), an OsloMet Excellent Academic Environment. We hereby invite researchers who have a PhD degree for the study of COVID-19 or other historical pandemics such as the 1918 influenza, to apply for a position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow, to conduct research for a period of 2-2,5 years. 

Areas of research 

COVID-19 is an ongoing pandemic with 2.4 million deaths having occurred globally at the start of February 2021. The 1918 flu pandemic killed up to 100 million people within a similar span of time. In both pandemics not all individuals had an equal risk of illness and death. COVID-19 deaths have been disproportionately among the elderly, while deaths in 1918 were disproportionately among young adults.

We are seeking candidates who proposes to do research on COVID-19 and/or the 1918 influenza pandemic or other influenza pandemics focusing on how social, biological, historical, and economic variation shapes the disease experience. Potential research questions could include: How the economically disadvantaged, people of color, immigrants, or indigenous communities have been disproportionally affected in both pandemics? What biological, historical and social factors influenced the differential impact of the pandemic among these groups? What role does unequal exposure, differential medical susceptibility, and variation in access to healthcare shape pandemic outcomes? How have underrepresented groups used their perceived disadvantages as tools to promote community and individual health?

We would also welcome candidates who suggests studying COVID-19 vaccination schemes – i.e. what groups are nations prioritizing? Will the socially vulnerable have access in addition to the medically vulnerable? Are the countries who had updated pandemic influenza plans prior to COVID-19 pandemic faring better? Will uptake of vaccines be widespread, and how will the anti-vaccination movement influence their distribution and acceptance? It would also be interesting to look at the early responses to COVID-19 - how did so many countries fail to take it seriously in the beginning? Why didn't we learn from SARS in 2002-2003? Studies on the short and/or long-term impacts of the pandemic disease burden and the lockdown on physical or mental health, non-COVID-19 related deaths, fertility, unemployment and the economy are also warranted.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund. He has 25 years’ experience studying the demography of epidemic diseases and has published extensively on the 1918 influenza pandemic, influenza in general and preparedness planning. See recent publications and projects on COVID-19 and influenza: Svenn-Erik Mamelund profile at OsloMet and profile at ResearchGate.

Tasks and responsibilities 

The successful postdoctoral fellow will work on his/her project and will be integrated at the Work Research Institute in general, specifically at the Centre for Research on Pandemics & Society, taking part in regular meetings. The fellow will specifically be introduced to Research Professor Mamelund’ s national and international network of researchers on the field of COVID-19 and influenza pandemics.

Expected qualification of candidates 

Candidates must have a PhD in a relevant field such as history, historical demography, economics, economic history, medicine, psychology, epidemiology, medical biostatistics-, history- or anthropology and global health, as the minimum requirement.
Candidates that haven’t defended their doctoral thesis at the point of application are also welcomed to apply. However, criterion for entry is an accepted doctoral thesis.

We are looking for applicants who have 

  • If a quantitative project is proposed, excellent skills in statistical methods and in using statistical programs such as SAS, Stata, SPSS etc.,
  • Knowledge of societal, medical and historical context and quality and availability of quantitative or qualitative data in the field
  • An excellent CV and track record in the relevant fields of pandemic research
  • An open and cooperation-oriented nature, with strong abilities for independent academic work
  • Collaborative with good communications skills
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English

Expert evaluation

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

  • Cover letter
  • A two-page research proposal describing the state of the art, research aims and objectives, data and methods, and how the new research will push the research front and have academic and societal impact (max. 2 pages). The proposal should also include a progress- and implementation plan
  • CV, references and all pages of certificates/diplomas
  • A full list of scientific publications
  • Full texts of the 5 most relevant publications and a summary of your PhD thesis

You must upload all these documents. Original documents and valid passport must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.

It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavors 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 welcomed to apply.  

We offer 

  • An exciting opportunity at Norway’s third largest and most urban university
  • Participation in a dynamic professional environment and unique academic community 
  • Flexible working conditions 
  • An inclusive and friendly work environment 
  • Unique academic network and the possibility for the right candidate to pursue his/her academic goals under the auspices of Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund
  • Beneficial welfare schemes
  • Free Norwegian language classes to employees and their partners/spouses
  • Working location in downtown Oslo with multiple cultural offers 

Other information

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

If you have technical questions about uploading the application, please contact HR Adviser Christina Lindskog, licr@oslomet.no

The position is remunerated in accordance with the Norwegian State salary scale Post doctor 1352. The salary is NOK 535 200 – 694 400 per year, pay level 60-74.

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 submitted in English. Translations must be authorized. OsloMet performs document checks in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Upon agreement
Salary NOK 535 200 – 694 400 per year
Number of positions 2
Working hours 100%
City Oslo
County Oslo
Country Norway
Reference number 21/01649
  • Svenn-Erik Mamelund, +47 97100044
  • Vilde Hoff Bernstrøm, +47 92857524
Published 17.Feb.2021
Last application date 03.Mar.2021 11:59 PM CET

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