Associate Professor of the Cultural History of Nature

Job description

A permanent position as Associate Professor of Cultural History of Nature is available at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. The successful candidate will join the Cultural History and Museology section and will be responsible for developing and running the Heritage and sustainability subfield within HEI. The project plan is available here.

Starting in 2019, HEI endeavours to develop critical heritage research in close collaboration with the heritage sector, and to experiment with new teaching models. Also engaged in the initiative are the Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History and the Norwegian Institute in Rome, both part of the University of Oslo.


The successful candidate will join the core group of HEI and will initiate, facilitate and administer research and educational activities related to questions of how natural heritage is produced, conserved and entangled in culture, historically and today. Of particular importance is how cultural historical perspectives and approaches to the study of nature can illuminate contemporary global issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, cultural and environmental sustainability etc. 

The successful candidate is expected to contribute to normal duties at the Department, including teaching at BA and MA levels, initiating and leading research, supervision of PhD candidates, exam setting and assessment at all levels, and administrative duties in accordance with the needs of the Department.  

Qualification requirements

  • PhD or equivalent academic qualifications with a specialization in cultural history (preferably ethnology, folklore, museology, or heritage studies)
  • Documented experience from projects relevant to the heritage sector
  • Documented pedagogical skills (either a teaching course certificate or based on teaching experience, see How to document your pedagogical skills)
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Documented potential for project acquisition
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position

The following skills and qualifications will be considered in the assessment:

  • Academic qualifications and academic production in cultural history of nature, with emphasis on works published within the last 5 years. Originality and innovative thinking will be given more weight than quantity
  • International peer-reviewed publications
  • Scandinavian language skills at the time of appointment
  • Experience in leading research projects and project acquisition
  • Potential to contribute to the long-term development of the academic and research environment at the Department
  • Documented results from teaching and supervision, and disposition to inspire students
  • Interest in and ability for leadership and administration
  • Ability to create and contribute to a positive collaborative environment
  • Experience with and ability to build international research networks
  • Skills within popular dissemination, public outreach and innovation
  • Skills in cooperation with stakeholders and public institutions
  • Experience in the use and implications of digital tools in the study of the cultural dimensions of natural heritage

In the evaluation of the qualified candidates the full range of these criteria will be explicitly addressed and assessed.

Academic quality, development potential and breadth will be prioritized in this order.  Selected candidates are expected to contribute to the university’s strategic objective to ‘strengthen its international position as a leading research-intensive university through a close interaction across research, education, communication and innovation’.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter (statement of motivation, summarising academic work and research interest)
  • Curriculum Vitae (list of education, positions, pedagogical experience, administrative experience, project acquisition and coordination experience, and other relevant qualifications)
  • Complete list of published and unpublished works
  • Description of one or more research projects which may be relevant for the Department and proposed topics for MA theses (areas in which you feel qualified to supervise)
  • List of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)
  • Please do not attach letters of recommendation at this stage

Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language), either in the original or in translation.

Applicants are required to describe and document the entire range of qualifications and criteria described in the announcement of the post with concrete examples.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”.

Selection procedure

As the first step in the evaluation process, a Selection Committee will assess all applications. The most qualified applicants will be invited to submit a portfolio of educational certificates and academic works (up to 6 publications, which should not exceed 500 pages in total) for expert assessment. Three works, published within the last 5 years and considered the most relevant for the position, should be identified. In case of longer publications (monographs), applicants should specify the relevant pages.

Applicants will also be asked to submit a portfolio that documents other qualifications (public outreach, teaching and supervision, and any experience with leadership and administration).

As the second step, the most highly ranked candidates will be invited for an interview and a trial lecture.

Formal regulations

The successful candidate who at the time of appointment cannot document basic teaching qualifications will be required to obtain such qualifications within a two-year period. Please see the rules for the assessment and weighting of pedagogical competence.

The successful candidate should demonstrate mastery of both English and one of the Scandinavian languages as working languages. If an appointee is not fluent in a Scandinavian language, he/she is expected to become proficient Norwegian within a two-year period. This is to ensure that the appointee will be able to actively participate in all functions the position may involve.

Within his/her normal duties and in accordance with his/her academic competence, the person appointed may also be asked to work outside his/her Department. The appointment is made under the condition that the employer may change the subject area and assigned tasks according to the needs of the Department. See also the rules for appointments to Associate Professorships.

According to the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, demographic information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.


For questions about the position:

Professor Brita Brenna

Head of Department Bjørn Olav Utvik

For questions on how to apply:

HR-Officer Steffen Remvik

About the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

The Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages(abbreviated IKOS from its

Norwegian name) is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Humanities. The Department has a broad competency in the study of religion and culture and in language based area studies of South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East and North Africa. The Department has several study programmes at both BA and MA levels. Among the Department's 110 employees about 40 are PhD and Postdoctoral Fellows.

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