We have two PhD fellowships advertised right now, with a deadline of January 31. We’re particularly interested in candidates interested in researching electronic literature (perhaps in connection with our freshly-funded project on creativity in electronic literature), digital art, social media, gender and technology, the history of technology, computer games, blogging and related topics. While the positions are open to applicants within our whole department (including literature, art history, linguistics, classics and theatre studies in addition to digital culture), we should have a good chance of getting a PhD candidate accepted within the field of digital culture.

Here is the official advertisement, with a link to the online application system.

Norwegian PhD fellowships are renowned for paying as well as a normal job rather than exploiting graduate students: The fellowships are 100% positions with standard Norwegian health, social security and pension benefits (including, say, parental leave, a topic near to my heart these days) and they pay 355,400 kroner (US $55,000/Ä40,000) a year. You’re an employee, not a student, which gives you far better rights than a student has. You’ll have some travel/research funding assigned to you automatically – I think about 20,000 kroner ($3000/Ä2200) a year – and the opportunity to apply for more. These are three-year fellowships, where you do about one semester’s worth of coursework (attending conferences and seminars and writing a paper or two) and the rest of the time is reserved for dissertation research and writing. They’re open to applicants from anywhere in the world. You are required to have an MA in a relevant discipline, with a final grade of A (preferred) or B (acceptable if your dissertation proposal is excellent), or equivalent.

You’ll need to supply the following material with your application:

  • Dissertation proposal, maximum 5 pages
  • Bibliography for the dissertation proposal
  • Time schedule for the completion of your project
  • Maximum 3 page summary of your master thesis
  • All diplomas achieved in higher education from university/college (scanned version)
  • List of academic publications (if any)
  • a cover letter

The dissertation proposal is the most important part of your application, and the main criteria for ranking applicants will be the excellence of the proposal. The committee has a list of items they’re supposed to rank from 1-4 (4 being best):

  • Basic qualifications (i.e. your grade on your MA, and whether or not it was finished on time – make sure your cover letter either states clearly that it was or provides a good reason why it wasn’t)
  • Project quality (originality, research question, hypotheses, is it solid, what’s the status of your knowledge at this point, etc)
  • Feasibility (is there a balance between empirical material and theoretical ambitions? Are you likely to actually finish the PhD within the three years?)
  • Research environment (is there support for this research topic among researchers already in the department?)
  • Academic qualifications (published or accepted scholarly papers – this is not expected if you just finished your MA (though if you have anything that’s awesome), but if it’s been a while, the committee will be looking for evidence that you’re actually motivated to be a researcher and have been working at achieving this by participating in academic discourse.)
  • Dissemination of research results (you’re supposed to say something about this; in practice it’s very hard to differentiate candidates based on this – but do try to say something)

It’s important to remember that the committee will have just one person from digital culture – the other members of the committee will be general humanities people, especially from literature (comparative and/or Nordic) and linguistics (comparative/Nordic/computational). That means you need to write very clearly, and work hard not to use jargon or assume that everyone already knows the field.

You’ll also need to name your supervisor at the department. This means you must contact one of us before you apply. Within digital culture, your choices are me (social media, blogging, narratives online, digital art, games), Scott Rettberg (electronic literature, digital art), Hilde Corneliussen (gender and technology, gender and computer games, history of technology) and Daniel Apollon (knowledge society, sociological approaches to digital culture, semantic web).

17 thoughts on “apply to do a PhD in digital culture at our department!

  1. Bill Wolff

    RT @jilltxt: PhD fellowships in digital culture at UiB advertised: here's lots of info on application process: http://bit.ly/4ZjBXk

  2. Finn Arne Jørgensen

    RT @jilltxt PhD fellowships in digital culture at Univ. of Bergen: http://bit.ly/4ZjBXk. Norwegian PhD fellowships are good!

  3. Brandon

    $55,000 a year to work with amazing folks on a Ph.D. in Bergen? Wish this opportunity had been available 5 years ago. http://is.gd/5MTzR

  4. Barbara Hui

    More info on PhD opportunity and app process in digital culture at the University of Bergen http://jilltxt.net/?p=2455 (via @scottrettberg)

  5. yusufpisan

    RT @jilltxt: PhD fellowships in digital culture at UiB advertised: here's lots of info on application process: http://bit.ly/4ZjBXk

  6. Eric Rettberg

    55K? Maybe it’s time I started thinking ahead for that _second_ Ph.D. I need to do…

  7. braincoffee

    RT @jilltxt PhD fellowships in digital culture at UiB advertised: here's lots of info on application process: http://bit.ly/4ZjBXk

  8. MichelleDeniseNorton

    RT @braincoffee @jilltxt PhD fellowships in digital culture at UiB advertised: lots of info on application process: http://bit.ly/4ZjBXk

  9. Britta Bohlinger

    I knew it wasn’t a smart choice to embark on a taught MA that does not entail a thesis, despite it’s substantial amount of research methods…
    Doing a PhD in Norway under the conditions outlined sounds like a most promising offer, I particularly like the range of topics the potential supervisors cover, there seems to be room for some degree of trans-disciplinarity for those who apply. Thanks for sharing the details.

  10. Twitter Weekly Updates for 2010-01-10

    […] More info on PhD opportunity and app process in digital culture at the University of Bergen http://jilltxt.net/?p=2455 (via @scottrettberg) # […]

  11. Jeremy Boggs

    This PhD fellowship in digital culture at the University of Bergen (posted by @jilltxt) sounds so awesome. http://bit.ly/8a5e88

  12. Claire Ross

    Bergen PhD fellowship in digital culture sounds fab http://bit.ly/8a5e88 1st Leciester now this!lots of cool research getting started!

  13. Brie

    That sounds fascinating. I actually sent the link to my husband, despite missing the deadline. And despite the fact that I am way to tired to even think about moving anywhere.
    I really enjoyed your blog. Will be back.

  14. Sero

    Please could I know the salary net (after tax)?
    and how about the life in Norway…I heard that life is very expensive..is it true??!!

  15. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Sero, I’m afraid the deadline for applying is long passed. Tax tends to be around 25-30% for a salary that size, depending on your deductions.

  16. Maxime

    “Itís important to remember that the committee will have just one person from digital culture”

    “While the positions are open to applicants within our whole department (including literature, art history, linguistics, classics and theatre studies in addition to digital culture), we should have a good chance of getting a PhD candidate accepted within the field of digital culture”

    –Sounds like you knew something in advance, hehe

  17. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Maxime, I meant that only one out of the five members of the committee were from digital culture – the others were literary scholars, linguists and I think there was an art historian as well. So it was important that applicants wrote in a way that could be understood by people outside of our discipline. I thought we had a good shot at getting a PhD in digital culture because of the distribution of current PhD students across the disciplines in our department – it was our turn, basically, assuming we had good applications.

    I see how you could misunderstand me, though. Although would “committee” have been the right word if we were talking about a single person?

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