The Faculty of Arts at my University just advertised seven four-year research fellowships for PhD students, and this time they’ve been advertised in English, which makes it rather easier for international applicants. In Norway PhD students are regular university employees rather than grant recipients, and the annual salary is NOK 292,000 or about US $45,000. These are four year positions, where one year is to be spent teaching, the rest on research. The application deadline is May 6.

The way this works is that if you want to apply, you need to find a potential advisor for your dissertation to start with. He or she (or me) will probably want to see your project proposal before agreeing to advise you should you be accepted, and will likely give you feedback on your proposal too. Then you submit (electronically) your five page project description, a summary of your MA thesis that should be three pages max, along with a CV and your application letter (where you should say that X has agreed to be your supervisor and you would like to be affiliated with Y department) and some other tidbits. Each department goes through “their” applications, evaluates each one and prepares a prioritised list for the faculty research committee with brief descriptions of everyone’s qualifications and project. Then the faculty research committee selects (the applicants they think are) the best seven across all the departments.

My department would love a new PhD research fellow. In practice, I’d probably be your main advisor, though we’re an expanding department and expect to be hiring two more people working on digital textuality and digital culture within the next year or so. We’re a small department, but vibrant! In addition to my work, our department runs Lingo, which is a MOO-based language learning system currently in use for online and hybrid language learning in German, Spanish, Norwegian, French and Russian. Oh, and sign language! Lingo is led by Daniel Jung, and Lingo is also involved in the Encore Consortium. Hilde Corneliussen does research on gender and computing, and is starting a new project on gender and MMOGs. Scott Rettberg, of Grand Text Auto and Electronic Literature Organization fame, is joining us in May, though we’ve only secured him for a limited time. The University of Bergen also has other great research going on in text technology and humanities computing from the Wittgenstein Archive to people in the Nordic department developing XML and fonts and standards for digital editions of ancient Norse texts. Over in the Faculty of Social Sciences we work with people like Rune Klevjer, who organised the Aesthetics of Play conference last year. You might also be interested in BEK, Bergen’s centre for electronic art, and other people around Bergen. There’s a lot going on.

So if you have an MA or equivalent and are interested in doing a PhD in new media – electronic literature, weblogs, World of Warcraft (heh), social software, MOOs and learning or other kinds of networked communication of the kind you see discussed on this blog, send me an email at

Oh, and feel free to pass this on or reblog it! We’d love to get lots of good applications!

21 thoughts on “want to do a PhD in Bergen?

  1. Magnus

    You have a ” following the link so that it doesn’t work, could be confusing for the less technical oriented audience (if such an audience exists).

  2. Thomas

    Here’s the correct link.

  3. Scott

    Jill — Do applicants need to Norwegian nationals, or can non-Norwegians apply as well?

  4. Gustav

    I really like this internationalism. In Sweden, we seldom have grad students in the humanities coming from abroad. One reason might be that they almost never are advertised in English.

  5. Jill

    Non-Norwegians apply on the same terms as Norwegians. We’d want you to actually live in Bergen for the four years if you got the position, although we’d encourage a semester or two abroad somewhere as part of your training. You also get something like US $2-3000 a year for buying books and going to conferences and so on as a PhD student here. And you can apply for more. Not a bad deal, really, all round.

    Oh, and the Norwegian PhD system requires one semester’s coursework, I think (they just changed the system a year or two ago so I’m not entirely up to date), and the rest is for dissertation-writing. IT’s supposed to be three years full time work, and you have to already have your MA.

    The English ad is new, and specifically requested by several of the academics here – I’m pleased with us all 🙂

    Oh, and Thomas, thanks for the link-fix! Fixed it 🙂

  6. […] Jill Walker reports that their is a Ph.D. fellowship opportunity at the University of Bergen’s Department of Humanistic Informatics. The Faculty of Arts has seven fellowships available, and proposals are competitive among all the departments concerned. This year, UiB is advertising in English as well as Norsk, and is encouraging international applications. I’ll be teaching at UiB next year and perhaps longer. I would love to see some applicants for the position who are writing about electronic literature or some other aspect of new media in the context of the humanities. Ph.D. fellowships in Norway are richly funded, with a decent salary for four years and additional research funds for books and conference travel. See more details in Jill’s post and in the advertisement. […]

  7. Ali

    Any post-doctoral positions about?

  8. Jill

    Not right now – I think you’d have to apply as part of a larger project, and I don’t know of any being organised right now in these areas…

  9. Ali

    Maybe I could do another Phd…how good is the salary?

  10. Jill

    Added in the salary to the post – but no, the point is to recruit new scholars, not to give people second PhDs 😉

  11. ndesanjo

    The teaching language will be Norwegian?

  12. Kristin Helen

    Det er synd at l¯nningene er s lave, ellers s hadde dette vÊrt svÊrt interessant. BÂde fordi jeg har en hovedfagsoppgave som handler om blogging (og det hadde vÊrt morro og trekke videre p teoriene derfra, og fordi deres fakultet virker svÊrt interessant  jobbe med 🙂 Fra Bergenser i eksil hos NTNU.

  13. Jill

    You’re right, the salary is terrible compared to what you could probably get in industry, but on the other hand, it’s the same as a police officer or a nurse makes, more or less, and it’s absolutely astounding compared to what PhD students in most countries get.

  14. Luca

    yeah, it’s absolutely oustanding compared to the ammount a PhD gets in Italy… Obviously cost of living are different but I can’t immagine they are SO different. 😉 time to start thinking about a second PhD?

  15. ndesanjo

    The ad says the teaching language is normally Norwegian…so English speakers??

  16. Jill

    Yeah, well, PhD students don’t have to do much coursework, and there are a number of relevant courses taught in English. Most of the teaching is individual supervision, anyway, which can be in English or Norwegian. Most PhD dissertations written in Norway are written in English.

    You’d want to learn Norwegian while you were here – I mean, living somewhere for four years and not speaking the language doesn’t sound like much fun. Although most Norwegians speak great English they’re not going to be speaking English amongst themselves so you’d feel left out, and newspapers and television is in Norwegian, mostly. The university offers introductory courses in Norwegian.

    We’re happy for you to teach in English – there are more and more international students anyway, so English is encouraged, though not in all courses of course.

  17. david

    Dear Sir ,

    I would like to power electronic PHD course in bergen university by
    fellowship student course ;
    Please help me ;

    I look forward to hearing from you ;

    Best regaqrds,

    David seddigh

    Postgraduate student ,

    Iran university of science and technology

  18. Jill

    David, if you send me a five page project description and a three page summary of your MA thesis, I’ll be happy to give you feedback and let you know whether the topic you’d like to work on for your PhD would work within our department. My email address is

  19. Henry Kam Kah

    I am currently enrolled for the Ph.D in gender history at the university and would like to be given an opportunity for a year,s fellowship tp enable me write up my work and also exchange views with scholars of international repute in my domain.

  20. Jill

    I’m sorry, there are no openings at the moment, Henry.

  21. […] let you have some fun with this now! Have to finish, have to finish!!! […]

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