PhD Position at the Department of Comparative Politics, University of Bergen

Deadline: 5 August 2019
Open to: international applicants
Benefits: salary will be provided


The Department of Comparative Politics offers an exciting place for research and education on political institutions, organizations, processes and behaviour at local, regional, national, and international levels.

About the project/work task:

The successful applicant will conduct research within the research project “Strengthening Regional Democracy – Contributing to Good Democratic Governance” funded by the TrondMohn Foundation (TMS) and the University of Bergen (UiB). This research project sets out to identify the conditions which facilitate good democratic regional governance. The project foresees the establishment of the Centre on Regional Democratic Governance (CREDGOV) which will expand, consolidate, and disseminate knowledge on regional elections and governments, and which aims to become the world leading institute on regional democratic governance.

The Department is looking for a PhD-candidate who can contribute to the overall research project and conduct independent research linked to important questions of governance and democracy at the regional level. The successful candidate will update and extend existing datasets set up by the PI which include regional and national elections in 392 regions nested in 23 European countries held from 1950 to 2020 and supplement these datasets with data on the regional context (e.g. regional electoral systems, socio-economic context). There is plenty opportunity to collaborate with the other team members of CREDGOV, i.e. two postdocs, one research assistant and the principal investigator. The team will also integrate 410 regional elections surveys conducted in 68 regions in 8 countries into one trend file and will field questions to a panel of regional and local voters and a panel of regional and local politicians on an annual basis.

There is ample opportunity for the successful candidate to develop own research objectives within the broad framework of the project. Applicants are asked to write a research proposal of maximum two pages with an outline on how the applicant would like to contribute to the overall goals of the project and how the applicant would like to pursue an own research agenda. Funding will be dedicated towards the professional training of the PhD candidate. This includes, for example, resources to cover expenses for summer school courses for training in statistical methods. The successful candidate will also have the opportunity to carry out visits to the Centre on Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

About the Phd position (applies to university PhD positions):

The duration of the PhD position is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time comprises duties for the department, such as teaching, supervision, or administration. The employment period for the successful candidate may be reduced if he or she previously has been employed in a PhD position.

Project proposal:

The application must include a research proposal of maximum 2 pages. The proposal should outline how the applicant would like to contribute to the overall goals of the project and how the applicant would like to pursue their own research. There is ample opportunity within the project for the team members to develop and advance their own research agendas. The proposal should contain a preliminary timeline and milestones as well as a publication plan which includes a PhD dissertation. It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment. The budget of the project enables the team members to enrol in summer school courses for training in statistical methods. The successful candidate will also be able to visit the Centre on Constitutional Change at the University of Edinburgh and the Wales Governance Centre at Cardiff University.

About the research training:

As a PhD research fellow, you will take part in the doctoral educational programme at the Faculty of Social Sciences, UiB. The programme corresponds to a period of three years and leads to the submission of the PhD dissertation. To be eligible for admission to the programme you must have completed a Master degree. The requirements to be included is generally a grade B or better on the Master thesis and for the Master degree in total. The educational background must normally be equivalent to a five-year Master education, a three year Bachelor degree plus a two-year Master degree including a Master thesis. It is expected that the topic of the Master degree is connected to the academic field to which you are seeking admission.


The successful candidate will be expected to relocate to the University of Bergen, participate in the scholarly activities of the Department, and conform to the regulations that apply to the position.

The applicant:

  • must have been awarded a MA degree in political science or in a relevant field within social sciences (e.g. public administration/policy, sociology, economics) or must have submitted his/her master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline;
  • should be proficient in both written and oral English;
  • should be interested in applying quantitative methods and preferably has experience with mainstream statistical packages (e.g. SPSS, Stata, SAS, or R);
  • is able to work independently as well as in a team;
  • preferably has some knowledge on one or more themes that relate to the project, for example, democracy (elections, voting behaviour, political parties, representation) or governance (institutions, policy making, policy implementation, multilevel governance);
  • is willing to disseminate research results beyond the academic community;
  • is willing to collaborate on an international level and to contribute to building an international collaborative network.

Potential candidates will be invited for an interview in late August. Candidates will be asked to deliver a presentation during which they present their research plans and their potential contribution to the research project (see below).

Applicants are advised to familiarize themselves with the teaching and research profile at the Department. The teaching language is Norwegian, one of the Scandinavian languages and English. Proficiency in Norwegian or one of the Scandinavian language is not a requirement for this position.


  • Exciting development opportunities as part of your role in a strong professional environment;
  • Salary equivalent to NOK 449 400 (around 46 251 EUR) per year upon appointment (code 1017) on the government salary scale. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position;
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund;
  • Good welfare benefits;
  • The city of Bergen – a unique mix of vibrant cultural life and extraordinary nature.

How to apply?

Your application must include:

  • cover letter detailing the applicant’s research interests and motivation for applying for the position (1-2 pages);
  • CV;
  • research proposal (up to 2 pages);
  • the names and contact information for two references. One of these must be the main supervisor of the MA-thesis;
  • transcripts and diplomas of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, or official confirmation that the MA-thesis has been submitted;
  • relevant certificates/letters of recommendation.

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at

The application has to be marked with: 19/697.  Applications sent by e-mail will not be evaluated.

For more information please visit the official web page.