Postdoctoral Position to examine aspects of the development of intelligence testing in Norway


The Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo offers a two-and-a-half-year position as postdoctoral fellow with the project Historizicing Intelligence: Tests, Metrics and the Shaping of Contemporary Society. This three-year research project is funded by The Research Council of Norway, and the postdoctoral position starts in October/November 2021.

The overall goal of the research project is to shed light on the interplay between social, cultural and scientific aspects in the development of intelligence testing in Norway from around 1990 to the present. The position is devoted to the project's Work Package 1 (WP 1), which deals with the development and use of the most common IQ tests in Norway from 1990 to the present, and focuses on the tests' role as scientific and technological tools for diagnosing intellectual disability.  

The postdoctoral fellow will develop an individual project. It will address research questions described in the project description of WP 1, and contribute to the overarching themes of the whole project. The postdoctoral project will be developed in close collaboration with the other participants in the project. The application must contain a preliminary and non-binding project sketch of a maximum 1000 words. This will be taken into account when assessing the application. In addition to carrying out their own project, the postdoctoral fellow will contribute to joint activities for WP 1 and in the overall project. This includes contributing to the project's ambitious dissemination plans. 

Kulturhistoriske objekter

More about the position

The employment period is two and a half years. The position will be organizationally affiliated with the Department of Ethnography, Numismatics, Classical Archaeology and University History (SENKU), with a workplace at the Museum of University and Science History (MUV) at the University of Oslo´s Blindern campus.

The main purpose of the fellowship is to qualify researchers for work in higher academic positions within their disciplines.

Qualification requirements

applicants must hold a degree equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree (PhD) within a field of history and/or the social sciences that is relevant to the project. Doctoral dissertation must be submitted for evaluation by the closing date. Appointment is dependent on the public defence of the doctoral thesis being approved

fluent oral and written communication skills in Norwegian (or another Scandinavian language) and English 

the applicant must be able to read source material in Norwegian

The following qualifications will count in the assessment of the applicants:

experience in historical and/or social science research on science, technology and society

experience from interdisciplinary collaboration

experience with and interest in dissemination across disciplines and to the public

the applicant's academic and personal qualifications to complete the project on time

good collaboration skills, motivation for the position and ability to work independently 

knowledge of languages such as German and/or French is an advantage

We offer

salary NOK 526 000 – 586 000 per annum depending on qualifications in position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (position code 1352)

a professionally stimulating working environment

attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include

cover letter (statement of motivation, summarizing scientific work and research interest)

a research outline (max. 1000 words)

CV (summarizing education, positions, administrative experience and other qualifying activity)

copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only)

a complete list of publications

list of reference persons: 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the documented, academic qualifications, the project description (whenever this is required in the call for applicants), and the quality of the project as well as the candidates motivation and personal suitability. Interviews with the best qualified candidates will be arranged.

It is expected that the successful candidate will be able to complete the project in the course of the period of employment.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one Postdoctoral Fellow period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The University of Oslo has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results etc.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. We also want to have employees with diverse expertise, combinations of subjects, life experience and perspectives. We will make adjustments for employees who require this. 

If there are qualified applicants with special needs, gaps in their CVs or immigrant backgrounds, we will invite at least one applicant in each of these groups to an interview.

Contact information

Associate Professor Jon Røyne Kyllingstad, phone +47 48 22 82 53, e-mail:

Administrativ Manager Bjørn Vidar Johansen, phone +47 93 49 53 03, e-mail:


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