Norwegian Research Council funded LaW-BALANCE project call for PhD students to apply

Life and Work in Balance: Legal responses to working life in times of change and crisis

LaW-BALANCE is a four-year project on the legal framework of working life in transition and on the concept of ‘work-life balance’. The project is funded by The Research Council of Norway. LaW-BALANCE aims to provide a better understanding of the legal framework of working life in transition and develop knowledge on how law can function as an instrument to achieve an inclusive working life and a well-functioning welfare state.

The Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, offers two PhD positions in the field of labour and social law. The positions are connected to the project ‘Life and Work in Balance: Legal responses to working life in times of change and crisis’ (LaW-BALANCE), funded by the Research Council of Norway. LaW-BALANCE focuses on two key instruments related to work-life balance: flexible work arrangements and the availability of paid leave. The project will also look at the protection against discrimination when claiming and enforcing these rights. Through in-depth analyses of Norwegian labour and social law – incl. studies on the impact of EU and EEA law, combined with comparative legal analyses of selected countries, LaW-BALANCE will break new ground in providing a better understanding of the legal framework that regulates modern working life.

For more information about the project, please visit or contact project manager

The position is a fixed-term contract. The term of employment for a PhD position is 3 years, which can be extended to 4 years if the applicant is qualified to teach in compulsory courses at the Master’s program at the Faculty of Law. Starting date is 15. August 2023 or later upon agreement.

The applicant is expected to do the following during the period of employment:

Work on a doctoral thesis (monograph or article-based) to be submitted by the end of the fellowship period.
Take part in the PhD program at the Faculty of Law.
Attend research activities in the project and collaborate closely with the other members of the project as part of a supportive team.
Engage in continuous dissemination and communication of the research project and project results in relevant arenas (including academic conferences).
Be an active member of the Bergen European Law Research Group (BERG) and/or the Research Group in Welfare Law
The PhD researchers will be part of the LaW-BALANCE project group, which has wide competence within labour, social and discrimination law, both at the national and EU/EEA level. The PhD researchers will be supervised by senior members of the project, and also be offered a visiting scholarship at Maastricht University (Netherlands) or other partner institutions to work with the international project members. The visiting scholarship is dependent on additional funding being available from the Research Council or other funding sources.

The position is attached to the Faculty of Law where the PhD researchers will have their main institutional affiliation and office space, and be enrolled in the Faculty of Law’s PhD program. It is a prerequisite that the employed candidate will take up residence in the Bergen area for the duration of the position.

If the applicant is in addition offered a one-year extension, the following conditions apply:

The compulsory work amounts to 25 percent of the working time over a 4-year period.
The main part of the compulsory work should be teaching within the compulsory subjects in the Master's degree at UiB. Other teaching and administrative tasks might be added.
The Faculty decision to offer one year of compulsory work will be taken within six months after employment, based on the applicant’s competence and the Faculty’s available compulsory duties. Speaking a fluent Scandinavian language is normally a prerequisite for the one-year extension.

Required qualifications
A Norwegian Master’s degree in Law or an equivalent degree from abroad.
A genuine interest in Norwegian and/or EU/EEA labour, social and discrimination law. Previous knowledge of these areas of law is an asset.
A high academic level, demonstrated through grades and/or written work
The ability to work independently and in a structured manner, and to collaborate with others.
Proficiency in English and Norwegian (or another Scandinavian languages), both written and oral.
The assessment will emphasize the quality of the project description and its relevance and importance towards the objectives of Law-BALANCE, as well as the applicants' academic and personal prerequisites for carrying out the research training and project.

We can offer:
An excellent opportunity for exciting career development in a professionally challenging interdisciplinary working environment.
To take part in research in the scientific frontline and be a part of an outstanding research environment at the Faculty of Law in Bergen.
Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
A position in an inclusive workplace (IA enterprise) at a recognized law faculty in one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
Generous welfare benefits
Opportunities to get a mobility grant for research stays abroad during the period of employment.
Salary at pay grade 54-59 (code 1017) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 501 200-544 400 per year. For particularly highly qualified applicants, a higher salary may be considered.
Read more about what UiB can offer its employees at What can the University of Bergen Offer its Employees? | Division of Human Resources | UiB.

Your application must include:
A brief account of the applicant's research interests and motivation for applying for the position, and how this agenda fits with the aims of the overall LaW-BALANCE project.
A project proposal for the planned research (8-10 pages). This proposal shall include a description of the doctoral project’s overall topic, objectives, theory and method, and an implementation plan (see guidelines)
Certified copies of diplomas and transcripts of grades. Applicants whose education is from another country than Norway, need to attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcript of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, if the original is not in any of these languages. They are also advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system. Applicants must also attach NOKUT's general approval that the education corresponds to a Norwegian master's degree. See Department for Foreign education moves to the Directorate of Higher Education and Skills for more information on general approval of higher education.
Complete list of scientific publications
Academic works (incl. Master’s thesis) that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee. The submitted publications must be in English or in a Scandinavian language unless otherwise specifically agreed upon. The applicant may include unpublished manuscripts.
The names and contact information for two reference persons. One of these should preferably be the main supervisor of the Master’s thesis.
It is expected that the applicants read the project information available on the project website, and relate the doctoral project to the topic and objectives of the LaW-BALANCE-project.

The application can be written in English, Norwegian, or another Scandinavian language. All relevant documentation must be attached to the application, and the application must be complete by the deadline. The faculty does not assess applications in advance. The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be sent electronically via the link «Apply for position» on this page. Relevant applicants may be called in for an interview.

Detailed information about the position can be obtained by contacting project manager Melanie Hack, email: tel. + 47 55589679.

Detailed information about the ph.d. program can be obtained by contacting Ph.d. coordinator Karoline Aksnes, email: tel. + 47 55582378.

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. We encourage women to apply. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

Application: Mar 1, 2023
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