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Doctoral Research Fellow in Philosophy (EXPIRED)

Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Art and Ideas, University of Oslo

Job category Graduate fellowship / Fixed term
AOS Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Psychology, Philosophy of Social Science, Social and Political Philosophy
AOS categories Epistemology
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Philosophy of Social Science
Social and Political Philosophy
AOC Open
Workload Full time
Vacancies 1
Location Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Start date Summer or Fall 2023 (exact start date can be negotiated)
Job description

A Doctoral Research Fellowship (SKO 1017) in philosophy is available at the Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts and Ideas at the University of Oslo.

The Doctoral Research Fellowship is associated with the project «GoodAttention» funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

We are looking for candidates whose planned PhD project falls broadly within at least one of the following areas: Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind and Psychology, Philosophy of Social Science, Social and Political Philosophy.

The candidate is expected to develop a project description, which must be submitted as a part of the application. The candidate’s PhD project will contribute to the GoodAttention project.

More about the position

What is good attention? Much public discussion about social media, public health, and political debates is focused on versions of this question. What deserves our attention and how we should regulate attention in the face of distraction, for example, occupies the debate. What is missing is a philosophical investigation of attention norms and a framework for thinking about them. GoodAttention investigates normative questions about attention: what are appropriate, correct, or rational patterns of attention. This is then connected to how attention actually works: both in an individual and in groups and societies. GoodAttention integrates research in psychology, neuroscience and linguistics with the philosophical fields of decision theory, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy. It investigates the cognitive and social mechanisms of norm-guided attention. And it integrates attention into normative philosophy.

This PhD position is specifically associated with the research strand in GoodAttention that connects questions about attention with epistemology. This sub-project investigate the role of attention in epistemology and the rational status of the role of attention in the acquisition and exchange of knowledge and in inquiry. The subproject looks, among other things, at epistemic norms, norms of inquiry, and attention norms, and asks how they are related. Some possible angle include: the epistemic role of attention, attention and epistemic rationality, attention and epistemic injustice, the social role of attention in the exchange of knowledge, epistemic issues in the attention economy, attention and social epistemology, and more. The candidate’s proposed PhD research need not be directly about one of those topics. Candidates should, though, in their research description and application letter address how it may relate to them.

The candidate will be situated in a strong, lively and supportive research environment, both at GoodAttention and the related SalientSolutions project; they will also have the opportunity to be integrated in relevant research networks, such as the Oslo Mind, Language and Epistemology Network, the Practical Philosophy Group, and the Centre for Philosophy and the Sciences.

The candidate will have the opportunity also to make use of the international advisory board associated with GoodAttention, for research interactions, research visits, or other forms of collaboration.

The person appointed will be affiliated with the Faculty's organized research training. The academic work is to result in a doctoral thesis that will be defended at the Faculty with a view to obtaining the degree of PhD. The successful candidate is expected have Oslo as their primary workplace and to join the existing research milieu or network and contribute to its development. Read more about the doctoral degree.

The appointment is for a duration of 3 years. All PhD Candidates who submit their doctoral dissertation for assessment with a written recommendation from their supervisor within 3 years or 3 ½ years after the start of their PhD position, will be offered, respectively, a 12 or 6 month Completion Grant.

Qualification requirements

  • A Master's degree in philosophy or an equivalent qualification. The Master's degree normally must have been obtained and the final evaluation must be available by the application deadline. In exceptional cases, we can consider applications from candidates who do not yet have an MA degree but who are close to completing one. If so, the degree must be awarded by the time the position is taken up
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English, see Language requirements
  • Personal suitability and motivation for the position

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the University of Oslo, applicants must, as a minimum, have completed a five-year graduation course (Master’s degree or equivalent), including a Master’s thesis of at least 30 ECTS. In special cases, the Faculty may grant admission on the basis of a one-year Master course following an assessment of the study programme’s scope and quality.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on:

  • The project's scientific merit, research-related relevance and innovation.
  • The applicant’s ability to contribute to the «Attention and Epistemology» strand of the GoodAttention project.
  • The applicant’s ability to produce philosophical work of high quality
  • The applicant's estimated academic and personal ability to complete the project within the time frame
  • The applicant's ability to complete research training
  • Good collaboration skills and an ability to join interdisciplinary academic communities

Applicants who have recently graduated with excellent results may be given preference.

We offer

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Application letter describing the applicant’s qualifications and motivation for the position
  • Curriculum Vitae (with a list of education, positions, teaching experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities, including a complete list of publications)
  • Transcript of records of your Bachelor’s and Master's degrees. Applicants with education from a foreign university must attach an explanation of their university's grading system
  • Documentation of Language requirements (if applicable)
  • A project description, including a detailed progress plan for the project (3 - 5 pages, maximum 14,000 characters. See Template for project descriptions)
  • An academic writing sample of up to 8000 words

Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Educational certificates, master theses and the like are not to be submitted with the application, but applicants may be asked to submit such information or works later.

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, jobbnorge.no.

Short-listed candidates will be invited for an interview.

Formal regulations

See also regulations as well as guidelines for the application assessment process and appointments to research fellowships.

Following the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) § 25, Chapter 2, demographic information about the applicant may be used in the public list of applicants even if the applicant opts out from the entry in the public application list.

The University of Oslo has an Acquisition of Rights Agreement for the purpose of securing rights to intellectual property created by its employees, including research results.

The University of Oslo aims to achieve a balanced gender composition in the workforce and to recruit people with ethnic minority backgrounds.

Contact information

For questions about the position:

Associate Professor and PI Sebastian Watzl, e-mail: [email protected]

For questions about how to apply: 

HR Officer Anders Rykke, e-mail: [email protected]

Related Position

A Doctoral Research Fellowship position in the same group and with the same conditions (but funded through a different grant) is available also here:


While we are looking for slightly different profiles (see the job descriptions), we encourage qualified candidates to apply to both positions to maximise their chances.

How to apply
Application type Online
Web address to apply https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/234...
Hard deadline January 15, 2023, 11:59pm CET
Web address for more information https://www.jobbnorge.no/en/available-jobs/job/234...
Contact name Sebastian Watzl
Contact email
Time created November 15, 2022, 9:39pm UTC
Scheduled expiry date January 15, 2023, 11:59pm CET
Expired on January 17, 2023, 12:46am CET
Last updated March 18, 2023, 3:00pm UTC
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