We are hiring: Postdoctoral position available in SMART

A position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow in is available at the University of Oslo, Faculty of Law, Department of Private Law. Extended deadline: 24 May 2017.

A position as Postdoctoral Research Fellow is available for two years to undertake research as part of SMART. While the application must be submitted via the official call, more detailed information about the ongoing and planned work in SMART is given here, as important background for the potential applicants.

Ongoing and planned research in SMART

SMART intends to significantly advance the understanding of how policies and regulations aimed at business, investors, consumers and public procurers (‘market actors’) contribute to or undermine sustainable development goals, and thereby contribute to greater policy coherence for development. The overarching objective is to do research that will serve to promote global sustainability within a circular, zero-emission economy compatible with the planetary boundaries (Rockström, 2009, Steffen, 2015), and in line with the international development goals, embodied in the UN Sustainable Development Goals and human rights standards, and supported by the EU and its Member States. Environmental, social and financial sustainability is also included as overarching objectives in the EU Treaties. We have accordingly interpreted the EU’s aim with funding SMART as being one of policy coherence for sustainable development. We define sustainable development as ‘development that meets the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth’s life-support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends’ (Griggs et al, Nature, 2013). 

SMART is interdisciplinary and international. In its overarching research work package, WP2: Regulatory Dynamics for Sustainability, a multilevel, polycentric mapping and analysis of the regulatory framework for European market actors is currently being undertaken. This includes an international level, EU level, and jurisdiction-specific mapping and analysis of the barriers and possibilities for sustainable market actors and the gaps and incoherencies that work against policy coherence for sustainable development. The results will need to be channelled into a systemic, comprehensive analysis, to be completed by August 2018.

In the last phase of the project, towards the conclusion in February 2020, WP2 will further develop our systems-thinking based, polycentric approach to regulation for sustainability and, in addition, implement the following two main tasks:

  • Develop reform proposals to mitigate the barriers, gaps and incoherencies we have identified, and to promote and mainstream the possibilities and best practices. The reform proposals will be directed at EU institutions, and may in addition also be directed at national and international institutions, as well as to the market actors themselves: notably businesses, investors, public procurers.
  • Develop further methods and guidelines to measure and improve policy coherence for sustainable development, which will be aimed primarily at the EU institutions and its Member States, with relevance also for international institutions. 

Expectations from the postdoctoral research fellow

Within this framework, we envisage that the postdoctoral research fellow could contribute within one or a combination of these areas:

  • A deeper understanding of the agents and processes that lead to organizational change for sustainability in business and finance.
  • A deeper understanding of the feasibility of various regulatory approaches in light of SMART’s aim to identify reform proposals that can be conceived as possible to be enacted on the EU, national and/or international level.
  • An assessment of existing methodologies and tools for measuring policy coherence for (sustainable) development, with the aim of contributing to the further development of such methodologies and tools, within the scope of the SMART Project. This should include an assessment of the EU’s own tool on Better Regulation for Policy Coherence for Development. See also the ‘independent and comprehensive evaluation on PCD’ that the EU has launched in February 2016, intended to be concluded by January 2018 (see roadmap).

The purpose of postdoctoral research fellowships is to qualify for higher academic positions. As the SMART project is interdisciplinary, the position is open for candidates with PhDs in all relevant disciplines including law. We will consider applications both from candidates wishing to do interdisciplinary research and those wishing to do their work within one discipline.

In assessing the applications, special emphasis will be placed on the candidate´s assumed academic and personal ability to complete her or his part of the project within the given time frame. Candidates should have an understanding of the objectives and principles of sustainable development.

The project language is English and candidates should have an excellent command of English, written and spoken. Publications must be written in English. A good command of a Scandinavian language, alternatively willingness to learn during the fellowship period, is an advantage for working at the Faculty in Oslo, but is not a condition for this position.

Candidates must hold a PhD in law or other relevant area, or other education equivalent to a Norwegian doctoral degree. For the successful candidate, the postdoctoral project will be shaped through discussions with the project leader and other senior scholars. The project proposal is nevertheless important in the assessment of the applications, to see which research questions the candidate selects, which methodology is chosen, and the candidate’s understanding of and knowledge within the chosen topic.

As an international and interdisciplinary project, SMART values diversity, and we encourage all qualified and interested individuals to apply.

For the benefits that the University of Oslo offers, and the detailed requirements for the application, and to submit the application, please go to the official call. For any questions, please contact Professor Beate Sjåfjell or Administrative Coordinator Linda Gulli.

Published Apr. 3, 2017 3:21 PM - Last modified May 22, 2017 3:03 PM