PhD Positions in STS, Sustainable Development in China’s Food and Agricultural Systems with NORWEGIAN UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY – NTNU

About the position

The MidWay project addresses sustainability challenges related to food and agriculture in China, with the consumption and production of meat and milk as empirical cases. Rather than making the case for increased efficiency, the project explores the concept of sufficiency to explore its potential to reduce human impacts on the Earth’s biosphere while preserving general well-being, i.e. its potential to set a ‘middle way’ between ‘too little’ and ‘too much’. China is seen as a strategic research site to ask questions about the supply and demand of animal-source foods, speculating that what has made meat and milk such an integral part of Chinese dietary practices might also be “otherwise”.

The two PhD students will be involved in key aspects of the project, including conducting ethnographic fieldwork at several sites along the pig and milk supply systems. The approach involves visiting facilities such as “backyard farms”, medium-sized farms and more industrialized production facilities, as well as packaging, processing and retail facilities, with a special emphasis on supermarkets. Data collection methods include participant observation and interviews with farmers, meat and milk packers, supermarket workers and other relevant stakeholders. Both PhD students are expected to stay in China for an extended period (9-12 months from 2024) and will benefit from collaboration on some aspects of the data generation process.

The Department of Interdisciplinary Culture Studies is part of the Faculty of Humanities of NTNU, located at the Dragvoll campus in Trondheim. The department has 25 permanent employees, including researchers. There are currently around 25 doctoral students, post-docs and interims. The department teaches and conducts research in two areas: gender studies and science and technology studies (STS). Teaching is provided at all levels, including the doctorate. More information can be found at

Your immediate boss is the department head

Main tasks and responsibilities

The successful candidate must

Qualification requirements

The qualification requirement is the completion of a Masters or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in Science and Technology Studies (STS) or equivalent training (i.e. in sociology, anthropology, history, political science, or human geography) with a grade of B or better according to NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants without grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Candidates who do not meet these criteria can only be considered if they can prove that they are particularly suitable candidates for training leading to a doctorate in the social sciences and humanities.

The appointment must be made in accordance with the regulations regarding the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at NTNU

other qualifications

  • Applicants should have knowledge of or interest in social sciences and humanities studies on sustainability, demand, consumption, China, food, agriculture and/or interdisciplinarity
  • Applicants should have experience with qualitative research methods
  • Candidates should have excellent knowledge of English and Chinese language (written and oral). English proficiency must be a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 90
  • Completion of the master’s thesis on time is considered an advantage

Personal characteristics

  • Ability to collaborate with others, such as co-authoring research papers or collecting research data
  • Ability to conduct independent research

In evaluating the most qualified candidate, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability in terms of the required qualifications specified in the advertisement. NTNU is committed to following criteria for research quality assessment in accordance with the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a doctoral student (code 1017) you are normally paid from NOK 491,200 gross per year before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian civil service pension fund.

Appointment to a doctoral position requires admission to the doctoral program in Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies ( As a doctoral student, you agree to participate in the relevant doctoral program during the period of employment. A condition of nomination is that you are qualified for admission to the doctoral program within three months.

The engagement must be carried out in accordance with the regulations relating to government employees and officials and the laws relating to the control of the export of strategic goods, services and technologies. Applicants who, after evaluation of the application and attachment, are found to conflict with the criteria of the latter Act will be barred from recruitment at NTNU. After the appointment, you should assume that there may be changes in the working area.

About the application

The application must contain:

  • resume
  • Diplomas and certificates
  • A motivation letter describing your scientific profile, including a brief research statement with preliminary ideas from the project outline above (max 2-3 pages)
  • Name and address of three references
  • A list of publications (if applicable)

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. A diploma supplement must be attached for master’s degrees outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master’s degree from China Credentials Verification (CHSI):

Applicants invited for an interview must include certified copies of transcripts.

general informations

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity are our strength. We want to recruit people with different skills, backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to help solve our social responsibilities in education and research. We will facilitate the needs of our employees.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is Norway’s innovation capital with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including health care, schools, kindergartens and general equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Subsidized professional day care for children is easily accessible. Additionally, Trondheim offers great education opportunities (including international schools) and opportunities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has a low crime rate and clean air. own.

As an employee of NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development of the subject implies and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of candidates with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you wish to reserve an inscription on the public list of candidates, this must be justified. The evaluation will be carried out in accordance with the legislation in force. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Marius Korsnes, phone: 73598378, email: [email protected] If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR, Hilde Saxi Gildberg email: [email protected]

If you think this sounds interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.

Application deadline: 01.11.2022

NTNU – knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Faculty of Human Sciences

The Faculty of Humanities offers a wide range of humanities study programs and is Norway’s second largest humanities faculty in terms of student numbers. We develop leading academic groups in the action-oriented humanities and innovative, research-based teaching and learning. The Faculty consists of six departments as well as a faculty administration.

Deadline November 1, 2022

Employer NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Municipality Trondheim

Scope Full time (2 jobs)

Duration Temporary

place of service dragvol

Lana T. Arthur