PhD Research Fellowship in Digital Childhoods

The Faculty of Social and Health Sciences at Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN) invites applications for a PhD research fellowship. The place of work is Elverum/ Lillehammer. The period of the fellowship is normally three years from the time of admission, with the possibility of a fourth year involving mandatory work amounting to 25% distributed over the period of employment. This is contingent on the candidate’s qualifications and preferences, as well as the department’s needs in terms of teaching and other student-related tasks.

The successful candidate will be admitted to the PhD programme in Health and Welfare (under accreditation) at the faculty, and doctoral projects must contribute to the faculty’s aims of strengthening the knowledge base in the field of this programme. The doctoral project will be linked to the research group Children and Adolescents’ Upbringing and Socialization (BUOS).

About the research field and content of the fellowship

Doctoral projects

Candidates must qualify for admission to the university’s PhD programme, and the doctoral education is carried out within this programme. Applicants who already hold a PhD will not be considered.

The academic and research community supporting the doctoral programme with supervision and research training comprises a number of professors and associate professors working in the relevant academic fields.

Project description 

The digital society is a fact. Some therefore consider it an adult responsibility to teach children to become proficient in its workings. Others point out that digital interactions increase the risk of sleep problems, mental health problems, reduced empathy, and that it cultivates a ‘surveillance capitalism’ where “free services” monitor and manipulate children’s and adults’ interests and worldviews.

This project, Digital Childhoods, is part of a contemporary research agenda where qualitative and interpretive methods are used to investigate how screen time shapes children and young people’s upbringing, socialization and well-being. Instead of exploring digital childhoods as a natural matter of fact, a critical social science approach is used to show how parents and children experience, discuss and create digital lives on a daily basis. We now seek a qualified candidate who will visit Norwegian families and homes to ethnographically examine the conditions of digital childhoods.

This Ph.D. project is positioned in the research group Children and Adolescents’ Upbringing and Socialization (BUOS) and will link studies of children and adolescents’ upbringing and participation closer to a qualitative and interpretive public health environment at the Department of Public Health and Sport Sciences. The qualified candidate will join a vibrant research environment with monthly seminars where contemporary social life is analyzed through various social science perspectives. The candidate is expected to contribute to the research group BUOS, to the various professional seminars offered, and to share an interest in developing new and important research on how societies shape the worlds of children and young people.

Possible research focus in the project Digital Childhoods are not limited to, but could include:

  • How is screen time negotiated and how is this negotiation shaped by various power relations between children, adults and societal interests?
  • What time and emotional resources do adults and children believe they need to find a good balance between screen time, family life, schoolwork and leisure activities?
  • What cultural and mental challenges are experienced as a consequence of various amounts of time spent on digital media?
  • What implications do children and adults believe that increased screen time has for an ideal childhood, as well as wishes and needs for physical activity, social life and outdoor life?
  • Is screen time experienced differently by parents and children of different genders, ethnicities and across different social classes?

The position is linked to the Department of Public Health and Sport Sciences

Contact information:

Trygve Beyer Broch:

Eirik Grindaker:


Eligibility requirements

We welcome applicants with relevant theoretical and practical experience and education. We are looking for a highly motivated candidate that wants to address a scientific challenge in a stimulating collaborative environment. You should like to work as part of a team, both at INN and internationally, yet be willing to take on responsibilities on your own. You are required to be an independent learner, with the ability to perform demanding tasks within defined time frames. Personal qualities will be essential for the final ranking of candidates

  • Two-year Master’s degree or equivalent in relevant disciplines with the average grade of B or better, as defined by the Norwegian Qualifications Framework (120 credits). Alternative educational backgrounds will be considered on a case-by-case basis, if academically equivalent. 
  • A qualified candidate must have a Master’s degree in one of the social science disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, social geography or psychology. Relevant master’s degree in a nearby sub-discipline, or a completely different discipline, can also be considered.
  • Experience with ethnographic and interpretive methods is beneficial
  • Experience with relevant information and communications technology systems


Excellent communication skills in a Scandinavian language and English, both oral and written.

Evaluation of candidates for the position will be based on a total assessment of educational background and other eligibility requirements, as defined in the advertisement.

How to apply

Your application and CV must be registered electronically. Click the “apply for position” button.

The application must include:

  • Application letter (registered in jobbnorge’s form). In the application letter, please provide the topic of the project, a description of your background and your motivation for the position.
  • Relevant educational background and experience (registered in jobbnorge’s form).

We kindly request that you enclose the following:

  • Proposed project description of the study (max 8 pages, including references), outlining its academic relevance, methods, challenges and possibilities, and containing a tentative progression plan. The project description must be written in English.
  • Copies of academic diplomas and transcripts
  • A list of publications, where applicable
  • Any other documentation you would like us to consider

Attachments must be uploaded as separate files. If the attachments exceed 30 MB, they must be compressed prior to upload. Documents submitted after expiry of the deadline will not be considered in the evaluation of your application.

The government workforce must, to the greatest extent possible, reflect the diversity of the population. Therefore, the university’s personnel policy aims to achieve balance in terms of age and gender, and to recruit individuals with disabilities and recruit from ethnic minority groups. The person appointed must abide by the instructions applicable to the position, the university’s internal administrative policies, and the laws, regulations and agreements that otherwise apply to the position at all times.

We offer

  • An exciting and challenging position at a developing institution, dedicated colleagues and a supportive working environment
  • The position is paid and placed in position code 1017, PhD candidate in the Government Salary Regulations
  • For more information about INN University as an employer, please see here.