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PhD Research Fellow in Educational Measurement

Job description

Applicants are invited for 1-2 three to four year fulltime position as a PhD Research Fellow at the University of Oslo, Norway. The intended starting date is January 1, 2024.

The position has a double affiliation with the Centre for Research on Equality in Education (CREATE) and the Centre for Educational Measurement (CEMO).

CREATE is an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway with the objective to generate novel knowledge about how to reduce inequalities in education, see web site. The interdisciplinary centre integrates researchers with substantive expertise from education, psychology, sociology, economics, and genetics, and methodological expertise from educational measurement, psychometrics, econometrics, statistics, and biostatistics. The PhD fellowship is affiliated with CREATE’s research strand 3 «Addressing key methodological challenges».

The Centre for Educational Measurement at the University of Oslo (CEMO) provides a stimulating research environment by bringing internationally renowned substantive and methodological experts together. Research at CEMO combines basic research and applications of advanced measurement techniques to solve core educational problems. CEMO also contributes to the development of measurement competence through teaching and outreach.
UiO/ Anders Lien

More about the position

The successful candidate is expected to pursue research in one of two possible research profiles:

(1) Modern Test Design: Progressive tests for screening
Screening for learning difficulties in children relies among others on so-called progressive tests where a fixed-set of items are ordered in terms of difficulty and semi-adaptively administered using basal and ceiling rules. Classic examples are for instance the Test for Reception of Grammar (TROG) or the British picture vocabulary scale (BPVS). Within CREATE one of the research objectives is to develop methodology that supports the construction and validation of such progressive tests according to modern test design principles within an item response theory (IRT) framework. This includes among others the study of radical and incidental item features using experiments and explanatory item response models, modeling and validation of an invariant item order, and the development and validation of adaptive administration schemes.

For more information on this research profile, contact Prof.dr. Johan Braeken, johan.braeken@cemo.uio.no.

(2) Developing flexible, robust, and scalable estimation methods
Complex latent variable models for longitudinal and multilevel studies of educational processes are challenging to estimate due to the high dimensionality of the latent variable.

One of the aims of CREATE is to develop flexible, robust, and scalable estimation methods for such models. In this research profile, the successful candidate will contribute to the development of an approximate maximum likelihood estimation method for multilevel and longitudinal generalized linear latent and mixed models.

For more information on this research profile, contact Associate professor Björn Andersson, bjorn.andersson@cemo.uio.no.

The research fellow must take part in the faculty’s approved PhD program and is expected to complete the project within the set fellowship period. The main purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree.

For more information, please see our web site.

The appointment is a fulltime position for a period of three years. If there is a good match between the candidate’s competence and the teaching needs at CEMO, the position may be extended to four years, 25 percent of which are devoted to teaching, supervision and research assistance.
Qualification requirements

Applicants must satisfy the requirements for admission to the faculty´s PhD programme. This normally includes:Applicants must hold a Master´s degree or equivalent in a field relevant for the research project (for example educational or social sciences, psychology, psychometrics, statistics)
A Master’s degree (120 ECTS) with a minimum grade B (ECTS grading scale) or equivalent. The Master’s degree must include a thesis of at least 30 ECTS, with a minimum grade B
Fluent oral and written communication skills in English
Experience with applications of Item Response Theory as for instance exemplified in a relevant master thesis
Programming skills in R for data management, visualization, and automation

In the assessment of applications, emphasis will be placed on:The quality of the project description
The applicant’s experience, personal suitability and motivation for the post, including her/his ability to collaborate and to form part of a cross-disciplinary academic community
The applicant’s academic attitude and motivation with regard to completing the research training program

Personal skills
Open and proactive communication
Ability to cope constructively with criticism
Time management and punctuality
Ability to focus and work independently

We offer
Salary NOK 532 200 - 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications in a position as PhD Research fellow, (position code 1017)
An interdisciplinary and international work environment, nationally recognized as a Centre of Excellence
Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement, in addition to Oslo’s family-friendly environment with its rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must includeCover letter (1 page, incl. a statement of motivation)
Project description (approximately 5 - 7 pages, including a short summary of research gaps, research questions the candidate regards relevant to pursue, theoretical and methodological approaches, and a progress plan for the PhD). Please see our guidelines.Choose one of the two research profiles and motivate your interest.
Situate the research field in your chosen research profile by identifying what you consider to be three key references.
Identify a potential research question and suggest a methodological approach and study design to pursue this question.
Include a tentative progress plan for the PhD including coursework you would benefit from.
CV (summarizing education, positions, publications and other relevant academic work)
Copy of the Master´s thesis
Copies of educational certificates (academic transcripts only). Foreign applicants must attach an explanation of their grading system
Documentation of English proficiency (for information on required documentation, see information on this web site)
List of reference persons: 2-3 references, including the supervisor of the Master´s thesis (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and phone number)

Incomplete applications will not be assessed.

Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link: “Apply for this job”.

When evaluating the application, emphasis will be given to the project description and the applicant’s academic and personal prerequisites to carry out the project.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

The appointment may be shortened/given a more limited scope within the framework of the applicable guidelines on account of any previous employment in academic positions.

Contact information

Acting CREATE director professor Arne Ole Lervåg

Prof. dr. Johan Braeken

Associate professor Björn Anderssson

About the University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest ranked educational and research institution, with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. With its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally recognised research communities, UiO is an important contributor to society.

CREATE (Centre of Research on Equality in Education) is an interdisciplinary Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway and the Faculty of Educational Sciences. CREATE’s objective is to generate novel knowledge about how to reduce inequalities in education.

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