Vacancy | PhD studentship in Outdoor Life (friluftsliv) and Mental Health to the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. Apply before March 11, 2024


To strengthen ongoing research within the fields of outdoor studies and mental health, DTEOS invites applications for a PhD-position focusing on mental health and nature-based interventions and programming. More specifically, the pre-defined project will examine the influence of a weekly friluftsliv program that takes place in local nature on young people’s mental health. The academic work will be based at NIH in Oslo, Norway.

The successful candidate will be expected to document competence and experience from the field of mental health and friluftsliv (outdoor education / nature-based therapy), and who may have a background in either social or human sciences. We seek an ambitious applicant who can independently, and in collaboration with others, develop, undertake, and report on high-quality research that can be published in established journals. The successful candidate will be supervised by an associate professor with a background in psychology and mental health, and a professor with many years of experience and research in outdoor studies. The successful candidate will be expected to both conduct empirical studies and contribute to theoretical development related in the area of study.

Qualification requirements

Formal education and work experience in the areas of mental health and/or outdoor studies is a requirement. The successful candidate will have excellent collaborative skills, a friendly and positive ‘can do’ attitude, and willingness to actively contribute to the overall success of the department. Fluency in one of the Scandinavian languages is an advantage, but not a requirement.

Selection criteria

Minimum requirements for this position are:

      • the successful candidate must be qualified for admission to the PhD program at NIH. See our webpage with details about admission requirements
      • the master’s degree should be within the fields of outdoor education/recreation, psychology or mental health, with a minimum grade point average of B/2,5.
      • work experience with groups in outdoor environments

It is preferred that applicants have:

      • publications in friluftsliv/outdoor studies and or mental health
      • the ability to teach and write in both a Scandinavian language and in English
      • a demonstrated interest in issues relating to mental health and well-being
      • outdoor skills / leadership qualifications
      • teaching experience at the college / university level
      • clinical experience of working with youth

In the ranking of applicants, the whole range of qualifications will be considered and assessed, including communication skills and overall personal suitability for the position.

We offer

      • The position’s starting salary is 532.200 NOK yearly, position code SKO 1017.
      • The PhD research fellowship period is 4 years with 25 % teaching, or 3 years without teaching. The employment period will be determined based on teaching qualifications
      • A research and education institution at the highest international level and with excellent facilities Creative and collegial working environment
      • Flexible working hours
      • Advantages within the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund (SPK)for housing loan, insurance and pension.

Application process

Applicants will be evaluated by the head of department, the two supervisors and one PhD student. Short-listed applicants will be called for interview(s). The electronic application must contain:

      • A personal application letter, including motivation for the position
      • Complete CV summarizing education, positions held, teaching and research experience, administrative experience and other qualifying activities
      • A complete list of scientific publications with information about where they have been published, the impact factor and the number of citations.
      • Documentation of other activities which the applicant considers relevant to the position and wants to be considered in the assessment. Copies of diplomas, transcripts and certificates
      • Contact information for 2-3 referees
      • All documentation to be considered is to be uploaded as attachments to the application. Complete documentation in electronic form must be submitted by the closing date for the application.

The application with attachments must be completed through NIH’s electronic recruiting system. Please note that all documents must be in English or a Scandinavian language. International applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their university’s grading system.

International applicants, or applicants who hold an international degree, are advised to apply for recognition of foreign higher education: (

Formal regulations

Please see the rules and regulations for appointments to Ph.D. Research fellowships at NIH.

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 Norwegian School of Sports and Sciences has a policy of achieving an including and diversed workplace with a balanced gender composition.

Qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background are encouraged to apply.

Contact information

      • Head of Department: Professor Reidar Säfvenbom,  tel. +47 23 26 24 25 / +47 93 03 95 06
      • PhD Program: Senior Adviser Gro Styrmo,, tel. + 47 23 26 20 31
      • Contact administration: HR Adviser Elisabeth Olsen,


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