PhD position in Maritime safety and design

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This is Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

With about 16,000 students, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway. A broad range of academic programmes are offered at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels, spread out on five campuses Førde, Sogndal, Bergen, Stord og Haugesund.

Our ambition is to build stronger and more solid academic and research environments that will interact nationally and internationally. The aim is to become a recognized actor on the international higher education arena. Increased international cooperation and engagement in externally funded projects will work towards this goal.

The Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences (FØS) has three departments: the Department of Business Administration, the Department of Maritime Studies and the Department of Social Sciences. The academic staff at the faculty has about 140 employees, in total, there are about 2300 students on the three campuses: Bergen, Haugesund and Sogndal.

The faculty currently has eleven bachelor's programs and four master's programs. The faculty has a doctoral program in nautical operations which is a joint degree with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), the Norwegian Arctic University (UiT) and the University of Southeast Norway (USN). FØS is also the host faculty for the doctoral program "Responsible Innovation and Regional Development" (RESINNREG) in collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences and the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.

The Department of Maritime Studies (IMS) has educations at bachelor's, master's and PhD levels and a strong and active research environment. We have 28 permanent employees and 8 PhD students from different nations and collaborate with universities and research institutes nationally and internationally.  The Department of Maritime Studies is located in Haugesund. The research activity in the department is mainly linked to the MarSafe research program. The researchers at MarSafe work closely with the industry, and focus on risk and safety in the maritime industry, with the main focus on organizational and operational aspects related to risk and safety management.

PhD position in Maritime safety and design

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business Administration and Social
Sciences (FØS) has a vacant PhD position within Maritime safety and design

About the position:

The maritime research center, Center for Safety at Sea, at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) gathers and visualises the research environments at HVL within the center’s focus areas - Green shipping, Safety in shipping and Digitalisation. The center promotes cross-disciplinary collaboration in research and development, and is an arena for interaction between HVL, maritime industry and maritime authorities.

Center for Safety at Sea is under further development and has received funding for a project aiming to building cross-disciplinary competence within maritime safety and safety culture in the green transition in the maritime industry. We will therefore hire a PhD candidate within the area Maritime safety and design. There is a particular emphasis on the human role and the operational and regulatory perspectives. Research projects in this area can be user-centred or focusing on innovating new technical solutions to assist users within complex working environments.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences (FØS), Department of Maritime Studies (IMS) has a vacant PhD position within Maritime safety and design. The position is 100 % for 4 years (including 25% teaching duty). The PhD student will be part of the maritime safety research group (MarSafe) at the department of maritime studies. Place of employment is Haugesund, Norway.

The PhD student will apply for admission in the PhD programme in Nautical Operations. This unique PhD Programme in Nautical Operations is a joint degree between the four institutions educating ship officers at a university level in Norway; University of South-Eastern Norway, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and UiT The Arctic University of Norway. More information on the PhD programme can be found here: This PhD position addresses safety and design in the maritime domain.

About the PhD project/work tasks:

  • Plan and conduct research, applying relevant methods within quantitative and qualitative studies, assess and analyse data, interpret
  • and form conclusions
  • Write scientific manuscripts for conferences and peer-reviewed journals
  • Active participation in the research program MarSafe and the PhD program in Nautical Operations, collaboration in a cross-disciplinary
  • environment
  • 25% teaching duties in relevant course(s)
  • Travel may be required

Required qualifications:

  • Relevant MSc Degree within maritime safety, maritime operations, safety culture, user-centred design or other relevant topic. The MSc must be of 120 ECTS (based on a BSc of 180 ECTS) or an integrated MSc of 300 ECTS. It is a requirement of a weighted grade average of minimum B. Applicants not covering the B average requirement may apply if documented that the candidate is particularly suited for the position. The Master thesis must be handed in within the application deadline and the MSc degree must be approved no later than four weeks after the application deadline.
  • Knowledge of and experience with research methods and data analysis
  • Documented qualifications in the English language as per requirements for Norwegian Higher Education
  • The person that is hired must fulfil the requirements for admission into the PhD program in Nautical Operations. For more info, see

Additional qualifications:

  • Seafaring experience
  • Research experience in industries within safety critical domains is an advantage
  • Experience and/or interest in human factors, HCD, HMI and human performance is a plus
  • Candidates with no maritime operative background may also apply if they have a demonstrated record in human factors (publications or industry experience)
  • Norwegian skills as per requirements for Norwegian Higher Education

Personal skills:

  • Ability to work alone, in small and large groups, among multiple discipline experts
  • Good communication skills, both orally and in writing
  • Interest for teaching and supervision of students
  • Strong motivation for completing the PhD in the given timeline and contributing to research within the maritime field

PhD student
Applicants need to include a project plan of 5 pages. The project plan must:

  • Be relevant for the PhD project’s overall problem
  • Describe how an applicant imagines the course of the PhD project, including choosing topic, thesis question, method, theory and an overall plan for the project (timeline)
  • Be written in English

The preliminary project plan will be used for assessing the candidate’s qualifications and will not be the final project plan. The final project plan will be developed in collaboration with the main supervisor.

The application for admission to the PhD program in nautical operations will be sent after employment. The PhD student must be accepted into the PhD program in nautical operations within three months after starting in the position.

The 25% teaching duty is carried out in relevant course(s) at the Department of Maritime Studies. It is a requirement that the PhD student is present at HVL’s campus Haugesund throughout the period of employment.

Deduction in the employment period will be made if the applicant previously has held recruitment positions.

NOTE! As attachments to the application, the applicant must also include the following in addition to the requested project plan:

  • Master Thesis
  • Copies of selected academic publications (up to 5)
  • A CV with a complete list of academic publications
  • Diplomas and certificates Note that applications without project plan or any of the necessary attachments will not be assessed.

Application procedure:

Applications will be evaluated by an expert panel of three members.
Applicants are asked to submit their application and CV online. Please use the link “Apply for this job” (“Søk stillingen”).
The following documentation should be uploaded as an attachment to the online application:

  • A project plan of 5 pages
  • Master Thesis
  • Copies of selected academic publications (up to 5)
  • A CV with a complete list of academic publications
  • Diplomas and certificates

Applicants should indicate which publications or parts of publications should be given special consideration in the evaluation. If the documents submitted are not in a Scandinavian language or in English, the applicants must submit certified translations of these. The transcripts must specify the topics, the course works, and the grades at the bachelor`s and master`s degree levels.

Applicant whose education is from another country than Norway, need to also attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcript of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, if the original is not in any of these languages. It is required that the applicant enclose a review from NOKUT whether the education (bachelor and master’s degree) is of a scope and level that corresponds to the level of a Norwegian master’s degree.
Please see for more information about NOKUT’s general recognition. This may take some time and we recommend you to


  • Good occupational pension, insurance and loan schemes from The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Exciting academic environment with the possibility of competence enhancement and development
  • Opportunities for training within the working hours

Initial salaries will be offered at grade 54 (code 1017) in the Civil Service pay grade table scale.

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see for more information). The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time.

General information:

The appointment will be made in accordance with the regulations for State employees Law in Norway ("Lov om statens ansatte)". Organizational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities associated with the position must be expected.

State employment shall reflect the multiplicity of the population at large to the highest possible degree. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences Bergen has therefore adopted a personnel policy objective to ensure that we achieve a balanced age and gender composition and the recruitment of persons of various ethnic backgrounds.

Information about the applicant may be made public even though the applicant has requested not to be named in the list of applicants. The applicant will be notified if his/her request is not respected.

Short-listed applicants will be called in for an interview.


1) Professor Margareta Lutzhoft, leader of MarSafe research program and academic leader for the research center Center for Safety at Sea,

2) Johanne Marie Trovåg,Head of Department of Maritime Studies,

Interaction, Sustainability, Innovation

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences shall be a university with a clear professional and working life-oriented profile.

Through education, research and development we create new knowledge and expertise, anchored internationally and with solutions that work locally.