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PhD position on education, social participation and health using econometric methods

They have a vacant 3-year position as a doctoral research fellow in the project Lost in Transition? Uncovering social and health consequences of suboptimal transitions in the education system. This project aims to understand the effects of transitions in the education system on later labour market participation, family formation and health.

The context is that individuals with low education are less likely to form partnerships, have children and participate in the labour market, and more often than others end up with poor physical and mental health. Successful transitions between education levels may be crucial for these life outcomes. The project will consider how starting school at a suitable age, attending an upper secondary school of choice, and managing to complete upper secondary education affect later social participation and health. To that aim, they will use natural experiments and econometric methods to identify causal relationships using Norwegian register data. The project is led by NIPH and is a collaboration with the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU), the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, and the University of Bristol. A summary of the project can be found here.

The position will be established at the Centre for Fertility and Health, a Centre of Excellence funded by the Research Council of Norway and hosted by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The scientific goal of the centre is to understand how changes in patterns of fertility and family structure influence child and adult health through social and biological pathways. A summary of the Centre’s research agenda can be found here.

As a doctoral research fellow at the centre, you will be part of an interdisciplinary and international team. The centre has a strong academic and social environment and has recently hired several postdoctoral and doctoral fellows. The doctoral research fellow will also be part of a broad research environment at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. The right candidate will be encouraged to shape her or his research and to develop own research ideas, within the topics of the project and the centre.



  • Develop a project description for their PhD and an application to a relevant PhD programme.
  • Contribute to the project and analyse research data.
  • Write and publish scientific papers.
  • Complete a PhD at a recognised university.
  • Attend project workshops, seminars, courses and scientific conferences.
  • Academic and popular dissemination of results.
  • Contribute to the development of research at the centre and the institute.
  • Collaborate with a large network of researchers.



  • Master’s degree in economics, sociology or another relevant field in social science, health sciences, education, or statistics. Currently enrolled students scheduled to complete a Master’s degree in 2021 may also apply.
  • Applicants must qualify for admission to a PhD programme at the University of Oslo.
  • Good academic achievements, particularly on dissertation and in research methods.
  • Excellent oral and written skills in English.
  • Experience with large and complex data sets is an advantage.
  • Knowledge of research on education systems, family forms, fertility, mental health, and/or labour participation is an advantage.
  • Good knowledge of econometric methods for causal analysis and experience in using relevant statistical software such as R, STATA, or SAS is an advantage.


Personal characteristics

  • You are innovative, results-oriented and enterprising.
  • You are interested in topics relevant to the project and the centre (education systems, family forms, fertility, health, labour participation).
  • Personal suitability and good interpersonal and cooperation skills are of great importance.
  • You must be flexible and have the ability to work independently, efficiently and targeted as well as contribute to an inclusive work environment.


They offer

  • An interesting job with varied tasks in an active and pleasant research environment.
  • The opportunity to work with world-class research data.
  • Inclusion in the Norwegian Institute of Public Health's network for doctoral fellows, with professional and social gatherings.
  • A workplace that has great social responsibility and that plays an important role for the health and wellbeing of the population.
  • Optional research stay abroad lasting 3-12 months with funding opportunity from the Norwegian Research Council.
  • 3-year temporary position as doctoral research fellow with salary by agreement, within the state's regulations.
  • Pension scheme in the Government Pension Fund.
  • Flexible working hours and good welfare schemes, such as exercise during working hours.
  • Accession by 1 January 2022 or earlier by appointment.


The application must include

  • A cover letter, max. 2 pages (statement of motivation, summarising scientific work and research interest).
  • A short project proposal, max. 2 pages incl. references (stating what research you would like to do during your PhD).
  • CV, including list of publications if applicable.
  • A Master diploma (if completed) and transcript of grades
  • List of 2-3 referees (name, relation to candidate, email and phone number)
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More information
The Centre for Fertility and Health
Martin Flatø (Principal Investigator / Researcher) - Martin.Flato [at]