Research fellow in mathematics education(ph.d).
University of Stavanger, Department of Teacher Education and Sports Science

Department of Teacher Education and Sports Science invites applications for a position as

Research fellow in mathematics education(ph.d)


Job description
The University of Stavanger invites applications for a research fellowship in mathematics education at the Faculty of Arts and Ecucation, Department of Education and Sports Science.

This is a trainee position that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development leading to a doctoral degree.

The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively, or four years with both research and 25% compulsory duties. This will be clarified in the recruitment process. The position is vacant from January 1st, 2020.

The position as PhD Fellowship in Mathematics Education is related to the project "Developmental Education in Mathematics in Primary Schools". The place of work will be at the Institute's mathematics section.


Project proposal

As an applicant, you must prepare a preliminary project proposal for a doctoral project within the subject area, which explains the problem, relevance, theoretical and methodological approach. Your preliminary project proposal will be included in the application assessment. During the first three months of the employment period, the project proposal will be further developed in cooperation with your supervisors and completed for the final project description. A project proposal template can be found here.

Developmental Education in Mathematics is an education based on Lev Vygotsky’s view on education. Psychologist Leonid Zankov, student and later colleague of Vygotsky was the first to test Vygotsky’s ideas through extensive experimental research in Russian primary schools. Together with his students, he developed a systematic model(Develomental Education) which includes textbooks in all subjects and principles for teacher training. The system aims to facilitate the optimal, general development of each child, i.e. primarily development of the child’s cognitive, emotional, moral and authentic qualities but also child’s intrinsic motivation.

 The project «Developmental Mathematics» started after a pilot project at Smeaheia school in Sandnes municipality which was about designing and implementing Zankov’s system in mathematics for grades 1-4. The school achieved very good results, which created interest and curiosity among parents, teachers, administrators and politicians. The project has been extended to several schools in Rogaland and all over Norway. At present more than 75 Norwegian schools are using the system.

As a part of the project, the Russian textbooks and workbooks for grades 1-4 were translated and adapted to a Norwegian context. Teachers’ guides have also been written.  As Norwegian teaching material has become available, more and more schools have adopted Zankov’s method. Recently, teaching material has been developed for grades 5-7. Teaching material for grades 5 and 6 is available, and teaching material for grade 7 will be available in the summer 2020.

Based on ongoing project, it is important to study and assess how the system meets the expectations society has for the mathematics education in primary school. The relevant research focus areas can be

  • to study students’ learning outcomes in mathematics
  • to systematically investigate the effect of this educational system in Norwegian context
  • to study deep learning
  • to study concept formation and how conceptual thinking and tasks stimulate children’s ability to intuition, concentration, critical thinking, creativity, to make decisions and to approach problems in a logical way, to be able to analyze and make connections and understand how things work and are connected, to be able to think without contradiction and use knowledge effectively

It may also be relevant to illuminate how participating teachers assess the project’s relevance and how they implement the system in their schools, how parents relate to the project. Additionally, it can be interesting to compare learning outcomes, motivation, attitudes towards mathematics, etc. between experimental students and those who are exposed to “traditional” education. For example, whether and how basic mathematical skills are better developed in students who receive mathematics education according to Zankov’s system in Norway than those who receive “traditional” education in mathematics? What might be the reason for that?

Applicants must attach a research proposal of not more than 5 pages, where he/she should propose and discuss research questions, point to relevant theory and research methods, and propose a research plan for the project. Proposal will be evaluated with respect to both scientific potential and potential for implementation.


Qualification requirements

We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within mathematics or mathematics didactics, preferably acquired recently; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate.

To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the Univeristy of Stavanger both the grade for your master’s thesis and the weighted average grade of your master’s degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade. If you finish your education (masters degree) in the spring of 2019 you are also welcome to apply.

Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F should attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale.

 Emphasis is also placed on your:

  • motivation and potential for research within the field
  • ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative
  • ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload
  • having a good command of both oral and written English and being fluent in Norwegian or another Scandinavian language, both orally and written

In the evaluation of candidates, emphasis will be given to exam results, any previous development work, published work and relevant practice. It is also preferrable that the candidate has teaching experience from primary school.


We offer

  • varied duties in a large, exciting and socially important organisation
  • an ambitious work community which is developing rapidly. We strive to include employees at all levels in strategic decisions and promote an informal atmosphere with a flat organisational structure
  • colleague-based guidance programme during your first year of teaching at UiS, NyTi
  • salary in accordance with the State Salary Scale, 17.515, code 1017, NOK 479.600,- gross per year with salary development according to seniority in the position.
  • automatic membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund, which provides favourable insurance- and retirement benefits
  • favourable membership terms at a gym and at the SIS sports club at campus
  • employment with an Inclusive Workplace organisation which is committed to reducing sick leave, increasing the proportion of employees with reduced working capacity, and increasing the number of professionally active seniors
  • "Hjem-jobb-hjem" discounted public transport to and from work
  • as an employee in Norway, you will have access to an optimal health service, as well as good pensions, generous maternity/paternity leave, and a competitive salary. Nursery places are guaranteed and reasonably priced
  • relocation programme in event of moving to Norway, including support and language courses for spouses

Other information
See "Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow and research fellow, research assistant and resident" at the University of Stavanger.

It is a prerequisite that the appointee has a residence which enables him or her to be present at/available to the academic community during ordinary working hours.

The position has been announced in both Norwegian and English. In the case of differences of meaning between the texts, the Norwegian text takes precedence.


Contact information
More information on the position can be obtained from Natalia Blank, tlf: 51833527, e-post:

Information about the appointment procedure can be obtained from HR-consultant Grete Marnburg, tel: 51833545, e-mail:



To apply for this position please follow the link "Apply for this job". Register your application and CV including relevant education and work experience. In your application letter you must show your research interests and motivation to apply for the position.

The following documents must be uploaded as attachments to your application in separate files:

  • project proposal 
  • certificates/diplomas 
  • references
  • list of publications 
  • other documentation that you consider relevant

The documentation must be available in either a Scandinavian language or in English. If the total size of the attachments exceeds 30 MB, they must be compressed before upload. Information and documentation to be taken into account in the assessment must be submitted within the application dealine. Contact details for three references must be provided in the application or upon request.

Please note that information on applicants may be published even if the applicant has requested not to be included in the official list of applicants - see Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act.

UiS only considers applications and attachments registered in JobbNorge.


UiS - challenge the well-known and explore the unknown
The University of Stavanger (UiS) has about 12,000 students and 1,700 employees. We are the only Norwegian member of the European Consortium of Innovative Universities. The university has high ambitions. We will have an innovative and international profile, and will be a driving force in knowledge development and in the process of societal change. Together with our staff and students, we will challenge the well-known and explore the unknown.

Department of Education and Sports Science, which is part of the Faculty of Arts and Ecucation, offers primary teacher training and postgraduate education in Education Science. Education Science is an academic focus at the university, and we are prepared to take a larger national responsibility for educating the labor needed in the nation and in the region, within the academic field. There are currently 75 employees and 840 students at the department.


1st October 2019

University of Stavanger



Fixed Term

Place of service

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