The candidate will be part of the Research Group on Peace, Conflict and Development, and the research project «Reactions to state regulation of Islam in times of Daesh» (STATEISLAM), funded by the Research Council of Norway (Young Research Talents). The project investigates new forms of religious authority and state control of the religious field in the Middle East.

The candidate will be expected to write their dissertation within the overall framework of the project, and in so doing contribute to the overall output of the project. As fieldwork in the Middle East is an integral part of the project, the successful candidate must be able to use Arabic as a working language, and base parts of the work on fieldwork in the Middle East. The candidate will be based at NUPI in Oslo, Norway, where the  PI of STATEISLAM will co-supervise the dissertation.

The project «Reactions to state regulation of Islam in times of Daesh» (STATEISLAM) explores how governments throughout the MENA region strengthened their control over official Islamic institutions in the face of an increasingly fluid and violent religious sphere beginning from 2013 onwards. This analysis of the renegotiation of state-religious relations focuses on Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Saudi Arabia, and examines how the Ulama and female preachers relate to the government. The researchers in this project are based in Oslo (NUPI); at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence; and at Moroccan Institute for Policy Analysis (MIPA) in Rabat. The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway (Young Research Talents). More information about the project can be sent to interested candidates upon demand.


NUPI aims to have an equal gender distribution among our employees and encourages women to apply. NUPI aims, to the greatest degree possible, to have a staff that reflects societal diversity. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, regardless of cultural background, age, disability or previous periods of leave from the workforce. NUPI will accommodate specific needs relating to disability for new hires and as needed during the interview process.

Qualifications for the position (formal criteria)

  • Graduate degree (5-year masters; 3+2 or 4+1) in Middle Eastern studies, political science, sociology, anthropology, development studies, the history of religion, or other relevant disciplines.
  • Strong academic results, and analytical skills.
  • Arabic and English as a working languages.
  • Interest in and knowledge about Middle Eastern politics and, preferably, about the political context in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and/or Tunisia.

The following would also be an asset

  • Ability to communicate in one of the Scandinavian languages.
  • Experience with fieldwork and research in the Middle East (in Arabic).
  • Self-reliant and creative, good communication skills in English, teamwork player

We offer

  • An exciting opportunity to combine academic excellence with policy influence
  • The chance to be part of the leading research institute on international affairs
  • A young and vibrant work environment with frequent invited speakers and events
  • Modern office facilities in Oslo
  • Competitive salary based on NUPI's pay scale. (salary scale 1017 doctoral fellow, NOK 491 200 per year).
  • Funding that will cover fieldwork, selected conference participation and language editing of academic papers for the PhD dissertation.
  • Membership in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • The possibility to do a semester PhD exchange in Istanbul, Florence or St. Louis (Missouri), in addition to field work travel to the Middle East

How to apply

We only accept applications via JobbNorge.

The application deadline is 1 August 2022.

Please submit the following:

  • Cover letter with statement of motivation and research interests (max 1 page)
  • A preliminary research proposal of max. 5 pages setting out:
    • Main research question(s) and a rationale for proposed research
    • The thematic and/or empirical scope
    • Methodological approach and short discussion of feasibility
    • A tentative progress plan
    • Indication of preferred PhD program
  • CV, including list of publications
  • Transcript of academic grades and certificates
  • Names and contact details of two academic references. You may also submit one non-academic reference.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to submit written work, which will be evaluated by a scientific committee at NUPI. Final candidates will be invited to an interview at NUPI (or an online interview), which will include a short Arabic test.

Candidates should note that NUPI is a research institution that does not confer degrees or offer any formal doctoral training. The successful candidate will therefore have to apply to a PhD-programme at a university. Such school fees are not covered by NUPI or the project STATEISLAM, (but candidates should note that at Norwegian universities the school fee is very low). The chosen candidate will have a supervisor at NUPI, and a supervisor appointed by the university PhD-programme the candidate has applied to.

Questions regarding the positions can be directed to Project Leader Tine Gade (

The Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) holds a leading position in research on international politics and economy. We also have a special responsibility for communication on these areas. We strive to conduct all our activities with quality, relevance and credibility. We are in an exciting development and employ today around 65 people. The institute is owned by the Ministry of Education and Research. Our activities are funded by Norwegian and international organisations like the Research Council of Norway and the EU, as well as public and private enterprises. NUPI is located in attractive premises in central Oslo.