University of Agder (UiA)

PhD Research Fellow in Sport Science

2024-04-24 (Europe/Oslo)
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About the employer

The University was officially established in 2007, but has a history dating back to 1839, and was formerly known as Agder University College.

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About the position

A 100 % position is available at the University of Agder, Faculty of Health and Sports Sciences as a PhD Research Fellow in Sport Science, affiliated to the Department of Sport Science and Physical Education, for a period of three years. The position is located, at the present, at Campus Kristiansand.

The Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences has four departments: Department of Health and Nursing Science, Department of Nutrition and Public Health, Department of Sports Science and Physical Education and Department of Psychosocial Health.

The recruited researcher will be a ‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow’. Recruitment involves physical mobility. The fellow will be part of the Physical Activity and Health Across the LifeSpan (PAHLS) research group, that conducts research on the links between physcial activity, exercise and health in individuals across all ages.

INDEEP (INtervention on the DEterminants of, and Expertise in, Physical activity behaviours) is an EU-funded MSCA Doctoral Network that seeks to generate excellence in research and training, providing future graduates that can advance the state-of-the-art in Physical Activity promotion, through a comprehensive understanding of the determinants associated with Physical Activity Behaviours, innovative methodologies, and data analytics. The main aims of the INDEEP doctoral network are ultimately to provide an intervention development toolbox, supporting the integration of determinants of Physical Activity Behaviours (PABs), behaviour change theory and intervention co-creation to aid in the development of evidence-based interventions which integrate top-down and bottom-up interventional approaches. Through utilising determinant knowledge gained through state-of-the-art methodologies, and systematically integrating this knowledge with a co-creative methodology, the INDEEP intervention development toolkit will provide researchers and practitioners across Europe with an evidence-based best practice approach to intervention development, taking into consideration the interactions within a complex behavioural system.

The INDEEP research programme will advance our knowledge of the factors that determine whether children and youth engage in physical activity behaviours. This will be achieved through the implementation of 10 individual doctoral research projects that have been carefully designed to support the successful achievement of the INDEEP research and training objectives. For the INDEEP research programme to be successful, there is a requirement for highly accurate measurement of PABs in both youths and their parents, so that the factors that influence the amount and type of PABs can be understood.


This project revolves around measurement of PABs (levels and types) ad focus on the development and application of device-based activity monitoring of PABs in a family context (youth and parents). The aim of this project is to develop methods for the accurate measurement of PABs, and to apply those methods to the whole INDEEP study population and report the findings. Since the measurement of PABs during INDEEP may be undertaken using two types of wearable accelerometer device (SENS Motion and the ActiGraph activity monitor), the study will develop machine-learning based methods that produce harmonised and accurate data on PABs from these different devices, enabling detailed analysis of PABs across the whole population. The doctoral candidate appointed for DC3 (this project) will collaborate closely with the Doctoral candidate appointed to DC2 in University of Limerick, Ireland, develop the testing and validation methods for the PAB measurement.

The fellow will carry out two data collections; 1) a data collection for a methods development population; and 2) a data collection for the main research cohort, the INDEEP cohort, a cross-sectional multi-country study of determinants of PABs a family context. Overall aims for this project include: 1) to review the literature regarding the comparative validity of machine learning approaches versus count threshold methods to analyze and report device-based measurements of PABs; 2) to validate device-based activity monitors and develop algorithms for the quantification of PABs using machine learning and traditional approaches; and 3) examine the device-measured PABs in a family-context using data collected in the INDEEP cohort. Planned secondments include training on the processing methodologies of activity monitoring devices at Sens Motion (Copenhagen, Denmark) and training in large scale data collection at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (Oslo, Norway). 

Required qualifications

  • Must qualify for admission to the PhD-programme in the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, and have a master’s degree in sport science, exercise science, kinesiology, computer science with a focus on movement detection, or equivalent, with a documented average grade of A or B. Applicants who are in the process of finishing their master’s thesis are also welcome to apply for this position.
  • Must not be in possession of a PhD degree at the date of recruitment.
  • Must comply with the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action mobility rule: Not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Norway for more than 12 months in the 36 months before the recruitment date.
  • The candidate must demonstrate good English communication skills orally and in writing. These qualifications should be demonstrated through the application and research statement, and in the interview.

Further provisions relating to the positions as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the post of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant and Resident.

Questions about the PhD program can be directed to

Desired qualifications

  • Experience with collecting and analysing device-based measurements of human movement.
  • Proficiency in machine learning, particularly in the application of supervised and unsupervised learning techniques to analyse device-measured physical activity data.
  • Experience in advanced statistics and previous experience in programming in R, Python or similar.
  • Preference to work in an interdisciplinary environment.

Personal qualities

  • Be scientifically curious and open to new research challenges, demonstrate persistence in addressing technical problems.
  • Excellent communication and dissemination skills.
  • Ability to work independently as well as in cross-disciplinary teams.
  • Be self-motivated, focused, and goal-oriented, be committed and keep deadlines, be flexible, reliable, and solution-orientated, be innovation-driven, enthusiastic, and ambitious.
  • Ability to interact and collaborate with actors in academia, public sector, and industry.

Personal qualities and suitability for the position will be emphasized.

Fakultet for helse- og idrettsvitenskap

We offer

  • Professional development in a large, exciting and socially influential organization
  • A positive, inclusive and diverse working environment
  • Modern facilities and a comprehensive set of welfare offers 
  • Membership of the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Access to state-of-the-art training within the INDEEP doctoral network, at an academic, policy and industry level.
  • Opportunities to collaborate with discipline specific world leading researchers.

More about working at UiA.

The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 PhD Research Fellow, NOK 532 200 gross salary per year. A compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions. In addition, recruited fellows will be eligible to receive supplementary mobility and family allowance (in case of family obligations). The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment.

General information

UiA is an open and inclusive university. We believe that diversity enriches the workplace and makes us better. We, therefore, encourage qualified candidates to apply for the position independent of gender, age, cultural background, disability or an incomplete CV.

The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the position, and organizational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities of the position must be expected. Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interview. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment. Read more about the employment process.

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act § 25 (2), applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the names of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.


Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application and any necessary information about education and experience (including diplomas and certificates) are to be sent electronically. Use the link "Apply for the job".

The following documentation must be uploaded electronically:

  • Academic CV and certificates
  • Research statement (max 3 pages) including:
  • A short explanation of the applicant's motivation to undertake a PhD.
  • How the applicant sees their background as suitable for this position.
  • The applicant’s view of research challenges for the selected PhD position, as well as their theoretical and methodological approach to the challenges.
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's-, and master's- degrees. If you have not yet completed your master, provide a transcript of courses completed and your estimated date for the master´s degree completion.
  • A copy of the master thesis. For those who are near to completion, an extended abstract combined with a statement about plans to complete the thesis. Documentation of a completed master’s degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Academic works - published or under review - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to five items)

The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in English.

Application deadline: 24 April 2024.


For questions about the position and the research theme to be pursued in this fellowship can be directed to:

If you want any additional information regarding the INDEEP project, please contact the Project Coordinator:

For questions about the application process:

Job details

PhD Research Fellow in Sport Science
Universitetsveien 25 Kristiansand, Norway
Application deadline
2024-04-24 23:59 (Europe/Oslo)
2024-04-24 23:59 (CET)
Job type
Save job

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About the employer

The University was officially established in 2007, but has a history dating back to 1839, and was formerly known as Agder University College.

Visit the employer page

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