PhD Research Fellow in Psychological defense and traumatized sexuality
University of Agder, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences

The University of Agder has more than 1400 employees and 13 000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.


We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.


PhD Research Fellow in Psychological defense and traumatized sexuality

The University of Agder, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, invites applications for a temporary, 100 % position as PhD Research Fellow in Psychological defense and traumatized sexuality at the Department of Psychosocial Health for three years. The position is located at Campus Grimstad. The starting date is negotiable. More information about the faculty is found here.


Doctoral project

Relationships are often our greatest source of satisfaction, safety and comfort. But somehow, this is also the source of our darkest tragedies, deepest regrets, and most hurtful experiences. All too often, the humiliation, rejection and abuse that follow from these hurtful experiences overwhelm one’s capacities to cope with the extreme stress of helplessness, powerlessness, and subsequent threat to one’s physical and psychological life. This experience ultimately leads to traumatization as it undermines the sense of self and the predictability of the world. In such a situation, the traumatized individual can no longer escape the cause and the consequences of trauma, but psychologically deny and defend themselves from the traumatic experience and the cognitive, emotional and behavioural consequences of it. By such, the experience of traumatization seems to be key promoter of psychological defense understood as a last resort of coping.


This PhD project will help answer the following research questions: When and why do defence strategies come into play as part of traumatization? Which defence and coping strategies are put into effect? And, importantly, how do we investigate and better understand the defensive strategies that negatively affect the direction in which social relations develop, and what can be done to hinder the defence strategies which threaten social relations?



Project description

A supplementary description of the project and a template for the project description is available upon request. Applicants should submit a description of the doctoral project that places itself within the theoretical framework as described in this document and the template for the project description. The project description should be entitled Psychological defense and traumatized sexuality and be no longer than 10 pages (Times Roman 12 point) including reference list and front-page. For further information regarding the project, professor Nicolay Gausel ( or professor Elsa Almås ( may be contacted.


Qualifications and terms

The candidate must have a master's degree or equivalent within health or social education, psychology or medicine. Applicants must also have relevant clinical experience.


The position requires that the appointee can work in goal-oriented, organized, focused and independent manner. In the assessment process, emphasis will be placed on the applicant’s examination results, the relevance of the academic background, possibly published works and documented development work as well as the quality and relevance of the project description. In the expert assessment, all these elements will be discussed and considered. Relevant clinical experience, personal suitability and good teamwork skills will also be emphasized.


The working language is Norwegian or another Scandinavian language. Applicants must have a high level of proficiency in both oral and written English, and it will be possible to use English related to the project and participatation in the PhD-programme.


Further provisions relating to the position as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the “Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the position of Post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”.


For more information contact Professor Åshild Slettebø tel. 37233787 email , or Senior Advisor Eli Andås, tel. 38 14 18 66 / e-mail


Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews, possibly also a trial lecture. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will conduct a reference check.


It is a prerequisite for taking up the position that the Research Fellow is admitted to the university’s PhD - programme at the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences. More information can be found here.



The position is remunerated according to the State salary scale, salary plan 17.515, code 1017 Research Fellow, gross salary per year NOK 449 400. A 2 % compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions. The Norwegian public service is committed to reflecting the diversity of society, and the personnel policy of the University of Agder aims to achieve a balanced workforce. All qualified persons are therefore encouraged to apply for the position, irrespective of cultural background, gender, age or disability.


Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions. The successful applicant will have rights and duties in accordance with current regulations for the public service and the position.



Applicants must submit their application and CV online. Please click on the link “Apply for this job”. The following documentation should be uploaded as an attachment with the online application:

  • Certificates with grades
  • Master’s thesis/thesis at second-degree level
  • References
  • Scientific works and R&D activities with a list included
  • A project description of no more than ten pages
  • Possible other attachments

The applicant is entirely responsible for submitting complete digital documentation before the closing date. All documentation must be available in a Scandinavian language or English. Without complete documentation we cannot, unfortunately, include you in the assessment process.


Closing date: 1 March, 2019.


For further information, please contact Professor Nicolay Gausel ( ), Professor Elsa Almås ( or head of department Siri H.Haugland, ( ).


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


In case of discrepancies between the Norwegian and the English text, the Norwegian text takes precedence.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Psychoneuroxy


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