Faculty of Health Sciences , Department of Physiotherapy

OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University (former HiOA) is Norway’s third largest university, with more than 20,000 students and over 2000 employees. We conduct research in areas that are important for welfare and value creation, for instance health, education, social sciences, technology and design. OsloMet has an academic stimulating environment with a variety of welfare schemes. 

The Faculty of Health Sciences consists of five departments and offers study programmes on all levels, including PhD. The faculty has about 6000 students and nearly 600 members of staff.

There are three vacancies for fixed-term positions as research fellows affiliated to the research group Musculoskeletal Health at the Faculty of Health Sciences, Department of Physiotherapy. The research fellowship period is three years without a teaching obligation. The project the positions are affiliated to is funded by the Research Council of Norway and OsloMet. The positions are vacant from 1 September 2018.

Extensive research activity is conducted at the faculty, and several research groups have been established. The Faculty of Health Sciences has two PhD programmes, and these research fellowships are affiliated to the PhD programme in Health Sciences.

Field of work
The positions are affiliated to the project MI-NAV ‘Can Motivational Interviewing facilitate Return-to-Work in sicklisted people with musculoskeletal disorders? A randomised trial within NAV’.

The project is a collaboration project with NAV (the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration), and its overriding objective is to facilitate quicker Return-to-Work (RTW) in people with musculoskeletal disorders, and to prevent long-term sickness absence. The use of Motivational Interviewing (MI) has become very popular among NAV counsellors in dealing with people on sick leave. However, there is little scientific evidence on the use of MI in relation to people with musculoskeletal disorders. The primary purpose of this project is therefore to evaluate the effect of MI, either provided solely by NAV counsellors, or combined with Stratified Primary Care Management, provided by general practitioners or physiotherapists, in a randomised controlled trial with three arms, where the control group receives ordinary assistance from NAV. Prior to the main trial, we will map the current ‘ordinary’ assistance from NAV, and update scientific literature in the field (work package 1). We will also adapt and test a much used screening instrument in connection with the objective of the study (work package 2). The main trial (work package 3) will also include a health economic evaluation of the tested measures, and examination of potentially effective factors in the three approaches.

In the MI-NAV project, one research fellowship is planned to be affiliated to work package II, and two research fellowships to work package III.

The research fellowship affiliated to work package II will conduct a large (n=600) prospective cohort study of people on sick leave with musculoskeletal disorders in the NAV system. The tasks include translation and methodological testing of relevant questionnaires, review of relevant research-based literature, review of a prospective study with four measurement dates and analyses of the precision of screening instruments in identifying people at high risk of long-term sickness absence.

The research fellows affiliated to work package III will conduct a large (n=750) prospective, randomised, controlled study of people on sick leave with musculoskeletal disorders. The primary purpose is to study the effect of the two measures described above. The primary outcome measure is Return-to-Work. Several types of secondary outcome measures will also be used, including a health economic evaluation. One of the research fellowships will mainly be affiliated to the primary outcome measure and mediation and prediction analyses. The other research fellowships will mainly be affiliated to the use of health services and cost-effect analyses.

The practical tasks (contact with the NAV coordinator and participating NAV offices, and participating professionals in the primary healthcare service) in work package II and III will overlap. All of the three research fellows must expect a lot of fieldwork (NAV offices, primary healthcare service) during the data collection. All of the three research fellows must also be involved in the dissemination of the project results.


We are looking for candidates with

  • a master's degree (120 credits/ECTS) or equivalent formal education in medicine/health Sciences
  • an approved bachelor’s degree in physiotherapy
  • good oral and written presentation skills in a Scandinavian language and English

When assessing applicants, emphasis will be placed on the submitted reflection note.


It is an advantage if you also have

  • experience of project monitoring of big projects
  • experience of big research projects and the use of quantitative methodology
  • experience of health economic evaluations


Desirable qualities

  • the ability to work independently, systematically and efficiently
  • good collaboration and communication skills
  • enthusiasm for the subject area

It is important to OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active efforts to further develop as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required.


We offer you

  • exciting work opportunities at Norway’s third biggest and most urban university
  • opportunities for further academic development in a creative academic and research environment
  • participation in an active research group collaborating on joint projects and with a good external network
  • good pension arrangements with the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • good welfare arrangements

Further information

  • For more information about the positions, contact Professor Margreth Grotle, at (+47) 90 11 11 72, grotle@hioa.no
  • For questions concerning admission to the PhD programme, contact Kim-Henrik Ruud, Kim-henrik.ruud@hioa.no
  • For questions of an administrative nature, contact Senior Adviser Liza Sandell, sandell@hioa.no


The salary for the position is in accordance with the pay scale for state employees, position code 1017, currently an initial salary of NOK 436,900 that will gradually increase to NOK 466,500 during the research fellowship period.


The Application

We use an electronic recruitment system. If you wish to apply for the position, please register your application and CV by clicking the button 'login and apply'.

You must upload the following documents by the deadline for applications:

  1. your application, CV and copies of diplomas and master’s/second degree thesis.
  2. a list of your publications, if relevant
  3. reflection note where you reflect on the following:
  • why you are particularly qualified for the position
  • sickness absence and musculoskeletal disorders in working life
  • carrying out large-scale studies involving many different players
  • own responsibility in relation to completing a PhD

The application for a research fellowship position must be linked to the project. The allocation of the research fellowships to the work packages will be decided after appointment.


  • Certified copies of diplomas/transcript of grades must be attached (applies to master’s degrees). They must include ECTS grades (A–F). Foreign diplomas must be translated into English by the degree-conferring institution.
  • Education taken abroad should preferably be recognised in advance, and a confirmed copy of the letter of recognition should be enclosed.
  • Admission to the PhD Programme in Health Sciences is a precondition for taking up the position.

The documents must be in either English or a Scandinavian language. Originals must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet checks documents in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.


If you have documents that cannot be uploaded electronically, contact liza.sandell@hioa.no.

Deadline for applications: 3 April 2018
Ref.: 18/02654


OsloMet has implemented the Charter & Code and has been certified to use the HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R) logo by the European Commission.

OsloMet is a member of the EU Researchers in Motion network Euraxess.

Type of employment Stipendiat
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 1.9.2018
Salary State regulations upon agreement
Number of positions 3
Working hours 100%
City Oslo
County Oslo
Country Norway
Reference number 18/02654
  • Professor Margreth Grotle, 67 23 60 43/ 90111172
  • Seniorrådgiver Liza Sandell, 67 23 60 69
Published 12.Mar.2018
Last application date 03.Apr.2018 11:59 PM CET

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