Senter for velferds- og arbeidslivsforskning (SVA), Arbeidsforskningsinstituttet (AFI)

Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway's third largest university with almost 22,000 students and over 2,500 employees. We have campuses in central Oslo and at Romerike. OsloMet educates students and conducts research that contributes to the sustainability of the Norwegian welfare state and the metropolitan region.

Centre for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA) consists of Work Research Institute (AFI), Norwegian Social Research (NOVA), Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), and Consumption Research Norway (SIFO).

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MSCA Fellow - Demography of historical influenza pandemics 2020

Centre for Welfare and Labour Research

The Centre for Welfare and Labour Research (SVA) at OsloMet consists of the Work Research Institute (AFI), the Norwegian Social Research Institute (NOVA), the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR), and the Consumption Research Norway (SIFO).

Call for Expression of Interest for a joint application under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship scheme

We hereby invite top-class researchers of any nationality, at any stage in their career after having obtained a PhD degree, for the study of social determinants or consequences of the 1918-20 “Spanish flu” pandemic or other historical influenza pandemics to apply for a EU-funded Marie Skłodowska Curie Action Individual Fellowship (MSCA-IF-2020) to conduct research at OsloMet - Oslo Metropolitan University for a period of 2 years. The topic is timely aligned with the centenary of the 1918-20 pandemic in 2018-20.

Brief overview about the research institutes here.

Read more about our research group here.

Area of research

The 1918 flu pandemic killed up to 100 million people, disproportionally killing young adults. The candidates could address questions such as: What types of social and ethnic groups were more and which less, affected by the pandemic? What are the most important biological, historical and social factors that influenced the differential impact of the pandemic among groups? What is the role of differential exposure, susceptibility and access to care in social inequalities in pandemic outcomes? The impact on indigenous people, especially in Australia, is a topic where we need more research. We also need more research on the interactions of war and influenza. What effect, if any, did the pandemic and/or WW1 have on social relations and future health and social developments? Specifically, did influenza and the war have an impact on poverty, the economy, mental health and suicides, marriage, fertility, migration and social mobility? How did the survivors of the disease and the bereaved spouses and children cope socially and economically later in life? Did bereaved influenza/war widows remarry or were she forced to sell the farm, move and establish a new home elsewhere? Did the “lost generation” of young adult men due to war and disease open up new opportunities for women in the workforce?

Also, did the knowledge of differential social, biological and ethnic susceptibility during historical pandemics affect subsequent preventive public health actions or the development of the welfare policies (e.g. pension for widows) and the modern welfare state? And, how do these insights help us prepare for avoiding socially unjust outcomes of future pandemics? Candidates studying the birth of historical and current influenza preparedness plans are also welcomed. Finally, candidates using data from the global south or who takes a global rather than a national view, is especially welcomed.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund. He has 25 years’ experience studying the demography of epidemic diseases and has published extensively on the 1918 influenza pandemic, influenza in general and preparedness planning. For more information on Mamelund, see his profile at Research Gate.

With this call for Expression of Interest, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including Track-Record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting a maximum of two candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals. In this first phase, the cooperation will be carried out remotely, with regular communication via email and Skype, and one physical meeting, if convenient. If applicants are successful in the funding application, the work place will be at the Work Research Institute, OsloMet main campus, located in the center of Oslo.

Starting Date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-IF applications in February 2021. The candidates must be assessed as in principle eligible for a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship. Successful candidate(s) are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2021.

Tasks and responsibilities

The successful candidate will primarily work on the Marie Curie funded project, but will be integrated at the Work Research Institute in general, taking part in regular meetings and discussion groups; also the candidate will specifically be introduced with Prof. Mamelund’s national and international network of researchers on the field of influenza. In agreement with the candidate, he/she may also be included in other ongoing influenza projects and/or in proposal development processes.

Qualification requirements

Candidates must have a PhD in historical demography, economic history, epidemiology, medical biostatistics-, history- or anthropology and global health, as the minimum requirement. But, we are primarily looking for experienced researchers who wish to use this period as an opportunity to further develop their research, and to develop longer term research collaborations with OsloMet and other institutions conducting research in the field. The candidates will be assessed as in principle must be eligible for a Marie Curie Individual Fellowship.

We are looking for applicants who have

  • If a quantitative project is suggested, excellent skills in statistical methods and in using statistical programs such as SAS, Stata, SPSS etc.
  • Knowledge of historical context and quality and availability of quantitative or qualitative data in the field.
  • An excellent track record in research and publications, necessary for being able to develop a competitive Marie Curie Fellowship application
  • An open and cooperation oriented nature, with strong abilities for independent academic work.

It is important for OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavours to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. If there are periods where you have not been in work, under education or in training, you are also welcome to apply.

Expert assessment

Interested candidates should upload their resume (incl. Track Record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied. Please note that applications without a one-page proposal will not be considered. 

The candidate(s) selected to proceed with a full MSCA-IF application (due in September 2020) will be supported by Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund, and by the professional research administration staff at OsloMet. Originals must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition. Proposals will be pre-selected based on internal evaluation and the availability of suitable supervision. A maximum of six candidates will be invited for a skype interview and a maximum of three candidates will be invited to submit a proposal to the EU funded MSCA-IF programme. Candidates will be informed of the results of the pre-selection to apply by March 25th, 2020.

Selected candidates will be invited to meet the supervisor and visit the research environment at OsloMet in the context of their participation in the MSCA-IF masterclass, a two-day workshop to further develop the proposal organised by OsloMet in the first week of May 2020.

We can offer you

Initially, we offer assistance in developing competitive Marie Curie Individual Fellowship proposals. Then, to successful applicants to the Marie Curie program, we offer;

  • An exciting opportunity at Norway’s third largest and most urban university
  • Participation in a dynamic professional environment and unique academic community
  • Flexible working conditions
  • An inclusive and friendly work environment
  • Unique academic network and the possibility for the right candidate(s) to pursue his/her academic goals under the auspices of Research Professor Svenn-Erik Mamelund
  • Norwegian language classes to employees
  • On-boarding assistance and other services
  • Beneficial welfare schemes and a wide range of sports and cultural offers
  • Working location in downtown Oslo with multiple cultural offers

Practical information about relocation to OsloMet found here and living in Norway at EURAXESS Norway


The competitive fellowship opportunities are 100% funded and include living and mobility allowances.

Other information

For more information about the position, feel free to contact:

  • Florissa Abreu, R&D and External Funding Support,
  • Svenn-Erik Mamelund, Research Professor,

If you wish to apply for the position we only accept electronic applications. Please use the "apply" button. 

Deadline for applications:      20th January, 2020

Ref.:       19/13001

Type of employment Temporary position (shorter than 10 days)
Contract type Full time
First day of employment By April 1st, 2021 or by no later than summer 2021
Salary approx. 60 000 euros
Number of positions 2
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Oslo
County Oslo
Country Norway
Reference number 19/13001
Published 17.Dec.2019
Last application date 20.Jan.2020 11:59 PM CET

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