SEAS postdoctoral research fellow in epistemic, value-based, and societal aspects of marine sustainability

SupervisorDr Mimi E. Lam, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities

Research Sub-themes

The thematic area of Evolving Marine Science-Society-Policy Nexus encompasses but is not limited to 3 sub-themes central to Dr Lam’s interests and expertise:

  1. Evolution of human values, behavioural norms, and rules relating to past, present, and future coastal and/or marine contexts and resource use. This is investigated using human eco-cultural niche construction theory and agent-based modelling.
  2. Marine values, identities, and behaviours in fisheries and/or seafood value chains. This includes: conceptually, to identify marine values, identities and behaviours and how they inter-relate; and empirically, to integrate this understanding into marine policy and governance frameworks.
  3. Management, policy, and governance of human coastal and marine activities within seascapes. This merges sense of place with modelling to evaluate trade-offs among management scenarios in an ethical value-based framework resonant with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Postdoctoral candidates are invited to propose research projects that fit within any of these 3 sub-themes or to propose other projects that fall within Dr Lam’s research interests and competence.

Supervisor Research Interests and Competence

A transdisciplinary scholar, Dr Lam’s research spans the physical, ecological, and human sciences to analyze the complex interactions and mechanisms governing social-ecological systems, notably at the evolving marine science-society-policy nexus. Lam investigates human values, beliefs, and behaviours to gain insights into our past, to resolve today’s grand societal challenges, and to inform ethical decision-making for a sustainable and just future. She collaborates routinely with scholars from varied disciplines (e.g., archaeology, biology, ecology, law, mathematics, oceanography, philosophy, and psychology), as well as stakeholders and citizens with diverse perspectives and knowledge (e.g., local and indigenous communities, industries, governments, NGOs, artists, and civil society).

International Research Network

Lam has an international research network that spans Europe, North and South America, Australia, Asia, and Africa. Ample opportunities exist for the postdoctoral fellow to collaborate with eminent marine researchers and/or visit world-class research institutions, notably at the University of British Columbia, Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, where Lam is an Affiliate Assistant Professor, and CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere.

Interdisciplinary Research Environment

Lam’s international collaborators are experts in diverse disciplines, spanning the natural and social sciences and the humanities, offering a ‘radically interdisciplinary’ research environment for the postdoctoral fellow. This provides fertile ground for research creativity, insight, and knowledge transfer across disciplines and cultures. Lam’s interdisciplinary projects and research teams include: 1. Managing Ethical Norwegian Seascape Activities (MENSA); 2. Enhancing Seafood Ethics and Sustainability (eSEAS); and 3. The Ethical Challenges of Herring Food Webs and Value Chains.

Transdisciplinary and Cross-sectoral Opportunities

Lam’s broad network provides diverse transdisciplinary and cross-sectoral opportunities for the postdoctoral fellow, notably for secondments and mentors, within all non-academic marine sectors. National industrial collaborators are Norway’s Deep-sea Fishing Fleet Organization and The Norwegian Fishermen’s Association, while the AFINO network links responsible research with innovation. European governmental partners include: Institute of Marine ResearchNORCE ResearchInternational Council for the Exploration of the SeasEuropean Commission Joint Research Centre; and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Global NGOs such as World Wide Fund for Nature and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation offer marine conservation perspectives and experiences.

Potential Co-supervisors/Mentors from UiB Collaborations

Lam collaborates with numerous UiB researchers who can serve as co-supervisors and/or mentors from multiple faculties and centres, viz.Faculty of Humanities (notably SapienCE), Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences (primarily Departments of Biological SciencesEarth Science, and Mathematics); Faculty of PsychologyFaculty of LawFaculty of Medicine; and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research.

General information:

Detailed information about the position can be obtained from the SEAS webpage or by contacting: Dr Mimi E. Lam, +47 484 046 22,

Application deadline: October 31st, 2021.

Jobbnorge-ID: 209764



Postdoctoral position in “Marine Values and Sustainability”

There is a vacancy for a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen. The position is for 2 years, 9 months.

About the project/work tasks:

The postdoctoral research fellow is expected to collaborate with the MENSA project team to design, implement, and analyse the results of a novel methodology to elicit societal values of seas and coasts and activities associated with marine resources in Norway. The fellow will have primary responsibility for the empirical investigation of the values and identities related to the sea of marine stakeholders and citizens in Norway. Tasks will include: to gather primary quantitative and qualitative data with surveys and questionnaires, to conduct one-on-one interviews, and to organize participatory focus group workshops, as well as to analyse, interpret, and communicate the results from the empirical data.The postdoctoral research fellow is expected to be able to work both independently and collaboratively within an inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary research environment, notably with members of the MENSA project team and international advisory council, which include philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, biologists, ecologists, and oceanographers.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • The applicant must either hold a Norwegian PhD or an equivalent degree or have submitted his/her doctoral thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline, within a relevant discipline, e.g., environmental or social psychology, cultural geography, anthropology, sociology, political science, philosophy, history, human ecology, fisheries, and marine sustainability. It is a condition of employment that the PhD has been awarded before appointment to the position.
  • Applicants should have some prior experience with empirical and/or conceptual research into values and/or identities, preferably in the marine context.
  • Expertise in marine sustainability, with an emphasis on its human dimensions (e.g., policy, governance, and/or institutions), is desirable. Experience or familiarity with mixed-methods and semi-quantitative methodologies (e.g., NVivo, cognitive mapping, discourse analysis, and/or modelling) is an asset.
  • Applicants should demonstrate affinity for inter-, multi-, and/or transdisciplinary research and originality in research.
  • Ability to work independently, to be self-motivated, and to cooperate with others.
  • Strong communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
  • Proficiency in both written and oral English, as well as Norwegian

About the position of postdoctoral research fellow:

The postdoctoral position is a fixed-term appointment with the primary objective of qualifying the appointee for employment in top academic positions. This fixed-term position is for a period of 2 years and 9 months, with a possible extension of 3 months to the end date of the MENSA project. Individuals may not be hired for more than one fixed-term period as a postdoctoral research fellow at the same institution. Upon appointment, applicants will coordinate with the project leader the specific work tasks, milestones, and deliverables, based upon the MENSA project objectives and goals. It is a requirement that the project is completed in the course of the period of employment.

We can offer:

  • A good and professionally challenging work environment
  • Salary at pay grade 61 (code 1352) according to the state salary scale upon appointment. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 544 900.
  • Enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

The application must be sent electronically via this link.

The applicant must use the electronic CV form, and the application must contain the following enclosures (to be submitted as Word- or pdf-files):

A comprehensive 3 – 5 pages cover letter outlining:
(i) your motivations for applying;
(ii) your research qualifications and interests; and
(iii) what contributions you think can bring to the MENSA project.

In addition:

  • Name and contact information for 2 reference persons, one of which should be the main supervisor from the PhD programme.
  • Detailed CV.
  • Transcripts and diplomas and official confirmation that the doctoral thesis has been submitted.
  • Relevant certificates/references.
  • List of scientific work (publication list), including submission of the one or two most relevant to the position / project, if applicable.
  • Other relevant publications.
  • Copies of academic publications (if any), higher education certificates and diplomas must be accompanied by a translation into English or Scandinavian if not written in either of these languages. The translations must be sent together with copies of academic publications within the deadline of application

General information:

Detailed information about the position and the MENSA project can be obtained by contacting:

Dr Mimi E. Lam, +47 484 046 22,

Jobbnorge-ID: 205701

Application deadline: May 31, 2021.