Early Career Researchers at Simula
Simula Academy provides a variety of support and training opportunities for PhD candidates and postdoctoral fellows to develop the skills needed become independent researchers and leaders. Many of these are tailored trainings for researchers to build the skill sets and experiences needed for a successful career in research. Others are more broadly considered professional development opportunities which are open to broader groups of employees at Simula, such as project and time management, design thinking, and leadership training.
This combination of transferable and research-specific skills allow our early career researchers (ECRs) to pursue a broad array of career paths, academic as well as non-academic.
This page outlines some of the researcher training offers for ECRs as well as what it means to be an ECR at Simula.
ECRs are integrated members of the teams performing cutting-edge research at Simula. In working closely with their supervisors and colleagues in their research projects, ERCs receive discipline-specific training and become increasingly specialized in their respective fields. In addition to research endeavours, ECRs have access to training and other opportunities that are important in building the skills for a career in research and are encouraged to broaden their network by taking part in international conferences and research visits to other labs.
Supervisor and leadership training
Simula Academy organises a number of courses and workshops dedicated to developing the skills needed for ECRs to provide excellent supervision, ideally before or shortly after they take on the role of PI. In addition to the theoretical preparation, ECRs are also encouraged to gather practical experience in supervision by as part of the co-supervisor teams for graduate students and for summer interns.
Communicating research training
An essential component to building a career in research is communicating the process and results of the work. This is important for making the research accessible to the broader research community, but also for building an individual’s scientific profile that is interesting for future funders, partners, or employers. Simula Academy organises a variety of opportunities to develop written, spoken, and multimedia communication skills.
Acquiring funding is an important part of establishing a career in research. Simula supports grant applications through an internal Quality Assurance Process, and provides training for the managers of newly funded projects.
Annual retreats for ECRs focus on topics that are particularly relevant in any given year, such as overcoming impostor syndrome, developing good supervisor-student relationships, and career workshops.
What it means to be an ECR at Simula
Simula offers an inclusive and international working environment with colleagues from more than 40 different countries and several major institutional partners with Norwegian and international partners.
What is a PhD education?
The PhD education is an educational programme that through supervision and training provides with the highest level of academic education. Being a PhD candidate in Norway differs, in some aspects, from many other countries that it is a job - you receive a good salary and have strong employee rights.
An education programme - A doctoral education programme with a stipulated length of three (or four) years full-time studies that includes 2,5 years of independent research work (the doctoral thesis) and 0,5 years of an educational component (30 ECTS). Candidates with four year contracts have 1 additional year of mandatory teaching obligations.
Highest academic education - Doctoral training resulting in the highest level of academic education awarded on satifactory completion of the education component, an approved scientific dissertation and satisfactory performance on the PhD examination (trial lecture and public defence).
Supervision and training - PhD candidates receive scientific supervision and formal training, which together will enable them to conduct their own research and become independent researchers.
A paid job with employee rights - As a PhD candidate in Norway you are an employee, meaning you receive a salary and benefits, pay no tuition fees, and have employee rights (like performance interviews) at your place of employment.
What is a postdoctoral fellowship?
A postdoctoral fellowship is a temporary research position that aims at qualifying PhDs for higher academic positions, with increasing levels of academic independence and responsibility. A postdoc position cannot be shorter than 2 years and not longer than 4 years; positions with three or four-year duration often include teaching obligations or other duties such as contract research. In Norway, only postdoc period can be carried out at a given institution (it is not possible to have consecutive postdoctoral positions with the same employer).
How to get a PhD or postdoctoral position at Simula
As a PhD candidate or postdoctoral fellow at Simula you will be employed at (and paid by) one of Simula's research units.
PhD cadidates: as Simula is not a degree awarding institution, the PhD candidates that complete their PhDs at Simula are awarded their degrees through the PhD program of one of Simula's partnering universities. Potential PhD candidates must have achieved (minimum) an average grade of B on their master’s course work and a B on their thesis, and average C or higher on bachelor’s courses.
Postdocs: applicants for postdoctoral fellowships should have attained a PhD degree by the stated start date of the position.
PhD and postdoctoral positions are advertised on a rolling basis and are listed here.