Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

The Department of Physics is with a staff of about 350 scientists and educators one of the largest departments within Lund University. There are seven research divisions and a number of research centra within the department. The research activities at the department cover a broad spectrum of modern physics.

The Swedish National resource centre for physics education (NRCF, has a mission to support physics teaching, from pre-school to upper secondary school levels. The support is primarily directed to teachers, and one of the aims is to increase contacts between school and research: current physics research, as well as research about physics teaching and learning and teacher professional development. The NRCF is situated at Lund university. As a large research university Lund University has many top-class research activities, and also many outreach activities, where researchers interact with schools and the general public. The new facilities, MAX-IV and ESS offer many additional possibilities to support physics teaching and to illustrate how physics can be applied in other fields.

This position aims at strengthening the work of NRCF by focusing on research related to the mission to contribute to a research-based physics education at all school levels.

Possible research questions within this area include

  • What is the impact of different professional development activities on physics teaching and on teachers' professional growth?
  • How can the centre and teachers collaborate to develop activities and material aimed at a research-based physics teaching in school?
  • How can outreach activities directed to school be designed to incorporate results of research in physics and science education as well as about learning in informal environments and also contribute to that research?

The candidate is also welcome to suggest other research questions, relevant to the work and goals of the resource centre:

Job assignment
The aim of this project is to obtain a better understanding of how the work at NRCF can best fulfil the mission of NRCF, to support physics teaching and learning in schools, and teachers' professional growth in their work to support students' learning of physics. Physics interest could be driven both by peoples’ curiosity to understand the world around them in their everyday life, but also in relation to more existential related areas (e.g. related to the universe). Issues without answers today, and exciting areas of current research are of interest for many young people. Physics interest could also be driven by the ways in which physics knowledge could be used and by it’s role in society – both as the basis for many technologies we take for granted or want to develop in the future, but also by the possibility for us as citizens to use physics knowledge to influence and/or change the society in a desirable direction. An important mission for NRCF is to make it possible for more students (at all levels) to find ways to engage in physics in ways that are meaningful for them. For this to happen teachers may need support to revise some strong traditions in physics teaching.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to be able to work independently but also in collaboration with the other staff members at the Centre, reviewing literature, interacting with other researchers involved in outreach and professional development, and discussing design, modifications and evaluations of suggested materials/activities to support teachers.

The postdoctoral fellow is expected to interact with and help to supervise the master and PhD-students at the Centre and in relevant fields in the department and faculty, and to contribute to meetings and seminars.

Entry requirements
To qualify for the position as postdoctoral fellow the applicant must hold a doctorate or a foreign degree that is deemed equivalent to a doctorate, and who has completed the degree within the three years prior to the last date for applications, unless there are valid reasons. The subject of the doctorate degree should be within physics education, science education, informal science learning or related fields. Very good knowledge in English, written as well as spoken, is a requirement. Understanding of one of the Scandinavian languages is of value.

Basis of assessment
The main assessment criteria are expected ability to develop and pursue research of high quality and pedagogical ability. In the appointment of a postdoctoral fellow, scientific skills will be the prime consideration. Other criteria are estimated ability to work independently and the ability to formulate and solve scientific questions as well as skills in written and oral communication. These skills will be assessed based on documented research work, such as the PhD thesis and/or journal publications, but also on the written presentation. The research is to a large extent interdisciplinary, and a broad competence profile is of special value such as: experiences from relevant areas of physics, teacher education,experiences of physics teaching (in school and/or in informal settings) and teacher professional development.. Important personal qualities are, beside creativity and a curious mind, the ability to work both independently and in a group and experience in the scientific interaction with researchers from other disciplines and in other countries.

Application procedure
Apply online! Applications must contain a cover letter in which applicants describe themselves and their particular research interests, including their proposed contributions to the described research project (maximum 5 pages). The applicant should motivate their interest in and suitability for the announced position. Applications must also include a CV, publication list, a copy of at least once one publication or manuscript, a copy of the applicant’s doctoral thesis, contact details of at least two references, copies of grade certificates, and any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applicants are also required to answer the job specific questions in the final step of the application process

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2016-09-01
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2016/2572
  • Ann-Marie Pendrill, Professor, +46707870427,
Union representative
  • OFR/S:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62,
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds , 046-222 93 64,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66,
Published 06.Jul.2016
Last application date 01.Sep.2016 11:59 PM CET

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