Shaping European Research Leaders for Marine Sustainability (SEAS)
SEAS research fellow position call 1

Research possibilities for the SEAS postdoctoral research fellow in working conditions for maritime workers

The information on this page is a supplement to the complete advertisement of the position in the recruitment-portal Jobbnorge. The full advertisement of this position in Jobbnorge will be available after august 1, and linked from this webpage. Call deadline is October 31, 2021

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SEAS postdoctoral research fellow at Department of Psychosocial Science

Research area(s)

Working conditions for maritime workers.
Subthemes: ‘maritime safety’ or ‘non-standard work schedules’

Available supervisors

Maritime safety: Bjørn Sætrevik

Non-standard work schedules: Ståle Pallesen


For an incoming or outgoing candidate

Unit of employment

Department of Psychosocial Science at University of Bergen

Group affiliation(s)

Depending on project

Thematic area and supervisors

The position is open to either an incoming or an outgoing candidate, see mobility rules. The successful candidate will be employed at the Department of Psychosocial Science, at the Faculty of Psychology. This position is open for research on working conditions for maritime workers, either related to ‘maritime safety’ or related to ‘non-standard work schedules’.

More information about the supervisors and research possibilities can be found below. For further details about the research possibilities please contact relevant supervisor(s) named above.

Research possibilities and resources: Working conditions for maritime workers - Maritime safety (Bjørn Sætrevik)

Research group

The Operational Psychology Research Group (OpPsy) is a medium sized research group at the Department of Psychosocial Science, UoB. A description of the group’s structure, research aims, theoretical framework, and applied settings can be found on the OpPsy research group’s website.

Research interests

The main supervisor and point of contact for a post doc on maritime safety will be professor Bjørn Sætrevik. His research interests are related to applied decision making in safety critical environments. He has published on:

  • factors influencing human performance,
  • situation awareness and mental models,
  • perceived risk, reliability and error prevention,
  • leadership, teamwork, collaboration, and communication, and
  • judgement and decision-making.

Research directions that are particularly relevant for the current position could be:

  • research on interface design, VR and AR for facilitating collaboration and safety in maritime work. This would integrate into the currently ongoing “Bridge AR” project.
  • to examine shared mental models and shared decision-making in maritime settings (along the lines of a previous project a previous project).
  • to examine how cognitive styles impact safety critical performance in maritime work settings (along the lines of an ongoing project).

Other relevant collaborators at UiB

Other researchers in the OpPsy group (listed here) could also be relevant as co-supervisors for the advertised position.

The advertised position could be integrated with the “Bridge AR” project. If so, relevant collaborators would be Morten Fjeld at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, Floris Van den Oever (PhD candidate in the project), and various collaborators at Media City Bergen (as well as collaborators external to UiB, as suggested below).

Possibilities for international collaboration

We will encourage and support incoming and outgoing candidates for the position to participate in international research visits during the post doc position. This can happen through their already established collaboration networks, or through the established collaborations of the OpPsy research group.

Relevant industry and public sector collaborators

The OpPsy research group has a history of extensive collaboration with industry partners in maritime, transport and energy sector. There has also been extensively collaboration with public sector entities such as military, police, medical units and first responders. Relevant for the current position, we have ongoing collaborations with:

  • a number of ship-owning companies involved in safety-critical maritime work,
  • energy companies that are clients for maritime operations,
  • Norwegian regulatory bodies for maritime work,
  • organizations involved in maritime training, and
  • organizations involved in design and engineering of maritime control systems.

Further, the “Bridge AR” project has extensive collaborations with various industry and public sector partners, among others through the "OpenBridge" network.

Venues for innovation

In addition to the academic potential of the topic, we see clear possibilities for developing the advertised post doc in directions of industrial innovation. Among these possibilities could be (1) to developing training programs for improving various aspects of maritime safety (traditional or VR-based training), (2) to develop AR interfaces for maritime control systems, or (3) to developing measures for shared mental models and other psychological factors relevant for maritime safety that can be used by the maritime operators.

Lab facilities and infrastructure

The Department of Psychosocial Science have a number of dedicated lab rooms and equipment, as well as administrative staff. There are:

  • labs rooms for individual testing,
  • lab rooms for simultaneous individual testing of more participants, and
  • lab rooms for running psychology experiments on small groups
  • equipment for desk mounted eye-tracking and eye-tracking in field or simulator
  • multiple VR set-ups (HTC Vive Pro and Oculus Quest 2)
  • access to AR set-ups (Hololens 2)
  • equipment for psychophysiology, and possibilities to collaborate with other departments for brain imaging.

Further lab facilities for research on interfaces are available through collaborations with OpenBridge and Media City Bergen, and possibilities for naval simulators and field trips through collaborations with maritime educational institutions, civilian ship-owning companies and naval academies.

There are department and institution funding for travel, research visits and data collection.

Research possibilities and resources: Working conditions for maritime workers - Non-standard work schedules (Ståle Pallesen)

Supervisors for the projects related to non-standard work schedules are Professor Ståle Pallesen, Professor Anette Harris and Professor Olav Kjellevold Olsen. Pallesen and Harris are both affiliated with the Bergen Sleep and Chronobiology Network (BeSCN), thus that group will be emphasized in the current description.

Non-standard work schedules and long shifts are highly prevalent in the maritime sector, both within the civilian (including oil installations in the North Sea) and military entities. Hence, safety challenges related to shift and night work and sleep deprivation are immanent in the maritime sectors.

The three supervisors are highly familiar with research on sleep, non-standard work schedules and sleep deprivation. In terms of specific research interests, we can mention effects of non-pharmacological interventions to improve functioning and adaptation to non-standard work schedules and effects of sleep deprivation on social interaction, moral judgement, social cognition and team functioning. Another potential topic encompasses personality and genetic factors contributing to shift work tolerance.

The supervisors have extensive collaboration with researchers internationally, both related to basic and applied research. Hence, the opportunity for research stays abroad (both short- and long term) for incoming post doctors would be great. 

We have active and current collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Navy and with civil shipping companies. In addition, we have several contacts within the Norwegian oil industry. In terms of innovation, we have established collaboration with Norwegian companies such as VitalThings that among other produces contactless sensors (e.g., for remote sleep registration) and Glamox who produces lights (e.g., human centric lighting).

In terms of relevant and available infrastructure we have access to a light lab, a naval simulator, and we are also in the process of establish a driving simulator lab. We have also access to sleep assessment devices (polysomnography, actigraphy and sleep radars).

The BeSCN is a cross-disciplinary and cross-facultary research group with strong connections to the Faculty of Medicine (prof Bjørn Bjorvatn and postdoc Siri Waage) and also to the Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, situated at the Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen (see www.BeSCN.no). Hence, the plan is to recruit co-supervisors from these research environments.


See the full advertisement in Jobbnorge

The full advertisement in Jobbnorge will be available after august 1, 2021. Call deadline is October 31, 2021.