Junior Temporary Ranks in Norway

Norway has three junior ranks intended to qualify the holders for careers in research.

Research assistant (vitenskapelig assistent) is the most junior rank, and may be either a graduate student or a person who already has a master's degree who works on a research project under the supervision of an experienced researcher, usually at the associate professor level or higher. Often the position is a stepping stone to become a research fellow and enrol in a doctoral programme.

Research fellow (stipendiat) is a temporary employee who is enrolled in a doctoral program. In Norway they are not regarded as students, but as researchers and academic employees, and traditionally they are somewhat older and more experienced than PhD students in most other countries, most typically in their 30s, although it has been entirely normal for research fellows to be in their 40s, especially in the field of medicine. A research fellow earns an annual salary of around 45,000 euro. They used to typically be employed for four years, but now three years is normal. They are usually required to devote some of their time to teaching, typically at the undergraduate level.

Postdoctoral fellow (postdoktor) is the most senior of the temporary ranks. The position is held by those have a PhD and it is intended to qualify them for a position as associate professor or senior researcher. A postdoctoral fellow earns slightly less than an assistant professor, on average around 50,000 euro annually.

Teaching career pathway
Dosent, formerly called undervisningsdosent (teaching docent; introduced in 2003 and renamed dosent in 2006; mostly used in professional colleges, but unrelated to the historical dosent rank; equivalent to Professorial Teaching Fellow in the UK)
Førstelektor (first lecturer; equivalent to Senior Teaching Fellow in the UK)
Universitetslektor (university lecturer), høgskolelektor (college lecturer) or amanuensis (amanuensis), all usually translated as assistant professor or lecturer; this rank is formally also the lowest rank of the combined pathway, although rank holders are usually not allocated more than 20% research time