PhD Student in Subject Matter Education with specialization in sustainable development University of Gothenburg, Dept of Pedagogical, Curricular & Prof. Stud. Sweden

PhD Student in Subject Matter Education with specialization in sustainable development


Diary id:
PAR 2018/1813
Employment level:
Time limited employment (temporary)
Dept of Pedagogical, Curricular & Prof. Stud.
Apply by:

The Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies offers one full-time PhD positions in subject matter education with specialization in sustainable development.


The department has close to 110 employees. We conduct research and teaching on issues that concern education, school and learning. The department is organized in three larger research environments: Didactic classroom studies; Phenomenography, variation theory and learning study; and Critical education research. We conduct education at second- and third-cycle level and we work extensively with the teacher education programme. Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a profile area at the department and we offer an international Master’s programme in ESD.


Information about the project and the research team


The PhD student will form part of the research environment Critical education research and work with an interdisciplinary research team engaged in a project, financed by the Swedish Research Council, entitled Education for Sustainable Development in an Unequal World: Populations, Skills and Lifestyles. Beniamin Knutsson (Associate Professor) is project leader. Other members of the research team are Sofie Hellberg (Senior Lecturer) at the School of Global Studies and Jonas Lindberg (Associate Professor) at the Department of Economy and Society. The purpose of the project, which draws on Foucauldian theory on biopolitics, is to empirically explore how ESD is being implemented in relation to different populations across the globe, and what conceptions of ‘green’ skills and sustainable lifestyle(s) that these interventions produce. The project will entail empirical studies of how ESD is unpacked and implemented in different geographical and socio-economic settings, within one high-income country (Sweden), one middle-income country (South Africa) and one low-income country (Rwanda). Global ESD events, actors and policies will also be explored. The project will mainly employ qualitative research methods such as semi-structured interviews, participatory observations and text analysis. For a somewhat more elaborated description of the project see
For further information about the project, applicants are welcome to contact the project leader on telephone +46(0)317862427 or e-mail

Job assignments

The PhD student will engage in doctoral studies and dissertation work. The PhD student will form part of the abovementioned research team and work with support from, and in close cooperation with, members of the team. The PhD student will collect empirical data in Sweden, South Africa and Rwanda, and at global forums. In addition to this, the applicant may fulfil duties relating to education, research and administrative work in accordance with special provisions of the regulations in the Higher Education Ordinance (max 20%). The employment is then extended by the corresponding amount of time.



Those who are admitted to postgraduate education are granted a four-year doctoral position at the department. The requirements for admission are that the applicant meets the general and specific entry requirements and is considered in other respects to have the ability required to complete the doctoral studies.


General entry requirements

According to Chapter 7, Section 39 of the Higher Education Ordinance, a person meets the general entry requirements if he or she has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 higher education credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle.


Specific entry requirements

One of the following alternatives is required:
A. Teaching qualification, including courses corresponding to at least 30 higher education credits awarded in the second-cycle in a relevant subject, and an independent project (degree project) comprising at least 15 higher education credits awarded in the second-cycle.
B. At least 90 higher education credits, of which at least 30 are higher education credits awarded in the second-cycle, within a relevant area of knowledge within subject matter education, and an independent project (degree project) comprising at least 15 higher education credits awarded in the second-cycle.

Eligible applicants also include those who have acquired substantively equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.



Selection of applicants who meet the eligibility requirements shall be in accordance with Chapter 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance made with regard to the ability of the applicants to complete the doctoral studies. In the assessment we pay special attention to documented qualifications regarding the quality of the qualifying thesis (and any other submitted relevant research-related text) and the quality of the submitted research plan (see Application Procedure). Considerable importance is also attributed to whether the applicant’s proposed research plan can be supported by, and contribute to, the abovementioned research project. Strong skills in English required. As data collection will be carried both in Sweden and beyond, skills in Swedish is a merit, as is experience from living, and carrying our work, in South Africa and Rwanda, or in other low- and middle-income countries (e.g. Minor Field Studies).



Type of employment: Fixed-term employment, 4 years full-time
Extent: 100 %
Location: Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Gothenburg
First day of employment: By agreement


Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. They may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration according to the regulations.

The initital appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle studies for four years.


Salaries for doctoral students are regulated in a local agreement at the University.


Appointment procedure

Applications are processed by an admission group whose task is to rank the applications. Applicants who are short-listed may be called to interview. Decisions on admission are taken by the head of department. In accordance with the doctoral study regulations at the University of Gothenburg, only doctoral students who can be offered supervision are admitted to postgraduate education.


For further information regarding the position

Questions concerning the research project may be directed to Beniamin Knutsson, Associate Professor and project leader, mail:, phone +46 (0)31-7862427. Questions concerning the position and the postgraduate studies programme may be directed to: Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi, Deputy Head of PhD Studies,, phone:  +46 (0)31-786 3128.



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:


How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

The following documents have to be included in the application:

  1. Personal letter with a short description of previous experiences of relevance to the position, written in English, maximum two A4-pages;

  2. A Curriculum Vitae;

  3. Attested copies of education certificates, including grade reports and other documents that demonstrate that the general and specific entry requirements are met;

  4. A Master’s thesis and maximum one other research-oriented text (e.g. scientific article, report, book chapter etc.). If not written in English or a Scandinavian language they must be translated into one of these languages;

  5. A research project outline, maximum five A4 pages, written in English (see guidelines below and assessment criteria above).

  6. References

  7. Any other qualifications that the applicant may wish to refer to.


The research project outline describes the proposed dissertation project. As the dissertation project forms part of the abovementioned research project it is important that the project outline is close to the research project both theoretically and empirically. For more information about the research project applicants are welcome to contact the project leader. The research project outline should be maximum five A4 pages (excluding reference list) and contain the following headings: Background and purpose, Previous research, Theoretical foundation, Method and References.


Scientific publications, writings and similar documents that are not in electronic form should be marked with reference numbers and sent to:

Sylvana Sofkova Hashemi
Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
University of Gothenburg
Box 300
SE-405 30 Gothenburg

Other information

Information about the department, Information about PhD education

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