Doctoral Student in Educational Sciences
University of Gothenburg Department of Education, Communication and Learning

Doctoral Student in Educational Sciences

Diary id: PAR 2019/3

Employment level: Fixed term

Location: Dept of Education, Communication and Learning

Apply by: 2019-05-17


The Department of Education, Communication and Learning is part of the Faculty of Education at the University of Gothenburg. Education is provided in the first, second and third cycles (Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level). The Department’s primary programmes are those in pre-school education and primary education with a specialisation in afterschool programmes. The Department consists of three complete academic environments, i.e. environments comprising education, research and outreach: Child and Youth Studies, Early Childhood Education and Learning and IT. There are different research groups and projects within each of these academic environments.


For more information about the department, see


The PhD position is a four-year position in Educational Sciences attached to the Swedish Research Council funded project Social Dimensions of Expertise Development in Networked Communities (SOCDEX). The project aims at better understanding how online communities contribute to expertise development by combining the expertise research paradigm with a socio-cultural perspective and emerging digital methods. It focuses on the case of expertise development in programming as people interact on the popular Stack Overflow platform, unpacking how expertise is shared, recognised and developed in online communities as part of lifelong learning. More information about the project can be found here:


The announced PhD Candidate position will be situated within the Learning and IT Group (@gothenburggroup) at the Department of Education, Communication and Learning. The group drives research, education and cooperation with civil society in a wide variety of forms with an interest is the ways digitalisation and access to information reform learning contexts and what these shifts mean for our view of learning and knowledge. With a range of approaches and a strong international network of collaborators, the common denominator in the work of the group is a critical approach informed through empirically-grounded studies of the relationships among digital technologies, education and learning. More information about the group can be found here:


Job assignments

As a PhD Candidate in the SOCDEX project, you will contribute to the overall project while taking responsibility for the sub-studies that will form your dissertation. Your dissertation will consist of a series of sub-studies published in international venues. You will negotiate the specific topics for these sub-studies as you become involved in the project, but they should fit within the overall themes and aims of the project. Since the working language of the Stack Overflow platform is English and broad international dissemination of results is a goal of the project, you will be expected to publish in English. The project involves several research methods including interviews, surveys and digital methods to analyse the activity of Stack Overflow participants. Given this diversity of qualitative and quantitative methods, you will have the opportunity to work to develop skills in a variety of different approaches as part of your dissertation. While programming knowledge is not required, you will be expected to learn some digital methods that will involve developing at least basic programming skills while also developing in other areas such as virtual ethnography and interaction analysis.


As a PhD Candidate, you will also be expected to actively participate in the academic culture of the research group, department and university more broadly through such activities as workshops, seminars and colloquiums. You may also be asked to undertake a limited amount of teaching, administration or research not directly connected to your dissertation topic (max 20%). Such duties will extend the length of the position accordingly.



The requirements for admission to third-cycle courses and study programmes are that the applicant, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 7, Section 35 of the Higher Education Ordinance, meets the general and specific entry requirements and is considered in other respects to have the ability required to benefit from the course or study programme.


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 at the second-cycle level.


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


Specific entry requirements


A person meets the specific entry requirements if he or she has 90 higher education credits in education, of which at least 30 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, including an independent project (degree project) comprising at least 15 higher education credits.


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



Provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in Chapter 5 of the Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1998: 80). Only candidates who are simultaneously admitted to a postgraduate program at the time of their employment are eligible for a doctoral student appointment. Admission takes place in competition on the basis of an overall assessment of the applicants' submitted documents. Generally, it is an applicant's ability to fulfill the requirements of the doctoral program that will drive the assessment. More specifically, special emphasis is placed on qualifying work such as essays, thesis work and scientific publications, as well as on accompanying accounts of an applicant’s own research interests in relation to the project. If there is more than one author on a text submitted for assessment, the applicant's contribution must be described.


Beyond meeting the eligibility requirements for PhD studies in Educational Sciences, the successful candidate will have an academic background in a social sciences field such as Educational Sciences, Learning Sciences, Psychology, Sociology, or Anthropology while also having a demonstrated interest and aptitude for technology and digitalisation. Ideally, the candidate will have a track record of producing analyses of social situations involving technology and an interest in online learning.


The candidate is expected to have a background and interests relevant for the task of investigating expertise development through social interaction in online communities. With this in mind, applications should show how a candidate has specific and relevant knowledge, skills and experiences for contributing to the project. In addition, due to the international nature of the project focus and publication goals, the successful candidate is also expected to have demonstrated strong spoken and written English language skills.


Applicants who are invited to an interview will be asked to read a research article and then write a short text in English that describes how it may be relevant for themes in the SOCDEX project. This text will also be considered in the evaluation process.


Decisions on admission to PhD-studies are made by the head of department.



The position is a temporary position of four years according to the Higher Education Ordinance with an extent of 100 %. The employment is located at the University of Gothenburg, at the department of Education, Communication and Learning. First day of employment is by agreement.


Regulations for the evaluation of qualifications for education on a doctoral level are given in SFS 1998:80.


Only those who are admitted to postgraduate education may be appointed to the position. In addition to the obligation to pursue his / her own postgraduate education, the holder may be required to perform duties relating to education, research and administrative work in accordance with particular provisions in the regulation.


A new employment as a PhD student applies for a maximum of one year. The Appointment may be prolonged for up to two years at a time. The total employment period may not be longer than the equivalent of four years of full time doctoral studies.


The University applies the current local agreement on the salaries of graduate students.


For further information regarding the position

About the project:

Thomas Hillman, Primary investigator

+46 (0)31-786 2205


About the department and PhD-studies:

Cecilia Wallerstedt, Head of department

+46 (0)31-786 3272


About the application process:

Kristin Martinsson, Administrative manager

+46 (0)31-786 2344



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:


How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you must register an account in our online recruitment system. Please note that the following documents in particular must accompany the application:


A personal letter

Curriculum Vitae

A text of at most one A4 page containing a description of your research interest in relation to the project described.

An academic text at the second cycle level (Master's thesis and possibly other research-related texts such as articles, reports etc. if available).

Certified copies of any diplomas, transcripts or other documents that substantiate the general and specific entry requirements.

Letter of recommendation and name of reference person (optional).

Other documents submitted for consideration.

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. Any documents that are not available in electronic format should be mailed to:


Göteborgs universitet

Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande (IPKL)

Kristin Martinsson

Box 300, 405 30 Göteborg


The reference number of the application should be clearly indicated when mailing complementary documents.


Closing date: 17 May 2019


The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.


Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 47 500 students and 6 400 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

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