PhD Position in Didactics; Cognitive Development and Learning
Uppsala University Department of Education

One PhD Position in Didactics with a Focus on Cognitive Development and Learning

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

The Department of Education (EDU) conducts research, offers several third-cycle (doctoral) study programs and first and second level (bachelor, master) programs within the subjects of curriculum studies, education, and sociology of education. EDU also has extensive educational involvement in programs such as the Teaching program and the Human Resource program. In addition, there are several Master Programs available at EDU. EDU has more than 280 employees of which approximately 185 are teachers/researchers, 70 are doctoral students and 25 are administrators. More information about the department is available at

Curriculum studies (Swedish/German: Didaktik, French: Didactiques) as a field of research and area of knowledge deals with matters relating to the content of education and teaching. The subject of curriculum studies is deeply rooted in both scientific traditions and teaching practices. The research questions which constitute the core of curriculum studies arise at the meeting point between specific subject-matter and teaching and learning of that subject-matter. It is therefore of interest to study, for example, the content of the teaching and what justifies the selection of that content, who the teaching is aimed at and how their learning process works, how the subject-material is handled in the teaching and who has power over the selection process. For more information about research in this area, see

Description of the position: This PhD position in Didactics is connected to a newly started research environment where insights and methods from developmental and cognitive psychology are used to investigate children’s cognitive development and learning. There is a particular focus on children in preschool and elementary school. We conduct both basic and applied research about, for example, how children acquire mathematical concepts, what cognitive abilities are essential of learning, and how positive and negative experiences influence children’s development and learning. In our research, we use a range of quantitative and experimental methods (e.g., EEG, eye-tracking, behavior experiments, and computational models).

The PhD-student will work on research questions related to ongoing projects within the environment. It is desirable to have experience of working with children. It is also desirable to have experience of, or a willingness to learn, quantitative research methods. 

The full-time employment will be on a temporary basis for a period of four years and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). Departmental duties (typically teaching and administration) at a level of at most 20% can be included in the position, in which case the employment period will be extended beyond the four years. PhD students are expected to study full-time and actively participate in the department’s activities.

Qualifications: A general eligibility of 240 ECTS credits is required, 60 of which are obtained at advanced level, corresponding to four years’ full-time university studies. 90 credits should have direct relevance for curriculum studies. An applicant may also be considered qualified if s/he has acquired the corresponding competence in other ways. A good command of written and oral English language is required. For further information on the requirements for general and special eligibility for studies in the field of Curriculum Studies see contacts below.

Applications should include: Completed and signed application form:, a cover letter outlining why you wish to pursue a PhD project within this research environment, copies of relevant theses (C or D levels, master's theses or equivalent) and if applicable also publications, a short CV listing any publications, copies of diplomas and transcripts with grades, and other documents that the applicant wishes to invoke. The application should also include a description of the applicant’s research interests and a draft thesis plan. The draft thesis plan, up to 5 pages, should briefly address issues relevant to the main research topic. It should further discuss the discipline-related context, previous research on the same research topic, the empirical data needed for the study and its methodology. It should further comprise reflections on the relevance of the thesis project. The thesis project shall be linked to topics related to the research environment. All documents submitted with the application must be translated into Swedish or English.

For more information about doctoral studies at the department, see:

For university guidelines for third-cycle education see: 

See also the curriculum regulating third-cycle education in curriculum studies, including the required qualifications, at: Allmän studieplan didaktik

The post-graduate training is regulated by the Faculty of Educational Sciences in “Procedures for the Admission to Doctoral Studies”, “Continuation of Employment”, Prolongation of Employment” and “Procedures for the PhD Student’s Individual Study Plan”. For more information see

A doctoral student may be employed for maximum eight years, however the length (or duration) of the employment may not exceed the equivalent to full-time doctoral studies of four years.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 1 September 2020 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Kajsa Bråting (Director of studies for post-graduate education),; Marcus Lindskog (Associate professor),, +46 72 9999169; or Johan Prytz (Associate professor),

Please submit your application by 1 June 2020, UFV-PA 2020/115.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? If so, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at You are also welcome to contact International Faculty and Staff Services at

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University´s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Education

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/115

Last application date: 2020-06-01

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