PhD Position in Literature
University of Gothenburg

PhD Position in Literature


Ref PAR 2023/856

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 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.

The Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion is one of the six departments of the Faculty of Humanities. It has about 100 employees (of which about 20 are doctoral students) and approximately 1,000 students. For more information about the Department see:

Literary Studies at the University of Gothenburg is a versatile research environment. Swedish and Scandinavian literature are the main areas, but we also study literature in other languages and apply transcultural and transmedia perspectives within the framework of a broadened concept of literature. Our interdisciplinary orientation provides a dynamic research environment open to developing new areas and integrating new methods and theoretical perspectives. See more on current research areas and projects:


Job assignments   

Third-cycle study programmes include coursework, with each course being examined as it is completed, and the doctoral student’s own research project, which leads to a scholarly thesis.

The goal of doctoral education is for the doctoral student to develop the knowledge and skills to be able to conduct original and independent research in comparative literature, and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline through the production of a scholarly thesis. The doctoral student is expected to communicate scientific findings in both oral and written form. Another aim is to develop the ability to apply the acquired knowledge and skills within post-degree research or other qualified professional work.

Doctoral students are expected to be physically present at the department and to actively participate in both environments, including doctoral and research seminars. The working language of the department’s working language is Swedish (though some activities and research seminars may be conducted in English), and admittance requires sufficient knowledge of Swedish and English to be able to benefit from compulsory course components and to participate actively in seminars and the like (on eligibility, see below). The dissertation may be written in English or Swedish, alternatively in Norwegian or Danish.


General syllabus

The objectives, content, and examination of the study programme as well as admission and selection for the third-cycle study programme in comparative literature are described in the general syllabus:



To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 7 Section 39, applicants meet the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if they:

  1. have been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  2. have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

To be admitted to doctoral education in comparative literature, in addition to general entry requirements, the following is required:

  1. A second cycle qualification in a humanistic or social science subject that includes at least 60 credits (60 ECTS) with progression in Comparative Literature, or equivalent knowledge,
  2. 30 credits (30 ECTS) in Comparative Literature at second-cycle level, of which at least 15 credits consist of an independent degree project, or equivalent knowledge, and
  3. knowledge of Swedish and English required to benefit from compulsory course components and to participate actively in seminars and the like, as well as documented language skills required to read imaginative and scientific texts in English and the Scandinavian languages. If the proposed research project engages in literature in other languages than these, proficiency in reading imaginative and scientific texts in the relevant language or languages must also be documented.



Assessment criteria   

Selection among applicants who meet the requirements for general and specific eligibility is based on the ability to successfully complete the education at the doctoral level.

Recruitment and selection are also done in view of the research project’s potential to enter into productive dialogue with the ongoing research at the department, as well as the department’s supervision resources to support it.


Appointment procedure

The decision on admission is made by the Head of Department after preparation at the Department. 

The appointment procedure involves two stages:

  1. A shortlist is made based on material included in the application. 
  2. The shortlisted candidates will be called to an interview on December 4, 2023. The interview process will involve a 15 minute’s oral presentation of the applicant’s project proposal (this interview can be conducted via link).



Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral positions. Those appointed to doctoral positions will primarily devote themselves to their studies. The initial 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 studies for four years. The position may include departmental duties, such as teaching or administration, corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time post over the course of study. If such tasks are carried out, the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly.

Type of employment: 4 years
Extent: 100 %
Location: The Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, University of Gothenburg
First day of employment: 2024-02-01

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


Contact information 

Questions regarding the third-cycle education:

Gunilla Hermansson, Associate Head of Department for Doctoral Studies,

Jong Ho, HR officer,



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here:   



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.

Please enclose the following documents and information with the application:

  1. A personal letter in which you explain why you are applying to the position and reflect on the progress which you consider can be traced in your degree projects. If it is evident from the certificates that it took you a very long time to complete the degree projects, you may wish to comment on this fact. This text may not exceed 3,000 characters (including blank spaces), and it may be written in Swedish or English.
  2. A CV containing contact information, education, work experience, publications (if any), and other relevant records (if any).
  3. Degree projects (from second cycle) that meet the specific entry requirements. If relevant, other essays and/or publications that substantiate the eligibility or strengthen the qualifications for the position should also be submitted. You may submit up to five texts in addition to the degree projects. All submitted texts will be assessed primarily based on the following criteria: originality and scholarly relevance, difficulty of the topic addressed, and precision in the use of methods and the overall presentation of the work.
  4. A description of your intended thesis project. This description should identify the purpose and aim of the project, the problem(s) addressed, material that will be used, and how the project relates to previous research. The project draft should also include a discussion on relevant theories and methods. The research plan will be assessed based on the following criteria: originality, scholarly relevance and rigor, and feasibility. The draft can include a preliminary outline or list of different phases and components of the thesis project, as well as a general timetable for the project. The draft may not exceed 20,000 characters (including blank spaces, notes and references).
  5. Degree certificates and/or a certificate of enrolment from Ladok, or equivalent system, specifying your completed coursework. The certificates must demonstrate that you meet the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies as well as the specific entry requirements specified in the programme syllabus. Apart from submitting certificates, the applicant must, where relevant, motivate how the qualifications are equivalent to the general and specific requirements. Language qualifications in Swedish (alternatively Danish or Norwegian) and English must at least be equivalent to the requirements for university studies in Sweden, that is English 6 / English A (dated no later than 2013-06-30) and Swedish 3/Swedish as a secondary language 3/ Swedish B (dated later than 2013-06-30), documented in upper secondary education certificates or equivalent or a Tisus test ( (see also Other relevant language skills should be documented by course certificates or commented upon in the personal letter.

Incomplete applications (lacking project description, a degree project, or degree certificates) will not be assessed.


Applications must be received by: 2023-09-15


The Department invites to an information meeting, where it will be possible to ask questions, on the 28 August 2022, 12:30, in Zoom:

Meeting ID: 687 5519 3522
Passcode: 463003


Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit: 


The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Educaloxy


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