PhD Position in Subject Matter Education
University of Gothenburg Faculty of Education

PhD Student in Subject Matter Education with Specialization in Science Education, Technology Education or Mathematics Education

Ref PAR 2021/322


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 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 Faculty of Education at the University of Gothenburg has received significantly increased block funding for research. The funds will be used to stimulate our research environments and create opportunities for a new generation of researchers to step forward.

The Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies constitutes one of the strongest didactic environments in the Nordic countries. We conduct research, teaching and collaboration on issues that concern teaching and learning. A common interest at the department is that through education and research on higher education, school and classroom develop knowledge that contributes to a more equal and sustainable society. This is done by subject matter education, practice-based, and critical research, organized in three larger research environments: Didactic classroom studies; Phenomenography, variation theory and learning study; and Critical education research. The PhD-position is connected to one of our research environments, and the PhD student is expected to contribute to the research environment. Information about the research environments is found here, professional-studies/our-research.

An important part of the departments work is teacher education, research and developmental work that concerns school and teacher education. School-related work is often conducted in collaboration with, for example, the National Agency for Education (Skolverket), municipalities and individual schools. The department is responsible for the primary school teacher education and complementary pedagogical education. The department offers also two Master’s programmes, one in General and subject matter education, and one international in Education for sustainable development (ESD).

The Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies offers one full-time PhD position in Subject Matter Education with specialization in science education, technology education or mathematics education.

Job assignments

Subject Matter Education with specialization is a third-cycle subject focusing on the study of teaching and learning in relation to some specific content, generally associated with a particular school subject, university discipline or professional practice. Research in Subject Matter Education involves the study of the preconditions for, and relations between, teaching and learning. Examples of specializations are foreign language education, mathematics education, mother tongue (Swedish) education, science education, social studies education, technology education and sustainable development.

The PhD student will engage in doctoral studies. In addition to this, the applicant may be required to 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 subject matter education with specializations

One of the following alternatives is required:

  1. Teaching qualification, of which courses corresponding to at least 60 credits, within relevant area of knowledge within subject matter education, and an independent project (degree project) comprising at least 15 credits awarded in the second
  2. 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, including 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
* the quality of the submitted research plan (see Application Procedure)

A great deal of importance is also attached to whether the applicant’s thesis work can be supported by and contribute to one of the three research environments at the department.

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.


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 employment as doctoral student are given in the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5. Only applicants who are admitted to doctoral studies can be employed as doctoral student. 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

Questions concerning the position may be directed to the Deputy Head of PhD Studies Angelika Kullbergi,, phone: +46 (0)31-786 2067 or to the Head of Department Christina Osbeck , christina.osbeck@gu,se, phone:+46 (0)31-786 2273.

Information about the department, Information about PhD education


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

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:

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. Register your application electronically under “Apply online”. 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 following documents have to be included in the application:

  1. Personal letter with a short description of relevant background, one A4-page
  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. Thesis at second-cycle level comprising at least 15 hp and maximum one other research-oriented text (bachelor’s thesis, papers, reports ). 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 Swedish or English (see guidelines below and assessment criteria above).
  6. References
  7. Any other qualifications that the applicant may wish to refer

The research plan describes the proposed dissertation project (max. five A4 pages excluding reference list) and should contain the following headings; Background and purpose, Previous research, Theoretical foundation, Method and References.

It should also explain how the research area relates to at least one of the department’s three research environments , and one of the research themes described above in science education, technology education or mathematics education.

Scientific publications, writings and similar documents that are not in electronic form should be marked with reference number and sent to: Angelika Kullberg, Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies, University of Gothenburg, P O Box 300, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, SWEDEN.

Closing date: April 5, 2021

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.

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.


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