Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

PhD (Third cycle) studies

The Department of Language Studies offers research training programmes in Language Teaching and Learning, Linguistics, Literature, Pedagogical Work, and Sami Studies. The department offers courses and conducts research in Linguistics, Swedish/Scandinavian languages, Modern languages and literatures (English, Finnish, French, Russian, Spanish, German), Sami studies (language and culture), Language teaching and learning, and Pedagogical work with a focus on language and learning.

The PhD program is comprised of four years full-time study and consists of a course component and a dissertation component. 

The program provides doctoral students with

  • advanced knowledge and thorough training in research methods.
  • comprehensive understanding of research problems and theories relevant within the respective research fields and in practical applications of these.
  • a broad orientation in the research development within the respective fields.
  • ability to produce scholarly texts in a critical and independent manner.
  • training in disseminating their research results in different situations, both nationally and internationally.

Each doctoral student has at least two supervisors. You can read more about our supervisors and their research interests here:

Examples of doctoral projects

The work of doctoral students is an important part of our research activities and we currently have several exciting doctoral projects in a variety of subject areas.

Language didactics and educational work

  • multilingualism and literacy
  • language assessment in preschool 
  • second language acquisition and vocabulary
  • English teaching for newly arrived students
  • curricula for minority languages

Sami studies

  • resilience and settler-colonial formations
  • indigenous politics and Arctic relations
  • the lived experience of Sámi children in Russian schools


  • othering in Icelandic sagas
  • Russian converbs
  • cognitive linguistics and outer space
  • aspect and event perception
  • Swedish media representation of HIV/AIDS
  • language policy and planning for both Sami and Meänkieli.


  • depictions of eating disorders in contemporary literature
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald's short stories
  • boyhood and wildness in youth literature.

Research schools

Faculty of Arts Doctoral College

Faculty of Arts Doctoral College (FADC)

Arctic Graduate School

The Arctic Graduate School is for Doctoral students with research focusing on the Arctic and sustainability.

Graduate School of Gender Studies

Umeå Centre for Gender Studies offers doctoral education within the Graduate School of Gender Studies.

The Postgraduate School in the Educational Sciences

A Postgraduate School for PhD-students within the field of educational science.

DASH – The Swedish National Research School in Data, Culture and Society

DASH introduces digital methods from a critical humanities and social sciences perspective


To be admitted to studies at the third-cycle level, the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements (see the relevant general syllabus below), and must be deemed to have such abilities as are otherwise required in order to make full use of the education. A student admitted to the programme is financed throughout the entire period via a PhD position. PhD positions are normally advertised every other year here:

Open Positions

General Syllabi

Terms of employment

Doctoral candidates will mainly devote themselves to their own studies at third-cycle level. Employment as a doctoral candidate will be for the time deemed necessary for the completion of research studies at a normal rate of study, which corresponds to a full-time position for four years. An initial contract of 12 months is extended by up to two years at a time provided that the individual study plan is followed. A doctoral candidate may to a limited extent also work with teaching and administration up to a maximum of 20 percent of full-time. The period of employment may thus be extended up to a maximum of five years. Salary follows a union negotiated doctoral “ladder” with increments as the project proceeds.  

Rules, guidelines and policies

The syllabus is an important regulatory document for the research programme. There are also central guidelines and policy documents. The legal framework regulates all positions, including the PhD position.

Legal Framework

Would you like to know more?

More information can be found at the Humanities Faculty pages, as well as on the University’s pages focused on the PhD program. You can also find more general information at studera.nu. You are also welcome to contact our Director of Doctoral Studies.

Doctoral Studies, Faculty of Arts

Doctoral Studies, Umeå University


Director of Research Studies

Per Boström
Associate professor

Doctoral projects

Multilingualism, education and linguistic landscapes
Duration 1 August 2018
Type of project PhD project
Place names tell a story of older times
Research area: Language studies
Duration 1 December 2014 until 15 April 2020
Type of project PhD project
Logics and politics of professionalism: the case of university English language teachers in Vietnam
Research area: Education
Duration 1 September 2012 until 17 February 2017
Type of project PhD project

Recently published doctoral theses

Umeå studies in language and literature, 51
Nuottaniemi, Andreas
Studier i språk och litteratur från Umeå universitet, 53
Kroik, David
Studier i språk och litteratur från Umeå universitet, 52
Vélez Olivera, Juanita
Studier i språk och litteratur från Umeå universitet, 48
Kjellander, Daniel
Latest update: 2023-12-19