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Doctoral student in Archaeology

Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies




  • Type of employment Temporary position
  • Extent 100 %
  • Place Umeå

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

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The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Umeå University develops arts and humanities and invests in future Areas of Excellence. 

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies invites applications for the doctoral training programme in archaeology.

The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies conducts teaching and research in Archaeology, Environmental Archaeology, Philosophy, History, History and Education, History of Science and Ideas, Religious Studies and Theology.

At the department there’s a well-resourced archaeology group that is continuing to expand its research activities in the study of the human past, and whilst we place an emphasis on human–landscape interactions in the past, we are also interested in developing research into areas linked to sustainable heritage and management, and to expand our range of areas of interest in general.  Currently, the staff consists of two appointed docents, three associate professors, three senior research assistants, three project assistants and three doctoral students.

Within studies in archaeology at third-cycle level, there are two specialisations: (a) archaeology and (b) archaeology specialising in environmental archaeology. We welcome applicants with interests in any area of archaeology that complements our current range of staff specialisms. In particular the department is interested in developing research on human–landscape interactions and archaeology concerning landscapes or wetlands. We are of course also interested in continuing our existing themes in the archaeology of northern latitudes and the circumpolar regions. 

If the chosen research theme links closely to our environmental areas of expertise the successful candidate may choose to join the research group at the Environmental Archaeology Lab (MAL) which is an established research unit with excellent laboratory facilities. MAL engages in national and international projects in environmental archaeology research and consultancy. 

To be a doctoral student at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Doctoral students write their research plan and independently conduct their thesis project in consultation with their supervisors, who are assigned based on the project´s scientific focus. Supervision and guidance occur continuously with both supervisors and director of doctoral studies. Doctoral students are a central part of the department’s research environment and are expected to be engaged through participation in activities such as seminars, research networks and scientific conferences, as well as subject meetings, workplace meetings and staff day.


General requirements
To be admitted to studies at the third-cycle level, i.e. doctoral education, the applicant must meet both general and specific eligibility requirements. General requirements: a Master’s or equivalent degree in a relevant field, having completed course requirements worth at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle (Master’s) level, or in some other way – either in Sweden or abroad – having acquired equivalent knowledge.

Specific requirements
In order to meet the specific eligibility requirements for admission to studies in archaeology at third-cycle level, the applicant must have completed at least 30 credits in archaeology at second-cycle level, with an independent project worth at least 15 credits. Students who have acquired equivalent knowledge in some other way, either within Sweden or abroad, may be admitted for third-cycle studies after assessment.

See general syllabus.

Assessment criteria

Applicants are ranked with reference to their capacity to benefit from and complete the programme. The assessment is based primarily on prior study results, with particular consideration given to essays, and the quality of the research plan and its relevance for the subject area. The assessment is also based on references and interviews, and additional possible evaluations of the main candidates.

The degree must be completed at the latest at the end of the application period.

Terms of employment

Doctoral students will mainly devote themselves to their own doctoral studies. Employment as a doctoral student will be for the time deemed necessary for the completion of doctoral studies at a normal rate of study, which corresponds to a full-time position for four years. An initial contract of twelve months is extended with up to two years at a time provided that the individual study plan is followed. A doctoral student may, to a limited extent, also work with teaching and administration up to a maximum of 20 percent of a full-time position. The period of employment may thus be extended up to a maximum of five years. The entry level salary is SEK 30,900 and rises in three steps to SEK 35,600.

Additional information

Doctoral students are affiliated with a research school, normally the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Doctoral College. The studies are coordinated with the doctoral training programme at the relevant department. The doctoral studies begin at the start of the autumn semester, 2 September 2024. The place of work is Umeå University. The doctoral students are expected to contribute actively to the research environment.  High level of attendance at the department is required.

According to The Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12, Section 2, a decision of appointment for a doctoral student position may not be appealed.


An application must contain:

  • A degree certificate, transcript from the Ladok student registry, and/or equivalent attested copies of your academic transcripts proving that general and specific entry requirements are met
  • Curriculum vitae, including name and contact information of two reference persons
  • Copies of relevant Bachelor’s and Master’s theses and other relevant publications
  • A letter that states your motivation for undertaking doctoral studies, and that specifies what expertise at the department is needed for carrying out your research
  • Research plan – should normally not exceed 30,000 characters including spaces – that contains a description of the proposed: 
    - purpose and research problem;
    - previous research;
    - implementation, that is, method, material and theory;
    - relevance; and
    - time plan

Your application must be registered in Umeå University’s e-recruitment system Varbi no later than 10 March 2024.

Please note: the Swedish version is the official version of this advertisement. In the case of any differences in information between this and the official version, it is the official version that is the legally correct version of the advertisement for these doctoral student positions.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Information box




Monthly salary

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-1691-23


Johan Linderholm, docent


Jonas Nilsson, Head of Department


Union representative







Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.