Skip to content
Main menu hidden.

Doctoral Student in Education with a focus on Didactics in Vocational Education

Department of Education




  • 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.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

At the Department of Education aspects of upbringing, socialization, education, teaching and learning is studied. Research is conducted in areas such as didactic processes and evaluation; gender and power; democracy and integration; leadership and reflection; digital inclusion and technology-rich environments; disability and inclusion-processes; upbringing in sport and movement contexts; in the public, private, and non-profit sector.

Specialization of the doctoral studentship

The doctoral position is in Education with a focus on didactics in vocational education and should cover questions related to teaching and learning in vocational education. The questions can address vocational education in contemporary or historical lighting, as well as include critical perspectives on pedagogical practices or educational reforms.

The doctoral student will be linked to the research group Didactics, educational history, and assessment

The research group focus on various types of teaching and learning processes. Fundamental didactic questions – what, why, how, when, for whom and by whom – in relation to teaching (both past and present) are central. Research within the group includes curriculum studies, social studies didactics, educational history, studies on grading and assessment, on minority schooling, and on teacher-student-subject interaction. The group combines research, education and collaboration of relevance for the teaching professions and for teacher education. 

Currently, the didactic research on vocational education at the department is directed towards both general and subject didactic areas. This includes, for example, citizenship education in vocational programs, vocational students' learning processes and identity formation, teachers’ professional learning in vocational programs, teachers' awareness of norms, digitalization in vocational education, workplace learning in vocational education and special education in vocational programs. The direction of the doctoral position is intended to strengthen the didactic research on vocational education at the department. In this regard, there is an opportunity to relate the doctoral student's research project to already ongoing projects at the department, for example "Critical thinking, social belonging and democratic participation".


To be admitted to studies at the third-cycle level, the applicant must meet both general and subject specific entry requirements. 

Applicants meet the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if they:
1.    have been awarded a second-cycle qualification
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.

Applicants meet the subject specific entry requirements for admission to studies in Education at the third-cycle level if they have completed basic university courses in Education of at least 90 credits and:
1. have completed a degree at advanced level in Education, or 
2. have acquired 60 credits at advanced level in Education, or
3. have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Scientific as well as hands-on experience from vocational training is an advantage.

General and subject specific entry requirements must have been met at the time of applying.

Assessment criteria

Applicants are ranked with reference to their capacity to benefit from and complete the programme. Assessment is based primarily on prior study results, with particular consideration given to degree projects or equivalent, and the quality of the research plan and its relevance for the subject area. References, interviews, and other evaluations of the candidates are also taken into consideration.

The selection of eligible applicants will be based on:
• ability to assimilate the education
• previous academic study results
• the quality of the submitted research plan, in relation to the focus of the advertised doctoral position

The following assessment criteria are considered, examining the ability to assimilate the education:
• analytical ability
• communicative ability (written and oral)
• critical ability
• independence
• performance within given time frame 

Applicants must be proficient in both oral and written communication in English.

According to The Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12 §2, a decision of appointment to a doctoral studentship cannot be appealed. 

Please note: the Swedish version is the official version of this advertisement. In the case of any differences in information between this translation and the official version, the latter takes precedence and is the legally binding document.

Terms of employment

Doctoral students will primarily devote themselves to their education at third-cycle level. Employment as a doctoral student is for the time necessary for the completion of research studies at a normal rate of study, which corresponds to a full-time position for four years. The initial contract of 12 months may be extended by up to a maximum of two years at a time, providing that the doctoral student’s individual study plan has been followed. Doctoral students may work with teaching and administration up to a maximum of 20 percent of their full-time employment. In such cases, the period of employment is extended with the equivalent time spend on teaching/administration, up to a maximum of one additional year.

Doctoral students are affiliated with the Postgraduate school in the educational sciences, coordinated with the doctoral training programme at the relevant department. Doctoral studies begin at the start of the autumn semester, 2 September 2023.  The place of work is Umeå University. Salary placement takes place according to Umeå university’s established salary scale for doctoral positions. Current entry-level salary is 30 900 SEK/month and rises in four steps to 35 600 SEK/month. Doctoral students are expected to actively contribute to the research environment.

The doctoral student will have their employment at the Department of Education and the department is responsible for the subject-specific research training and for supervision. Please see the general syllabus for more information.

According to The Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12 §2, a decision of appointment to a doctoral studentship cannot be appealed.


Applications are submitted in the e-recruitment system Varbi, found via the University’s page for open positions. The system is open for applications until March 29 2024.

A complete application (written in English, Swedish or in another Scandinavian language) must contain:

  • A cover letter summarizing qualifications, scientific interests and motives for applying (max two pages)
  • CV/curriculum vitae
  • Copies of grades and diplomas
  • Essays/degree projects or other publications written in English, Swedish or in another Scandinavian language
  • A research proposal that describes the intended dissertation project (max five pages, references excluded). The proposal must clearly relate to the focus of the Ph.D. position as described above
  • Contact information to two reference persons (for instance former supervisors)

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please note: the Swedish version is the official version of this advertisement. In the case of any differences in information between this translation and the official version, the latter takes precedence and is the legally binding document.

Additional information

For more information about the Department of Education and terms of employment please contact:

Head of department Jörgen From, 090-786 6510, jorgen.from@umu.se or

Doctoral programme coordinator Peter Bergström, +46 90-786 53 81, peter.bergstrom@umu.se

For more information about the research group, contact Anders D. Olofsson, 090-786 78 09, anders.d.olofsson@umu.se.


Information box




Månadslön enligt Umeå universitets fastställda lönetrappa för doktorander

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-199-24


Jörgen From, prefekt


Peter Bergström, studierektor FU


Anders D Olofsson, områdesledare


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.