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Doctoral student in History and Education

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.

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.

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The Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies conducts research and education within archeology, environmental archeology, history, history and education, history of science and ideas, religious studies, theology and philosophy.

History and Education combines perspectives from both history didactics and educational history. The research environment collaborates with other research environments in both history didactics and educational history, both in Sweden and internationally. The environment has close cooperation with Umeå Research Centre for Social Studies Didactics as well as with the Umeå School of Education.

Specialization of the doctoral studentship

The doctoral position is open for applicants with research proposals in educational history and/or history didactics. This doctoral position is advertised in collaboration with the Umeå School of Education and is a part of the Postgraduate School in the Educational Sciences. Core parts of the doctoral programme are delivered in English, but the working language of the department and the research group is mainly Swedish.


To be admitted, the applicant must meet both general and subject specific entry requirements. A person meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the person has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad. The Faculty Board may permit an exemption from the general entry requirements for an individual applicant, if there are special grounds (Chapter 7, Section 39 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

A person meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle courses and programmes in history and education if the person has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising 30 credits on second-cycle level in history, including a degree project of at least 15 credits, or has a Master’s Degree in History with a degree project of at least 15 credits in a relevant field. Students who have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad may be admitted after an assessment.

Applicants will be ranked with reference to their capacity to benefit from and complete the program. The assessment criteria are prior study results, the quality of the submitted independent projects, and the quality of the research plan and its relevance for the History and Education coupled with the department’s ability to supervise the proposed research project. This assessment will be complemented with references and interviews, and additional evaluations of the main candidates.

General and subject specific entry requirements must have been met at the time of application. Applicants who wish to argue they have acquired equivalent general and/or specific entry requirements in other ways, either in Sweden or abroad, need to show this in their application to facilitate assessment of equivalence.

Terms of employment

Doctoral students will mainly devote themselves to their own education at third-cycle level. Employment as a doctoral student 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 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 full-time. The period of employment may thus be extended up to a maximum of five years.

See the general syllabus.  

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 2024.  The place of work is Umeå University. The entry level salary is 30 900 SEK and rises in four steps to 35 600 SEK. Doctoral students are expected to actively contribute to the research environment and a high level of attendance at the department is required. 

Physically the employee will be stationed at the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, where the subject-specific education and supervision will take place.

According to The Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 12 §2, a decision of appointment for a doctoral student position 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 29 March 2024.  


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 requirements are met.
  • Curriculum vitae, including name and contact information of two reference persons.
  • Copies of relevant BA and MA theses and other relevant publications.
  • A letter that states your motivation for undertaking research training leading to a PhD, 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 project’s:
    - purpose and research problem
    - previous research
    - implementation, that is, method, material and theory
    - relevance for educational history or history didactics
    - time plan

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 research discipline History and Education, contact Professor Anna Larsson +46 90 786 54 24, anna.larsson@umu.se

For more information about the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, contact Head of department Jonas Nilsson, +46 90 786 99 90, jonas.nilsson@umu.se

We look forward to receiving your application!

Information box


2 September 2024


Monthly salary

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-2129-23


Anna Larsson, professor


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.