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Doctoral student in History

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 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 history.

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.

At the department, the history research environment contains population history, disability history, gender history, history of emotions, military history, political history, Sami history, social history and history of education, spanning from medieval times to the present. There are currently about 20 researcher/teachers, several of whom are professors or docents, including doctoral students and a postdoctoral fellow. The weekly seminars at the department serve as an important meeting point for the academic staff. 

Swedish dominates as a working/seminar language in history, even though part of the communication takes place in English, and there is an ambition to gradually increase the English-speaking part. 

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

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


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
A person meets the specific requirements for third-cycle courses and programmes in history 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. Students who have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad may be admitted after an 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 and the history research environment at the department. 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. As there are currently fewer female than male doctoral students in history, we especially encourage female candidates to apply. 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 2.2.1-1694-23


Lotta Vikström, 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.