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PhD position in sociology

Sociologiska institutionen




  • Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • Extent 100%
  • Place Umeå

The Department of Sociology is seeking candidates for a PhD position in sociology with a focus on political discourses around AI and automation.

Research project

This PhD project will be carried out as part of the larger research project Cyborg Politics. The candidate will analyse how discourses about AI, automation and algorithms impact on the framing and understanding of issues of trust, accountability, and democracy in broader political discourse. Read more about the project here; Cyborg Politics: A study of artificial agents in online democratic deliberation ( 


The PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society. This 10-year program is initiated and generously funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) with 660 million SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS please visit; WASP-HS – The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society.

The PhD candidate will take part in the WASP-HS graduate school, which provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD candidates, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for participants.

Requirements and qualifications

To possess basic eligibility, the applicant should hold an advanced degree, have completed studies equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, at least 60 of which at an advanced level, or in some other way have acquired skills which are equivalent to this requirement.

To meet the requirements for individual eligibility, an applicant must have satisfactorily undertaken courses within sociology or any other relevant discipline equivalent to at least 90 higher education credits and 60 higher education credits at advanced level (magister level), or equivalent competence.

In relation to the research project at hand, having very good skills in discourse analysis, as well as an orientation in digital politics, are key requirements. Since the research will be conducted in an international and interdisciplinary research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork, and a very good command of the English language is important.

More information

The PhD programme is four years. However, the position may also include part-time teaching. If so, the contract for the position is extended, corresponding to the time spent teaching.

Salary is paid according to the established wage intervals for PhD candidates at the University.

The PhD will be expected to carry out the work in Umeå and to participate in common departmental activities.


The application should contain the following documents:

·       Research plan describing the proposed dissertation project (maximum two pages excluding references). The plan should be related to the Cyborg Politics research project.

·       Letter of application including a personal resume and motivation for application (maximum one page).

·       Verified CV including relevant academic degrees, previous work experience and University transcripts with grades.

·       Copy of degree certificate.

·       Essays or academic publications.

·       Any other document that demonstrates merit.

Starting date is on a mutually agreed upon date. The application is to be submitted via the e-recruitment system Varbi no later than 28/6.

The research environment

The Department of Sociology carries out extensive research in a broad range of areas, out of which one is Digital Sociology; Digital Sociology ( The Digital Sociology research group is also part of the interdisciplinary environment provided by DIGSUM (Centre for Digital Social Research); DIGSUM 

The department carries out extensive research and emphasizes a work climate that enhances intellectual development. At present the department employs about 60 persons of which 12 are doctoral students.

For questions about the position, contact Simon Lindgren (


Mutualy agree upon starting date


Simon Lindgren

Karin Nilsson, HR samordnare


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-925-21



Union representative


090-786 53 65


090-786 52 96


090-786 54 31




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.