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PhD-student at social work

Department of Social Work




  • Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
  • 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. And 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 what it is all about. But also about delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. This is simply where the future is built.

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

The doctoral studentship is directed towards research on user influence at the organizational and system level in the field of mental health. What forms and methods of influence are used within the state, municipalities and regions? What is the experience of these among user representatives and other actors? And how can influence be strengthened? The project relates to issues of power sharing and democracy, the relationships between public and non-profit actors, and the tensions and hierarchies that exist in forums for influence. The project will be carried out in a research group within the UserInvolve program and  take place in co-creation with a reference group consisting of, among other things, representatives from the user movement, municipalities and regions.

As a doctoral student, you will be part of the staff group at the Department of Social Work.  The thesis work will be conducted in close collaboration with supervisors. You will be part of the department's research environment.

Terms of employment
Third-cycle education corresponds to four years of full-time studies (240 credits). Those who are employed as a doctoral student can also participate in departmental duties 20% of the working hours. The employment is then extended accordingly. See the general study plan here.

The workplace is Umeå University, Department of Social Work. Salary according to local agreement for doctoral students. 

According to the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 12, Section 2), the decision on employment as a doctoral student cannot be appealed.

For employment as a doctoral student, admission to doctoral studies is required. To be eligible to apply, the applicant must have general entry requirements, i.e. have completed a second-cycle degree, completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are at second-cycle level. To meet the specific entry requirements for admission to third-cycle studies in social work, the applicant must have a bachelor's degree in social work equivalent to 210 credits with at least 90 credits in social work or equivalent knowledge.

Equivalent knowledge can be achieved through at least 90 credits in  closely related disciplines, such as political science, sociology, psychology or public health science, as well as a degree project with an in-depth study relevant to social work or to the problem area described above.

Assessment criteria
Among applicants who meet the eligibility requirements, selection is made with regard to the ability to assimilate the education. The selection primarily takes into account documented achievements such as degree projects and any other meritorious texts. Meriting for the position is knowledge of social and democracy work, participation and influence, as well as issues related to the field of mental health. Furthermore, the ability to express oneself in speech and writing in Swedish and English and the ability to collaborate with others are taken into account.

The application is made via the e-recruitment system Varbi, no later than 19th of february 2023

A complete application should include:

  1. Cover letter summarizing your scientific interest and justifying why you are applying for the position as well as your reflections on the focus of the project (max 3 pages)
    2.     CV/CV that includes relevant academic degrees, previous employments and a list of university courses and grades on these.
    3. Certified copies of relevant diplomas
    4.     Essays/other publications
    5.     Other qualifications relevant to employment
    6.     Contact information for two reference persons

Please note that incomplete application will not be considered

Other information
The recruitment process includes interviews and reference taking. Access immediately or by agreement.

More information about the Department of Social Work is provided by Head of Department Petra Ahnlund, petra.ahnlund@umu.se.

Questions about the doctoral education in social work are left by the research educator.responsible Fredrik Snellman, fredrik.snellman@umu.se.

Questions about the focus of the doctoral studentship are provided by Professor Urban Markström, urban.markstrom@umu.se.

Type of employment: Fixed-term employment

Type of employment: Full-time

Form of salary: monthly salary

Welcome with your application!

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Enligt överenskommelse



Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-25-23

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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.