Karlstad University / Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences /

Karlstad University takes pride in combining active external cooperation with academic excellence. Karlstad University has around 20 000 students and a staff of over 1 300 members. Democratic principles, equality and diversity are cornerstones of the University. We value the enriching presence of diverse backgrounds and competencies among students and staff. Read more about working at Karlstad University at https://www.kau.se/en/work-with-us


Karlstad University is seeking two doctoral students in the subject of social work at the Department of Social and Psychological Studies.

Social work is taught at bachelor, master and doctoral levels. Around 350 students are enrolled in our Bachelor of Science in Social Work programme. The subject has around 25 staff members who are involved in teaching, research and external collaboration, and we closely cooperate with the research and development unit FoU Välfärd Värmland.

Research in social work focuses on social problems and their consequences at individual, group and societal levels, as well as on interventions and methods for preventing, alleviating and resolving social problems. At Karlstad University, research areas include vulnerability and marginalisation, the role of civil society in social welfare, the social and health consequences of unemployment as well as the working conditions of social workers. We further do research on domestic violence, honour-based violence and oppression, mistreatment of children, the mental health of children and teenagers as well as social work evaluations and initiatives.

Doctoral studentship and work duties

A doctoral studentship comprises four years’ full-time study culminating in a doctor’s degree. A doctoral programme comprise 240 ECTS credits and is regulated in Ch. 7 of the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance. Doctoral students in social work are expected to work independently, contribute in different ways to the subject’s internal work and to perform administrative and/or teaching duties. The studentship may be extended in correspondence with any departmental duties performed.

Successful applicants are expected to work in Karlstad and contribute actively to the research environment, including the seminars in social work.

It is possible, and desirable, for doctoral students to participate in one of the graduate schools at Karlstad University, such as the Graduate School in Regional Studies or the Graduate School of Health.


General as well as specific entry requirements have to be met for admittance to doctoral-level studies.

General entry requirements are fulfilled by a person who has earned a master’s degree and at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 credits are master-level studies, or who in some other way in Sweden or abroad has acquired largely equivalent knowledge. In special circumstances, the university may exempt an applicant from the general entry requirements. A person who fulfilled the previous general entry requirements of at least 120 ECTS credits or equivalent before 1 July 2007 is also deemed to fulfil general entry requirements.

Specific entry requirements are fulfilled by a person who has completed at least 120 ECTS credits in social work or an adjacent field of study, of which at least 30 ECTS credits must be at master’s level, including an independent degree project of at least 15 ECTS credits. A person who has acquired largely equivalent knowledge in another manner in Sweden or abroad is also deemed to fulfil the specific entry requirements.

Applicants should have good communication skills in Swedish and English.

Selection and admission

Admission is based on individual assessment of the applicants’ qualifications and capacity to complete a programme at the doctoral level successfully. Selection from eligible applicants is based on their prior studies, and considerable weight is given to the quality of independent research or investigative projects, particularly at master’s level. Weight is also given to applicants’ research area and the subject’s capacity to provide supervision, as well as to applicants’ intentions to be present in Karlstad and contribute to the research environment.


Applications are submitted via the university’s online recruitment tool (linked below) and should include:

  • CV with certified copies of transcripts, degree certificates, etc.
  • Copies of independent degree projects and other publications.
  • Application letter in which applicants briefly describe themselves and their research interests.
  • Research proposal (4–5 pages) with a summary in English (c. 500 words).
  • Other documents applicants refer to in their applications.
  • We would like applicants to provide the contact details of references or attach letters of recommendation.
Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to the agreement
Salary According to doctoral student agreement
Number of positions 2
Working hours 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2019/146
  • Marie Nordfeldt , + 46 54-700 1114
  • Ulla Rantakeisu , + 46 54-700 2505
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-700 1714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-700 1434
Published 28.May.2019
Last application date 26.Aug.2019 11:59 PM CET

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