Karlstad University / Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences / Department of Social and Psychological Studies

Karlstad University takes pride in combining active external cooperation with academic excellence. Karlstad University has around 16 000 students and a staff of over 1 200 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


Doctoral study programmes at Karlstad University are offered in 26 subjects – psychology being one of them. Many researchers and doctoral students in psychology are connected to the multidisciplinary Service Research Center CTF (www.ctf.kau.se). Approximately 70 people work at CTF, nine of whom are professors and more than 20 are doctoral students.

Research is directed towards a number of areas connected to the challenges facing service organisations. The ongoing digitalisation of service sectors such as sales, healthcare, and government organisations is one such area. Global social challenges such as climate-smart consumption, sustainable cities, and reduced carbon footprint is another. Regardless of the area, behavioural change is needed both for the individual and for society at large. Research about behavioural change such as nudging, behavioural economics, and other models explaining how individuals themselves can manage behavioural change, as well as how social institutions can initiate and lead it, is therefore desirable.

Today we can see how lifestyle-related illnesses are spreading in society at the same time as the burden on public healthcare is increasing. It would therefore be desirable for both the individual and for society at large if individuals could change their lifestyle in order to lower the risk of ill health. The overarching aim of the doctoral project is therefore to conduct research on the creation and sustainability of individual and collective programmes that support behavioural change and lead to a better society as well as healthier individuals. More specifically, the doctoral student is expected to participate in ongoing projects, within which he or she can investigate how habitual behaviour, behavioural change, motivation, and information in general can be affected in desirable ways both for society and for the individual. Even more specifically, the present doctoral project deals with how to use data collected from, for example, smart watches and phones to support individuals in their behavioural changes. Central research questions include what type of data and what type of presentations of such data best motivate the individual to adopt healthy behaviours.

Eligibility and assessment criteria

General eligibility for admission requires a second-cycle qualification (MA) of at least 240 ECTS credits, including at least 60 ECTS credits at second-cycle (MA) level, or largely equivalent knowledge acquired in Sweden or abroad.

Specific eligibility requirements for doctoral studies in psychology are:

- 120 ECTS credits within the main subject of psychology or - a degree in psychology or psychotherapy or - largely equivalent knowledge acquired in Sweden or abroad

The submitted independent research-related works will be given special weight in the evaluation of the applications. Scientific experience relevant for the position is a useful qualification. The applicant must master Swedish since the data collection will be done by way of interviews conducted in Swedish.

Admission procedure

Admission is based on individual assessment of the applicant’s capacity to complete a programme at doctoral level successfully. Starting date: as soon as possible. Place of employment: Karlstad


Application should be made electronically and include:

  • CV (with certified copies of degree certificates, etc.)
  • Submitted Bachelor and Master theses (or equivalent), and any other research papers, such as scholarly articles or book chapters demonstrating the applicant’s ability to complete a doctoral programme successfully
  • Account of practical experiences and employments of relevance to the position
  • A short (maximum 1000 words) account of why the applicant is interested in the position, as well as his or her main area of interest in relation to the project.
Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment as soon as possible
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2019/225
  • Per Kristensson, Professor, Föreståndare CTF, 054-700 2128, 0709-740860
  • Erik Wästlund, docent , 054-700 2528
Published 23.Oct.2019
Last application date 13.Nov.2019 11:59 PM CET

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