Karlstad University / Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences / Department of Geography, Media and Communication

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


The Department of Geography, Media and Communication at Karlstad University advertises a doctoral studentship in Human Geography.

The department has a tradition of research in human geography spanning 40 years. Research in Human Geography at Karlstad University studies the complex interplay between the social and the spatial, at various geographical scales, from a critical perspective. Key areas of research include issues related to local and regional planning and development, tourism, and landscape studies. More recent research themes include spatial theory, urbanization, culture and identity as well as mobility and migration.

Several researchers and doctoral students in human geography participate in the multidisciplinary research group Geomedia, a unique international environment focused on research at the intersection of human geography and media studies. Geomedia explores the complex interplay between material, experienced, and imagined spaces in the context of an increasingly mobile, multifaceted, and mediated world.

Human geographers at Karlstad University are also active in the Centre for Research on Sustainable Societal Transformation (CRS), which includes a research school. As a doctoral student in Human Geography, you will be able to take part in the activities arranged by the research school and enjoy a supportive environment with Ph. D. courses, writing retreats, and seminars. At present, the research school includes 18 doctoral students from six different social science disciplines.

The doctoral program comprises 240 ECTS credits (four years of full-time study), including a doctoral thesis equivalent to 165 ECTS credits and courses equivalent to 75 ECTS credits in total. The doctoral program is funded for four years of effective full-time study, alternatively five years consisting of 80% of doctoral studies and 20% teaching, tutorial and other academic tasks at the department.

Eligibility and assessment

For admission to doctoral studies, applicants must meet both the general and specific eligibility requirements and be assessed as capable overall of completing the study program (Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7 sect. 35).

General eligibility criteria for admission require a second-cycle qualification of at least 240 ECTS credits, including at least 60 ECTS credits at second-cycle level, or largely equivalent knowledge acquired in Sweden or abroad. The University may grant an individual applicant an exception from the general eligibility requirements if there are special reasons (Swedish Higher Education Ordinance, Ch. 7 sect. 39).

Specific eligibility criteria for admission to the doctoral program in Human Geography require completed courses in Human Geography of at least 90 ECTS credits, including at least 30 ECTS credits at second-cycle level, or commensurate knowledge acquired otherwise, for instance through studies in Geography, Community Planning, Tourism, Mobility Studies, or similar fields of study of relevance to a specialization in Human Geography.

Teamwork skills and proficiency in both oral and written Swedish and English are required. In addition, doctoral students are based at Karlstad University and are expected be present in the work-place on a daily basis in order to participate actively in the research and teaching environment of the department.


Admission is based on individual assessment of the applicant’s formal qualifications and capacity to complete a program at doctoral level successfully, with a focus on previous study results and the quality of independent written research-related and investigative work completed as part of university studies, especially at the second-cycle level. Special emphasis is placed on the synopsis outlining the research plan of the prospective doctoral thesis project and how it relates to ongoing research in Human Geography at Karlstad University.

More information about doctoral program can be found here.

Terms of employment

The doctoral studentship is a fixed-term full-time position regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance. The starting date is May 2020, or by agreement. The doctoral program comprises 240 ECTS credits (4 years), including a doctoral thesis. The employment is subject to pending decision. The salary for this doctoral studentship corresponds to the standard level of salary for doctoral students at Karlstad University.

Why Karlstad University?

Human Geography research at Karlstad University is noted for its critical analysis of the complex interplay between the social and the spatial aspects at various geographical scales. Visitors are impressed by the excellent working climate, as well as an outstanding Swedish “fika” culture. Combined with first-rate research, these are qualities that constitute a cohesive whole that stands out in comparison with other institutions.
Karlstad University is ambitious, which is apparent in everything that we do. As such, there is always room for your ideas and your commitment. Our renowned education and research are also distinguished by close relations with society at large. We have an international profile and you will meet colleagues, students, and visitors from all parts of the world. The University works systematically towards sustainable societal development. Working with us comes with a number of benefits, for instance lunch-hour exercise classes at a gym located in the University. Read more about benefits here. If you would like to work at a young, vibrant, ambitious academic environment, Karlstad University is the right place for you!


Submit the application via the University’s web-based recruitment tool (see below). The application should include:

  1. A research plan (3-5 pages) including an account of the applicant’s planned research and why he or she is interested in doctoral studies in Human Geography at Karlstad University.
  2. Certified copies of degree certificates and other qualifications for eligibility.
  3. One copy of essays from the C, D, and second-cycle levels (or equivalent) of previous Human Geography studies, and pertinent articles and book chapters, if available.
  4. References to two university lecturers who are familiar with the academic accomplishments of the applicant.
  5. Other documents that the applicant would like to draw attention to, including work-related references, if available.

Attach all the documents and publications you wish to be appraised to the electronic application (upload the documents). More information about the application procedure can be found here.

Last day of application: 8 March 2020

We look forward to your application!

Karlstad University has chosen advertising channels for this recruitment and firmly declines any contact by advertising or recruitment agencies.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2020/23
  • Mekonnen Tesfahuney, professor, 054-700 1333
Union representative
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-700 1434
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-700 1714
  • Tony Ingemarsson, Lärarförbundet, 054 700 1404
Published 06.Feb.2020
Last application date 08.Mar.2020 11:59 PM CET

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