Karlstad University / Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences / The department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural 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 1 300 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


The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is accepting applications for a doctoral studentship leading to a PhD in Risk and Environmental Studies at the Department of the Department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.

The multidisciplinary subject of Risk and Environmental Studies features elements of the social sciences, the humanities, medicine, and the natural sciences. The subject is largely founded on injury prevention, environmental science, and disaster risk management as well as connecting issues between these tracks. The subject is closely tied to two research centres at Karlstad University: The Centre for Societal Risk Research, CSR (https://www.kau.se/en/csr) and the Centre for Research on Sustainable Societal Transformation, CRS (https://www.kau.se/en/crs).

Education in Risk and Environmental Studies is primarily conducted in the Bachelor’s programme Environment and Safety and the Master’s programme (120 ECTS credits) Risk Management in Society. The subject currently has nine active doctoral students and a total of 30 staff members. For more information on research and the doctoral programme in Risk and Environmental Studies at Karlstad University, go to https://www.kau.se/en/risk-and-environmental-studies.


A doctoral student is mainly expected to engage in doctoral studies. The doctoral programme comprises 240 higher education credits, including the doctoral thesis. The primary duty is doctoral studies in the form of an original thesis project as well as courses. The focus of the thesis should contribute to the development of the subject’s theoretical foundation. A doctoral student works independently and is prepared to contribute to the subject’s and department’s activities as well as conduct teaching and administration. Such duties may not constitute more than 20% of full-time. To contribute to a positive work environment and the department’s activities, the doctoral student will be a present and active part of the day-to-day operations and workplace community.

More information about doctoral studies is available on the University website: https://www.kau.se/en/research/doctoral-studies.

Qualification requirements

To be eligible for doctoral studies, the applicant must meet the general and specific entry requirements (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 35).

To meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have been awarded a second-cycle qualification; satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were at master level; or acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 39).

To meet the specific entry requirements, the applicant must hold a Degree of Master (60 or 120 ECTS credits) with a major in Risk and Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Risk Management, Public Health Science or another discipline of relevance to the research domain; or in some other way have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge, in Sweden or abroad.

Admission and assessment criteria

To be eligible for doctoral studies, the applicant must be considered to have the ability required to benefit from the programme (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 35). Admission is based on individual assessment. Candidates will be selected based on their assessed capacity to benefit from a programme at the doctoral level. The selection will be based on the applicant’s results in previous studies, the quality of any independent written work included in these studies, the research plan where the applicant accounts for the intended thesis project, language skills, and the applicant’s intent with regard to being a present and active part of the research community.

The research plan should be informed by one or more of the subject’s tracks (injury prevention, environmental science, and disaster risk management) and preferably demonstrate connections between these tracks. The languages of instruction for the doctoral studies will be Swedish and English. Proficiency in speech and writing is therefore required in both languages. Considerable weight will be given to personal qualities such as the ability to cooperate, dedication, and a positive attitude towards colleagues and students.


Upon admission to doctoral studies, the person will be offered the appointment of doctoral student (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 5, Sect. 3). The position comprises four years of full-time studies, or five years of 80% studies and 20% teaching or other departmental duties. The position is fixed-term — one year initially, followed by possible extensions by a maximum of two years at a time. Start date as negotiated.

The salary for the doctoral studentship corresponds to the standard level of salary for doctoral students at Karlstad University.

Further information

Karlstad University places great value on the enriching presence of diverse backgrounds and gender balance in the organisation. We welcome applicants with different cultural backgrounds, gender identities, functional abilities, and life experiences.


Submit the application via the University’s web-based recruitment tool, Varbi. Applicants are responsible for submitting a complete application in accordance with the advertisement and for ensuring that the documentation allows for objective and qualitative assessments. A complete application should be submitted by the application deadline. An incomplete application may jeopardise a fair assessment of qualifications. Include two references.

The application should include:

  • A cover letter where you describe your interests in relation to the position.
  • A 3–5 page research plan with a proposed specialisation for a future doctoral thesis, including a research design to demonstrate the potential outline of a thesis project. The research plan is not binding. The successful applicant’s plan will be finalised in consultation with a supervisor.
  • A list of qualifications (CV).
  • Relevant degree and course certificates.
  • A copy of the applicant’s Master’s thesis or similar.
  • Where applicable, copies of publications or certificates for other qualifications.
  • Any letters of recommendation.


The application should include well-documented qualifications. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that the documentation allows for objective and qualitative assessments. For advice on how to draft your application, refer to “Application Guidelines” on our website: https://www.kau.se/en/work-us/work/vacancies

Attach all the documents and publications you wish to be considered to the electronic application (do not just provide links). Name each uploaded document to clearly indicate its content.

Documents that cannot be submitted electronically should be sent to the following address:

Karlstads universitet

Application deadline: 1 August 2021

State the ref.no: REK2021/103

We look forward to your application!

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

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment According to agreement
Salary Individual salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2021/103
  • Tonje Grahn, head of department, 054-700 1433
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-700 1714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-700 1434
  • Tony Ingemarsson, Lärarförbundet, 054 700 1404
Published 25.May.2021
Last application date 01.Aug.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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