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 1 300 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


Sociology at Karlstad University is a well-established, medium-sized unit, which includes a PhD programme. The education and research profiles are distinctly sociological and both lie at the forefront of the field. Sociology offers studies at the bachelor, master, and doctoral level. The unit runs a Bachelor’s programme in the social sciences — the Social Analysis Study Programme — and a Master’s (120 credits) programme — Critical Social Analysis. We have approximately 230 full-year and full-time students annually.

Sociology is part of a multidisciplinary department that also includes Social Work, Psychology, and Gender Studies. The unit comprises around 20 sociologists working with research and education. We are part of several research projects, national and international partnerships, and networks.  Research at the unit is primarily specialised in: 1. Power, resistance, and organisation, 2. Personal life, emotions, and everyday organising, and 3. Sociology of age. Multidisciplinary research projects are also conducted on a department level.

Power, resistance, and organisation: The group’s researchers explore themes such as humorous political activism, worker cooperatives, #MeToo, and how authorities respond to nonviolent social movements, as well as the links between temporality, power, and resistance. Everyday resistance and constructive resistance are emerging concepts within resistance studies that our research group continuously contributes to the theorisation and empirical exploration of.

Personal life, emotions, and everyday organising: Researchers in the group conduct theoretical and empirical research on topics such as death, transnational relationships, fraud, sperm donations, and singledom. It is a diverse group in terms of approaches but the unifying factor is passion and curiosity to understand how emotions, personal identities, and people’s everyday lives are related to broader social and cultural structures.

Sociology of age: The sociology of age focuses on mapping out, analysing, and problematising different age-related issues, such as “age” as a factor in and facilitator of various social power relations. One interesting dimension is which perceptions are connected to age and how to highlight and unpack these perceptions in a critical way. Prospective doctoral students are advised to connect their research plan to one of the research areas defined above.

Qualification requirements and selection

To be eligible for doctoral studies, the applicant is required to meet the general and specific entry requirements and must be considered to have the ability required to benefit from the studies (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 6).

To meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have been awarded a master level 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. The faculty board may permit an exemption from the general entry requirements for an individual applicant, if there are special grounds (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 6).

To meet the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in Sociology, the applicant must have completed courses in Sociology of at least 120 ECTS credits, at least 30 of which should be from a master-level course that included a degree project for no less than 15 ECTS credits. An applicant can also meet the specific entry requirements by having acquired equivalent knowledge in some other way, in the country or abroad.

Special weight will be given to the quality of independent written projects of a research nature. Considerable weight will be given to the contents and structure of the research plan — where the applicant describes the intended thesis project — and its relevance to the research groups described above. Considerable weight will also be given to the extent to which the applicant intends to be physically present and participate in the research environment. Some weight will be given to the applicant’s social skills, independence, and ability to work autonomously as well as in a team.


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.


The doctoral studentship comprises four years of full-time study and leads to a Degree of Doctor. A doctoral student works autonomously and is prepared to contribute to the research environment and the subject’s activities. In addition to research, duties may include teaching or administration of no more than 20% of full-time. The term duration will then be extended accordingly. Applicants are expected to be based at Karlstad University and actively participate in the subject’s activities.


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 at a study rate of 80% with 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, as negotiated.

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


The applicant should include documents that verify eligibility and facilitate an assessment of qualifications. 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.

The application should include:

  • A list of qualifications complete with attested copies of transcripts, degree certificates, etc.
  • Copy of degree project and other publications (max. 2)
  • A cover letter with a brief description of the applicant and their research interests.
  • A research proposal of no more than 2,500 words and a summary in English (approx. 500 words)
  • Any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to.
  • Preferably contact information for references or attached letters of recommendation.

Attach all the documents and publications you wish to be considered to the electronic application. Do not just provide links. Documents that cannot be submitted electronically should be sent to:

Karlstads universitet

Application deadline: August 16, 2021

State the ref.no. REK 2021/109 

We look forward to your application!

More information about doctoral studies at Karlstad University is available at https://www.kau.se/en/education/programmes-and-courses/other-education/research-programmes-karlstad-university.

This translation carries no legal weight.


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 REK2021/109
  • Andreas Henriksson, studierektor, +46 54 700 2388, Andreas.Henriksson@kau.se
  • Fredrik Hjärthag, proprefekt, +46 54 700 2270, Fredrik.Hjarthag@kau.se
  • Åsa Wettergren, gästprofessor och ämnesföreträdare, +46 54 700 2567. Asa.Wettergren@kau.se
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 16.Aug.2021 11:59 PM CEST

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