Karlstad University / Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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

We are looking for a doctoral student in psychology leading to a PhD, for a project about ethics in research with children exposed to violence, abuse or neglect.


Psychology is one of 26 subjects at Karlstad University that offer doctoral studies.
The subject of Psychology has a staff of over 30 members and belongs to the Department of Social and Psychological Studies within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Department also houses Gender Studies, Social Work, and Sociology. Research in Psychology focuses on several different areas, from clinical specialisations to the psychology of everyday life. The faculty also houses the Centre for Research on the Mental Health and Life Circumstances of Children and Youth, CBU.


The doctoral studentship will be tied to an ongoing research project financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond) In research on vulnerability and abuse involving children and teenagers, ethical aspects are of great importance and the balance between children’s right to be heard, in accordance to the Children’s Rights Convention, and the risk of exposing children to harm by participating in the research, must be considered. These considerations may vary between different countries and organisations. In Sweden, ethical reviews are mandatory for this kind of research. The research project aims to clarify the considerations that are the basis of researchers’ applications and the decisions of the Ethical Review Board, and consequently contribute to strengthening ethically sound research with children and teenagers exposed to violence, abuse or neglect.

The research project consists of three parts: 1) Researchers’ ethical considerations in applications to the Swedish Ethical Review Authority, 2) legal analysis of decisions from the Ethical Review Authority and the Appeals Board, from a judicial perspective, 3) Empirical analysis of factors that affect the decision making process. The doctoral student will be an active part of parts 1) and 3).

Psychological issues are, for example, related to children’s development and decision making processes. The doctoral student is expected to participate in the research group’s planning and collection and analysis of data. The project will run from 2021 to 2023. The research group consists of researchers at universities in Karlstad, Lund and Dresden (Germany).

The doctoral studentship is also included in The Centre for Research on the Mental Health and Life Circumstances of Children and Youth, CBU, at Karlstad University.

We are looking for a doctoral student with the ambition to develop research in the specified field. Applicants are required to submitt a brief research plan for the intended research area.

A doctoral student is mainly expected to engage in doctoral studies. The doctoral programme consists of 240 higher education credits, including the doctoral thesis, and 120 higher education credits for a degree of licentiate. A doctoral student works independently and is prepared to contribute to the discipline’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 help further the subject’s activities, we expect the doctoral student to be a present at the University and contribute actively to the research environment at the subject.

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 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. 7)

To meet the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in Psychology, the applicant must have completed courses in

- must hold 120 ECTS credits with a progressive specialisation in the main field of Psychology or

-hold a Degree of Master of Science in Psychology or Postgraduate Diploma in Psychotherapy or

- in some other way having acquired substantially equivalent knowledge, in the country or abroad 

Admission and assessment criteria

To be eligible for third-cycle studies, the applicant;

1. is required to meet the general and University-specific entry requirements and

2. must be considered to have the ability required to benefit from the studies (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 35). Admission is based on individual assessment.

An important factor in the appointment is an assessment of the applicant’s capacity to successfully complete a programme at the doctoral level, for instance on the basis of previous independent projects at the bachelor level, essays, and other publications that indicate an ability to conduct research independently, as well as other qualifications. Special weight will be given to the applicant having a Degree of Master. Special weight will be given to the applicant having a high level of proficiency in Swedish and English wich is required to be able to complete the programme successfully.


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.


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 the following documents;

  • A cover letter where the applicant details the reasons behind their interest in the position
  • A list of qualifications (CV)
  • Copies of relevant grades, Degree certificate with a complete transcript of the courses included, or a certified list of completed courses with grades and dates
  • A copy of the applicant’s Master’s thesis
  • Research plan (background, purpose, research questions, method), a maximum of 1500 words.
  • Where applicable, copies of publications or certificates for other qualifications
  • Possibly letters of recommendation
  • Information about language skills

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, such as books or publications, should be sent to;

Karlstad University
651 88 Karlstad

Application deadline: 31 October 2021
State the ref.no: REK 2021/125
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 By agreement
Salary According to local agreement
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2021/125
  • Gisela Priebe, Professor och föreståndare CBU, Gisela.Priebe@kau.se
  • Fredrik Hjärthag, proprefekt, 054 700 2270, Fredrik.Hjarthag@kau.se
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-700 1714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-700 1434
  • Tony Ingemarsson, Lärarförbundet, 054 700 1404
Published 20.Sep.2021
Last application date 31.Oct.2021 11:59 PM CEST
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