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

Sapere Aude – dare to be wise – is out motto. Our students and colleagues develop knowledge and expertise that enrich both people and the world around us. Our academic excellence is characterised by curiosity, courage and perseverance, and our organisation rests on a foundation of gender equality, diversity and democracy. We are based in a dynamic region that is always close to nature, and we promote and encourage sustainable development in close collaboration with the surrounding society.

Karlstad University has a total of approximately 1,400 employees and 19,000 students spread across two inspiring campus environments in Karlstad and Arvika.
More information about us at: 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 multi-disciplinary 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. Multidisciplinary research projects are also conducted on a department level.

Research at the unit explores many areas of sociology and is currently organised in three overlapping groups: (a) resistance, power and knowledge; (b); personal life, emotions and everyday organising; c) sociology of age.  

Sociology is now keen to expand its focus on the sociology of knowledge, and we seek applicants with a particular interest in one or more of the following fields;

Sociology of age, work and generational change: theoretical and empirical research which maps, analyses and problematises age-related issues, such as “age” as a factor in and facilitator of various social power relations, and the way various age cohorts differentially respond to, and collectively reproduce, systems of authority, expertise (truth), ideologies, career pathways and work-related identities. It is anticipated that a project in this area would inevitably pursue an interest in the relationship between people’s working lives and broader social and cultural structures.

Sociology of knowledge: theoretical and empirical research on historical and macro-topics such as the global knowledge system, knowledge societies and the politics of knowledge, disciplines, the history of sociology (or social sciences), changes in the university sector; or micro-studies such as the lives of knowledge workers, career pathways, and the ways in which occupational and disciplinary identities are formed/maintained. Empirical work in this area may be quantitative or qualitative, perhaps building one or more case studies. It is anticipated that whatever the specific focus of the empirical study selected by the applicant, the project is likely to examine the relationship between knowledge and socio-historical change.

Sociology of knowledge and health: medical, health and scientific knowledges might be understood as subsets of the larger field of the sociology of knowledge, and address such questions as how illnesses and conditions are diagnosed; how medical categories are created; which agents and agencies have the power or authority to create or modify or use such categories; differences between orthodox, legitimate knowledge and other forms of knowledge; challenges to knowledge (e.g., Anti-Vaxx or anti-privatisation of healthcare campaigns); and the impacts of various kinds of health/medical knowledge on individuals and groups.

Other projects relevant to the sociology of knowledge will also be considered favourably.

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 fields 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 (where language skills make this possible) 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 unit’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.


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.


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 be in English and 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
  • Any other documents that the applicant wishes to refer to.
  • Preferably contact information for two references or attached letters of recommendation.

Note: All applications need to be in English. Referred documents (i.e. essays, certificates, publications, etc.) should be in English or Swedish.

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:

Karlstad University
HR Office Josefin Rönnqvist

Application deadline: 5 June 2022 

State the ref.no. REK 2022/48 

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
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 REK2022/48
  • Andreas Henriksson, +46547002388,andreas.henriksson@kau.se
  • Fredrik Hjärthag, +46547002270,fredrik.hjarthag@kau.se
  • Fran Collyer, +46547001684,fran.collyer@kau.se
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, +46547001714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, +46547001434
  • Tony Ingemarsson, Lärarförbundet, +46547001404
Published 06.Apr.2022
Last application date 05.Jun.2022 11:59 PM CEST
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