Karlstad University/Department of Geography, Media and Communication


The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is accepting applications for a doctoral studentship leading to a PhD in Human Geography at the Department of Geography, Media and Communication. The department conducts research of high international standard and our researchers frequently publish articles in international journals, participate in international networks and conferences, as well as collaborating with the surrounding community.

The doctoral student will be part of the multi- and interdisciplinary graduate school Water Challenges in Sustainable Planning and the Built Environment (WATCH). The graduate school is coordinated by Örebro University and Karlstad University and in collaboration with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), Svenskt Vatten, the county administrative boards of Örebro and Värmland, and the municipalities of Örebro and Karlstad. WATCH is funded by the research council Formas within the framework of the strategic agenda for sustainable planning and the built environment, and their investment in graduate schools for sustainable planning and the built environment.

As a doctoral student connected to WATCH, you are assigned a main supervisor and two assistant supervisors, one of whom is from one of the participating non-academic partners.


The doctoral student in Human Geography will, within the framework of the graduate school WATCH, work with the following theme: “Institutional frameworks and local water management in rural settings”. On an overall level, it is about explaining and understanding the management of water-related challenges in a rural context. This could, for example, include investigating the importance of ownership structures for water management, the role of forestry and agriculture as well as socio-economic factors, and looking at both institutionalised planning as well as local bottom-up initiatives.

A doctoral student is primarily expected to engage in doctoral studies. The programme comprises 240 credits for a Degree of Doctor, including the doctoral thesis, and 120 credits for a Degree of Licentiate. The doctoral student is expected to work independently and be prepared to contribute to the activities and development of the subject and the department. Teaching and administration may also be included in the duties, but will not constitute more than 20% of full-time.

To contribute to a positive work environment and further the department’s activities, we expect you to be a present and active part of the day-to-day operations and workplace community.

Entry 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 awarded in the second-cycle, 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 for doctoral studies in Human Geography, the applicant must have completed courses in Human Geography of at least 90 credits. An applicant can also be eligible for doctoral studies in Human Geography if he or she has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way 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.

The assessment will focus on the applicant’s performance in previous studies, the quality of any independent projects completed during these studies, a research plan describing the applicant’s intended thesis project, language skills and whether the applicant intends to be a present and active part of the research environment.

Since the position will be part of a multidisciplinary graduate school with a focus on water-related challenges in spatial and social planning (WATCH), independent projects in this particular area are a valuable qualification. Considerable weight will also be given to personal qualities such as the ability to cooperate, sound judgement, responsibility, dedication, and a positive attitude towards colleagues and students. Due to the nature of the subject and the approach of the research project, special weight will be given to the applicant’s proficiency in spoken and written Swedish/a Scandinavian language. Proficiency in English will be given considerable weight.


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 if possible. The position is fixed-term — one year initially, followed by possible extensions by a maximum of two years at a time. Start date by agreement.

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

The appointment will start 1 September 2023 at the earliest.


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, for providing translations of any documents written in a language other than Swedish or English, 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 cover letter where the applicant details the reasons behind their interest in the position a list of qualifications (CV) degree certificate with a complete transcript of the courses included, or a certified list of completed courses with grades and dates copy of the master’s thesis or equivalent where applicable, copies of publications or certificates for other qualifications a brief research plan focusing on how the applicant wants to approach the theme of the project, i.e., managing water-related challenges in a rural context (1,000-2,500 words) any letters of recommendation two references, such as a teacher, supervisor, or previous or current superior.

Applicants with qualifications from abroad

If you have qualifications from a university outside Sweden or if they have not been recognised by a Swedish authority before, it is important that you attach degree certificates and official transcripts to facilitate the recognition of foreign qualifications.

Provide a contact for the degree-awarding institution (phone number or email) who can verify your qualifications.

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.


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2023-09-01
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2023/5
  • Moa Tunström, +46547002395moa.tunstrom@kau.se
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, +4654-7001714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, +4654-7001434
Published 28.Mar.2023
Last application date 09.May.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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