Karlstad University / The department of Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies

Sapere Aude—dare to be wise—is our motto. Our students and employees develop knowledge and expertise that enrich both people and the world around them. Our academic environment is characterised by curiosity, courage and perseverance. Gender equality, diversity and a democratic approach form the foundation of our organisation. We are located in an active and scenic region and we promote sustainable development in close collaboration with the wider 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.
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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 Political, Historical, Religious and Cultural Studies.

Risk and Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary subject with research traditions rooted in environmental science, risk management and public health science. The subject is mainly focused on society’s need to manage different threats and risks posed to health, socially important functions and the environment. This includes analysis of threats as well as preparatory and preventative measures taken as part of sustainable development. Research in Risk and Environmental Studies revolves around the interaction between the individual, society and the environment, especially unwanted consequences in the form of environmental problems, societal risks and injustices. Our researchers come from different backgrounds and research often takes place in collaboration within a wide range of areas. Researchers in Risk and Environmental Studies are active in various research centres, including CSR, Centre for Societal Risk Research, CRS, Centre for Research on Sustainable Societal Transformation and the Centre of Natural Hazards and Disaster Science, CNDS.

The doctoral studentship is connected to the research project Beslut för hållbar utveckling: Nya idéer kring samverkan för ett bättre kunskapsunderlag i miljömål (Ruling for Sustainability: Exploring new ideas of collaboration for an improved knowledge basis in the environmental courts). The project is interdisciplinary and focuses on the knowledge base that is available to the land and environmental courts, and specifically the collaboration process that takes place before the judicial proceedings. A central idea of the project is that collaboration has the potential to contribute to an improved knowledge base. As a case study, the project focuses on the upcoming re-examininations of Swedish hydropower. Focusing on links between the climate, water and biodiversity, the project aims to contribute to more effective decision-making by the land and environmental courts by improving the knowledge base of the courts, especially by capturing the complexity of the environment.


The doctoral student will study stakeholder collaboration in ongoing review cases and analyse how the knowledge base generated works in court. In collaboration with other researchers in the project, the doctoral student will develop collaboration tools in interaction with intended users, and test the tools in real review cases.

A doctoral student primarily dedicates time to their own studies. The doctoral programme, comprising 240 credits for a Degree of Doctor and 120 credits for a Degree of Licentiate, is an opportunity to study while being paid a salary in combination with work and provides a stepping stone for a career in academia. You are expected to work independently and be prepared to contribute to the activities and development of the subject and the department. Teaching and administrative duties may also be included upon agreement, but will not constitute more than 20% of full-time. Work as a doctoral student allows for great freedom and flexibility in terms of how you structure your day. It takes commitment, discipline and a structured approach in order to progress with the thesis. Experienced supervisors guide and support you along the way. 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.

Qualification requirements

To be eligible for a doctoral studentship, 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 Risk and Environmental Studies, the applicant must hold a Degree of Master (60 credits), or equivalent qualifications, in a subject of relevance to Risk and Environmental Studies. Applicants must also be proficient in spoken and written Swedish and English, and should be able to speak Swedish fluently.


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). The applicant’s background must also be assessed as suitable for the research project in question. Admission is based on individual assessment.


The assessment will focus on the applicant’s performance in previous studies, the quality of degree projects and other publications, language skills, and whether the applicant intends to be a present and active part of the research environment. Considerable weight is given to personal qualities such as the ability to cooperate, show commitment and good judgement, as well as to your ability to take responsibility, initiative and work in a structured and independent way. The applicant’s ability to collaborate with relevant stakeholders such as municipalities, landowners, power companies and special interest groups is of considerable weight, and an interest in interdisciplinary research is seen as valuable.



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. Start date by agreement. The salary for the doctoral studentship corresponds to the standard level of salary for doctoral students and progresses in accordance with a local collective agreement.


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, Norwegian, Danish 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:

  1. a letter describing yourself, your research interests, why you want to pursue a PhD and why you are suitable for the position
  2. a list of qualifications (CV)
  3. brief description of your educational background as well as degree certificates with a complete transcript of the courses included, or a certified list of completed courses with grades and dates
  4. copy of Master’s thesis (60 or 120 credits) or equivalent
  5. name and contact details of at least two references (email address and phone number), such as a teacher, supervisor, or previous or current superior
  6. where applicable, copies of publications or certificates for other 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.

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

Karlstads universitet

Hanna Ljungdahl


Application deadline: 29 November 2023

State the ref.no: REK 2023/203.

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.


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
Contract type Full time
First day of employment By agreement
Salary Monthly
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2023/203
  • Beatrice Hedelin , Docent, 073-3018833
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-7001714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-7001434
Published 27.Oct.2023
Last application date 29.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

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