Karlstad University

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 17,300 students spread across two inspiring campus environments in Karlstad and Arvika.
More information at: kau.se/en/work-with-us


Karlstad University and the research group ROSE, Research on Subject-Specific Education, (www.kau.se/en/rose) are looking for three doctoral students in subject-specific education with a specialisation in language and literature education, social science education and natural science education. Subject-specific education constitutes the core of teachers’ professional knowledge, and subject-specific education research focuses on issues of learning and teaching in relation to specific subjects. The doctoral thesis projects will focus on practice-based research on subject-specific education and will be centred around the concept of powerful professional knowledge which highlights factors common to teaching in different subjects while also demonstrating the importance of the subject-specific elements for teaching and learning. The purpose of the research conducted in the doctoral thesis projects is to contribute to the development of teaching in school or higher education.

The projects are linked to ROSE research profile (see kau.se/en/rose). ROSE is one of Karlstad University’s profile areas and specialises in research-based development of teaching in collaboration with accountable authorities, schools and higher education institutions. ROSE has a well-established network for international research collaboration. The doctoral studentships are part of Karlstad University’s strategic investment in profile areas. ROSE researchers come from different academic disciplines and belong to different departments at Kau. The researchers and doctoral students also work closely with three research centres at Kau specialising in subject-specific education.

The doctoral studentships can be established in the following specialisations: mathematics education, English education, social science education (geography, history, religious studies and civics), natural science education (biology, physics and chemistry) and educational work with a focus on subject-specific education. Intended start date for the doctoral studentships is the autumn of 2024.


As a doctoral student, you will primarily dedicate time to your 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. 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 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 successfully complete a doctoral thesis. Experienced supervisors offer guidance and support 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).

The specific entry requirements for admission to a third-cycle study programme vary between disciplines. You can find the entry requirements and general study syllabus of each discipline on their website via the link below:

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 independent projects completed during these studies, research plan, proficiency in Swedish or Norwegian or Danish and English, and whether the applicant intends to be a present and active part of the research environment.

Special weight will be given to your ability to cooperate, work autonomously, take initiative and show commitment. Considerable weight will be given to proficiency in spoken and written English. A good command of Swedish or another Nordic language is seen as a valuable qualification. The research plan shall describe the intended thesis project and include aim, theory and method, as well as putting the intended study in a research context. Considerable weight will be given to how well the research plan connects to existing research within the subject environment.


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:

  • 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 Master’s thesis or equivalent,
  • where applicable, copies of publications or certificates for other qualifications,
  • a brief research plan (1,000–2,500 words),
  • any letters of recommendation,
  • two references, such as a teacher, supervisor, or previous or current superior.

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
HR-administrator Hanna Ljungdahl

Application deadline: 5 May, 2024.

State the reference number: REK 2024/43.

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 By local collective agreement
Number of positions 3
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2024/43
  • Christina Olin-Scheller, professor, 054-7001689
Union representative
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-7001714
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-7001434
Published 21.Mar.2024
Last application date 05.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST
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