Karlstad University /Department of Geography, Media and Communication

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


The Department of Geography, Media and Communication is accepting applications for three doctoral studentships in Media and Communication Studies. The department comprises Media and Communication Studies, Human Geography, Geography, and Tourism Studies. The department offers undergraduate education as well as Master’s programmes.

Media and Communication Studies is part of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and boasts an inviting learning and research environment. Interdisciplinary cooperation and global perspectives are essential to our work. Undergraduate education is primarily conducted in our two major study programmes - Public Relations and Media and Communication. The latter features the two specialisations Visual Communication and Design and Digital Media and Analysis.

Research in Media and Communication Studies is conducted in two profiled research groups at the department: the research centres Geomedia https://www.kau.se/en/geomedia and NODE (The Ander Centre for Research on News and Opinion in the Digital Era) https://www.kau.se/media/node. The three advertised doctoral studentships are tied to the research centre NODE and the research programme Vänner och fiender: tillit och misstänksamhet i det nya medielandskapet (Friends and enemies: trust and distrust in the new media landscape), but thesis projects that enable collaboration with Geomedia and/or other parts of the department are encouraged.

NODE’s research areas cover journalism, public opinion and media in a broad sense. We are particularly interested in studying news dissemination and public opinion in a time of weakened daily press, pervasive digitalisation and an increasingly fragmented media landscape. We are also interested in audience perspectives and historical perspectives. NODE researchers use a variety of theoretical perspectives and methods to study these areas. Researchers active in NODE and Geomedia regularly publish papers in international journals and are successful in securing external research funding.

You can find more information about the University at https://www.kau.se/en/ and more information about the subject at https://www.kau.se/en/media-and-communication-studies.


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. Doctoral students 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 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.

The doctoral studentships are affiliated with NODE’s research programme Vänner och fiender: tillit och misstänksamhet i det nya medielandskapet (Friends and enemies: trust and distrust in the new media landscape) which focuses on how factors such as identity, trust, credibility, distrust, and threats and harassment interact with digitalisation and other societal changes and affect journalism, public opinion and the media landscape in a broad sense (more information about the research programme can be found here: https://www.kau.se/nyheter/tillit-och-misstanksamhet-i-det-nya-medielandskapet. You can also contact the director of NODE, Professor Henrik Örnebring, for more information, email address below).  As a doctoral student affiliated with the programme, you are expected to conduct an independent thesis project with relevance to the focus and questions of the programme.

Qualification requirements

To be eligible for a doctoral studentship, applicants must meet the general and specific entry requirements (Higher Education Ordinance, Chap. 7, Sect. 35).

To meet the general entry requirements, applicants 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, applicants must have completed courses comprising at least 90 credits in Media and Communication Studies or Journalism corresponding to the introductory, continuation and specialisation level. 

For the doctoral studentships advertised, the specific entry requirements can also be met through courses comprising at least 90 credits in another subject corresponding to the introductory, continuation and specialisation level, provided that the studies in this subject are focused on media and are relevant to the programme Vänner och fiender: tillit och misstänksamhet i det nya medielandskapet (Friends and enemies: trust and distrust in the new media landscape). An applicant can also be eligible after having acquired equivalent knowledge in some other way, in the country 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.

Considerable weight will be given to the quality and originality of the applicant’s proposed thesis project, and how well the applicant’s research orientation aligns with the research centre NODE, the research programme Vänner och fiender and the research environment of the department as a whole.

Considerable weight will also be given to the extent to which the applicant intends to be a physically present and active member of the research environment of the subject.

In addition, considerable weight will be given to any published research papers (e.g. articles in scientific journals, research reports, conference papers).

Weight will be given to on the applicant’s previous study results with an emphasis on the quality of independent written work of a scholarly and investigatory nature, particularly at master’s level.


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 text (2,000-3,000 words) where the applicant describes the doctoral thesis idea and how it connects to the research programme Vänner och fiender, NODE’s overall research profile as well as the research environment of the department as a whole. For a more detailed project description, contact the director of NODE, Professor Henrik Örnebring, henrik.ornebring@kau.se
- 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

Hanna Ljungdahl



Application deadline: 3 June 2024

State the reference number: REK 2024/82

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 Permanent position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment By agreement
Salary According to local collective agreement
Number of positions 3
Full-time equivalent 100
City Karlstad
County Värmlands län
Country Sweden
Reference number REK2024/82
  • Henrik Örnebring, henrik.ornebring@kau.se, +46547001642
Union representative
  • Denita Gustavsson, OFR, 054-7001434
  • Thomas Bragefors, SACO, 054-7001714
Published 17.Apr.2024
Last application date 03.Jun.2024 11:59 PM CEST
Login and apply

Share links

Return to job vacancies