PhD Positions in Social and Economic Geography
Uppsala University Department of Social and Economic Geography

4 PhD candidate positions, Department of Social and Economic Geography

Published: 2021-02-18

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

Applications are invited for four PhD candidate positions in the Department of Social and Economic Geography’s doctoral program in human geography. The positions start on the dates indicated below and offer full funding for four years.

The doctoral program is designed as four years of full-time studies. There are two main components of the program: course work (60 credits) and work in connection with the PhD dissertation, including seminars, theoretical work, data collection and analysis, thesis authorship (180 credits). Doctoral students are provided with a workplace, computer, and some research expenses, and have access to excellent research resources and libraries. Doctoral students may be asked to allocate up to 20% of their time to tasks in the department (consisting of administrative and teaching duties), or 10% in the case of doctoral students placed at IBF (see below).

General qualifications expected: To be considered for admission to postgraduate studies in Human Geography, the applicant must have completed a master’s degree, equivalent to 240 Swedish university credits (including at least 60 credits at an advanced level) from a recognised university. Specific entry requirements for admission to postgraduate studies in Human Geography are the completion of an equivalent to 90 Swedish university credits in Human Geography, or other academic qualifications assessed by the recruitment committee to be of an equivalent level.

Specific qualifications expected for each position:

Positions 1 and 2: One to two positions are affiliated with the Institute for Housing and Urban Research (IBF). The selected candidates will conduct research focusing on housing and/or urban geography and will follow the doctoral curriculum of the Department of Social and Economic Geography, but the primary placement will be at IBF, which is a part of the Social Sciences Faculty in Uppsala. More information about IBF is available at: This position begins September 1, 2021.

Position 3: Rural practices of solidarities in diversity in the labour movement
This position is affiliated with the EU project Solidarity in Diversity (SOLiDi), with Thomas Wimark as the local lead. SOLiDi is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks project involving 10 research groups and 23 partner organizations in 8 countries. It is a joint training and research program focused on how solidarity can be generated across cultural borders. More information about SOLiDi is available at:

Work description: This position is part of a European Training Network (H2020 ITN) in which 12 PhD candidates will work together to understand how solidarity can be generated in a diverse society. This particular position will explore how rural practices of solidarity are created, negotiated and fused together between the established labour movement and newly arrived migrants (lingua franca Swedish). You will work with participatory action research methods with newly arrived migrants within a local organization in a rural area.
The successful applicant will also have a supervisor from KU Leuven in Belgium. This means that you will be stationed at KU Leuven for a duration of at least 3 months.
The salary for this position is determined for the first three years by European Commission regulations, and for the last year by Uppsala University.

Specific admission criteria for Position 3: Applicants can be of any nationality, but have to comply with the “Mobility Rule”: H2020 MSCA Mobility Rule: researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment date. Compulsory national service, short stays such as holidays, and time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention are not taken into account.

Language proficiency: English (C1 level minimum) is expected and knowledge of Swedish (B2 level or more) or the equivalent is desirable. This position begins September 1, 2021.

Position 4: This position is affiliated with the Forte-funded project “Rejtad, rosad, ratad: En studie av tillvaron som gigarbetare” (“Work without Jobs: A Study of Gig Economy Workers’ Existence”). The Project involves researchers at Mid Sweden University and Uppsala University and the selected candidate will have supervisors from both institutions. While primarily based in Uppsala, the selected candidate will be expected to travel to Mid Sweden University (Östersund) for meetings and supervision.

Work description: The project will provide empirically grounded, in-depth knowledge about gig economy work and workers, and specifically the effects on workers’ short- and long-term labour-and-life opportunities. The research will be exploratory and organized as an ethnographic study based on: i) interviews with workers; ii) participant observations and; iii) self-reflective, auto-ethnographic research. The overall purpose of the project is to contribute to the development of strategies and policies to facilitate a socially sustainable working life in Sweden, given shifting labour practices and the changing nature of the workplace related to the digitization of work and the rise of the gig economy. The selected candidate for this position will be involved in all phases of the research project and will write a dissertation based on its findings.

Specific admissions criteria for Position 4: We encourage applications from candidates with experience in ethnographic methods (especially interviewing) and particular interest in labour geography, the gig economy, and/or social and economic precarity. Ability to conduct research in both Swedish and English is required. This position will begin as soon as possible after May 1, 2021 (with course work beginning September 1, 2021).

The terms of employment for doctoral students can be found (in Swedish) in Högskoleförordningen 5 Chapter 1-7 §§ and in the University rules

Application procedure: A recruitment committee will make an initial selection of applicants through a review of submitted documents and contacts with referees. The selected group of candidates will then be invited to interview with representatives of the department. The interviews will take place by mid-April. Candidates will be informed of the results of the selection process by mid-May at the latest. General criteria for assessing applications are described in a separate document (‘Criteria for assessing applications to the PhD program’, see Additional position-specific criteria are described above.

Applications are due on March 24th and should consist of:

  • A completed application form (available at
  • A cover letter (personal statement) that briefly introduces yourself, explains why you are interested in the Department of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University, which position(s) you are specifically interested in, and how your research experience and proposed research plan(s) will contribute to the aims of the position(s) (max. 2 pages).
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé including your skills and educational and career trajectory (for position 3 also your place of residence and place of main activities – work, studies, etc. – in 3 preceding years) (max. 3 pages))
  • Contact information (but not the actual letters) for two academic references.
  • A short description (3-4 pages, including references) of your research plan for the position(s) being applied for (for position 3: a one page outline of the research questions, approach and research design of the PhD project building on the project description found on
  • Certified transcript(s) of your academic record/degree(s) to date, including information on courses taken and grades received.
  • At least one example of written (academic) work in English (positions 1, 2 and 4), and one in Swedish or equivalent (position 4) (e.g. a thesis or seminar paper) (N.B. not required for position 3).

For more information, please contact: For General Inquiries about the PhD Program and Positions 1 and 2: Associate Professor David Jansson, director of postgraduate studies, phone +46-72-999 91 55; e-mail

For Position 3: Associate Professor Thomas Wimark, e-mail

For Position 4: Dr. Kristina Zampoukos, e-mail or Professor Don Mitchell, e-mail

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.
Starting date: 2020-09-01, one of the position may start earlier

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Scope of employment: 100 %

Please submit your application by March 24th 2021, UFV-PA 2021/561.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden. 

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Social and Economic Geography

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 4

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/561

Last application date: 2021-03-24

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Socioloxy


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