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University of Gothenburg


Admissions to PhD programmes at the School of Global Studies take place once a year. Open doctoral positions are announced in December and the deadline for application is usually in early February.


In order to be eligible for admission to our doctoral programmes, you have to fulfil the general entry requirements in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 7, § 39, and the specific entry requirements that apply to each subject.

In order to meet the general requirements for studies at doctoral level, you must have:

  • completed a university degree at second cycle level;
  • completed at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits at second cycle level;
  • or in another way acquired the equivalent knowledge, within or outside Sweden.

Specific entry requirements are listed in the position announcements as well as on each programme’s respective information page.


All open doctoral positions are announced via the University’s job portal. We only accept applications submitted through the job portal and do not accept unsolicited applications

A completed application is required in order for us to assess your eligibility, merits and skills. Along with your application, you must also send:

  • a research proposal that describes your research interests and the planned focus of your thesis;
  • a masters thesis;
  • any other relevant academic works, eg. scientific publications;
  • CV;
  • and copies of diplomas and official Transcripts of Records and any other certificates of relevant qualifications.


The supervisors’ colloquium of each doctoral programme appoints a selection committee which is responsible for reviewing and assessing programme applications. The selection is based on an assessment of the applicant’s ability to benefit from the education at a research level. The selection committee also takes into account the applicant’s skills, experience, creativity and excellence in research. The selection committee ranks and interviews qualified candidates and makes a recommendation to the Head of Department. The Head of Department usually reaches an admission decision in April and the admitted students begin their doctoral studies in mid-August.  The admission decision is not open for appeal.


Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

You apply through University of Gothenburg’s electronic application system. You will be asked to submit a research proposal (max 2,000 words) which describes the planned focus of your PhD thesis, as well as a master’s thesis and/or other relevant papers or publications. A CV and copies of diplomas and academic transcripts are also required.

Do you accept PhD students on a continuous basis? Can I apply right now?

We normally announce new PhD positions once a year. The call is usually published on the University’s website in December, with an application deadline in February. Interviews are held in April, and successful applicants are expected to start their PhD studies in mid-August.

Do I need to find a supervisor at the department before I can apply?

No. We assign supervisors only after PhD students have been admitted into the PhD programme.

Could you review my CV or proposal to see if my profile or project fits your PhD programme?

The PhD Coordinator can let you know if your chosen topic is relevant for the PhD programme, but is not able to provide any detailed comments or advice on your PhD proposal and application.

How likely is it that I will be accepted?

Our PhD positions are generally very attractive. An open call often receives 100-200 applications for Environmental Social Sciences and Peace and Development Research, and somewhat fewer for Social Anthropology (where a background in anthropology is required). PhD positions in specific research projects usually attract 15-70 applications. Given the tough competition, you need to have an excellent research proposal and a very good master’s thesis and/or other relevant publications to have a chance.

What is the structure of the programme?

The PhD programme runs over four years, comprising 240 Higher Education Credits. The first year consists mostly of compulsory coursework. Students can (but are not required to) extend their contract by maximum one year by teaching or other forms of departmental service.

Could I do the programme remotely?

No, we expect all our students to be active members of the research environment. First-year students have a series of courses to take, and all PhD students are expected to participate in research seminars and PhD events, unless they are absent due to e.g. fieldwork.

What are the tuition fees?

There are no tuition fees: The PhD programme is free of cost for the admitted students.

Are there any scholarships I could apply for to fund my PhD studies?

All PhD positions at SGS are fully funded, salaried and free of cost. To cover the costs of going on fieldwork, taking PhD courses elsewhere or traveling to conferences, you may need to apply for internal or external funding. Most students successfully obtain such scholarships during their PhD studies.

What are the employment benefits?

All PhD students have a regular fixed-term employment, which means that PhD students have rights to vacation, sick leave, parental leave and other social benefits on the same terms as other employees.