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Frequently asked questions

This page lists frequently asked questions about doctoral studies at the School of Global Studies.

How do I apply?

You apply through the 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.

Find vacant doctoral positions.

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.

Can I submit more than one publication or other academic work? 

You are welcome to submit more than one academic work. As specified in the call, we use the works submitted to assess your research skills, so I would advise you to submit the samples that best demonstrate your abilities and competences. If you submit co-authored pieces, please also include a co-author statement that specifies your individual contributions. 

My thesis is written in another language than English. Can I submit it? 

As specified in the call, “Submitted texts must be written in Swedish or English. Any translated versions must be accompanied by the original text.” In previous recruitments, we have allowed applicants to submit translations of essential parts or a summary of the thesis. If we select you for the long list, some faculty member usually has sufficient language proficiency to read the original and verify the translation. 

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

No, you do not need to identify or contact a potential supervisor before you apply. We assign supervisors only after PhD students have been admitted into the PhD programme. 

I’m also interested in another open PhD position at GU. Can I apply for both? 

You may simultaneously apply for other PhD positions at the School of Global Studies or elsewhere at the University of Gothenburg. Your applications will be separately assessed for each call. 

How should I certify my language skills? 

You need to document adequate language proficiency, but there is no requirement to have a specific certification exam. 

I’m not a Swedish citizen or resident. Can I apply? 

If you meet the entry requirements, nationality and current country of residence are irrelevant. If you are accepted to the programme, you can apply for a residence permit for higher education with the Swedish Migration Agency. The School of Global Studies is a diverse and truly global workplace, and among doctoral students and senior staff we have people from all over the world representing more than 25 different nationalities. 

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 travelling 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 fix-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.