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Open for application: Doctoral studentship positions

The Department of Political Science announces up to seven Doctoral studentship (PhD) positions - the application deadline is February 3, 2023. The positions are fully funded for four years, and the Doctoral students are employed by and located at the Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg.


The application will be online, and it is open from 5 December 2022 - 3 February 2023. Those admitted to the Doctoral Studies Programme will start on September 1, 2023.

Entry requirements

Read about entry requirements and more in the General Syllabus for Third-cycle Studies in Political Science, 240 Higher Education Credits, pdf.

Description of the intended research project


The description should be an outline of the doctoral thesis project you intend to work with.
The following issues should be addressed in the draft:

1. A project title and an abstract (the abstract should be about 250 words).

2. A brief introduction of your research topic and its significance within the relevant field.

3. The specific research question for your dissertation.

4. A concise literature review of the field relating to your topic.

5. The proposed theoretical framework for the project, where the main concepts are specified as far as possible.

6. The proposed research design and methodology. (When it is appropriate the most important variables should, as far as possible, be specified and operationalized, and the plan should additionally formulate hypotheses concerning the relationship between them.)

7. A discussion of the potential original contribution of the project to existing scholarship in the field.

8. A list of references/bibliography.

The description may consist of a maximum of 2.500 words, approx. 6 pages, (one and a half spaced lines, font 12), abstract included, but the list of references excluded.

Instructions for Letters of Recommendation

If you proceed to the next step in the admission process, we will contact you and ask you to submit two (2) letters of recommendation. Applicants are not required to submit letters of recommendation in connection with submitting their online application.

Please get in touch with two persons who may write recommendation letters already now, and ask them to prepare for submitting the letters according to the instructions below if we contact you.

Letters of recommendation should be from a person who can assess the applicant’s potential for success in a rigorous doctoral programme in political science.

The letters of recommendation should be sent directly by the writer (not by the applicant) to the department.

The Letter should be printed on professional letterhead and be signed by the writer.
The letter of recommendation should contain the following:

  • The letter writer’s full name, title, place of work (university, department, for example), post address, telephone number, and email address.
  • Information about how long the writer has known the applicant and in what capacity
  • Information about the applicant’s skills in and knowledge of the field of study as well as the applicant’s ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing about his/hers own research.
  • Information about the applicant’s industry and self-discipline.
  • An assessment of the applicant’s potential for success in a rigorous doctoral programme, including a description of qualities that make the applicant a good candidate for the programme – preferably from a comparative perspective based on, for example, the letter writer’s previous experience of former students or employees.

Questions and Answers about applying for the doctoral (PhD) programme in Political Science

Q: Do I have to be able to speak Swedish to apply?

A: No, but we appreciate your preparedness to learn Swedish. Several of our research groups use English as their working language, and most information at the Department is available in Swedish and English. However, we also have several seminars and meetings in Swedish only.

Q: If I apply, will I be called to an interview? When? What if I cannot participate?

A: A limited number of applicants are selected for interviews. It will be an ongoing process, but we expect to start interviewing candidates toward the end of March. We recommend applicants take the opportunity to meet with us in person. However, if practical reasons make this impossible, we can also arrange a Zoom interview.

Q: Do I have to have a supervisor to apply?

A: No. The process of selecting the appropriate supervisors for the doctoral (PhD) project starts during the first semester of the program.

Q: Can I work with other things while I am writing my doctoral thesis?

A: With the paid position as a doctoral student comes the expectation that doctoral studies are the primary focus. It is an intellectual challenge and a full-time job. But yes, it is possible (and even expected) to do some teaching. Furthermore, it is possible to engage in administrative tasks, project coordination, and related research assignments and collaborations.

Q: Do I have to write my doctoral thesis exactly as I describe it in my research plan?

A: No, not exactly. Of course, the quality of a research plan is improved if the chosen field of research is an area of special interest and knowledge to the applicant, and in most cases, the research plan is the first step of the doctoral project. However, it is possible and even natural to make adjustments during the first year of the programme.

Q: Will the choice of topic in my research plan have an impact on my chances to become accepted to the programme?

A: For the general positions, the selection process does not include an assessment of the chosen topic but focuses instead on the academic quality of how the topic is addressed. See the separate guidelines for writing a research plan.

Q: Will my previous supervisor(s) have an impact on my chances to become accepted to the programme?

A: Only to the extent that you might want to use her or him as a personal reference in your application. We check personal references for the applicants that we invite to an interview. Please note that former supervisors are not the only relevant personal references, other persons you have worked with are also relevant to consider.


General Entry Requirements