Two Doctoral Positions In Religious Studies With A Focus On The Study Of Islam

Göteborg University
April 03, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The University of Gothenburg tackles society's challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

December 2022, the Swedish Research Council granted funds to a doctoral school in Islamic studies. Within the framework of this initiative, the Department of Literature, History of Ideas and Religion (LIR), University of Gothenburg, is announcing two doctoral positions with a focus on the study of Islam and Muslims in the Western world, in a historical or contemporary perspective. More information about the research school can be found here: https: // studies/

Admission to the University of Gothenburg is made according to the general study plan for postgraduate education in religious studies (linked below).

The Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion is one of the six departments of the Faculty of Humanities. It has about 100 employees (of which about 20 are doctoral students) and approximately 1,000 students. For more information about the Department see: https: // www. history-of-ideas-religion

The postgraduate education in Religious Studies aims to understand and critically reflect on the function and place of religion in historical and contemporary contexts. At the University of Gothenburg, research is conducted in all areas of Religious Studies; that is, in History of Religions, Sociology and Psychology of Religion, History of Christianity, Biblical Studies, Systematic Theology, Theological Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion. Religious Studies provides insights into historical processes, religious encounters and conflicts, analysis and interpretation of texts and ideas, as well as theological and ethical positions and debates. These skills are increasingly relevant to the multireligious and multicultural society of our times.


A doctoral (PhD) student is expected to conduct research and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline. Expectations of a doctoral student include the capacity to develop independent ideas and communicate research results in oral and written form. The aim of the doctoral position is for the doctoral student to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to conduct independent research within Religious Studies and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline through the production of a scholarly thesis. A further aim is for the doctoral student to develop an ability to apply the acquired knowledge and skills within post-degree research or other qualified professional work.

The doctoral student will be expected to be physically present at the Department and actively interact in the programme environment, which includes active participation in the Department's third-cycle and research seminars as well as in the research school in Islamic studies. While the Department's working language is Swedish, the PhD programme may be conducted in English. However, non-Swedish PhD students are expected to learn Swedish during their PhD programme. Doctoral theses may be written in Swedish or English. The University offers introductory courses in Swedish on an as-needed basis.

General syllabus

The objectives, content, and examination of the study programme as well as admission and selection for the third-cycle study programme in Religious Studies are described in the general syllabus, see: https: // www. cycle-study-programmes


To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 7 Section 39, applicants meet the general entry requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if they:

  • have been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • have satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second-cycle, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.
  • To be admitted to doctoral education in Religious Studies, in addition to general entry requirements, the following is required (specific entry requirements):

  • at least 30 higher education credits in Religious Studies awarded in the second cycle, of which at least 15 must be from a degree project (e.g. MA thesis), or equivalent knowledge, and
  • sufficient Swedish and English skills to be able to benefit from compulsory coursework and to be able to actively participate in seminars and similar activities.
  • Assessment

    Selection among applicants who meet the requirements for general and specific eligibility is based on the ability to successfully complete the education at the doctoral level.

    Recruitment and selection are also done in view of the well the research project fits in with the focus of the doctoral school, its potential to enter into productive dialogue with the ongoing research at the department, as well as the department's supervision resources to support it.

    Appointment procedure

    The decision on admission is made by the Head of Department after preparation at the Department.

    The appointment procedure involves two stages:

  • A shortlist is made based on material included in the application.
  • The shortlisted candidates will be called to an interview on May 16, 2023. The interview process will involve a 15 minute's oral presentation of the applicant's project proposal.
  • Employment

    Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1993:100. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral positions. Those appointed to doctoral positions will primarily devote themselves to their studies. The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time studies for four years. The position may include departmental duties, such as teaching or administration, corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time post over the course of study. If such tasks are carried out, the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly.

    Type of employment: 4 years Extent: 100 % Location: The Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, University of Gothenburg First day of employment: 2023-09-01

    Salaries for doctoral students are regulated by a local agreement at the University.

    Contact information

    Questions regarding the third-cycle education:

    Göran Larsson, Professor in Religious Studies and the department's representative for the research school in the study of Islam, [email protected]

    Gunilla Hermansson, Associate Head of Department for Doctoral Studies, [email protected]

    Jong Ho, HR officer, [email protected]


    Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https: // www.


    You can apply to be admitted for education at third-cycle level via the University of Gothenburg's recruitment portal.

    It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.

    Please enclose the following documents and information with the application:

  • A personal letter in which you explain why you are applying to the position and reflect on the progress which you consider can be traced in your degree projects. If it is evident from the certificates that it took you a very long time to complete the degree projects, you may wish to comment on this fact. This text may not exceed 3,000 characters (including blank spaces), and it may be written in Swedish or English.

  • A CV containing contact information, education, work experience, publications (if any), and other relevant records (if any).

  • Degree projects (from second cycle) that meet the specific entry requirements. If relevant, other essays and/or publications that substantiate the eligibility or strengthen the qualifications for the position should also be submitted. You may submit up to five texts in addition to the degree projects. All submitted texts will be assessed primarily based on the following criteria: originality and scholarly relevance, difficulty of the topic addressed, and precision in the use of methods and the overall presentation of the work.

  • A description of your intended thesis project. This description should identify the purpose and aim of the project, the problem(s) addressed, material that will be used, and how the project relates to previous research and the study of Islam and Muslims in the West in past and present times. The project draft should also include a discussion on which theories and methods you may utilise. The research plan will be assessed based on the following criteria: originality, scholarly relevance and rigor, and feasibility. The draft can include a preliminary outline or list of different phases and components of the thesis project, as well as a general timetable for the project. The draft may not exceed 20,000 characters (including blank spaces, notes and references).

  • Degree certificates and/or a certificate of enrolment from Ladok, or equivalent system, specifying your completed coursework. The certificates must demonstrate that you meet the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies as well as the specific entry requirements specified in the programme syllabus. Apart from submitting certificates, the applicant must, where relevant, motivate how the qualifications are equivalent to the general and specific requirements.

  • Incomplete applications (lacking project description, a degree project, or degree certificates) will not be assessed.

    Applications must be received by: 2023-04-03

    Information for International Applicants

    Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

    https: // www. https: // www.

    The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

    Salaries are set individually at the University.

    In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden's regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

    In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.

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