Doctoral studentship in the study of religions

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 04 Sep 2023

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The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Linnaeus University invite applications for two doctoral studentships in the study of religions with a specialisation in Islamic studies. The studentships are tied to the research subject of study of religions at the Department of Cultural Sciences (KV).

The studentships are part of the new national graduate school in Islamic studies and are co-funded by the Swedish Research Council. Once it is fully implemented, the graduate school will have 12 doctoral students based at seven different universities all over Sweden. Studentships are offered by the University of Gothenburg, Södertörn University, Stockholm University, Umeå University, and Uppsala University, besides Linnaeus University. The graduate school in Islamic studies organises joint activities such as courses, workshops, conferences, and seminars. For more information about the national graduate school in Islamic studies, please see the school’s webpage  or contact the school’s coordinator Jonas Svensson at

Research and education at the Department of Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University span the subjects of archaeology, library and information science, geography, history, cultural sociology, and study of religions. Education furthermore includes master’s courses in the fields of digital humanities and colonial and postcolonial studies.

There are currently five teaching staff, who are employed until further notice, and four doctoral students affiliated with the subject of study of religions at the Department of Cultural Sciences. Research in the subject has a wide scope, spanning the subjects of Islamic studies, general history of religions, religious education, and exegetics.

Subject area for the position: Study of religions.

Location until further notice: Linnaeus University is located in Växjö and Kalmar, and the studentships are based in Växjö. Doctoral students on studentships are expected to participate in department- and faculty-wide activities at both locations.

Term: The doctoral studentships are limited in time in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 5, Section 7). The total period of employment must not exceed the equivalent of four years’ full-time doctoral studies. The Higher Education Ordinance states that anyone who is employed as a doctoral student shall primarily devote themselves to their own studies, although they may, to a limited extent, also work with education, research, and administration, in which case the employment period will be extended proportionally. Such work may not exceed 20% of full-time work.  

The current (1 January 2023) starting salary for a doctoral student is SEK 29 450 per month (subject to tax).

For more information about employment and working conditions at Linnaeus University, please visit the Linnaeus University website .

Starting date: As agreed upon, albeit no later than 01/10/2023.

Job description

The successful candidates will be employed by the Department of Cultural Sciences. The studentships include doctoral education up to a doctoral degree, equivalent to a maximum of four years’ full-time studies in the subject of study of religions. The doctoral education includes mandatory and elective courses of 60 credits (ECTS) and a doctoral thesis of 180 credits. Please visit the Linnaeus University website for more information about doctoral education at Linnaeus University. See also the general study plan for study of religions.

As students at the national graduate school in Islamic studies, the successful candidates will be required to contribute actively to the school’s activities, by regularly attending seminars, workshops, residentials, courses, and other activities that the school organises.

Besides active participation in the graduate school’s activities, the successful candidates will furthermore be expected to work together with other doctoral students, researchers, and teaching staff at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Linnaeus University. The successful candidates may also choose to join the faculty’s doctoral programme in global humanities . The successful candidates will be expected to spend most of their working hours at the Växjö campus, except during periods when their research requires them to be elsewhere (e.g., in the case of archive work and fieldwork).

The doctoral research project must take a humanistic (i.e., non-theological and non-confessional) approach to Islam as a religious tradition. Applications containing project proposals with a theological approach will not be considered.

Eligibility requirements

Candidates meet the general entry requirements if they

  • have been awarded a master’s degree
  • have at least 240 credits of passed courses, of which at least 60 credits are at the level; or
  • have acquired essentially equivalent knowledge in some other way, in or outside Sweden.

Candidates meet the specific entry requirements if they

  • have at least 120 credits of passed courses in study of religions, history of religions, or some other very closely related subject, or have acquired equivalent knowledge in some other way, in or outside Sweden
  • have at least 30 credits of passed courses at the master’s level in study of religions, history of religions, or some other closely related subject, including an master’s degree project of at least 15 credits with an empirical focus on Islam.
  • are proficient in Swedish and/or English.

The application

The application should be written in Swedish or English, and should include the following documents:

  • a cover letter describing your reasons for applying, along with a short description of how the project proposal fits in with the research environment at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Linnaeus University (maximum one page)
  • your CV (maximum two pages)
  • attested copies of transcripts of records confirming your eligibility for the position (including proof of proficiency in English for non-native speakers of English)
  • a thesis plan (maximum 10 000 characters excluding references), including a) a brief introductory summary/abstract (maximum 400 characters); b) aim and goal; c) research questions; d) a theoretical framework; and e) method and time plan
  • a copy of your master’s thesis, or the equivalent
  • names of, and contact details for, up to three people who have consented to being used as referees.
  • The application deadline is 09/04/2023.

    Assessment criteria

    The assessment of the applicant’s ability to benefit from the doctoral education will be based on a weighted assessment of:

  • the applicant’s research expertise as documented in previous research, focusing in particular on the quality of the master’s thesis and any other research projects
  • the scope, composition, and specialisation of the applicant’s bachelor’s degree
  • the thesis plan, in terms of relevance, originality, and feasibility of being completed within the given timeframe (i.e., the equivalent of four years’ full-time study for a doctoral degree)
  • the applicant’s references. 
  • The assessment of feasibility also includes consideration of supervisory resources and existing research environments at the faculty.  


    Head of department: Fredrik Hanell, Department of Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University +46 (0)470–708589

    Research manager: Jonas Svensson, Department of Cultural Sciences at Linnaeus University, +46 (0)470–708698

    HR partner: Maria Furbring, Department of Human Resources at Linnaeus University, ; +46 (0)480-446751 

    Linnaeus University has the ambition to utilize the qualities that an even gender distribution and diversity brings to the organization.

    Please apply by clicking on the Apply button at the bottom of the ad. Applicants are requested to the application resolving CV, cover letter , a copy of a relevant essay , grades and certificates and other relevant documents. The applicant also requested to submit with their application a proposed research plan within the current area of research. All documents must be attached to digital in the application. The application and other documents shall be marked with the reference number. All documents cited must be received by the University no later than 24.00 (Local time in Sweden) on the closing day.

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