PhD position in political science, focusing on AI in Swedish forests

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 24 Nov 2021

The Department of Political Science is recruiting a doctoral student in political science with a focus on challenges and opportunities with AI in Swedish forests. Starting date February 1, 2021 or by agreement.

The project

The PhD position is part of an interdisciplinary project where this sub-project focuses on the challenges and opportunities associated with artificial intelligence (AI) in Swedish forests and forestry. With the support of AI in combination with, for example, airborne laser scanning, there are extensive opportunities to develop high-resolution and high-quality maps that can form the basis for more efficient planning to realizing Swedish forest and climate policy. At the same time as the governance and management can be made more efficient, the introduction of new technology and generation of new data raises a number of questions about who owns and has access to this data or how it should be valued in comparison to other types of knowledge. It also raises questions if there is sufficient capacity, among relevant authorities, but also among individual landowners to take advantage of the new technology and what impact it could have on Swedish forest policy. We are now looking for a doctoral student who would be interested in identifying and analyzing the challenges and opportunities associated with the use of AI in the Swedish forest landscape. The project is part of an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), where the goal is to develop a basis for the adaptation to climate change within the Swedish forest landscape.  

The PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society. This 10-year program is initiated and generously funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) with 660 million SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities.

The PhD candidate will take part in the WASP-HS graduate school, which provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD candidates, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for participants.  

The employment

A position as a doctoral student in the doctoral program amounts to four years of full-time studies (240 higher education credits). A Ph.D. student can also participate in teaching or other departmental activities up to 20% of the time. In such cases, the employment is extended corresponding to this time, at most by a year.

Further information about the department's doctoral education in political science, including its general study plan, is available here : For information about the education at the Department, see here

The student will work in Umeå and the teaching takes place on the campus area. Active participation in the department's activities and involvement in the activities is expected.


To possess basic eligibility, the applicant should hold an advanced degree, have completed studies equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of at least 60 credits at an advanced level and at least 90 credits within Political Science. Persons who in some other manner, in Sweden or abroad, have acquired skills that are equivalent to this requirement can ask to be considered eligible


Your competence is assessed on the basis of suitability for the doctoral program.
The selection of eligible applicants will be based on:
• ability to assimilate the education
• previous academic study results
• the quality of the submitted research plan, in relation to the focus of the advertised doctoral position
The following assessment criteria are considered, examining the ability to assimilate the education:
• analytical ability
• communicative ability, written and oral
• critical ability
• independence
• performance within given time frames
Applicants must be proficient in both oral and written communication in English.

You apply via our recruitment system Varbi.
A complete application must include:

  • A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, scientific interests and motives for applying (max two pages)
  • Research proposal of 3-5 pages with a discussion of possible problems, purpose, theory and empirical data
  • CV / curriculum vitae
  • copies of grades and diplomas
  • at least one (but not more than three) essays / degree projects (C- and master's / master's thesis), written in English or Swedish
  • contact information for one or more reference persons, alternatively two reference letters
  • any other merits of relevance for the position

Umeå University will offer a salary according to the current salary order for doctoral studies. The entry level is currently 29,000 SEK per month. According to the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 12, Section 2), the decision on employment cannot be appealed.
About the Department of Political Science

The Department of Political Science at Umeå University has about 70 employees. The department conducts undergraduate education and research in political science and peace and conflict studies. For more information, see here .

Formalities for the application are stated in this advertisement, but any questions can also be asked via e-mail Postgraduate programme coordinator Torbjörn Bergman at or head of department Magnus Blomgren at
The deadline for applying is 24 November 2021.
We look forward to your application!

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