PhD student in Media and Communication Studies

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 21 Apr 2023

Published: 2023-03-31

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

PhD student in Media and Communication Studies
The Department of Informatics and Media ( ) has a broad research profile based on research in the disciplines Media- and Communication Studies, Human-Computer Interaction and Information Systems. Within Media and Communication Studies (MCS), staff conducts research across a variety of types of communication and mediation in a number of global and local contexts. While our work spans a large number of topics and approaches, it is linked by a profoundly interdisciplinary and critical approach to media and communication as fundamental in setting trajectories of contemporary social change as well defining conditions and challenges of human existence.
Read more about our benefits and what it is like to work at Uppsala University

Duties/Project description:
Uppsala University’s Department of Informatics and Media is currently advertising for a position as a PhD Student in Media and Communication Studies within the WASP-HS project AI Design Futures. This is a fully salaried PhD position (doktorandtjänst), equivalent to a maximum of four-year full-time PhD studies. The holder of the PhD position shall primarily devote themselves to their own doctoral study (see theme below). Active participation in departmental activities is expected. Other tasks, including teaching and administrative work – in English and/or Swedish – can also be part of the employment (for a maximum of 20%).

The doctoral position is part of the national research program the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program - Humanities and Society (WASP-HS). The aim of WASP-HS is to promote new interdisciplinary knowledge in the humanities and social sciences on the topic of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems and their impact on human and social development. The research program enables cutting-edge research, expertise and capacity building in the humanities and social sciences. In total, the Wallenberg Foundations are investing up to SEK 660 million in the WASP-HS research program. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS, please visit the website .

The project AI Design Futures, will be headed by WASP-HS Guest Professor (2023-2028) Mark Coeckelbergh, and includes Professor Amanda Lagerkvist, Associate Professor Magnus Strand, and Dr. Matilda Tudor and one other PhD candidate in Business Studies. The project will investigate how AI impacts humans at the existential level, by influencing how we experience and think about time, vulnerability and finitude and how we make sense of the world. It will also tackle how AI raises normative questions about the social and political futures we imagine and on how we should design the societal institutions and socio-technical systems in which AI systems are embedded. These simultaneous and multi-layered processes of design are inextricably intertwined. This research project will address these issues by studying and discussing how algorithms shape our temporal imagination at the existential and political level, and how our images of the future feed back into the design of AI and the institutions in which AI is embedded. The project seeks to conceptualize and bring about existential, political and institutional design futures, by means of engaging both political and existential philosophy, so as to imagine and create new narratives for alternative AI Design Futures.

The PhD Student will be part of one of the labs in the project (the “Existential Media Lab”). In light of the fact that the future often perishes altogether for people with existential or psychic ill-health such as anxiety or depression, this PhD project will seek to understand the practical and philosophical entanglements between possibilities for anticipating and imagining the future, psychic and existential (ill)health and technological developments, designs and use. In other words, we are looking for someone interested in researching the potentially co-constitutive relationships between self-reported mental ill-health (such as various syndromes or body dysmorphia) among young women, their sense (or not) of futurity and their technological practices. In addition, the student will be studying how/if such a sense of futurity may be designed into digital tools for existential health, in collaboration with a stakeholder. The project shall seek to develop both such as tool through collaborative research practices, and a concomitant anticipatory imaginary to explore how it may feed into the design and create other forms and philosophies of lived futures, to potentially alter dominant narratives about the AI and the future.

The project is funded by The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS: ). It will be conducted within a flourishing research environment in the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University, where several related projects on intimate AI, biometrics, digital media and disability and the relationships between AI, the future and the end of the world, are ongoing: Uppsala Informatics and Media Hub for Digital Existence  

For admission to the PhD program in Media and Communication Studies, an applicant must have basic and specific eligibility prescribed by the Faculty of Social Sciences. Anyone with a degree on the advanced level (i.e. a master's degree), that has completed course requirements of at least 240 credits (including at least 60 credits at advanced level) has fulfilled the basic entry requirements, The specific eligibility requirements for admission to the PhD program in Media and Communication require that the applicant has passed courses of 90 credits in Media and Communication Studies. Anyone that in any other way, in or out of the country, has acquired equivalent knowledge is also considered to fulfil the basic or specific eligibility requirements, respectively.

We are seeking a candidate with well documented knowledge in media and communication studies. Knowledge in science and technology studies, human-computer interaction, anticipation studies, gender studies, and the philosophy of technology is an additional merit. Candidates should have a good overview of the social sciences and/or the humanities, and a strong interest in empirical research as well as in media philosophy. Great importance will be attached to the candidate’s personal suitability for the post. Sought for qualifications are teamwork abilities, initiative, independence and a reflective and analytic approach. Very good communicative skills are required, including the excellent command of written and spoken English.

When the University employs new doctoral students, those candidates will be chosen who after a qualitative evaluation of competence and skills have been deemed to have the best capacity to fulfil work duties as well as contribute to a positive development of the research environment. Of vital importance is the capacity to timely complete the doctoral program.

Qualifications must be documented so that quality as well as extent can be evaluated.

Candidates should be available for interview, either in person in Uppsala or via Internet.

Additional information:
For a description of PhD Programme within the Department of Informatics and Media, see  and

Further information about the Subject Media and Communication Studies see

Further information about PhD studies at Uppsala University is available at:

Complete applications must include:

  • A concise letter of application documenting:
  • The motives why you are applying, your research interest and relevant experiences for the PhD post (max 500 words)
  • A list of documents submitted in to support the application
  • If more than one academic work is handed in, you should name one of them to be prioritized by the admission committee.
  • A dissertation plan (two pages, in English). The plan should cover theoretical approach, aim, research questions, type of data, method and time plan.
  • Curriculum Vitae/Résumé, including English proficiency with certified transcript(s) of your academic record/degree(s) to date, proving the basic and specific eligibility,
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A copy of independently written work produced within the applicant's course of studies (e.g. bachelor or master thesis; include a draft if not completed) or other relevant text(s)
  • Other documents the applicant may wish to attach in support of their application (e.g. English test results or recommendation letters).

PLEASE NOTE: Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines .

About the employment
The employment is atemporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %.Starting date 2023-09-01 or as otherwise agreed. Placement: Uppsala.

For further information about the position, please contact:
PI of the Uppsala Informatics and Media Hub for Digital Existence, Prof. Amanda Lagerkvist:
Head of the Department of Informatics and Media – Dr Tomas Eklund:
Head of Subject Media and Communication Studies - Prof. Michal Krzyzanowski:

Please submit your application by 21 April 2023, UFV-PA 2023/942.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Informatics and Media

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2023/942

Last application date: 2023-04-21

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