PhD student in the History of religions specialization in Islamic studies

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 15 Apr 2023

Ref. No. SU FV-0862-23

at Department of Ethnology, History of Religions, and Gender Studies.  Closing date: 15 April 2023.

The Department of Ethnology, History of Religions, and Gender Studies has ca 70 employees who conduct teaching and research in the Department’s three disciplines. The history of religions comprises the historical, comparative, and ethnographic study of how religious traditions and phenomena shape and are shaped by the culture and society of their times. History of religions at Stockholm University is Sweden’s oldest institution for the non-confessional historical study of religion. With 13 employees and 8 doctoral candidates with varying degree of activity it is also one of the largest communities for the history of religions in Sweden. Researchers in the department specialize in topics such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as old Norse religion, religions of antiquity, esotericism and new religious movements. Further information here.

Subject area
The appointment is for a doctoral position in the history of religions with a specialization in Islamic studies. The candidate’s dissertation work will be committed in agreement with the General study plan for education on PhD level in the history of religions . The PhD student is expected to participate in the research seminar in the history of religions and to have their work place at Stockholm University campus.

The advertised PhD position is part of the new national Graduate School in Islamic Studies, and is co-funded by the Swedish Research Council. The Graduate School will include a total of 12 PhD students in Islamic Studies who will be based at seven different universities across Sweden: apart from Stockholm University, further PhD positions are advertised at University of Gothenburg, Linnaeus University, Södertörn University, Umeå University and Uppsala University. The Graduate School in Islamic Studies will organize joint activities for all 12 PhD students such as courses, workshops, conferences and seminars. For further information on the national Graduate School in Islamic Studies, see or contact its coordinator Jonas Svensson ( ). 

The successful applicant for this PhD position will have their daily workplace at Stockholm University and will be expected to participate actively in the research seminar in the history of religions at Stockholm University.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere. 

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general study plan for doctoral studies in the field of history of religions stipulates that applicants must have completed courses on the MA level equivalent to at least 30 higher education credits, including an exam of at least 15 credits. In addition, it is required that the applicant has a good command of English. The language requirement includes the ability to read, speak, and write. 

The entry requirements may be met by those who have acquired a matching competence, whether in Sweden or abroad.

The entry requirements must be met by the application deadline.

Selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the education. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity:

  • Previous education in general. Assessment is made with regards to the depth as well as breadth of previous education.
  • Previous academic output. The applicant’s capacity to benefit from the education is assessed on the basis of exam work from the BA and MA levels as well as other written academic work. Timeliness is also assessed; i.e. to what extent the applicant has demonstrated an ability to complete their academic assignments within a given timeframe. In addition, an assessment is made of the applicant’s academic development, based on a comparison of the academic outputs. The academic work is assessed in terms of critical and analytic abilities, independence, and creativity.
  • Research plan. The applicant must give a brief account of their suggested research topic. The account should include research questions and a sketch of how the research is to be completed. The plan is assessed with regards to its relevance, originality, and feasibility within the allotted timeframe (i.e. a period corresponding to four years’ full-time study).
  • The availability of suitable supervisors.
  • The ability to collaborate. The applicant’s ability to collaborate is assessed on the basis of, e.g., references, letters of recommendation, or interviews.
  • Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations .

    Terms of employment
    Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

    The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

    Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

    Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

    Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

    Deadline and notice of admittance
    The application is due on 15 April 2023, with a notice of admittance by 1 June. The appointment starts on 1 September 2023.

    For more information, please contact the director of studies for doctoral education in the history of religions, professor Egil Asprem, telephone: +46 72 00 11 091, , or Susanne Olsson, chair in the history of religions, .

    Union representatives
    Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/OFR), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, ,  (SEKO), and PhD student representative, .

    Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

    Please include the following information with your application

    • Your contact details and personal data
    • Your highest degree
    • Your language skills
    • Contact details for 2–3 references

    and, in addition, please include the following documents

    • Cover letter
    • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience, a list of degree projects/theses and scholarly publications (if applicable)
    • Project proposal/research proposal, of maximum 10 000 characters (incl. spaces). The proposal should specify the research question(s), state of research, theoretical grounding, material, methods, and delimitations, as well as present a timeframe for the planned work. The proposal will function as a proof of concept, and is not binding. If you are admitted, it will be the basis for further discussions with your appointed supervisors of the direction of the dissertation.
    • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
    • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
    • Degree projects/theses (no more than 3 files).

    The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

    You are welcome to apply!

    Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

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