PhD student position in Systems Science for Defence and Security with specialization in development, acquisition, and the role of technology and materiel for defence and security

The Swedish Defence University is an internationally renowned university in the area of defence, crisis management and security. We offer a unique academic environment where military and civilian researchers, teachers and students interact. We educate and train top-level executives, experts, and researchers for the task of analyzing and managing current and future crises, security issues and conflicts. The university educates all military officers in the Swedish armed forces and leads the academic progression of the military profession. We conduct research in the areas of Law with a focus on International and Operational Law, Leadership and Command & Control, Military History, Political Science, Systems Science for Defence and Security and War Studies.

The Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security conducts research and education at the intersection of social sciences and engineering. The subject is interdisciplinary and studies how a combination of social and technical components affect the systems used for the defence and security of society. The subject's employees primarily teach within the Officer Programme, the Master's Programme in Defence and Security Systems Development, and the Higher Officer Programme. They also contribute by provided teaching and expertise in other civilian and military education programmes, including contract education commissioned by both governmental and private parties. Research is either financed by grants or commissioned by contract.

Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security

Systems science for defence and security can be described as a discipline at the interface between social science and engineering. The main object of study is the interaction between technical and social components which affect or contribute to defence and security. The development, acquisition and use of technology and materiel for defence and security is, therefore, in focus.

The faculty mainly teach in the Officers' Programme, the civilian Higher Joint Command and Staff Programme and the Master´s programme in Defence and Security Systems Development. Faculty also contribute to the other civilian and military educations, including education commissioned by both public and private actors. The research is both grant- and commission-funded. One of the focus areas of research is governance of capability and technology development.


Doctoral students shall primarily devote themselves to their own education at the postgraduate level in Systems Science for Defence and Security with specialization in development, acquisition, and the role of technology and materiel for defence and security. Possible areas include:

  • Development of systems for defence and security, which consist of both social and technical components;
  • The effect of digitalisation on the development of defence;
  • How military personnel and independent (autonomous) technical systems solve tasks together;
  • The relation of military culture to innovation processes;
  • National and international cooperation on the development and use of defence and security systems;
  • The relationship between national industry, military technical systems and security and defence policy contexts.

The position is located at the Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security and the doctoral student is intended to be admitted to doctoral program at another subject within the Swedish Defence University or at another Swedish university. Postgraduate studies consist of working on your research project and following an individual study plan under supervision. Writing a doctoral thesis corresponding to 150-180 credits, but completing postgraduate courses, corresponding to 60-90 credits, is also a part of the programme. The exact design varies depending on the university and subject.

20% of the job consists of departmental duties in the form of teaching, and participation in common activities. Postgraduate studies encompass 240 ECTS credits, i. e. four years. The total time for the doctoral student position, including the 20 % departmental duties, is five years. The position could require a security clearance. This includes a security screening procedure with a records check according to the Swedish Protective Security Act of 2018. Swedish and international applicants are welcome.


General entry requirements:

  • a completed master degree or equivalent, or
  • completed courses equivalent to at least 240 ECTS credits, of which at least 60 ECTS credits must be in the second cycle, or
  • otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

Other specific entry requirements for entry can apply dependent on the specific subject in question.

Assessment Criteria

The selection is based on the applicant’s ability to successfully pursue the research programme. More specific criteria for the selection process in order of priority are:

  • the quality of the research plan, including the ability to fulfil the plan and its relevance,
  • the scientific quality of previous work, and 
  • other merits relevant to the tasks of the position, including proven ability for teaching in higher education and to perform tasks within given time frames.


Applications should include:

  • Copies of all degree certificates and grades from the education your qualifications rely on.
  • A Curriculum vitae, including contact information for two references.
  • A copy of exam work at an advanced level and other publications you wish to refer to in your application (max 3 texts).
  • A of research plan which both relate to your background and your proposed research focus. Start with a short description of yourself and your background. Include a critical reflection of your previous works and research experience. Suggest, in the light of your previous work, relevant research front, and the subject systems science for defence and security, a preliminary research project related to capability development. The proposal should put focus on relevance and feasibility (no longer than three A4 pages, 12 points Times New Roman, single spaced).

If the applicants have other nationality than Swedish a copy of the passport should also be included.

Only complete applications with all required documentation will be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain that the application is complete and complies with the requirements stated in the advertisement. The application is to be completed in a Scandinavian language or in English. Authorised translations must be provided for documents in other languages. Applicants may be called to interviews in autumn 2022. The aim is to finalise employment decisions well before the end of 2022.

Submit your application through this ad on our online job listing page. Mark your application with reference number Ö 429/2022.

A doctoral student position is classified as full-time (100 %) employment. The term of the contract is temporary and is regulated by Chapter 5 of the Higher Education Ordinance. The doctoral students are placed at the Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security in Stockholm.

The Swedish Defence University strives for equality and diversity in all occupations. We welcome applicants from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is self-evident to us that within an inclusive working environment our employees should be able to combine their working life with active parenthood.

You can read more about the Swedish Defence University’s doctoral education here:


Further information about the position is available from:

Union representatives:  Ronnie Hjorth (SACO), Anders Oltorp (OF) and Christian Friman (OFR), phonenumber : 08-553 425 00.

Submit your application through this ad on our online job listing page. You can also send your application to the Swedish Defence University, Registrar, Box 27805, 115 93 Stockholm.  

Welcome with your application no later than the 15th of August 2022.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Efter överenskommelse
Salary Enligt lokal kollektivavtal
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100 %
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number Ö 429/2022
Published 02.Jun.2022
Last application date 15.Aug.2022 11:59 PM CEST

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