PhD Position in Systems Science for Defence and Security

The Department of Systems Science 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.

The subject: 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.

One of the central tenets in systems science for defence and security is that technical and social elements are interdependent. All aspects of development, acquisition and use of technology and materiel for defence and security are, therefore, of relevance. 

Area of research

This position is directed towards the field of System Science for Defence and Security with a specialisation in defence capability development and defence innovation to increase or develop the capability to meet defence and security related challenges – in short, defence capabilities. This is a multifaceted area related to both military and societal aspects of defence and security. Among other things, this could include questions related to organisation and management, defence acquisition, and capability management. It could also include topics such as systems thinking, systems engineering and logistics. Yet another field could be related to space situation awareness (SSA), space surveillance and tracking (SST) or space support to operations (SSO), to mention a few.

Additionally, as a point of entry, research in defence capability development and defence innovation can be in relation to military, civilian, industrial, or commercial aspects.

The applicant is expected to include a preliminary research plan related to the above research areas.

Basis for assessment

During the hiring process, particular emphasis will be placed on the overall assessment of the applicant’s ability to complete the doctoral program, based on the scientific quality of the individual’s previous work. Of equal importance are the quality of the research proposal (preliminary research plan) and the overall fit, relevance, and feasibility of the proposal concerning the current areas of research at the department.

The employment requires you to express yourself fluently in English, including verbal and written communication skills.

Relevant military training and education and relevant academic degree is an advantage.


The employment period may not be longer than the equivalent full-time postgraduate training for four years. A Ph.D. employee may have other department duties (a maximum of 20%), such as teaching and administration.  An initial Ph.D. employment is limited to one year and may be renewed with a maximum of two years at a time. 

Alternatively, the applicant may be in active service as a Swedish Armed Forces officer (minimum OF 2). In such a case, after completing postgraduate education, the officer applicant should have the ambition to continue working within the Swedish Defence University and the Swedish Armed Forces. 

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.

An employment at the Swedish Defence University may require a security clearance for placement in a security class, which includes a security interview and, in some cases, a background check by the Swedish Security Service.

The Swedish Defence University will be operating in a state of war, which means that you should be prepared to be deployed to the institution during times of conflict. If you are already deployed in your current position at an agency and your expertise is needed in the Swedish Defence University's war organization, negotiations will take place between the relevant agency and the Swedish Defence University to determine your placement.

We welcome applications from both Swedish and international candidates.

Mark your application with reference number: Ö 678/2023. You are welcome to submit your application until 30-11-2023.


Further information can be provided by

Head of Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security,

Deputy Head of Department of Systems Science for Defence and Security,

Phone, Swedish Defence University: 08-553 425 00.

To get in contact with union representatives please send an e-mail to, OFR/ and OFR/

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Efter överenskommelse
Salary Enligt lokalt kollektivavtal om lönesättning och lönetrappa för doktorander
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number Ö 678/2023
Published 09.Nov.2023
Last application date 30.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

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