PhD student positions in War Studies

The Swedish Defence University

The Swedish Defence University announces one or several PhD student positions in War Studies

The central object of study in War Studies is war, practices of war and the exercise of military power. Typical research  questions in War Studies concern the nature of war, the applicability of military means, the modus operandi of military organisations and how military capacities are created, led, organised and applied in different contexts (conventional and non-conventional). Further, War Studies scholarship is concerned with military organisations and the military profession, civil-military relations, the total defense concept, how to understand and explain battle and war, including with respect to gender, peace and security.

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

Doctoral students shall primarily devote themselves to their own War Studies education at the postgraduate level. Postgraduate studies consist of working on your research project and following an individual study plan under supervision. Writing a doctoral thesis in War Studies is the central task but completing postgraduate courses is part of the programme. Usually 20% of the job consists of departmental duties in the form of teaching, administration 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.

General admission 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 at the advanced level, or
  • otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

Specific admission requirements:

  • the completion of course requirements of at least 30 ECTS credits at the postgraduate level, within the primary field of War Studies or an equivalent area of study,
  • a passing grade on an independent thesis (degree project) in War Studies or an equivalent work of at least 15 ECTS credits at the postgraduate level,
  • the completion of course requirements of an additional 90 ECTS credits in subjects relevant to the course.

An upper-secondary/high school grade equivalent to English 6 constitutes another specific admission requirement. Applicants who do not have grades from a Swedish upper-secondary school may be required for a certificate of eligibility equivalent to English 6 from an internationally accepted language test (the TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge ESOL).

Assessment Criteria
The selection is based on the applicant’s ability to successfully pursue the research programme and the ability to produce a War Studies dissertation of high international quality.

More specific criteria for the selection process are:

  • the quality, feasibility and relevance of the thesis subject and the research plan,
  • grades, breadth, relevance and quality demonstrated in earlier education at the advanced level,
  • the scientific quality of previous work (for example master- and bachelor thesis), and
  • other merits relevant to the programme, including demonstrated ability to execute tasks within given time frames.

Completing a professional officer’s education is a merit.

The Swedish Defence University strives for equality and diversity in all occupations. We welcome applicants from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Women are encouraged to apply as there is currently a predominance of men in this area of employment. 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.

Terms of Employment
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 Institution for War Studies and Military History (IKVM).

Doctoral students are paid in accordance with the Swedish Defence University’s doctoral ladder, according to which the starting salary is currently SEK 27,200/month. Exceptions are made for Swedish officers who are placed with the same basic salary they have in the Armed Forces. Swedish officers who are already employed at the Swedish Defense University retain the basic salary they have at the Swedish Defence University.


Applications should include:

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. A sample of exam work at an advanced level which encompasses at least 15 ECTS credits or other relevant independent work of a comparable level of difficulty and scope. Confirmed grades and a grading scale should be included.
  3. Draft of research proposal (no longer than five A4 pages).
  4. Degree certificates and grades from previous first and second cycle studies confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements for the position. If your degree is from a foreign university the contents and scope of the degree must be clearly explained.
  5. If the applicant is not a Swedish citizen a copy of the passport must be included.
  6. Contact details for two references.
  7. Other documentation that supplements the application (e.g. publications),
  8. Where appropriate, affirmation of external financing of postgraduate studies (certificate of a personal scholarship or research grant)  and a copy of a ”Letter of Acknowledgement” or a certificate from an employer guaranteeing financing of the entire programme and that the applicant can devote the necessary  time  to the studies to  completed the programme in  the stipulated time.


Further information about the position is available from: Professor Peter Thunholm,, Director of Studies Mikael Weissmann, and HR-partner Camilla Sävmarker,

Union representatives:  Ronnie Hjorth (SACO), Anders Oltorp (OF) and Christian Friman (OFR), Tel: 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.  

Mark your application with reference number: Ö 341/2021.

The last application date is August 31, 2021.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain that the application is complete and complies with the requirements stated in the advertisement. If an applicant needs to complete the application with documents that are not available before the end of the application period, the director of studies must be contacted well in advance of the last application date. 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 2021. The aim is to finalize employment decisions well before the end of 2021. The employment is to commence on January 1, 2022.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2022-01-01
Salary Enligt lokalt kollektivavtal om lönesättning och lönetrappa för doktorander
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number
Union representative
  • Ronnie Hjorth, SACO, 08-553 425 00
  • Anders Oltorp, OFR/O, 08-553 425 00
  • Christian Friman, OFR/S, Försvarsförbundet, 08-553 425 00
Published 14.Jun.2021
Last application date 31.Aug.2021 11:59 PM CEST