PhD position in Political Science with a focus on crisis management and security and specialization on information security

Department of Political Science and Law

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.

Our work includes research and education on the rules of international humanitarian law, including the right to use military force (ius ad bellum), international humanitarian law aspects of international peace operations, the laws of war (ius in bello), human rights in armed conflict, peace operations and other crisis situations, and accountability issues in international military operations at different levels of conflict and in different contexts.

The international humanitarian law research is an integral part of the overall research body at the Swedish Defence University, which is characterised by diversity and a shared focus on the conditions of crisis and armed conflict. The integration of international humanitarian law research is expressed in interdisciplinary projects in collaboration with researchers from other departments at the Swedish Defence University. In addition, we collaborate with other research institutes and initiatives, both in Sweden and abroad.

The Swedish Defence University seeks one or two PhD-students in Political Science with a focus on crisis management and security and specialization on information security.

Political science at the Swedish Defence University is unique in its special focus on security and crisis management. The subject is at the same time theoretically broad, and draws on a wide range of related fields, such as international relations, political communication, public administration, and political theory as well as drawing inspiration from other research within and outside of political science.


Doctoral students shall primarily devote themselves to their own education in Political Science 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 Political Science is the central task (165 ECTS credits), but completing postgraduate courses is part of the programme (75 ECTS credits). 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.

This position has a particular focus on information security, crisis and security. Applicants are therefore encouraged to submit research proposals on the protection of information as it relates to crisis management and/or security. This could, for example, include: intelligence studies; a comparison between states or local municipalities’ ability to protect classified documents; normative and political dilemmas as they relate to how security policies limit access to information and research; disinformation designed to manipulate or damage social and political trust; crisis communication responses; political psychological mechanisms that determine the ability and will of people to process information and actively contribute to civil society; etc.


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 Political Science with a focus on crisis management or security or an equivalent area of study,
  • a passing grade on an independent thesis (degree project) in Political Science with a focus on crisis management or security 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 require 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 and complete the doctoral research and education.

More specific criteria for the selection process (in order of priority) are:

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


Applications must include:

  1. Degree certificates and grades from previous first and second cycle studies confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements for the position.
  2. Curriculum vitae (maximum of two pages).
  3. Contact details for two references.
  4. Sample of exam work at an advanced level or other relevant independent work of a comparable level of difficulty and scope (maximum three texts)
  5. Draft research proposal (no longer than 1400 words excluding references).
  6. Description of how you fit into the research environment. The letter should illustrate how the applicant’s research proposal relates to, and is relevant for, political science with a focus on crisis management and/or security.
  7. If the applicant is not a Swedish citizen a copy of the passport must be included.
  8. Where appropriate, affirmation of external financing for postgraduate studies 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.

Submit your application to the Swedish Defence University’s application portal by clicking on ‘apply for job’.

Mark your application with reference number: Ö 595/2023. You are welcome to submit your application until 03-11-2023.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain that the application is complete and complies with the requirements stated in the advertisement. Partial applications will not be considered. 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 2023. The aim is to finalise employment decisions well before the end of 2023. The employment is to commence in the Spring term of 2024 (January).

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 department of Political Science and Law. Doctoral students are paid in accordance with the Swedish Defense University’s doctoral ladder, according to which the starting salary is currently SEK 27 700/month. Start of employment is January 2024. In addition, doctoral students will also have access to a research budget of 30 000 per year to cover costs for travel, literature and other research related costs.   

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.


For further information about the position please contact:

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 2024-01-01
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 595/2023
Published 16.Oct.2023
Last application date 03.Nov.2023 11:59 PM CET

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