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

Department of Political Science and Law, Swedish Defence University

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 a PhD candidate in Political Science with a focus on crisis management and security and specialization in climate change

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 climate change, crisis and security. Applicants are therefore encouraged to submit research proposals that relate climate and environmental change to crisis management and/or security. 


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.


Apply by following the link via the Swedish Defence University homepage:

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 216/2023. You are welcome to submit your application until August 07, 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, in Stockholm. Start of employment is January 2024. Doctoral students are paid in accordance with the Swedish Defense University’s doctoral ladder, according to which the starting salary is currently SEK 27 200/month. 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 involve a security clearance, which means a security interview and, in some cases, a routine register check by the Swedish Security Service. The Swedish Defence University has a war division, which means that you must be prepared for placement at the university. If you have already been assigned a war time placement in your current deployment at a government agency, and your competencies are required at the Swedish Defence University, a negotiation takes place between the relevant authority and the Swedish Defence University of your placement.

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.

Further information about the position is available from:

  • Associate Professor Simon Hollis, Director of PhD Studies,

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


Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-01-01
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Stockholm
County Stockholms län
Country Sweden
Reference number Ö 216/2023
Published 04.May.2023
Last application date 07.Aug.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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