PhD Scholarship in Political Science Theme The Politics of Forest Futures

Lund University, Sweden has an opening PhD position in political science. The funds for this position are available for four years. The deadline for applying is February 05, 2020.

The Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University is one of the leading education and research institutions in Sweden and operates both in Lund and Helsingborg.

The Department of Political Science fuses traditional roots with cutting-edge research and education. In recent years, it has very successfully competed for external research funds. Among the central research areas of the Department are democratization, diplomacy, peace and conflict studies, environmental politics and welfare studies. The strong research profile of the Department is reflected in the teaching, the educational environment also being firmly set in a global context.


The PhD programme in political science consists of 240 credits (equivalent to four years of full-time studies) and is concluded with the public defense of a doctoral thesis. The appointed doctoral students will receive a salary from the University during four years, and their primary obligation is to complete their PhD studies. The position may involve departmental duties, mainly in the form of teaching, up to 20 per cent of full-time working hours, in which case the appointment will be extended by the equivalent number of hours. The doctoral student will have access to a work space at the Department of Political Science. The terms of employment for doctoral students are regulated in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (HF), Chapter 5, Sections 1- 7.

The position is associated with the research project 'Forest Visions: envisioning forest management practices for a fossil free society in the face of goal conflicts and uncertainties'. The project, which is funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS, is a collaboration between Professor Anna Maria Jnsson (coordinator, Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science), Associate Professor Johannes Stripple (Dept of Political Science) and Alexandra Nikoleris (Environmental and Energy Systems Studies, Faculty of Engineering). Forests contribute to society in many ways, from timber, pulp and biofuel to recreation, cultural heritage and ecotourism. Recently, the value of forests to act as 'carbon sinks' have been emphasized. The overarching aim of 'Forest Visions' is to address the conflicting perspectives on the Swedish forest, in the context of a transition to a fossil-free society. The project combines ecosystem modeling, stakeholder-dialogues and perspectives from the social sciences. The doctoral student is expected to carry out research that contributes to the general aims of the project, as well as other research deemed relevant by her/him after the end of the project. We expect the specific contribution from the doctoral student to concern questions like 'what is valued in the Swedish forest and how is that value established'? What kind of anticipatory governance could address long-standing conflicts in the forest? How are forest futures known and made actionable for a heterogenous group of stakeholders in the present? How are the complexity and multi-functionality of the forest rendered governable?

The research could deploy different kinds of methods, for example archive and document analysis, qualitative interviews and focus-groups, participatory observation, and survey analysis. Experience of forest or environmental research is a merit, but not necessary. Good knowledge of Swedish is also a merit. Within the parameters indicated above, the doctoral student will conduct independent research and will enjoy the freedom to formulate research questions, develop theoretical ideas and choose methodological approaches.

The doctoral student is expected to be present and actively participate in the research and teaching environment at the department, as well as in the everyday activities of the project, including reporting to the Swedish Research Council FORMAS.

The main language of the PhD programme is English. However, non-Swedish speaking students are expected to acquire basic skills in Swedish during the period of employment. There are opportunities to participate in language courses taught at the University. The doctoral studentship will commence on 1 September 2020. The general syllabus and other information about the PhD programme in political science is available at:


The requirements for admission to third cycle courses and study programmes (in accordance with HF, Chapter 7, Section 35) are that the applicant

meets the general and specific entry requirements that the higher education institution may have laid down, and

is considered in other respects to have the ability required to benefit from the course or study programme (Swedish Code of Statutes 2010:1064).

has been awarded a second cycle qualification,

has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or

has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements

In addition to the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed at least 30 second cycle credits within the main field of political science, or acquired the equivalent knowledge in Sweden or abroad. The applicant must also present a graded Master's degree project of at least 15 credits in political science or other discipline deemed equivalent.

Assessment criteria

Only applicants who are eligible for third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Admission is primarily to be based on the applicant's ability to benefit from the third cycle programme. The applicants will be ranked based on an overall assessment of the quality of their submitted thesis/ theses and research plan, grades from previous studies, and their personal suitability. As third cycle studies in political science are very demanding, the applicant must be highly motivated and able to work independently under time constraints. Good collaboration and communication skills are also required, as is proficiency in both written and spoken English. Interviews will be conducted with a shortlisted number of applicants during the final stages of the admission process. The applicants may be asked to provide work samples.

The Department of Political Science particularly welcomes female applicants.

Application procedure

Applications are to be submitted electronically via the Lund University application portal.

A cover letter in Swedish or English of max 1 000 words, which contains a brief presentation of yourself and your qualifications, as well as a brief explanation of why you are interested in third cycle studies at the Department of Political Science at Lund University.

A CV in Swedish or English that demonstrated your qualifications for the third cycle programme in Political Science.

Degree and grade certificates in Swedish or English.

- Master's degree project in Swedish or English corresponding to at least 15 credits in political science or another discipline deemed equivalent (in addition to the Master's degree project, a Bachelor’s degree project can also be submitted).

A brief research plan in Swedish or English of max 2 000 words including references.

Name and contact information of two personal references (letters of reference are not required in the first stage of application).

Other documentation of relevance to the position.


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