Doctoral student in Urban studies: organizations as part of urban development


Ref REK 2020/289

About Malmö University

Malmö University is an innovative, urban and international institute of higher education, located in the centre of Malmö. We have around 1,800 employees and 24,000 students. Our research and education are characterised by the role we believe a university should play in an open society — to contribute to sustainability and equality in a scientifically grounded way with external partners and stakeholders. Identifying and addressing the challenges of the future are of highest priority. Our researchers and students work collaboratively to create, share and spread knowledge in order to understand, explain and develop society — both locally and globally.

Faculty of Culture and Society

The Faculty of Culture and Society is a multidisciplinary faculty that includes the School of Arts and Communication, the Department of Global Political Studies and the Department of Urban Studies. Read more about the Faculty of Culture and Society here.

Department of Urban Studies

The department of Urban Studies is characterised by three core features: dynamic interdisciplinary research; a professional organisation; and a highly qualified faculty. The department comprises around 95 researchers and teachers, as well as 2000 students. We have a strong emphasis on theory-driven empirical research and teaching informed by the social and behavioural sciences. Our research centers around five fields: Urban Studies, Transport Studies, Real Estate Science, Sustainable Studies and Organization Studies.

We are building collaboration within four main intersecting themes: Housing, Real Estate and Urban Renewal; Transport, Mobilities and Urban Business Development; Risk Management and Urban Ecology; and Work and Organisational Psychology and Organisation Studies. Across these themes, we unite around cultural, economic, material, social and discursive processes of change. We study organizations and leadership with point of departure in our multi-disciplinary research milieu and with a focus on relations within and between public, private and non-profit organizations. This entails also an interest in both cooperation and competition among various entities and a critical perspective on leadership. Furthermore, we collaborate with our well-established networks within the public sector, the corporate sector and civil society. The department offers a PhD programme and masters programs in Urban Studies, as well as bachelor programmes encompassing city planning, environmental studies, transport and logistics, real estate science as well as both masters and bachelor level studies in organisation and leadership. Read more about the Department of Urban Studies here.

Doctoral program in Urban Studies

As a doctoral student at the Department of Urban Studies, you are part of the postgraduate subject Urban Studies, which can be defined as the scientific study of the content, form, planning and transformation of urban areas. The subject places itself in a field of tension between, on the one hand, social and cultural practices and, on the other hand, the material world of cultivated landscapes, buildings, infrastructures and everyday objects. Urban studies thus have a broad breadth of content and deal with a number of aspects of urban conditions, which presupposes that it is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary and pluralistic with regard to research methods. More information about PhD studies at Malmö University.

Work duties

Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research, artistic research and administration, however, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post (Chapter 5, Section 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance).

The PhD project will explore how organizations manage critical societal challenges as part of a sustainable and inclusive urban development. The PhD project focuses on leadership and organization as part of urban development in the intersection between business, public administration, civil society and education.

The PhD project should focus upon topics within areas such as, for example:

  • Organizations and citizenship in the age of sustainability
  • The relations between management, organizing and sustainability
  • The relations between sustainable change and inclusion (migration, integration, gender equality and inclusion of other vulnerable groups).
  • The relations between technology and management for inclusive and sustainable societies
  • Public-private collaboration for societal change
  • Organization, urban development and eco-systems

Besides working on the PhD and possible Departmental duties, the doctoral student will be expected to play an active part in the academic and social life of the Department of Urban Studies through participating in its academic activities and events.


Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education may be appointed to doctoral studentships (Chapter 5, Section 3 of the Higher Education Ordinance). Preparation of admission to postgraduate education and employment as a doctoral student take place in parallel. Those who have basic requirements for admission will have:

  • passed a degree at advanced level, or
  • completed course requirements of at least 240 ECTS, of which 60 ECTS at advanced level, or
  • in some other way, in- or outside Sweden, have acquired equivalent knowledge (HEO Chapter 7 section 39)

Specific requirements

Those who have knowledge and skills corresponding to a degree at advanced level in Urban Studies or another subject that is relevant to the postgraduate subject Urban Studies as above, fulfil the specific qualifications. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the subject, Social Science as well as Humanities and Technical-Natural Science subjects can be seen as relevant subjects.

Specific requirements for this position:

  • Proven fluency in English, in both speech and writing

Assessment criteria

When selecting between applicants for vacant positions, the ability to complete postgraduate education is assessed (HEO Chapter 7 Section 5).

  • independence in analysis and structure in previous work
  • problem formulation and rigor in previous work and research plan
  • methodological and scientific maturity

An important indicator of these abilities is the applicant's research plan (and the reflections on the doctoral student's contribution to the program described in the advertisement and the specified thematic areas of specialization).

Further information

For questions related to the PhD project, contact Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen, professor organisation studies,, 040-665 87 52

For questions regarding the PhD education, contact Per-Markku Ristilammi, Director of third cycle education,, 040-665 73 56

For other questions contact Kerstin Sandell, Head of Department,
040-665 73 20

In our recruitment work, Malmö University has taken a stand regarding recruitment channels and marketing. We therefore decline all offers of advertising and recruitment assistance in connection with this advertisement.


You may apply for this position via Malmö University's recruitment system by clicking on the "Apply" button. As an applicant, you are responsible for ensuring that your application is completed in accordance with the advertisement, and that it is provided to the University no later than 2021-02-12. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the University can read what is written in the application. If the application is not written in Swedish, English or any of the Nordic languages, the applicant is responsible for the application and its appendices being translated.

The application must include:

  • Completed application form for admission to Doctoral Education
  • CV
  • Diplomas, transcript of records and other certificates relevant for the position
  • A brief research plan presenting the focus of research and a thesis concept, and how this relates to the specific post (max 4 pages). The research plan must contain an overall purpose, questions that the project intends to answer, an account of the methodological approach, a description of material collection and type of research material and an account of the theoretical framework
  • Independent work at advanced level (including master thesis or equivalent)
  • Other publications that you want to cite (research reports or scientific publications)


The post is full-time and for a limited period, in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5 Section 7

Malmö University is a workplace and higher education institution that is characterised by an open and inclusive approach, where gender equality and equal terms add value to our activities.

Start date

The starting date is 1 September 2021

Union representatives

Saco-S, Rebecka Johansson,
OFR, Martin Reissner,

PhD Student Union representative

Michel Anderlini,


We are looking forward to receiving your application!


You apply no later than 12/02/2021 by clicking the apply button.