PhD student in Translation Studies

Ref. No. SU FV-0679-17


at the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism. Closing date: 18 April 2017.

The Department of Swedish and Multilingalism (Svefler) is one of the biggest departments in the Faculty of Humanities with a staff of approximately 130 and 2,000 students per academic year. The Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies (TÖI) is located at Svefler. TÖI runs training programs in interpreting and translation, as well as research in translation and interpreting. TÖI’s research profile covers different theoretical and methodological approaches developed from sociology, linguistics, communication and cognition studies.

As a PhD student at the Faculty of Humanities you have the opportunity to participate in the Faculty’s Doctoral School, which offers themes and courses characterised by interdisciplinarity and cooperation across subjects. The Doctoral School also gives you the chance to improve the quality of your education thanks to the interchange provided by the community of PhD students from other subjects and departments.

Project description
The PhD student will have his/her employment within the project ”The invisible process – cognition and working memory in dialogue interpreting” (VR 2016–01118). The project aims to study the cognitive processes involved in the both communicatively and linguistically complex situation in dialogue interpreting. It is a new research area and the project is characterized by fundamental research.

In dialogue interpreting, the interpreter orally and immediately translates dialogues between two or more people, alternating between the two languages. In Sweden today there is not only an increased need of interpreters but also of knowledge about interpreting.

Influential Swedish and international studies (e.g. Wadensjö 1998, Hale 2004, and Gavioli & Baraldi 2012) have shown the interpreter’s important function in not only overcoming language barriers but also managing the overall interaction.

Dialogue interpreting differs from for instance simultaneous conference interpreting in many ways. The translated utterances (produced under very short time frames) are often spontaneous and not planned. The interpreter must simultaneously monitor his or her own production as well as the other participants’ understanding, production and interaction. It can therefore be assumed that the cognitive effort is different in dialogue interpreting as compared to simultaneous interpreting although not less complex. The results of the project will contribute to understanding of a cognitively very demanding professional practice, as well as functions of the working memory in advanced cognitve processes.

The research questions in the main project deal with the cognitive resources of the dialogue interpreter, more specifically the monitoring functions, compared to other types of interpreting, e.g. simultaneous conference interpretin, and also the strategies used by the interpreter to deal with cognitive load.

The main project will propose a process model for the cognitive processes in dialogue interpreting, built on research on the cognitive processes in other types of interpreting and the competences presumably specific for dialogue interpreting. Empirical testing will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods: semi-scripted interpreted role-plays with subsequent retrospective interviews, and psychological tests measuring central executive functions of the working memory.

The PhD student in the project will benefit from personal experience and/or training in (dialogue)interpreting. Furthermore, previous knowledge in psycholinguistics, language processing, cognition, multimodal analysis is an advantage. Since the data that will be collected is in Swedish, French and Spanish it is necessary to be able to transcribe and analyze the material in Swedish and French or Spanish. It is also an advantage to have an advanced knowledge of written English to be able to write scientific reports in English.

More information about the project can be found at:

In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicants must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits (ECTS credits), of which 60 credits must be in the second cycle, or have otherwise acquired equivalent knowledge in Sweden or elsewhere.

In order to meet the specific entry requirements, the general syllabus for doctoral studies in the field of Translation Studies stipulates that applicants must have passed courses at the graduate (MA level) of at least 30 credits in translation studies, linguistics, studies in bilingualism, or modern languages including a graduate thesis corresponding to at least 15 credits.

The eligibility requirements may also be achieved by an applicant who has acquired equivalent proficiencies either within Sweden or abroad. The entry requirements must be met by the application deadline at the latest.

The overall assessment of the candidates focuses on their capacity to benefit from the training. The selection among the eligible candidates will therefore be based on the following specific criteria:

  1. Education. Assessment of both depth and breadth of previous education.
  2. Scientific production. The assessment should also take into consideration the aspect of time, that is, to what extent the applicant has shown the ability to meet his or her previous scientific obligations within given time constraints. In addition, the scientific progress of the applicant is considered. Based on a Bachelor’s thesis, a Master’s thesis or other academic papers, the ability of the applicant to benefit from the education is considered according to critical ability, analytical ability, creativity and independence.
  3. Research proposal. The applicant should enclose a research proposal, which should specify the research problem and provide an outline of the research project. The research proposal is assessed according to relevance, originality, completion within given time constraints (that is full-time work during a four-year period of doctoral studies) and the department’s ability to provide supervision.
  4. Ability to collaborate. This is determined on the basis of personal references, certificates or interviews.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at:

Terms of employment
The term of the initial contract may not exceed one year. The employment may be extended for a maximum of two years at a time. However, the total period of employment may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time study.

Doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own education, but may engage in teaching, research, and administration corresponding to a maximum of 20 % of a full-time position.

Please note that admission decisions cannot be appealed.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

For more information, please contact Elisabet Tiselius (project leader), telephone: +46 8 16 13 38,

Further information about the position can be obtained from Professor Cecilia Wadensjö,

Union representatives
Anqi Lindblom-Ahlm (Saco-S) and Lisbeth Häggberg (Fackförbundet ST and Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 20 00 (operator), (SEKO), and PhD student representative,

Apply for the position through Stockholm University's recruitment system by clicking the “Apply” button. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2–3 references

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of degree projects/theses
  • Research proposal (see instructions under selection) 
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files)
  • Letters of recommendation (no more than 3 files)
  • Degree projects/theses and, where applicable (no more than 3 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: Instructions – Applicants.

You are welcome to apply!

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Closing date: 18/04/2017

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