Doctoral student positions in Science Education and Mathematics Education (NMDI) within the graduate school RelMaS


Ref REK 2021/158

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. 


The Faculty of Education and Society is characterised by fresh ideas in the formulation of educational programmes and in its collaboration with schools, local authorities, organisations and business. The faculty, which has about 7,500 students and 320 employees, consists of six departments: Children, Youth and Society (BUS), Sport Sciences (IDV), Society, Culture and Identity (SKI), Culture, Languages and Media (KSM), Natural Science, Mathematics and Society (NMS) and School Development and Leadership (SOL).

The faculty has degree-awarding powers in all programmes, with bachelor and master degrees in Pre-School and Education as the goal, and in sports and educational programmes at third cycle level. There are also programmes for study and career guidance counsellors and special educational needs teachers.


The PhD-students will be employed at the department of science, mathematics and society (NMS). The department has approximately 50 employees and take part education, research and developmental work. The research at NMS concerns teaching and learning in science, sustainability and mathematics in preschool, school and teacher education. The research adopts didactical, cultural, societal and practice related perspectives on knowledge, teaching and learning within the subjects.

The graduate school RelMaS

The doctoral research will be taking place within the national graduate school RelMaS, funded by the Swedish Research Council and offered in partnership between Stockholm, Malmö and Uppsala universities. The graduate school seeks to increase the research capacity in teacher education, in the areas of mathematics and science education.

The graduate school aims to develop practice-oriented research, which analyse and develop didactic models for making mathematics and science education relevant. RelMaS addresses the challenges of educating younger generations for navigating and transforming contemporary environmental and societal challenges, where mathematical and scientific knowledge is intertwined, in dealing with wicked problems now and in the future. This involves negotiating common views of the content, pedagogies and research foundations of school mathematics and science, to make them significant for active citizenship and to provide equitable access to the content to a diverse student population.

RelMaS has a total of 9 doctoral positions available, 3 of which will be placed at the Department science, mathematics and society (NMS). This the second round of the on-going research school RelMaS. The point of departure is to employ two in science education and one in mathematics education alternatively three with interdisciplinary approaches.   

The general research field of RelMaS addresses two interconnected dimensions of contemporary mathematics and science education:

  • the relevance of mathematics and science content in teacher education and schools for increased action competence and citizenship
  • the relevance of mathematics and science content and pedagogies to reach and engage a diverse student population.

Methodologically, these thematic dimensions are to be approached through collaborative research between schools and universities to produce results connected to school practice. Projects can be formulated as science education, mathematics education or interdisciplinary cutting across science and mathematics. 

The employment is planned as full-time and will be on a temporary basis for a period of four years and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). Departmental duties (typically teaching and administration) at a level of at most 20% can be included in the position, in which case the employment period will be extended beyond the four years. PhD students are expected to study full-time and actively participate in the department’s activities.

More information the graduate school RelMaS is to be found at or

More information of the research environment at the department of science, mathematics and society (NMS) is to be found at

More information of the research subject Science education and mathematics Education (NMDI) is to be found at

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).


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 for this position:

The applicant should also have 15 credits individual thesis on advanced level in science education or mathematics education, in English or a Scandinavian language. An applicant may also be considered qualified if s/he has acquired the corresponding competence in other ways.

Assesment criteria

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

The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the graduate school. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity:

  • the candidate’s documented knowledge in a relevant field of research
  • the candidate's documented knowledge in scientific theory and method, as well as the capacity for analytical thinking
  • initiative and the ability to collaborate

The assessment of the research plan will consider the scientific quality and relevance for the thematic area of the doctoral school RelMaS and will be based on previous experience and grades, the quality of the degree project, references, relevant experience, interviews, and the candidate’s written motivation for seeking the position.

Further information

About the department (NMS), science, mathematics and society:

Head of department Ingvar Holm,  telephone: 040-6657983

About the PhD-subject (NMDI), science education and mathematics education:

Clas Olander,  telephone: 040-665 8655

About mathematics education:

Lisa Björklund Boistrup telephone: 040-665 7192

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 2021-09-30. 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:

  • Cover letter (max 1000 words) where you describe why you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in RelMaS.
  • If you apply to several universities for a position within RelMaS, you should signal clearly the university of your preference.
  • A research plan (max 2000 words) where you describe a doctoral project within the frame of RelMaS.
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience, language skills and a list of degree projects/theses.
  • Degree certificates and grades confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements (no more than 6 files).
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).
  • Contact details for 2–3 references
  • Letters of recommendation and other merits that the applicant wants to highlight may also be submitted (no more than 6 files)

All documents submitted with the application should be in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or English.


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


Union representatives 

SACO Nils Andersson,
Lärarförbundet Peter Persson,
ST Naser Eftekharian,


We look forward to your application! 



You apply no later than 30/09/2021 by clicking the apply button.