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The Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion is one of the six departments of the Faculty of Humanities. It has about 100 employees (of which about 20 are doctoral students) and approximately 1,000 students. For more information about the department see:

The research interests in Literary studies in the department span a wide range of areas, from the forms and conditions of older literature to the conditions of literature in the contemporary period -- for example, questions regarding the relation of literature to digital media and the reading public. Over the years, the department has developed strong teaching and research cultures in, among other things, theatre studies and the history of early literature. At the same time, there has been a continual broadening and deepening of competence, and research areas today include gender studies, popular fiction, children's and youth literature, literary didactics, life writing, eco-criticism, transmedial studies, literary reception and the use of both older and modern literatures. Many researchers explore both Nordic and international literature, as well as transcultural perspectives. The researchers participate actively in discussion of the development of literary studies and interdisciplinary areas such as digital humanities, medical humanities and environmental humanities.

The research area Literature and Didactics, that is, literary studies with a didactic focus, explores the reading of literature and media in relation to past, present and future learning contexts. This may include the teaching and reading of literature in schools, but also extends to the relationship between pedagogical and aesthetic issues in a broader sense. Research in Literature and Didactics can, for example, be devoted to classroom studies, but also to the exploration of literature in relation to questions concerning learning and knowledge outside of institutional settings. It is also possible to investigate the promotion of literature and reading in historical or contemporary material, as well as performing reader response or reception studies that are focused on the theoretical and/or empirical dimensions of reading and learning.

In addition to PhD students in literary studies, the department also includes PhD students in humanities with a focus on educational science who are affiliated with the post graduate school CUL (Center for Educational Science and Teacher Research), which contributes to an educational, science-oriented research environment. The department also has two specialized seminars, the “Literature Didactic Research Seminar” and the interdisciplinary seminar “Learning, Text, Language” (LTS), which is linked to CUL.

Job assignments

A doctoral (PhD) student is expected to conduct research and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline. Expectations of a doctoral student include the capacity to develop independent ideas and communicate research results in oral and written form. The aim of the doctoral position is for the doctoral student to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to conduct research autonomously within Literature and Didactics, and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline through the production of a scholarly thesis. Another aim is for the doctoral student to develop an ability to apply the acquired knowledge and skills within post-degree research or other qualified professional work.

Doctoral student will be expected to be physically present at the Department and actively interact in the programme environment, which includes active participation in the Department’s third-cycle and research seminars. While the Department's working language is Swedish, the PhD programme may be conducted partly in English. However, in order to be admitted to the doctoral program the applicant requires sufficient knowledge in Swedish and English to complete compulsory course elements and actively participate in seminars. Non-Swedish PhD students are expected to learn Swedish during their PhD programme. Doctoral theses may be written in Swedish or English. The University offers introductory courses in Swedish on an as-needed basis.


To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements. An applicant meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle (PhD) studies if he/she has obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.39):

  1. a degree at the second-cycle level (MA level, or equivalent),
  2. at least 240 higher education (university) credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second-cycle level, or
  3. equivalent knowledge acquired in other ways in Sweden or abroad.

The specific qualifications for postgraduate education in Literature requires at least 30 higher education credits in Literature at advanced level, of which at least 15 higher education credits consist of independent work (e.g., MA thesis) or equivalent knowledge.


Selection among applicants who meet the requirements for basic and special eligibility is based on the ability to successfully complete the education at the doctoral level.


Regulations for employment of doctoral students are given in SFS 1998:80. Only those who are admitted to third-cycle studies may be appointed to doctoral positions. Those appointed to doctoral positions will primarily devote themselves to their studies. The initial appointment may apply for no longer than one year. An appointment may be renewed for no more than two years at a time. The total employment period may not exceed the time corresponding to full-time studies for four years. The position may include departmental duties, such as teaching or administration, corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time post over the course of study. If such tasks are carried out, the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly.

Type of employment: 4 years
Extent: 100 %
Location: The Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion, University of Gothenburg
First day of employment: 2022-02-01

Salaries for doctoral students are regulated by a local agreement at the University.

Appointment procedure

The appointment procedure involves two stages:

1) A shortlist is made based on material included in the application. 
2) The shortlisted candidates will be called to an interview on December 1, 2021. The interview process will involve a 15 minute oral presentation of the applicant’s project proposal.

For further information regarding the position

Questions regarding the third-cycle education:

Olle Widhe, director of doctoral studies in Literature

Jong Ho, HR administrator


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit:

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Please enclose the following documents with the application:

  1. A personal letter in which you explain why you are applying to the position in Literature and Didactics and reflect on the progress which you consider can be traced in your degree projects. If it is evident from the certificates that it took you a very long time to complete the degree projects, you may wish to comment on this fact. This text may not exceed 3,000 characters (including blank spaces), and may be written in Swedish or English.
  2. Curriculum vitae / CV containing contact information, education, work experience, relevant publications (which should also be attached as a pdf), and other relevant qualifications.
    Degree projects (from second cycle and first cycle, if any) and any publications you find relevant. You may submit up to five texts; any additional texts can be listed in a separate document. Submitted texts will be assessed primarily based on the following criteria: originality and scholarly relevance, difficulty of the topic addressed, and precision in the use of methods and the overall presentation of the work.
  3. A description of your intended thesis project. This description should identify the purpose and aim of the project, the problem(s) addressed, material that will be used, and how the project relates to previous research. The project draft should also include a discussion on which theories and methods you may utilise. The draft will be assessed based on the following criteria: originality, scholarly relevance and rigor, and feasibility. The draft can include a preliminary outline or list of different phases and components of the thesis project, as well as a general timetable for the project. The draft may not exceed 20,000 characters (including blank spaces, notes and references).
  4. Degree certificates and/or a certificate of enrolment from Ladok, or equivalent system, specifying your completed coursework. The certificates must demonstrate that you meet the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies as well as the specific entry requirements specified in the respective programme syllabus

Closing date: September 15, 2021


The University of Gothenburg promotes equal opportunities, equality and diversity.

Applications will be destroyed or returned (upon request) two years after the decision of employment has become final. Applications from the employed and from those who appeal the decision will not be returned.

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.