Doctoral Position in Peace and Development Research with Focus on Disruptive Emergencies in War-Torn Societies

Ref PAR 2023/109

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

Peace and Development Research at the University of Gothenburg is a leading site of interdisciplinary enquiry. The research environment consists of ca 50 researchers using a broad range of approaches to investigate various themes in peace and development in different regions of the world. These themes include, but are not limited to, conflicts, security, gender, human rights, global political economy, migration, regional and global governance, and resistance. 

Peace & Development Research at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, announces a doctoral position with focus on disruptive emergencies in war-torn societies, notably pandemics/epidemics and/or disasters. The project proposal shall address how societies affected by armed conflict engage with disruptive situations and vulnerabilities that are essentially external to the conflict but become embroiled with it. While it is common in conflicts to label certain individuals or groups as the enemy, emergencies may unsettle or challenge this narrative. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic spawned dynamics in conflict-ridden societies, where the virus became a new ‘common enemy’ in these societies. Similarly, disasters such as floods, fires or droughts may amount to ‘new’ enemies that societies caught in conflict need to face. We welcome project proposals that seek to unpack and analyse how narratives, laws, public policies or strategies may shift when war-affected societies need to handle such additional emergencies/ disruptive situations. Proposals may address any country or region where such disruptive emergencies have altered conflict dynamics. 

Job assignments 

The purpose of undertaking doctoral studies is to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting independent research within the field of Peace and Development Research. The doctoral studies comprise one year of coursework and three years of research, culminating in the production of a dissertation that makes a significant and original contribution to the research field. The knowledge and skills that are acquired during the studies should be applicable to postdoctoral research or other professional work. The position is salaried and covers four years (full-time equivalent, fixed term), beginning in August 2023. The doctoral candidate may undertake departmental duties corresponding to up to 20% of a full-time position, in which case the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly. There are no tuition fees. The candidate is expected to work in Gothenburg in the project team and start with both course work and project related work during the first year. 

The candidate must have excellent oral and written communication skills in English. Proficiency in relevant languages used in the context of the candidate’s chosen case study(s) is advantageous. 


Applicants must fulfil both general and specific entry requirements. 

An applicant meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.39): 

  1. a degree at the second-cycle level, 
  2. at least 240 Higher Education Credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second-cycle level, or 
  3. largely equivalent knowledge in other ways in Sweden or abroad. 

An applicant meets the specific entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained (Higher Education Ordinance Ch.7, Sec.40) at least 60 higher education credits in the field of international relations, peace and conflict studies or global development studies or another university education of equivalent depth and breadth. Applicants who have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in Sweden or abroad will also be considered to meet the specific entry requirements. 


Applicants will be assessed based on the general and specific eligibility requirements and their estimated ability to benefit from the study programme. The assessment places particular focus on: 

  1. A research proposal (max 2,000 words including list of references) that presents some preliminary ideas about how the applicant envisions that their PhD work will contribute to research on the focus area indicated above. The research proposal will be assessed for the applicant’s ability to formulate a research problem and his/her familiarity with and handling of methodological and theoretical issues. The research proposal should suggest a research problem (including purpose, aims and research questions) and indicate tentative ideas on theory, research design, methods, and data, as well as a provisional timeline. Use Harvard (author-date) referencing.  
  2. A Master’s thesis, academic publications and/or other relevant works. These will be used to assess the applicant’s ability to formulate and delimit research problems and to analyse and present research results. 
  3. A CV summarizing education, relevant work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant skills. 
  4. Grades achieved in undergraduate and postgraduate studies. 
  5. Interviews will be held with shortlisted applicants. 

The applicant’s skills, experience, creativity, and excellence in research are also assessed based on the points above. 

Decisions on the shortlist will be made in March and final decisions in April 2023. 

The Head of Department makes all admission decisions at the third-cycle level. This decision cannot be appealed. 

Admission to doctoral (PhD) studies may also be granted to persons who remain employed by an external organization willing to fund their doctoral studies (a so-called collaborative PhD, samverkansdoktorand). The assessment procedure for these applicants is the same as for other applicants. In such cases, the university and the external organization will enter into a special agreement. 

For further information regarding the position 

Dr. Karen da Costa, Senior Lecturer, +46317865589 

Dr. Joakim Öjendal, Professor, +46317864675 


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: 

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. 

The application must include: 

  1. A research proposal of maximum 2,000 words. 
  2. A Master’s thesis and/or any other relevant academic works or publications. Submitted texts must be written in Swedish/Scandinavian or English. Any translated versions must be accompanied by the original text. 
  3. A CV. We encourage applicants to use the Europass CV format ( 
  4. Copies of diplomas and/or academic transcripts verifying that the general and specific entry requirements stated above have been met. Evidence of other relevant qualifications. 
  5. The names of two references and their contact information. NB! No letters of recommendation will be considered. 

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the application is complete. No changes or additions are allowed after the final submission date. 

For questions regarding the handling of the application portal or technical problems, please contact  

Closing date: 28 of February 2023 

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations.

Salaries are set individually at the University.

In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed.

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.