at the Department of Economic History and International Relations. Closing date: 10 December 2020.

The International Relations PhD Program at Stockholm University announces one vacant position in the doctoral programme in International Relations with an orientation towards foreign aid and food security. The Department of Economic History and International Relations is a dynamic and strong education and research department at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University. Its International Relations (IR) section aims to be nationally leading and internationally prominent within its field of research and education. Our research focuses especially on the three IR sub-fields of International Security, International Institutions, and Global Political Economy. 

The PhD position is fully funded for 4 years and is co-funded by the research program Mistra Geopolitics ( and the Department of Economic History and International Relations at Stockholm University. The position is placed at the Department of Economic History and International Relations. The planned entry date is 1 February 2021.

Project description 
The PhD position will be part of the project “Promoting Food Security in an Era of Environmental and Geopolitical Change”. The project provides cutting-edge research on the relationship between foreign aid, socioecological change, and food security. It will pay close attention to geopolitics and provide new insights for Swedish and global academics and stakeholders into challenges and opportunities to improve food security. See the project webpage ( for more information.

The Mistra Geopolitics program aims to deepens the analysis of geopolitical challenges and opportunities in relation to global environmental change, sustainable social change and transformative technologies (for more information, please see: Researchers within the program actively participate in public debates, and accepted Ph.D. students are expected to the interested in research communication and collaboration with society.

The Ph.D. student will be part of the Mistra Geopolitics Research School which will be hosted by the Department of Political Science and the Department of Economic History and International Relations (for more information, please see:ärande-om-miljö/projekt/mistra-geopolitics-research-school), and the Stockholm University Graduate School for Inernational Studies (

The relationships between foreign aid and food security, should be the focus of this PhD position. The applicant should be interested in broader developments related to geopolitics and the Corona pandemic. We seek candidates with competence in International Relations, comparative politics, political economics, or a related social science discipline. We are particularly interested in candidates with demonstrated skills in quantitative methods.

The project employs a range of quantitative and qualitative methods such as panel data analysis and semi-structured interviews. Participation in international conferences and publications in leading international journals will be supported. The candidate must have demonstrated excellent skills in academic written English. Additional merits include capacity to work in a cross-disciplinary team of researchers.

About the doctoral programme
The aim of the doctoral programme is to give the student specialised knowledge within the field of International Relations, a thorough training in research methods, and a good understanding of the problems occurring in research and in the practical application of results.

The programme familiarises the student with different structures of politics, economics and society, and gives a broad orientation of the research development within the subject, with the purpose of making the student a critical and independent researcher with the ability to plan and develop scientific projects and publications.

There are two main blocks in the programme: course work (75 credits) and work in connection with the Ph.D. dissertation (165 credits). For further information about the structure of the programme, please see the department’s website. The administrative language at Swedish universities is Swedish, with important information provided in English.

Qualification requirements
In order to meet the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed a second-cycle degree, completed courses equivalent to at least 240 higher education 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 XXX stipulates that applicants must fulfil the following three conditions:

  1. Completed First Level education in International Relations, Political Science, Economic History, or equivalent education of at least 90 HECs, and completed Second Level education in Economic History, International Relations, History with economic-historical specialisation or equivalent education of at least 30 HECs, of which at least 15 HECs comprise essay work.
  2. Completed higher education specialised in theoretical subjects relevant to the Third Level programme comprising another 60 HECs, or equivalent education.
  3. Sufficient knowledge of English to allow studies of academic literature written in English. Knowledge of English should correspond to at least 550 credits in a Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) (equivalent: 6.0 IELTS).

Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. The primary assessment criteria in appointing a doctoral student should be the capacity to benefit from the training.

The qualification requirements must be met by the deadline for applications.

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

  • independence in analysis and planning of earlier work,
  • the ability to construct research problems and research questions and precision in earlier work, and in the research plan,
  • documented ability to work within given time frames,
  • methodological and scientific awareness,
  • the ability to construct an original research design and scientific analysis of the material,
  • good communication and cooperation skills.

Admission Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Stockholm University are available at: and regulations.

Terms of employment 
Only a person who will be or has already been admitted to a third-cycle programme may be appointed to a doctoral studentship.

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.

The graduate training period includes four years. Doctoral students are expected to assume their education full-time, and to actively participate in the activities of the institution. 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  Associate Professor Lisa Dellmuth, telephone: +46 8 16 10 76, You could also contact Chair of the Department, Professor Mark Rhinard, telephone: +46 8 16 42 88,

The doctoral handbook, provided by the Swedish Council for Higher Education, can be found at:

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64,, Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89,, (SEKO), and PhD student representative,

Apply for the PhD student position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the 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
  • Project proposal/Research proposal describing:
    – which research task you want to pursue within the position  
    – why and how you wish to adress this research task 
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • 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 6 files)
  • Degree projects/theses (no more than 6 files).

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position.

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

Closing date: 10/12/2020