Skilled and committed employees are a crucial factor in the success of Linköping University. And we need more of them. Our core expertise comes from teachers and researchers, but a successful university requires experienced and motivated employees in many fields. Everyone is important. We need to recruit many new employees thanks to, among all, an expansion in our research activity. We need you here. We look forward to receiving your application!

The Department of Culture and Society is devoted to education and research within the humanities, arts and social sciences. Our work is often pursued in inter- and multidisciplinary environments where language, culture and society are in focus. As a department we aspire to strengthen the position of the humanities and social sciences in society, and we view collaboration between education, research and the world around us as a prerequisite for success. The department is based in both Linköping and Norrköping.

We are looking for a PhD student in Language and Culture.

Your work assignments
This PhD is based around research on the WASP–HS PhD project “Autonomous cars as social agents”. Autonomous cars are one of the most promising, but also most challenging, application areas for artificial intelligence. The PhD offers the opportunity to work with Professor Mathias Broth, and Professor Barry Brown, two leading scholars in the fields of interactional analysis and human computer interaction. The PhD project will focus on understanding road interactions between experimental autonomous cars and other road users, from a sociological and interactional perspective. You will conduct video analysis of the interactions between vehicles and other road users, informing the design of future robotic vehicles, but also how we should regulate and control their use. It is planned that you will work with designers and researchers building experimental autonomous cars. The project is framed within an ethnomethodological multimodal analysis perspective – characterized by close analysis of real-time interaction. As a doctoral student, you will devote most of your time to doctoral studies and the research projects of which you are part. Your work may also include teaching or other departmental duties, up to a maximum of 20% of full-time.

This PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society. This 10-year program is initiated and generously funded by the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation (MMW) with 660 million SEK. In addition to this, the program receives support from collaborating industry and from participating universities. Major goals are more than 10 new faculty positions and more than 70 new PhDs. For more information about the research and other activities conducted within WASP-HS please visit

The WASP-HS graduate school provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD students, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for students who are dedicated to achieving international research excellence with societal relevance.

Your workplace
The doctoral position is located in the research environment Language and Culture, a meeting place for linguistic and literary research, which is unified by an interest in the interplay between language and culture in everyday, literary, media, artistic and professional contexts (read more: As this PhD project is part of the WASP-HS project ”AI in Motion: Studying the social world of autonomous vehicles”, headed by Professor Brown at Stockholm University/KTH and Professor Broth at Linköping University, you will also have the opportunity to work with the Stockholm Interaction & Research group (

Your qualifications
You will have graduated at master’s level or completed courses with a minimum of 240 credits, at least 60 of which must be advanced-level courses. Alternatively, you will have gained essentially corresponding knowledge in another way. 120 credits, or the equivalent, of your total credits should be in a subject of central importance to the research environment Language and Culture.

For this position, we will be looking for candidates with a background in either sociology, linguistics, or human computer interaction, with some familiarity in studying human-machine interaction. We are particularly looking for candidates with an interest in robot-human interaction, autonomous vehicles, the societal impacts of technology and critical perspectives on technology development. You should be able to provide evidence of your understanding of the research process, the sought-after skill set and your previous academic achievements. A familiarity with conversation analysis and ethnomethodology would be a particular advantage. Furthermore, you should also have a good command of English, and preferably also of other languages.

Applicants will be assessed primarily on the basis of their ability to successfully carry out doctoral studies as part of the above-mentioned projects, primarily as indicated by the submitted documentation. The following will be taken into consideration in selecting a successful candidate: a topical and methodological fit to the research projects; study results that display creativity, personal maturity, the ability to make independent judgements and carry out critical analyses; as well as any specialised knowledge and experience that the applicant possesses, such as professional experience, which may be of relevance to successfully carrying out doctoral training.

Terms of employment
When taking up the post, you will be admitted to the program for doctoral studies. More information about the doctoral studies at each faculty is available here.

The appointment has a duration of four years’ full-time employment. You will initially be employed for a period of one year. The employment will subsequently be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time, depending on your progress according to the study plan. The appointment may be extended up to a maximum of five years, based on the amount of teaching and departmental duties you have carried out. Further extensions can be granted under special circumstances.

Starting date
January 1, 2022

Salary and employment benefits
The salary of doctoral students is determined according to a locally negotiated salary progression.

More information about employment benefits at Linköping University is available here.

Union representatives
Information about union representatives, see Help for applicants.

Application procedure
Apply for the position by clicking the “Apply” button below. Your application must be received by August 30, 2021 at the latest. Applications and documents received after that date will not be considered.

To apply for this position we ask that candidates provide 1, a letter of intent (an account of why the applicant wishes to do a doctorate degree) no longer than one page and 2, essays of merit for the appointment, including master dissertation(s), or the equivalent. The most qualified applicants will be called to an interview.

Equal opportunities
A majority of our PhD-students within the Department of Culture and Society are women, which is why precedence will be given to men in cases where qualifications are deemed otherwise equivalent.

Linköping University will continue to develop as an attractive and creative place of work, characterized by equal terms and actively works for equality and diversity.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Linköping university has framework agreements and wishes to decline direct contacts from staffing- and recruitment companies as well as from vendors of job advertisements.

Contact persons

Mathias Broth


+ 46 (0)13-281851

Petra Winsa