Doctoral student in Film Studies

Ref PAR 2023/182

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.

The research environment within Film Studies at the Department for Cultural Sciences offers a broad range of perspectives within the study of audiovisual culture and media, setting the moving image as a core concern. The current research environment enlists a wide array of fields of expertise, among them: queer, feminist and decolonial film and media studies, media and television history, digital media cultures, audiovisual archives, and media and information literacy. 

The Department of Cultural Sciences is a transdisciplinary environment that offers third-cycle studies in several disciplines: Art History and Visual Studies, Musicology, Film Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnology, and Cultural Studies. The diversity of the projects developed within the Department, each with its own concerns, themes and research traditions creates a stimulating and intellectually challenging research environment. 

The research and study environment at doctoral level is shaped by several aspects. A central factor is the Department’s research profile and the current projects developed within it. Further, the doctoral education environment is enriched by the supervisors’ various areas of expertise and research interests, as well as by the seminars and activities that the Department offers. In addition, the Department is involved in collaborations with different national and international interdisciplinary networks. 

We are looking for a PhD student in Film Studies who is motivated to perform innovative and independent thesis work with a focus that is suitable to and can enrich our research environment. 

The doctoral student will be admitted at the same time as a group of doctoral students within the cross disciplinary research school The Future of Democracy: Cultural Analyses of Illiberal Populism in Times of Crisis (FUDEM):
In addition, a doctoral student in art history and visual studies will be employed at the same time. The position as a doctoral student in film studies at the Department of Cultural Sciences will therefore involve participation in a dynamic research environment together with a large group of other research students.

General information about being a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg can be found on the university’s doctoral student pages. staff portal/doctoral student  

The successful candidate’s main responsibilities will be to write a doctoral dissertation, and to complete obligatory course work. The candidate may also undertake a limited amount of teaching, administration, or research not directly connected to the dissertation topic. Such duties extend the position accordingly. The successful candidate is expected to spend their time primarily in Gothenburg and to take part in departmental activities, especially the research seminars, but also meetings and workshops, as well as in furthering their research in public fora. In order to obtain a doctoral degree in Philosophy, the candidate must have defended their thesis in writing and in oral fashion, which occurs by way of a public defense. The doctoral candidate must obtain a passing grade in all courses and examinations in the course plan.   

To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements. The general entry requirements for third-cycle (doctoral) programs are:

  1. a second-cycle (advanced level) qualification/degree, or
  2. at least 240 higher education (HE) credits for courses of which at least 60 HE credits are awarded in the second-cycle, or
  3. equivalent training either in Sweden or abroad.

Admission to the third-cycle program in Film Studies also requires:

  • 30 higher education credits in Film Studies as a second-cycle subject, at least 15 of which must be from a degree project; or equivalent knowledge
  • the type(s) of language skills (Swedish or English) needed to be able to benefit from compulsory parts of the course and to be able to actively participate in seminars and similar activities.

How to apply
In order to apply for a doctoral position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system.

For the application to be considered complete it must include: 

  • An introductory letter of 1.000 words maximum (approx. 2 pages), preferably shorter. The letter should consist of three paragraphs in the following order: a) a short presentation of yourself, b) a short presentation of your merits, c) a short presentation of the intended research proposal.
  • A CV, including a list of publications (if applicable).
  • Two theses. Normally, this would be a master’s thesis and a bachelor’s thesis, but it could also be a revised version of a thesis, or another paper, article or book chapter for example, or equivalent work. The texts must be submitted in Swedish or English. Any translated versions must be accompanied by the original text.
  • A description of the intended research proposal of at most 3000 words (excluding bibliography), indicating the applicant’s research interests and planned focus area of his/her thesis and research.
  • Verified copies of academic transcripts and possibly evidence of other relevant qualifications, if applicable.
  • Name and contact information for two academic references. References will be contacted and asked to submit reference letters if the candidate is shortlisted.

The publications that cannot be attached to the application digitally should be sent in two exemplars to: Gunilla Zachau, Department of Cultural Sciences, P.O.Box 200, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden. Please mark PAR 2023/182 on the letter.

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.
Closing date is March 27, 2023.

The ability to absorb a postgraduate education is crucial and the applicant must be able to prove this through documentation knowledge in film studies, including regarding scientific theory and methodology.

All written projects (including the research proposal) that are included with the application are evaluated based on the following quality criteria: 

  • Suitable subject demarcation, relevant research question(s)
  • Suitable command of the subject and structuring of the thesis
  • Suitable use of language, formalities
  • Academic quality
  • Independence.

 In addition to the above, the research proposal is also evaluated based on:  

  • Feasibility within the scope of a doctoral studentship
  • Suitability for the research environment at the Department

 Recruitment process
Admission must, in addition to review of submitted merits, also include online interviews with selected candidates at the end of April. Selection, interview and assessment are carried out by a local recruitment group. The final decision is made by the head of department after suggestion from the group.

Once you have been admitted for education at third-cycle level, you will be employed as a doctoral student at the University of Gothenburg. The provisions for employment as a doctoral student can be found in ordinance SFS 1993:100. Initial employment as a doctoral student may apply for a maximum of one year, and may be renewed by a maximum of two years at a time. A doctoral student may be employed as a doctoral student for a maximum of eight years, but the total period of employment may not be longer than the equivalent of full-time education at third-cycle level for four years.

Employment: Time limited employment (temporary), 4 years
Extent: 100%
Location: Department of Cultural Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg
Starting date: 1 September 2023

The University applies a local agreement on salaries for doctoral students.   

For further information please contact
For questions about our third-cycle studies please contact Associate Head of Depart. for Doctoral Studies, Catharina Thörn,
For questions about Film Studies, please contact Ingrid Ryberg, 
For questions about the employment procedure, contact Human Resources Officer Gunilla Zachau,

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here:   

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:   

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.

Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Monday March 27th, 2023