PhD student position: Internationalised Higher Education and English-Medium Instruction

Ref REF 2023-0141

Are you interested in how teachers teach and how students learn when the medium of instruction is English? Would you like to pursue a doctoral degree in a Nordic country under excellent study and working conditions? A doctoral position is vacant at the Division of Language and Communication at the Department of Communication and Learning in Science, Chalmers University of Technology.

Project description
This PhD project evolves around the relationship between the teaching approaches of teachers working in English-medium instruction (EMI) and their level of English proficiency, a relationship that has never been studied empirically. Specifically, the project explores whether highly English-proficient EMI teachers are more prone to adopt a student-focused teaching approach whereas teachers with limited English proficiency are likelier to adopt a teacher-focused teaching approach. Set in Sweden, Hong Kong, and Brazil, (and involving the PhD-student in all three locations, directly and/or indirectly) this collaborative project relies on comparative education methodology (using surveys, self-assessment, language testing, and interviews) and will enhance our understanding of the role played by language in EMI. By mapping the English proficiency of teachers in different contexts of EMI, the English skills that contribute to effective teaching in EMI, and the need for language support for EMI teachers, this project can significantly impact research in multiple fields as well as EMI practice.

Information about the division and the department
At CLS, research is conducted at the intersection of learning and communication, knowledge sharing and knowledge organization in higher education and in the academic environment in a broad sense. Put simply, CLS researchers are interested in how researchers communicate their research, how teachers teach, how students learn and how teaching and learning can be developed and improved through communication. This research furthers understanding of the best conditions for communicating, for learning and the most effective methods of teaching. It helps students to develop independence, critical thinking and, overall, the ability to communicate and learn in different situations with a focus on lifelong learning.

The PhD position will be placed at the division of Language and Communication. The division has a long history of conducting close-to-practice educational research, drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. Some of this work is carried out in collaboration with both teachers and students at Chalmers. The PhD-student will join a small community of other doctoral students and more senior scholars working in the following broad areas of research: learning, self-regulation, social regulation and metacognition; collaborative and project-based writing; identities, policies and practices (in the disciplines); communication and dissemination of science; digitalization of teaching and learning; internationalisation of HE and research.

Major responsibilities
Your major responsibility as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies related to the project. This includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results both verbally and in writing. Your research activities will contribute to enhanced knowledge in the scientific field, in particular by presenting your results in scientific journals and at international conferences.

In addition to the research project, you will also take courses as specified by the general syllabus for the Graduate school Communication and Learning in STEM. The position also includes departmental duties, such as teaching and/or research assistant duties, corresponding to about 20% of working hours. You will be employed by Chalmers.

The PhD student recruited for this project will have a master’s degree in educational linguistics, applied linguistics, TESOL or related fields of linguistics, or a master’s degree in education with a strong interest in language and communication. This background will increase the likelihood of the PhD-student being able to contribute materially to the research (not least the development of the research instruments) in the project.

A PhD-position assumes a very high level of motivation, independence and ability to take initiative, coupled with personal maturity and sensible judgment; these qualities are considered essential.

In addition, applicants must have:
· A research-oriented mindset and a desire to learn about communication and learning in science/ higher education
· Good basic knowledge of, and interest, in various research methods
· A high level of English proficiency (written and spoken)
· Ability to work cooperatively

Desirable skills include:
· Experience with multi-method and/or mixed research methodologies
· Experience with publication for research purposes (journal articles and the like)
· Strong (recognized) writing skills
· Experience from research and/or education in more countries than one

If Swedish is not your native language, Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Contract terms
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

We offer Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20230101 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. 

Application deadline: 2023-05-01

For questions, please contact:
Associate Professor Andreas Eriksson, Head of Division, Language and Communication
Phone: 031-772 2788

Professor Hans Malmström, CLS Head of Research/Research Education; Principal Investigator, Language and Communication

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

Read the job description at the university homepage


Post expires on Monday May 1st, 2023