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Doctoral student in Linguistics

Department of Language Studies

Apply by 2024-03-10

Temporary position 100% Umeå

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

The Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Umeå University develops arts and humanities and invests in future Areas of Excellence. 

The Department of Language Studies invites applications for the doctoral training program in English, Russian, Scandinavian languages, Sami, or Linguistics.

The Department of Language Studies is a creative and dynamic institution offering inspiring education based on an academic foundation and pioneering research within a wide range of subjects. The department provides education and conducts research in Linguistics, Scandinavian languages, Modern languages and literatures (English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish), Sami (language and culture), Language teaching and learning, and Pedagogical work with focus on language and learning.

Welcome to a place where language and literature become sources of both intellectual pleasure and practical benefit!

Specialization of the doctoral studies

The research discipline Linguistics is focused on studies of a general nature as well as on specific language areas. The research proposal should connect to one of the department´s subjects and our supervisors´ areas of expertise. In the project application you should demonstrate how your project is connected to the department’s research and supervisors. You will find more information about the doctoral training program here.

As a doctoral student, you formulate your own research plan in English, Russian, Scandinavian languages, Sami or Linguistics and independently develop your dissertation project in consultation with your supervisors. Your supervisors are assigned based on the project’s focus. You will have continuous supervision and follow-ups with your supervisors as well as with the Director of Research Studies. You will be a part of the department’s research environment where you are expected to contribute through active participation in seminars, research networks, academic gatherings and conferences. You will also take part in other meetings and gatherings at the department, such as workplace meetings and staff days.


General requirements
To be admitted to studies at the third-cycle level, i.e. doctoral education, the applicant must meet both general and specific eligibility requirements. General requirements: a Master’s or equivalent degree in a relevant field, having completed course requirements worth at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits must be at second-cycle (Master’s) level, or in some other way – either in Sweden or abroad – having acquired equivalent knowledge.

Specific requirements
In order to meet the specific eligibility requirements for admission to studies in Linguistics at the third cycle level, the applicant must have completed the equivalent of 120 credits at second-cycle level in a subject of central relevance for the research area; these need to include a 15-credit essay.

See general syllabus.

Assessment criteria

Applicants are ranked with reference to their capacity to benefit from and complete the programme. The assessment is based primarily on prior study results, with particular consideration given to essays, and the quality of the research plan and its relevance for the subject area. The assessment is also based on references and interviews, and additional possible evaluations of the main candidates.

The degree must be completed at the latest at the end of the application period.

Terms of employment

Doctoral students will mainly devote themselves to their own doctoral studies. Employment as a doctoral student will be for the time deemed necessary for the completion of doctoral studies at a normal rate of study, which corresponds to a full-time position for four years. An initial contract of twelve months is extended with up to two years at a time provided that the individual study plan is followed. A doctoral student may, to a limited extent, also work with teaching and administration up to a maximum of 20 percent of a full-time position. The period of employment may thus be extended up to a maximum of five years. The entry level salary is SEK 30,900 and rises in three steps to SEK 35,600.

Additional information

Doctoral students are affiliated with a research school, normally the Faculty of Arts and Humanities Doctoral College. The studies are coordinated with the doctoral training programme at the relevant department. The doctoral studies begin at the start of the autumn semester, 2 September 2024. The place of work is Umeå University. High presence in the environment is a requirement. The doctoral students are expected to contribute actively to the research environment. 

According to The Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 12, Section 2, a decision of appointment for a doctoral student position may not be appealed.


An application must contain:

  • A degree certificate, transcript from the Ladok student registry, and/or equivalent attested copies of your academic transcripts proving that general and specific entry requirements are met.
  • Curriculum vitae, including name and contact information of two reference persons.
  • Copies of relevant Bachelor’s and Master’s theses and other relevant publications.
  • A letter that states your motivation for undertaking doctoral studies, and that specifies what expertise at the department is needed for carrying out your research.
  • Research plan – should normally not exceed 30,000 characters including spaces – that contains a description of the proposed:
    – purpose and research problem;
    – previous research;
    – implementation, that is, method, material and theory;
    – relevance; and
    – time plan.

Your application must be registered in Umeå University’s e-recruitment system Varbi no later than 10 March 2024.

Please note: the Swedish version is the official version of this advertisement. In the case of any differences in information between this and the official version, it is the official version that is the legally correct version of the advertisement for these doctoral student positions.

We look forward to receiving your application!

Information box




Monthly salary

Application deadline


Registration number

AN 2.2.1-1704 -23


Per Boström, Director of studies


Union representative







Read the job description at the university homepage


Umeå University wants to offer an equal environment where open dialogue between people with different backgrounds and perspectives lay the foundation for learning, creativity and development. We welcome people with different backgrounds and experiences to apply for the current employment. We kindly decline offers of recruitment and advertising help.