Doctoral student in human geography, research school WATCH

Örebro University

Örebro, Sweden 🇸🇪

Örebro University and the School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences are looking for a doctoral student in human geography to join the research school WATCH. The doctoral programme will start on 1 September 2023.

Project description

This doctoral studentship is offered as part of the interdisciplinary research school Water challenges in sustainable planning and the built environment (WATCH) (in Swedish), to which seven doctoral students will be linked. The research school is coordinated by Örebro University and Karlstad University in collaboration with the Swedish Civil Contingency Agency (MSB), Swedish Water, the County Administrative Boards of Örebro and Värmland, and the municipalities of Örebro and Karlstad. WATCH is backed by Formas and their funding programme for research schools for sustainable planning and built environments.

The successful candidate will be based at Örebro University and in their doctoral project, the doctoral student is expected to study the intersection of “sustainable” planning ideals (such as densification and shoreland exploitation) and the anticipated growing societal challenges that can be linked to sustainable water use and management. The aim of the project is to explore how current and future water challenges – such as flooding, rising sea levels, water shortages and torrential rain – can be managed by combining sustainable planning and strategies for sustainable water use. The research is intended to cover perspectives on physical as well as comprehensive planning, the relationship between upstream and downstream geographies in different types of waterways, and how society organises and manages different types of water resources in Sweden. The project is conducted in collaboration with one of the partner practitioner organisations listed above.

As a doctoral student within WATCH, you will be assigned one principal supervisor and two assistant supervisors, one of which is from one of the partner practitioner organisations.

Research environment

Human geography at Örebro University offers a creative research and education environment, combining subject specialisation with collaboration in multidisciplinary research environments. The department works closely with human geography at Dalarna University, Sweden, and is a partner of the national programme for PhD courses in the subject. Research revolves around urban and regional development, specialising in questions concerning business and industrial development and labour markets, processes for social change in different geographical settings, urban planning and its conditions, sustainable development, as well as environment and climate issues. Research is conducted in both a national and international context.   

At Örebro University, courses in human geography are offered at all levels –bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral. The Programme in Urban and Regional Planning, where human geography is the main field of study, is a central component in the department’s range of courses offered. The department is also involved on other courses and study programmes, notably within teacher education. Moreover, human geography constitutes a field of study on the Master’s Programme in Public Planning for Sustainable Development.

The programme and the doctoral studentship

The doctoral programme consists of courses and an independent research project that you will present in a doctoral thesis. The programme concludes with a doctoral degree and comprises 240 credits, which corresponds to four years of full-time study.

Our ambition is for your doctoral studies to be stimulating and purposeful throughout the programme until you have obtained your doctoral degree. A thorough introduction will therefore get you off to a good start and provide a solid foundation on which you can build your studies. As a doctoral student at Örebro University, you will be offered a specially tailored seminar series, covering matters ranging from doctoral programme rules and careers to student welfare support and networking.

The place on the programme is linked to a full-time doctoral studentship for the duration of the study programme. More information on doctoral studentships, part-time studies and part-time doctoral studentships can be found in the Regulations Handbook. The initial salary for a doctoral studentship is SEK 29,100 a month.

The doctoral studentship is a tailored form of employment for students enrolled on a doctoral programme. It guarantees employment for the duration of the doctoral programme (given that the studies progress).

Entry requirements and selection

For admission to doctoral studies, applicants are required to meet both general entry requirements and specific entry requirements. In addition, applicants must be considered in other respects to have the ability required to benefit from the programme. For a full account of the entry requirements, refer to the admissions regulations as well as to annex 2 to the general syllabus for human geography.

Applicants meet the specific entry requirements for doctoral studies in human geography if they have received a passing grade in courses of at least 90 credits, including an independent project on the advanced course level, in human geography. A person who has received a passing grade in courses of 90 credits in geography also meets the specific entry requirements for the doctoral programme in human geography if the independent project at the advanced course level has a human geography specialisation. A person who has acquired substantially corresponding knowledge, in Sweden or abroad, also meets the specific entry requirements.

Good knowledge of Swedish (spoken and written) is considered an advantage but not a requirement. Previous experience from the urban and regional planning sector is considered an advantage but not a requirement.


For more information about the programme and the doctoral studentship, contact the director of the research school WATCH, Docent Ida Andersson (, +46 70 947 16 87), Professor Mats Lundmark (, +46 72 551 78 44) or Administrator Kicki Ekberg (, +46 19 30 12 33).

At Örebro University, we expect each member of staff to be open to development and change, take responsibility for their work and performance, demonstrate a keen interest in collaboration and contribute to development, as well as to show respect for others by adopting a constructive and professional approach.

Örebro University actively pursues equal opportunities and gender equality as well as a work environment characterised by openness, trust and respect. We value the qualities that diversity adds to our operations.

Application to the programme and for the doctoral studentship

The application is made online. Click the button “Apply” to begin the application procedure.

For the application to be complete, the following electronic documents must be included:

  • The form Application for/decision on admission to research studies
  • CV
  • Certificate on completed higher education courses and study programmes, and if applicable a degree certificate
  • Degree project/independent project
  • Copies of relevant course/degree certificates and references verifying eligibility and criteria met
  • Description of research interests – detailing the field of research you are interested in, including, if applicable, theoretical and methodological approaches (2–5 pages). Here, you should also detail how you wish to take on the project described above.

As a main rule, application documents and attachments are to be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, or English. Documents in other languages must be translated by an authorised translator to Swedish or English. A list of authorised translators can be obtained from Kammarkollegiet (the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency).

When you apply for admission, you automatically also apply for a doctoral studentship. More information for applicants can be found on our career site.

The application deadline is 2023-03-31. We look forward to receiving your application!

As we have already made our choices in terms of external collaboration partners and marketing efforts for this recruitment process, we decline any contact with recruitment agencies and advertisers.

As directed by the National Archives of Sweden (Riksarkivet), we are required to deposit one file copy of the application documents, excluding publications, for a period of two years after the appointment decision has gained legal force.

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IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development