Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Department of Design Sciences

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

Subject description

Industrial design aspires to the creation of meaningful experiences and interactions with tangible and intangible objects that are significant for the benefit of society and the environment.

Therefore, industrial design as a research subject deals with knowledge generation as a phenomenon, aiming to increase the understanding of industrial design from the perspectives of epistemology and practice.

The research methods and opportunities span a wide field, enabling a fusion of scientific and practice-based approaches to generate knowledge.

This PhD-candidate position in industrial design is offered in the research area of Artistic Horizons in Design, addressing the following contexts and frameworks:

  1. Investigating opportunities in the field of industrial design with regards to the boundaries of the subject area as the foundation of knowledge production.
  2. Rethinking the boundary between scientific and artistic research in relation to the research questions. Questioning historic and current approaches to research in relation to artistic expression.
  3. Exploring existing and novel methods and processes that can be applied within an industrial design project, also in relation to the field as such, which is the essential component of the research work, and is defined as an open-ended result in the sense of knowledge production.
  4. Reflecting the possible outcomes from the practice-based approach of the research project, contextualising and documenting it in an appropriate manner.

Work duties 

The main duties of the doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The PhD candidate will be an integral part of a small team of PhD candidates and the teaching staff at the Division of Industrial Design.

This PhD position requires a research approach that combines analytical and empirical study modules with experimental and practice-based modules. 

Admission requirements 

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant: 

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Industrial Design if the applicant has: 

  • at least 30 credits in subjects of relevance to the field, including at least 15 second-cycle credits, or
  • a second-cycle degree project of at least 20 credits of relevance to the field, or
  • an artistic university degree, MSc in Engineering, or a master’s degree of relevance to the subject area

Additional requirements 

  • Excellent oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Submission of an industrial design portfolio.
  • A minimum of 5 ECTS in research methodology or an equivalent course in Industrial Design.
  • Ability to express abstract and concrete issues in written form.
  • Propensity to work in collaborative and transdisciplinary academic environments.
  • An analytical and empirical research mindset in combination with artistic modes of exploration.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily based on academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following: 

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Visual, written, and oral communication skills.
  4. Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g., professional experience. 

Other assessment criteria

  • Professional experience as an industrial design practitioner.
  • Industrial design project experience in more than one country.
  • Ability to manage and finalise complex projects independently and effectively. 
  • Experience in design research.
  • Experience with practice-based projects within a transdisciplinary collaborative academic environment.
  • Ability to establish and maintain contacts and networks with research partners in academia, industry, or other organisations.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive, and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment 

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Before applying, you should update yourself on the syllabus of the third cycle study subject Industrial Design at LTH (Industrial design). Please note that the specific research study project is conducted on a scientific ground.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and except from the portfolio* include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

* Please submit your portfolio in a digital format, e.g., link to website or PDF (max 10 MB), if/when group projects and/or professional work is presented, clearly indicate, and reflect over your own contribution.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Enligt överenskommelse
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/3725
  • Claus-Christian Eckhardt, Professor,
Union representative
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
Published 17.Feb.2023
Last application date 31.Mar.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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