Lund University, The Department of Political Science

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.

The Mistra Biopath programme ( is an interdisciplinary research endeavour across different faculties that aims to map, assess, co-develop and test existing and novel approaches for integration of biodiversity considerations into financial decision-making, and analyse the institutional and policy implications of potential transition pathways. 

The PhD programme in political science consists of 240 credits (equivalent to four years of full-time studies) and is concluded with the public defense of a doctoral thesis. The appointed doctoral students will receive a salary from the University during four years, and their primary obligation is to complete their PhD studies. The position may involve departmental duties, mainly in the form of teaching, up to 20 per cent of fulltime working hours, in which case the appointment will be extended by the equivalent number of hours. The doctoral student will have access to a work space at the Department of Political Science. The terms of employment for doctoral students are regulated in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (HF), Chapter 5, Sections 1– 7.

The position is part of the Mistra Biopath project and the work packages on “Mainstreaming biodiversity through governance innovations”. (For further detail on the project and the context of the position, please see As such the thesis is going to be situated in an interdisciplinary environment of applied and solution-oriented research of strategic relevance for the transition towards a better integration of biodiversity in decision making. Within the project, the doctoral student will be part of a cohort of PhD students with different disciplinary contributions from political science, biology, economics, environmental science, and law.

The thesis project shall study the political economy of biodiversity financing, concretely national accounting standards for ecosystem services and the role of corresponding support systems for political decision making. Through a semantic artificial intelligence model builder called ARIES (Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services), experimental biodiversity accounts will be developed in collaboration with partners from both public and private sectors. The doctoral project shall delineate both the potential and limitations of such an evidence-based support for political decision making for biodiversity conservation.

In addition to the involvement in the project, the doctoral student shall be present and actively participate in the research environment at the Department of Political Science. The main language of the PhD programme is English. However, non-Swedish speaking students are expected to acquire basic skills in Swedish during the period of employment. There are opportunities to participate in language courses taught at the University. The doctoral position will commence on 1 September 2023. The general syllabus and other information about the PhD programme in political science is available at:

Limit of tenure, four years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

The requirements for admission to third cycle courses and study programmes (in accordance with HF, Chapter 7, Section 35) are that the applicant

  • meets the general and specific entry requirements that the higher education institution may have laid down, and
  • is considered in other respects to have the ability required to benefit from the course or study programme (Swedish Code of Statutes 2010:1064).

A person meets the general entry requirements for third cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second cycle qualification,
  • 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.

Specific entry requirements
In addition to the general entry requirements, the applicant must have completed at least 30 second cycle credits of coursework within the main field of political science, or acquired the equivalent knowledge, i.e. coursework with an orientation towards politics in another discipline deemed equivalent, in Sweden or abroad. Moreover, the applicant must also present a graded Master’s degree project of at least 15 credits in political science or other discipline deemed equivalent.

Assessment criteria 
Only applicants who are eligible for third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Admission is primarily to be based on the applicant’s ability to benefit from the third cycle programme. As third cycle studies in political science are very demanding, the applicant must be highly motivated and able to work independently under time constraints. We are interested candidates with strong quantitative skills and experience in researching environmental politics and, and a strong interest in inter-disciplinary collaboration.

The applicants will be ranked based on an overall assessment of the quality of their submitted thesis/ theses and research plan, grades from previous studies, and their personal suitability. The dissertation will be linked to the Mistra Biopath programme. The dissertation plan should therefore relate to the programme’s research focus and sketch a research question, theoretical approaches, and a methodology. Good collaboration and communication skills, as well as effective organizational skills, are also required, as is proficiency in both written and spoken English. Interviews will be conducted with a shortlisted number of applicants during the final stages of the admission process. The applicants may be asked to provide work samples.

Application procedure
Applications are to be submitted electronically via the Lund University application portal.

The application must include:

  • A cover letter in Swedish or English of max 1 000 words, which contains a brief presentation of yourself and your qualifications, as well as a brief explanation of why you are interested in third cycle studies at the Department of Political Science at Lund University.
  • A CV in Swedish or English that demonstrated your qualifications for the third cycle programme in Political Science.
  • Degree and grade certificates in Swedish or English.
  • Master’s degree thesis in Swedish or English corresponding to at least 15 credits in political science or another discipline deemed equivalent (in addition to the Master’s degree project/thesis, a Bachelor's degree project/thesis can also be submitted).
  • A brief research plan in Swedish or English of max 2 000 words including references.
  • Name and contact information of two personal references (letters of reference are not required in the first stage of application).
  • Other documentation of relevance to the position. 
Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 1 September 2023
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2022/3962
  • Nils Droste, Project contact person ,
  • Fariborz Zelli, Director of Studies,
  • Magdalena Bexell, Dep. Head of Department,
Union representative
  • Saco-S Council at Lund University,
  • OFR/ST at Lund University ,
  • Seko Civil at Lund University,
Published 08.Dec.2022
Last application date 03.Feb.2023 11:59 PM CET

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