Lund University, Faculty of Social 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.

We invite applications for a PhD position in Gender Studies within the Graduate School The Future of Democracy: Cultural Analyses of Illiberal Populism in Times of Crises (FUDEM) at the Department of Gender Studies, Lund University

Work duties:

The PhD-program runs over four years of full time, and includes PhD-thesis research and writing, courses, and literature studies. To be awarded the degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), the PhD- candidate should write and orally defend a scientific PhD-thesis that is approved in a public defense (disputation) and pass the courses that are part of the PhD-program.

The student will pursue the requirements of the PhD degree as well as actively participate in department activities. The position may require teaching or other departmental work up to 20%, which may lengthen the overall duration of the position to maximum five years.

The main language of the PhD program 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. 

Regulations concerning the appointment of full-time postgraduate students can be found in the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

The PhD-candidate will conduct their PhD-studies within the subject area Gender Studies with a focus on cultural analyses of illiberal populism in times of crises, both independently and in collaboration with other project members.

The job assignments include project planning, data collection, processing and analysis of the material, publications of results, and presentations of preliminary results and conclusions at conferences. PhD students in the Graduate School will have double affiliation with the Graduate School and with the Department of Gender Studies at Lund University. Students are expected to take part in educational and research activities within the Graduate School and the Department.

The Graduate School will offer a variety of obligatory and selective courses, workshops and seminars related to illiberal populism, theories of democracy from the perspective of humanities, and cultural analyses of crises. Students will also take part in workshops in academic management and academic career building and in the mentoring program. PhD students are expected to engage into organizing a scientific conference during the final stage of their education.

The PhD Student will be included in the Graduate School FUDEM, funded by the Swedish research council (VR) and respective faculties/departments where students will be employed. FUDEM is a multi-disciplinary environment where a collective of junior and senior researchers in cultural studies, ethnology, gender studies, and musicology are doing research on the variety of cultural forms in which illiberal populism reveals itself in times of crises. It is a collaboration between six Swedish universities including Linnaeus University, Linköping University, Lund University, Södertörn University, University of Gothenburg and Uppsala University.

Thematic focus

Illiberal populism, an ideology representing backlash against liberalism, is a symptom of multiple crises which put the future of liberal democracy at stake. It consists of disparate, yet, overlapping cultural practices, aesthetics, and discursive struggles – from anti-gender and anti-migration to climate change denial and anti-vaccination - which oppose progressive egalitarian mobilization including antiracism, gender equality and climate politics labeling them as elitist and detached from the interest of “common people”. In this conjunctural crisis, illiberal discourses can be understood as antagonistic and contradictory - they stick together seemingly irreconcilable values, such as secular individualism and religious collectivism; trust in science and belief in conspiracy theories; simultaneous appeal to feelings and rationality through “cherry picking” methodology and a strong confirmation bias. They are popular among authoritarian populist leaders who use these discourses to make a populist appeal to “people” to either raise the support among voters or to cement anti-egalitarian violent politics. Using a rich arsenal of theories and methods in humanities, researchers in the Graduate School study cultural, aesthetical, and discursive embodiments of illiberal populism.

Find more information about the Graduate School here:

The Department of Gender Studies

The Department has a well-established tradition of working within the fields of antigenderism, feminist studies of religiosities and secularities, antiracism, queer and trans studies.

Examples of themes for dissertations in Gender Studies include but are not limited to:

gender, religiosities and secularities; anti-gender movement; convergencies and divergencies between anti-gender discourses and other types of anti-establishment mobilization (e.g. anti-vaccination, anti-migration, climate change denial); (digital) ethnography of anti-genderism – who support anti-gender ideologies and why; feminist theory of affect and illiberal populism; epistemic limitations of the concepts illiberal populism and anti-gender; multiple forms of feminist and queer resistance and solidarity in times of illiberal populism; feminist populism; illiberal populism and intersectionality; conspiracy theories and anti-gender discourses.


Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who have completed a second-cycle degree, have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad. Special eligibility for admission to postgraduate education in Gender Studies is completed course requirements of at least 30 credits in Gender Studies at advanced level, of which at least 15 credits consist of graduate work at advanced level or equivalent knowledge acquired within or outside the country.

Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance.

How to apply

In order to apply for a position at Lund University, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

The application shall be written in English or Swedish, and include:

  • a cover letter presenting (i) how the selection criteria has been met; (ii) describing previous experiences of relevance for the project; and (iii) a motivation of the choice to join the Graduate School (max. 2 A4 pages);
  • an attested list of qualifications (CV);
  • copies of certificates and a transcript of courses with grades;
  • a copy of the master thesis (or equivalent), and other relevant publications;
  • a research proposal that relates to the overall aim, research questions and framework as defined by the main project (max. 1,500 words, references excluded);
  • possible previous employment certificates; and
  • at least two references that are familiar with the applicant’s qualifications.

Closing date is April 3, 2023. Pre-selected candidates will be invited to online interviews in the end of April.


The most important basis for assessment is the ability and potential in conducting qualified research within the thematic focus of the call.

Type of employment:

Temporary employment, four years according to Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, 1-7 §§

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment 2023-09-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2023/669
  • Anna Melin, questions reg. recruitment process,
  • Mia Liinason, questions reg. the position,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-2229366
Published 01.Mar.2023
Last application date 03.Apr.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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