Doctoral position within the project AI, the Social Contract and Democracy

Application deadline:
25 February, 2021


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 49 000 students and 6 400 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The Department of Law is part of the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. The Department of Law conducts exciting interdisciplinary research and education in the subject of law. The Department has expanded greatly over the last few years and it is steadily growing with new researchers and lecturers joining the staff. Today, there are more than 90 employees, approximately 1,300 undergraduate and graduate students and around 20 doctoral students. More information about the department is at

HDK-Valand at the University of Gothenburg, conducts education and research in Design, Film, Photography, Fine Art, Crafts and Literary Composition – as well as teacher education in Visual Arts and Sloyd. We provide highly specialised degree programmes in an outgoing, international environment.

Background and subject

The University of Gothenburg has been granted funds from The Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program – Humanities and Society (WASP-HS) for the five-year research project AI, the Social Contract and Democracy. This is an extensive strategic initiative from the side of the financier, with great potential for our university as a whole. The project is being conducted in collaboration between the Department of Law and HDK-Valand. The current advertised associate senior lectureship will be at the core of the project. In addition, two doctoral student positions will be filled in 2021, of which one will be at the Department of Law and one at HDK-Valand. This advertisement concerns the doctoral position at the Department of Law.

The project is related to several subjects and disciplines, and the advertisement is therefore not aimed at a specific subject. The project description and qualifications of the successful applicant will determine which subject the position and admission to doctoral studies will be in. However, the successful candidate will be admitted to one of the seven doctoral subjects and employed in one of the seven subject groups at the Department of Law. A sufficiently close connection to one or more of these seven subjects is, therefore, required. You can read more about these subject groups here.

The applicant must also be capable of contributing to the environments at both the Department of Law and HDK-Valand in his or her research and teaching.

Job assignments

This is a full-time salaried position.Regulations for employment of doctoral students are set out in SFS 1993:100.

The doctoral position will start in August 2021. The period of employment is initially one year of full-time studies, with the possibility of extension. The total length of the doctoral position is 48 months of full-time studies. Doctoral students shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Doctoral students may work to a limited extent, at a maximum of 20% of full-time, with educational and administrative tasks at the Department of Law. In such case, the study period will be extended with the corresponding period of time.

The doctoral student is expected to participate in relevant research environments at HDK-Valand and the Department of Law and develop the project AI, the Social Contract and Democracy in such a way that both departments benefit from it.


The doctoral position is open to applicants who are currently not admitted to a doctoral programme. In order to be admitted to the doctoral programme the candidate must meet the requirements for both general and specific eligibility. Furthermore, the applicant must be considered in other respects to have the ability required to benefit from the study programme.

An applicant meets the general eligibility requirements for doctoral studies (third-cycle studies) if he or she:

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

An applicant meets the specific eligibility requirements if he or she has been awarded a Swedish law exam (juristexamen) or corresponding, i.e. LLB degree (min. 3 years full time studies, 180 ECTS credits) and an LLM degree (min. 1,5 years full time studies, 90 ECTS credits including a thesis of min. 15 ECTS credits). When assessing whether the equivalent qualifications are sufficient, particular consideration shall be given to the requirements to successfully carry out the doctoral studies within a specific legal subject area.

Applicants must have sufficient knowledge of Swedish or English.

Applicants must have completed the necessary degrees (LLB and LLM) or must have passed all courses required for the necessary degrees on the 25 February 2021, at the latest.


In accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 5, Section 5, selection among the qualified applicants will be primarily based on the assessment of the applicant’s ability to complete the doctoral programme. During the selection process, an overall assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, the planned project’s qualities and the Department’s ability to provide necessary support is carried out.

The following aspects will be considered when the project outline is assessed: the applicant’s knowledge of previous and current research within the field; the scholarly basis of the research question and to which extent it relates to the project AI, the Social Contract and Democracy; the adequacy of indicated methods; and the feasibility of the project within the framework of four years of full-time doctoral studies.

If two or more applicants have equal qualifications, gender equality and other institutional priorities, such as subject area, will be taken into account.

The decision about the admission to postgraduate studies is made by the Head of Department upon recommendation from the Department’s Research Committee.

Interviews are going to be held on 6, 10 and 11 of May 2021.

Application procedure

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, 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 closing date, 25 February 2021. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

The application has to be submitted electronically in the online recruitment system no later than 25 February 2021.

The application must include:

  1. A CV of no more than one page
  2. A project outline (max. 15 000 characters including spaces, footnotes and references). The project outline must relate to the project AI, the Social Contract och Democracy.
  3. Application for admission to doctoral studies – please use the form at the website
  4. Master’s thesis in full text and any publications that the applicant wishes to refer to
  5. Certified copies of the LL.B. and LL.M. degrees including Diploma supplement providing information about the programme’s length, content, passed courses and grades.
  6. Proof of sufficient knowledge of English or Swedish.

All degrees, diploma supplements and certificates must be certified and translated by an authorised translator into Swedish or English.

Project outline

The project outline shall set out the research question, theories, methods and sources of relevance for the project.

The project outline should contain the following headings:

  1. Aim and background including literature review
  2. Research question
  3. Method and material
  4. Originality and relevance for the project AI, the Social Contract and Democracy

Oxford or Harvard reference formats should be used for in-text citations and the reference list.

For further information regarding the position, please contact:

Gregor Noll, principal investigator,
Max Lyles, vice head of department, postgraduate studies,   
Joachim Åhman, Head of Department, 
Eva-Maria Svensson, Deputy Head of Department, chair Research Committee, 
Filip Strandberg Hassellind, doctoral student, doctoral representative int the Research Committee,

Union representatives

Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg: