PhD Position in Information Systems

Uppsala University Department of Informatics and Media


PhD student in Information Systems; Sustainable Development

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education and to interact constructively with society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has 46.000 students, 7.300 employees and a turnover of SEK 7.3 billion.

Uppsala University is establishing a new graduate school in sustainable development. The main mission of the graduate school is to conduct research based on key social challenges, where local relevance meets international excellence. The research will include changed energy systems, sustainable consumption and destinations development, and will address significant issues such as conservation and change, as well as the definition and management of resources. The graduate school is rooted in ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations in research and education, conducted in an international environment. Uppsala University Campus Gotland, where the graduate school is located, is a hub for the University's research and education in sustainability. We work with international partners, visiting researchers and local players with a special focus on knowledge development to cope with the changes needed to live well during climate change. As a PhD student, you will be part of this interdisciplinary research environment. You will also benefit from the courses, seminars and first-class doctoral supervision offered at the graduate school.

The Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University conducts education and research at Economikum in Uppsala and Campus Gotland in Visby. At the department, various aspects of the conditions, opportunities and consequences of digitalisation are studied in relation to individuals, organizations and societal institutions. For more information, see the department's website:

The Department of Business Studies and the Department of Informatics and Media will jointly run two doctoral projects within the framework of the new research school at Uppsala University, Campus Gotland. The common starting point for the doctoral projects is the need to study how digital systems can help consumers make sustainable decisions regarding the consumption of food. The digital tools available in grocery stores for consumers today are blunt and have as their main purpose to streamline cash flow. Consumer behavior during the actual purchase has not been the focus. By starting from a consumer perspective, i.e. with what information the consumer considers in purchase decisions, what choices he/she is given when planning meals at home and in the store, and which products he/she chooses between, we can design digital systems that increase the conditions for consumers to find the systems useful.

Duties/Project description: The information systems student in the Dept. of Informatics and Media, will focus on the design of digital systems to support consumers’ decision making. Retailers have used consumers’ actual choices and attitude measurements to predict consumer behavior in different purchase situations and based on this change the store environment. The changed shopping environment was thought to change the consumers’ behavior, which turned out not to be the case. As earlier attitude-behavior gaps suggest, changing the store environment is not enough to affect consumer behavior in a more sustainable direction. Instead, more hands-on activities before and during the actual purchase must be done for this purpose. In this PhD project, the consumer’s information processing will be in focus both in planning food purchases and in buying opportunities in stores and online. In particular, the aim is to examine how digital system can help the consumer to act more sustainably in their purchase decisions. For example, for help and guidance in order to facilitate more sustainable product choices or just as meal inspiration for weekly planning, or in stores where different sustainability information is presented to the consumer. In this way, the project will develop knowledge about what influences consumers’ food purchase decision-making of food and how digital systems can contribute to purchase decision-making that contributes to more sustainable development.

Requirements: We are seeking a PhD student with a genuine interest in and good knowledge of data-driven innovation and sustainable development. Experience in user-centred design, conceptual modelling, digital platforms and the development of data-driven e-services and information infrastructures is a plus. Suitable background is a Master's degree in information systems, computer and information science, social informatics or equivalent.

General entry requirements: Awarded a master level, or equivalent, qualification, has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits (ECTS) of which at least 60 credits (ECTS) were awarded at the master level, or has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

Specific entry requirements: Courses in Information Systems comprising 90 credits (ECTS). Those who have acquired the equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad also meet these specific entry requirements.

All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden (“English 6”). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies. The minimum test scores are:

  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE

Additional qualifications: Fluency in written and spoken Swedish is considered a merit.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 11-01-2021 or as otherwise agreed.

Type of employment: Temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Professor Pär Ågerfalk, e-mail:, phone: +46-18-4711064 and Associate Professor Jonas Sjöström, e-mail:, tfn: +46-18-4717702.

Please submit your application by 15 September 2020, UFV-PA 2020/2110.

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Submit your application through Uppsala University´s recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Informatics and Media

Type of employment: Full time , Temporary position longer than 6 months

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Gotland

County: Gotlands län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2020/2110

Last application date: 2020-09-15

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