PhD Positions in the Didactics of Science Education

Uppsala University Department of Education


Two PhD Positions in the Didactics of Science Education RelMaS 2

Published: 2021-08-18

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in 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 over 45,000 students, more than 7,000 employees and a turnover of around SEK 7 billion.

The Department of Education (EDU) conducts research, offers PhD programmes, undergraduate programmes and contract education in Pedagogy, Curriculum Studies/Didactics and Sociology of Education. The department also offers several Master’s Programmes. The department has about 300 employees; 185 of these are university teachers/researchers, 70 doctoral students and 25 administrators. For more information about the department, please visit

Curriculum studies
(Swedish/German: Didaktik, French: Didactiques) as a field of research and area of knowledge deals with matters relating to the content of education and teaching. The subject of curriculum studies is deeply rooted in both scientific traditions and teaching practices. The research questions which constitute the core of curriculum studies arise at the meeting point between specific subject-matter and teaching and learning of that subject-matter. It is therefore of interest to study, for example, the content of the teaching and what justifies the selection of that content, who the teaching is aimed at and how their learning process works, how the subject-material is handled in the teaching and who has power over the selection process. Curriculum studies as a field of research and area of knowledge therefore deals with questions found at the point of intersection between an area of activity or knowledge, and education, teaching, learning and socialisation.

The graduate school 'Relevancing Mahematics and Science Education'
The doctoral research will be taking place within the national graduate school RelMaS, funded by the Swedish Research Council and offered in partnership between Stockholm, Malmö and Uppsala universities. A first cohort of candidates was admitted in 2021 and with this call we admit our second cohort.

The graduate school seeks to increase the research capacity in teacher education, in the areas of mathematics and science education. The graduate school aims to develop practice-oriented research, which analyse and develop didactic models for making mathematics and science education relevant.

RelMaS addresses the challenges of educating younger generations for navigating and transforming contemporary environmental and societal challenges, where mathematical and scientific knowledge intertwine in dealing with wicked problems now and in the future. This involves negotiating common views of the content, pedagogies and research foundations of school mathematics and science, to make them significant for active citizenship and to provide equitable access to the content to a diverse student population.

RelMaS has a total of 9 doctoral positions available, 2 of which will be placed at the Department of Education, Uppsala University.

Description of the positions in science education: The doctoral projects will relate to two contemporary fields of research in science education: 1) how to make science education in teacher education and school relevant by focusing on content that can increase action competence and citizenship, 2) how to make the content of science education and the pedagogies used relevant to reach and engage a diverse population of students/pupils. In relation to these two areas, the research milieu is particularly interested in projects focusing on how sustainability (including health) can be integrated in science education.

Methodologically, these thematic dimensions are to be approached through collaborative research between schools and universities to produce results connected to school practice. Projects can be formulated as science education or interdisciplinary. For further information see RelMaS.

For more information on the research groups at the Department of Education, see

Education at PhD level encompasses four years and is financed with a paid PhD studentship position. PhD students are expected to work full-time and take an active role in the the department work. The position may include teaching or other departmental duties corresponding to a maximum of 20% of a full-time position. The study time will then be extended accordingly.

The requirements for admission to the PhD programme in Didactics at Uppsala University are a) a completed degree at advanced level, b) completed course work of 240 ECTS credits, 60 of which are obtained at advanced level, c) has successfully completed  at least 90 credits in Curriculum Studies at undergraduate and/or advanced level. Applicants may also be considered qualified if they have acquired the corresponding competence in other ways. A good command of written and oral English language is required. 

Selection: The selection among the eligible candidates will be based on their capacity to benefit from the programme and reach its aims. The following criteria will be used to assess this capacity: the candidate's documented knowledge in a relevant field of research, the candidate's documented knowledge in scientific theory and method, as well as the capacity for analytical thinking, initiative and the ability to collaborate. When assessing the research plan we will consider the scientific quality and relevance for the thematic area of the doctoral school RelMaS.

Applications should include a completed Application form for PhD studies, and the following documents:

  • Cover letter (max 1000 words) where you describe why you are interested in pursuing doctoral studies in RelMaS. If you apply to several universities for a position within RelMaS we ask you to prioritize between the different positions in your letter. The letter should also include contact details to 2-3 references.
  • Research plan (max 2000 words) where you describe a doctoral project within the framework of RelMaS 
  • CV – including your academic degrees, a list of degree projects/theses, work experience and language skills
  • Degree certificates and course grade transcripts confirming that you meet the general and specific entry requirements
  • Degree projects/theses
  • Letters of recommendation and other merits that you want to highlight may also be submitted

All documents submitted with the application should be in Swedish or English. All attached documentation in other languages than Swedish and English, should be translated into English.

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

See also the curriculum regulating third-cycle education in curriculum studies, including the required qualifications, at

The post-graduate training is regulated by the Faculty of Educational Sciences in “Procedures for the Admission to Doctoral Studies”, “Continuation of Employment”, Prolongation of Employment” and “Procedures for the PhD Student’s Individual Study Plan”. For more information see

A doctoral student may be employed for maximum eight years, however the length (or duration) of the employment may not exceed the equivalent to full-time doctoral studies of four years.

Salary: According to local agreement for PhD students.

Starting date: 01-01-2022.

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

Scope of employment: 100 %

For further information about the position please contact: Kajsa Bråting (Director of studies for post-graduate education),, phone +46-18-471 2297 or Leif Östman (Professor of Curriculum Studies), phone +46-18-471 2397.

Please submit your application by 18 October 2021, UFV-PA 2021/2950.

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Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.

Placement: Department of Education

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

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 2

Working hours: 100 %

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: ST/TCO
Seko Universitetsklubben

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2021/2950

Last application date: 2021-10-18

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