The Department of Urban and Rural Development at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala (Division of Agrarian history), invites applications for the position PhD student. The department pursue education, research and external collaboration in Agrarian history, Environmental communication, Landscape architecture and Rural development. Read more at: https://www.slu.se/en/departments/urban-rural-development/

The Division of Agrarian History conducts research on a broad agenda: Agricultural production and technological change, social and economic conditions, people in the agrarian society and their relation to nature, landscape and society in general from prehistoric times to today.


The overall research project concerns the relationship between the countryside and the cities during the industrial revolution and the continued process of urbanization c. 1850 to 1950 with a focus on the countryside. The mutual interdependence between the countryside and the urban sector have been studied previously but mostly from the urban perspective. In this project two areas are of particular importance: commercial contacts and migration. In the former, travel and exchange of goods are studied. In the latter, the focus is on who migrated, the circular and seasonal extent of the migration, and how potential selection in migration affected the countryside. Particular attention will be placed on the participation of men and women in these activities, over time, and what effect this had on the rural society.  Furthermore, questions on how productivity growth in agriculture, land ownership, and agrarian state policies affected the interaction between the rural and urban sector will be studied.

A number of different source materials will be used to study these questions, e.g. migration records, probate inventories, diaries, trade statistics and other official statistics, and demographic databases. Methodologically, qualitative and quantitative methods will be used to study the development on individual- level focusing on differences by sex, age and social group, but also on household- and local level. 

The PhD-student will perform an independent research assignment within the overall project and the design of this and the research questions studied will be developed in collaboration between the PhD-student and the principal supervisor. During the four-year doctoral studies the PhD-student must write a doctoral dissertation and take courses equivalent to 90 credits. The project is led by Professor Patrick Svensson, who will also act as principal supervisor of the PhD-student. Researchers from the division and/or from departments carrying out similar research will complement the main supervisor as deputy supervisors.


Eligible for third cycle education are those who have taken a second cycle qualification or have completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, including at least 60 credits at second cycle education. The position requires that the degree/studies has its main focus in history, economic history, historical geography or equivalent subjects. Good communication skills in Swedish and English are required. Experience in reading early modern handwritten Swedish sources is a merit. The applicant has to be systematic and accurate, in combination with a curious and critical approach, be good at cooperation and at the same time able to work independently.

Application requirements: The application should include (i) a cover letter (no more than two A4-pages) describing your research interests and qualifications, and how these fit with the advertised position; (ii) a complete CV, list of publications (if any), and contact details; (iii) PDF files of transcripts/marks sheets (Bachelor’s and Master´s degree); (iv) one copy of exam paper (dissertation) for Master´s or undergraduate degree; (v) names and contact information of two (academic) references.

Place of work:


Forms for funding or employment:

Employment as PhD student 4 years

Starting date:

March 1, 2021, or according to agreement.


We welcome your application no later than 2021-01-31, use the button below.

A person has basic eligibility for third cycle education if he or she has taken a second cycle qualification or has completed course requirements of at least 240 higher education credits, including at least 60 higher education credits at second cycle education. Upper secondary school grades equivalent to English B/English 6 are a basic requirement.

Selection among applicants meeting the requirements is made with reference to written application including curriculum vitae, copies of degrees and transcripts of academic records, one copy of the dissertation for masters or undergraduate degree, a list of at least two references familiar with the applicant’s qualifications, certified knowledge of the English language and an interview.

Please observe that applicant/s chosen to participate in an interview shall hand in certified true copies of certificates, diplomas and transcripts from previous studies at an internationally recognized higher education institution (university or university college) and transcripts in connection to the interview. If the applicant is a foreign citizen we require a certified copy of the page in your passport with your personal data and photography.

Read about the PhD education at SLU at www.slu.se/en/education/programmes-courses/doctoral-studies/

Academic union representatives:


The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) develops the understanding and sustainable use and management of biological natural resources. The university ranks well internationally within its subject areas. SLU is a research-intensive university that also offers unique degree programmes in for example rural development and natural resource management, environmental economics, animal science and landscape architecture.

SLU has just over 3,000 employees, 5,000 students and a turnover of SEK 3 billion. The university has invested heavily in a modern, attractive environment on its campuses in Alnarp, Umeå and Uppsala.


SLU is an equal opportunity employer.

Contact person

Patrick Svensson


Contact person


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