The Department of Geography is to appoint a doctoral student in economic geography contributing to an ongoing research project about the conditions for work and welfare provision outside the largest urban areas in Sweden. The Department of Geography has around 40 employees and conducts extensive research within the field of human geography. Our main research and teaching evolve around topics like spatial planning, economic geography, tourism, resource management and sustainability. For more information about the department, please visit: https://www.umu.se/institutionen-for-geografi/

Description of work

The current doctoral project will be carried out within the framework of an ongoing research program on conditions for work and welfare outside the big cities where the purpose is to analyze motives why households choose to move to smaller towns or rural areas and how the move in turn affects their future career opportunities, entrepreneurship and local economic development. As a PhD-student you will be part of an existing research group with both senior and junior researchers who work with issues of migration, entrepreneurship, structural change and skill supply with special focus on challenges in more sparsely populated regions.

Suggestions on topics for the PhD student could be (but are not exclusive to): Work and career after moving to smaller labour market regions, the importance of social relations in the destination region, short- and long-term effects on entrepreneurship and business structure, and the opportunity to contribute to generational shifts among local companies.

The position requires active communication of research in both academic and policy circles and participate in common project and departmental activities

About the position

Employment as PhD-student aims to reach a doctoral degree and is normally full-time employment for 4 years starting 2021-06-01 or when mutually agreed. Your salary is determined in accordance to a stipulated scale for PhD positions (currently starting around 28 000 SEK to reach about 35 000 SEK the final year). If departmental duties (e.g., teaching) can be offered that will be a maximum of 20% and the position will be prolonged accordingly. As a PhD student you are expected to work independently with your PhD project as well as collaborate with the research group, participate in seminars and other department activities.

Location for the appointment is Umeå.

Eligibility requirements

Eligible applicants must fulfil the following prerequisites: 240 ECTS-credits of higher education studies of which at least 60 should be on an advanced level (Master level), at least 90 credits must be in human geography or related disciplines, and at least 30 credits must be awarded for successful thesis work in human geography or related disciplines.

Other qualifications

Applicants must be proficient in both oral and written communication in English and have insight in the research field of social sciences, especially human geography. Previous work with, or experience with, surveys, geographic information systems (GIS) and/or longitudinal microdata is particularly meritorious.

If considered eligible the research proposal together with previous academic achievements will primarily be evaluated. Attention will also be given to the ability to utilize the education (communicative ability, ability to work in a group as well as independently and ability of critical reasoning).


A complete application must include:

1. Research proposal presenting your research ideas and how they are contributing to the current literature, including the project’s relation to the research group in economic geography (no more than four pages excluding references).

2. A cover letter summarizing your qualifications, scientific interests and motives for applying (max two pages)

3. CV

4. Diplomas of bachelor and Master level degrees

5. Bachelor/Master theses work/other relevant publications

6. Other merits of relevance for the position

7. Contact information to two reference persons

Note that incomplete applications will not be processed.

Your application must be registered in Umeå University’s e-recruitment system no later than 2021-02-15.

The procedure for recruitment for the position is in accordance with the Higher

Education Ordinance (chapt. 12, 2§) and the decision regarding the position cannot be appealed.

For more information contact Professor Rikard Eriksson (phone +46 (0)90-786 7416, e-mail rikard.eriksson@umu.se) or Head of department, Emma Lundholm, phone +46(0)90-786 7172, e-mail emma.lundholm@umu.se)

We are looking forward to receiving your application!


2021-06-01 eller enligt överenskommelse


Emma Lundholm, Prefekt

090-786 7172

Rikard Eriksson, Professor

090-786 7416

Registration number

AN 2.2.1-10-21



Union representative


090-786 53 65


090-786 52 96


090-786 54 31




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