Doctoral Student in Technology and Social Change

Skilled and committed employees are a crucial factor in the success of Linköping University. And we need more of them. Our core expertise comes from teachers and researchers, but a successful university requires experienced and motivated employees in many fields. Everyone is important. We need to recruit many new employees thanks to, among all, an expansion in our research activity. We need you here. We look forward to receiving your application! The Department of Thematic Studies was the first in Sweden to offer an academic setting for thematically organised, interdisciplinary, socially relevant research. We combine strong research with undergraduate and postgraduate programmes and courses, often in collaboration with actors outside the university. Read more at

We are looking for a PhD student in Technology and Social Change.

Your work assignments

The PhD student will conduct research related to the project ”When Communication Networks Come to Die – Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Infrastructural Dismantling”. The project explores the politics and experiences that arise at the “end of life” of media-and communication infrastructure – when communication networks age, get dismantled or abandoned, and the cultural, political, historical and societal implications of these processes for different actors. Examples of media infrastructure include internet infrastructure (for example the decommissioning of fibre optic cables, content delivery networks, repurposing or decay of satellite earth stations etc); the abandonement of social media and digital platforms; but also software, algorithms, data and databases or other kinds of information and communication infrastructure. The PhD student project could explore, for example, how knowledge, power relations or cultural practices are transformed with the decay/dismantling of an infrastructure; how understandings of citizenship or the role of ‘old’ communication networks in society are renegotiated; how is a “good end” imagined; and/or what conflicts, controversies and tensions arise in the process? The specific topic of study and empiric case are open to be formulated in a dialogue between PhD student and their supervisor.

The PhD student is expected to write scholarly texts in English, independently and possibly together with other researchers. They are also expected to participate in the seminars at the Department of Thematic Studies – Technology and Social Change, as well as in the academic networks connected to the project.

As a PhD student, you devote most of your time to doctoral studies and the research projects of which you are part. Your work may also include teaching or other departmental duties, up to a maximum of 20% of full-time.

Your qualifications

You have graduated at Master’s level or completed courses with a minimum of 240 credits, at least 60 of which must be in advanced courses. Alternatively, you have gained essentially corresponding knowledge in another way.

Special qualifications: 90 credits of your total credits should be in a subject of central importance to the research area.

Relevant educational backgrounds for this position include social anthropology, media- and communication studies, sociology, gender studies, history, political science, science- and technology studies or related fields.

The position requires written and oral proficiency in English. It also requires documented skills in working with qualitative methods, as well as research questions within the social sciences or humanities. Previous academic work on themes that concern temporality, media infrastructure or materialities is an advantage. Documented skills in working interdisciplinarily is a merit.

Your workplace

Technology and Social Change is a nationally and internationally leading environment for research and education in how people create and use technology, and how technological change is interwoven with cultural patterns, everyday life, politics, ethics and economy. Third cycle and first cycle studies specializing in issues of technology and social change are carried out at the department.

The employment

When taking up the post, you will be admitted to the program for doctoral studies.  More information about the doctoral studies at each faculty is available at Doctoral studies at Linköping University

The employment has a duration of four years’ full-time equivalent. You will initially be employed for a period of maximum one year. The employment will subsequently be renewed for periods of maximum duration two years, depending on your progress through the study plan. The employment may be extended up to a maximum of five years, based on the amount of teaching and departmental duties you have carried out. Further extensions can be granted in special circumstances.

The starting date will be on September 1st, 2023, or by agreement.

Salary and employment benefits

The salary of PhD students is determined according to a locally negotiated salary progression.

More information about employment benefits at Linköping University is available here.

Union representatives

Information about union representatives, see Help for applicants.

Application procedure

Apply for the position by clicking the “Apply” button below. Your application must reach Linköping University no later than May 2nd, 2023.

Applications and documents received after the date above will not be considered.

As part of their application, the candidate should include a letter of intent describing the reasons why they want to pursue a PhD education (max one page), and a research plan of about 2000 – 3000 words including references. The research plan should propose a possible research project relevant to the position, by addressing the following questions: What questions are relevant to ask and why?; what empirics and methods you would be interested in engaging with; as well as what approaches/concepts or theoretical directions could inspire your research? How could a time plan of your research look like?

In case of discrepancy between the English and the Swedish version of the announcement, the Swedish version will take precedence.

We welcome applicants with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives – diversity enriches our work and helps us grow. Preserving everybody’s equal value, rights and opportunities is a natural part of who we are. Read more about our work with: Equal opportunities. We look forward to receiving your application! 
Linköping university has framework agreements and wishes to decline direct contacts from staffing- and recruitment companies as well as vendors of job advertisements.

Contact persons

Jelmer Brüggemann

Head of Division

+46 13 28 29 58

Julia Velkova

Associate Professor, Docent

+46 13 28 40 25

Carin Ennergård

Senior Coordinator

+46 13 28 21 14