PhD Position in Digital Sociology Focusing on Internet, Social Media, Politics and Civil Society

DIGSUM’s Digital Sociology group is looking for a new PhD candidate. The position is fully funded and salaried for four years.

The applicant to this PhD position at the Department of Sociology, Umeå University, Sweden, can choose between two possible orientations. Orientation 1 means working with DIGSUM, while Orientation 2 is in the area of attitudinal research [more here if interested].

To apply for a PhD position with us, you should write your submitted research plan in relation to the Digital Sociology orientation (Orientation 1) below. You should also state in your personal letter that this is your chosen profile area.

Orientation 1

Within the research group for Digital Sociology we are studying how the internet and social media impact on the conditions for politics and civil society. An ever-growing part of our social lives are enacted through digital platforms, and it is clear that their network logic and algorithmic underpinnings have an effect on activism and the formation of opinion. Hashtag campaigns such as #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, as well as the recurring discussions about the role of social media in relation to political elections, illustrate this. If you want to do your PhD within this area, you should formulate your research plan in relation to one or both of the following issues: (1) How does the logic of social media (virality, memes, hashtags, etc.) impact on the conditions for politics and activism? (2) How can algorithms and automation enable political activism, and how can it hinder it? Your project can be based on ethnography, text analysis, analysis of social media data, or combinations thereof

Requirements and qualifications

To possess basic eligibility, the applicant should hold an advanced degree, have completed studies equivalent to at least 240 higher education credits, at least 60 of which at an advanced level, or in some other manner have acquired skills that are equivalent to this requirement.

To meet the requirements for individual eligibility, an applicant must have satisfactorily undertaken courses within Sociology equivalent to at least 90 higher education credits and 60 higher education credits at the advanced level in Sociology (master level), or equivalent competence (this means that candidates from other relevant disciplines can also apply).

Position requirements

The announced position is for full-time employment as a doctoral student with the aim of achieving a doctorate. The doctoral student’s main task is to follow the syllabus of the doctoral program, which includes carrying out research within the project, as well as taking doctoral program courses. You are expected to carry out most of the work at the Department of Sociology at the Umeå University. Work tasks may also include teaching and other departmental tasks (up to 20%). The position is time-limited to four years for full-time studies and may be extended by up to one year dependent on extent of departmental work.


The application should contain the following documents:

  • Research plan describing the proposed dissertation project (maximum two pages). The plan should be related to your chosen orientation.
  • Letter of application including a personal resume and motivation for application (maximum one page).
  • Verified CV including relevant academic degrees and previous work experience.
  • University transcripts with grades.
  • Copy of degree certificate.
  • Essays or academic publications.
  • Any other document that demonstrates merit.
  • Name and contact information of two references.

More information

Starting date­­: Mutually agreed.

Salary is paid according to the established wage steps at the University.

The application is to be submitted via our e-recruitment system no later than June 28 2021.