PhD Position in Digital Sociology Focusing on Political Discourses Around AI and Automation

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

This PhD project will be carried out as part of the larger research project Cyborg Politics. The candidate will analyse how discourses about AI, automation and algorithms impact on the framing and understanding of issues of trust, accountability, and democracy in broader political discourse. Read more about the project [here].

The PhD position is part of the Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems and Software Program on Humanities and Society (WASP-HS), which aims to realize excellent research and develop competence on the consequences and challenges of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems for humanity and society.

The PhD candidate will take part in the WASP-HS graduate school, which provides foundations, perspectives, and state-of-the-art knowledge in the different disciplines taught by leading researchers in the field. Through an ambitious program with research visits, partner universities, and visiting lecturers, the graduate school actively supports forming a strong multi-disciplinary and international professional network between PhD candidates, researchers and practitioners in the field. It thus provides added value on top of the existing PhD programs at the partner universities, providing unique opportunities for participants.

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).

In relation to the research project at hand, having very good skills in discourse analysis, as well as an orientation in digital politics, are key requirements. Since the research will be conducted in an international and interdisciplinary research environment, the ability to collaborate and contribute to teamwork, and a very good command of the English language is important.

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 the 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 the Cyborg Politics research project.
  • 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.