A Postdoctoral Fellow at the School of Public Administration

Ref PAR 2023/559

The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 56 000 students and 6 600 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The School of Public Administration provides education, research and collaboration within the field of public administration. It offers programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, as well as commissioned courses and doctoral studies. Programmes in the multi- disciplinary subject of public administration focus on politics, democracy and administration; public finance; organisation, management and society, as well as legal perspectives on public administration. The School of Public Administration is also responsible for courses in the preschool- and head teacher training programmes. The research focuses on public administration, its function and social context. Overall research fields currently include municipal politics and democracy, scrutiny of public policies and activities, Public Management, public law, governance of schools and preschools as well as sustainable urban development.

Subject area 

Public administration

Subject area description 

The School of Public Administration announces a vacant position for a postdoctoral fellow in the FORTE-funded research project “The materialization of changes – how built spaces drive, prevent and modify organizational changes in two Swedish university hospitals”. By studying how managerial ideas about reforming healthcare are received and reinterpreted by healthcare professions inside the hospitals, this project provides novel explanations to the well-known and recurring governance failures in healthcare management. The overall purpose of the research project is to explore how managerial strategies to reform public services by transforming built spaces are experienced, resisted, and negotiated by professions inside these organizational spaces. Theoretically, the project is positioned within public administration and organization theory, in particular the sub-field called organizational space literature which understands organizational spaces and materiality as guiding for and actively structuring human activities, rather than merely being an outcome of human actions. More information about the project is found here.

We are interested in broadening the empirical and theoretical scope of this project, and therefore welcome proposals that relates to the overall objective of this project but formulates independent research questions and has an independent methodological design. An empirical focus on public healthcare is advantageous but not required


The postdoctoral fellowship aims to give the employee an opportunity to develop their independence as a researcher and further qualifications after completing the doctoral degree. The person employed as a postdoctoral fellow will conduct research on 80 %, remaining 20 % will be devoted to teaching or administrative tasks within the School of Public Administration.

The main responsibility for the postdoctoral fellow is to conduct research, independently or in collaboration with the project leader, which contribute to the research project’s overall objective. Research tasks will involve data collection, analysis, and dissemination of results through scholarly journals and conferences. The Postdoc is expected to be an active and collaborative participant in the School of Public Administration’s activities during of the fellowship.


To be eligible to be employed as a postdoctoral fellow, the applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country. The applicant should have a PhD degree in social sciences, preferably in public administration, business and management, sociology, anthropology, political science, cultural geography, urban planning or a related field. In the first instance, those who have completed their degree no more than three years before the end of the application period will be considered. Applicants who have completed their degree more than three years ago can be considered if there are special reasons.

For more information regarding eligibility, please visit The appointment procedure GU 2022/38

Assessment criteria 

Applicants must have a doctoral degree in social science no later than the date when the employment decision is made.

Applicants must have excellent written and oral proficiency in English.

Applicants must provide a well-developed research proposal for a related but independent research project that falls within the scope of the research project described above. The research plan will be assessed according to feasibility and scientific quality.

Applications will be evaluated primarily on demonstrated research excellence in research with relevance to the research project. One or more of the following scientific skills are also meritorious;

  • Advanced methodological skills (qualitative or quantitative).
  • Theoretical sophistication and innovativeness
  • Demonstrated research expertise in some of the following: built design, healthcare, policy implementation, critical management studies, ethnography, organization theory.
  • documented ability to publish research findings in scientific outlets
  • documented ability to communicate research findings to wider audiences beyond academia.

To be successful in this position, you must have an eye for detail, good organizational skills and be able to solve problems. You need to have excellent communication and collaboration skills.

Great emphasis is placed on personal suitability for the position. We will make an overall assessment and the applicant who is considered to be best qualified to carry out and develop the tasks described above will be appointed to the position.


This is a 2-year, full-time fellowship with social insurance benefits, with a flexible starting date in 2023 (January 1, 2024 at the latest).

Contact information 

Further information about the position can be obtained from the project leader Livia Johannesson, livia.johannesson@spa.gu.se  

Questions about the employment procedure can be put to Maria Utterhall, HR officer, maria.utterhall@spa.gu.se.


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: https://www.gu.se/om-universitetet/jobba-hos-oss/hjalp-for-sokande 


In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • 2-3 reference persons

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter describing:
    • why you are interested in the position described in the advertisement
    • what makes you suitable for the position in question
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Research plan, maximum 5 pages
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Letters of recommendation (2 files)

Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

Applications must be received by: 2023-09-01

Information for International Applicants 

Choosing a career in a foreign country is a big step. Thus, to give you a general idea of what we and Gothenburg have to offer in terms of benefits and life in general for you and your family/spouse/partner please visit: 

https://www.gu.se/en/about-the-university/welcome-services https://www.movetogothenburg.com/ 

The University works actively to achieve a working environment with equal conditions, and values the qualities that diversity brings to its operations. Salaries are set individually at the University. In accordance with the National Archives of Sweden’s regulations, the University must archive application documents for two years after the appointment is filled. If you request that your documents are returned, they will be returned to you once the two years have passed. Otherwise, they will be destroyed. In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.