Valmynd Leit

PHD studentship: Universities and Democracy

University of Akureyri

Universities and Democracy: A Critical Analysis of the Civic Role and Function of Universities in a Democracy

The University of Akureyri, in cooperation with the University of Iceland, invites applications for a PhD studentship at the School of Humanities — Faculty of History and Philosophy, University of Iceland.

Applications are invited from highly qualified and motivated applicants to take up a new PhD scholarship opportunity to contribute to the RANNIS - Icelandic Centre For Research - funded project "Universities and Democracy: A Critical Analysis of the Civic Role and Function of Universities in a Democracy".

The post is fixed-term for 3 years and is to commence on November 1, 2018.

Field of work

The project is an interdisciplinary study of the democratic role and function of universities in Iceland. It offers a critical perspective by problematizing the assumption that universities in Iceland are democratic institutions supporting a healthy democratic society. It combines philosophical analysis and empirical data, providing much needed information about the Icelandic university system, contributing to a better formulation of policy for Icelandic universities.

The project is divided into two parts, empirical and philosophical. The advertised position pertains to the philosophical part. Using conceptual analysis and other philosophical methods, it examines the democratic role of universities in light of normative models of democracy. This involves examining conceptualizations of universities, citizenship, and the complex relation between knowledge and democracy.

The project leader is Dr. Sigurđur Kristinsson, Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, University of Akureyri. Responsible professor at the University of Iceland is Dr. Vilhjálmur Árnason, Department of Philosophy.

The PhD candidate will work collaboratively with the research group at the University of Akureyri and the University of Iceland to accomplish the aims of the project. The tasks of the PhD candidate include undertaking research relevant to the philosophical part of the project goals, prepare research publications, present papers at appropriate scholarly conferences and meetings and assist with the administration of the project.

Qualification requirements

Candidates for funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 3 years. Applicants must have a Master's degree in philosophy and should be able to demonstrate good skills in both written and spoken English. Proficiency in Icelandic is an advantage. Residence in Akureyri is desirable. Applicants are invited to submit their resume, a cover letter and a 1 ̶ 2 page statement of purpose relating to the overall project.

The candidate will be enrolled in the doctoral program in Philosophy at the University of Iceland and will be employed by the University of Akureyri. The selected candidate must send a formal application for PhD studentship at the University of Iceland in due time and be accepted before being considered for this position (applications outside regular deadlines are accepted for this position). You can find information to enter the doctoral program in Philosophy at the School of Humanities here.

How to apply

Candidates must complete an application by September 15, 2018.

The application should include:

  • CV
  • Statement of purpose (1 ̶ 2 pages)
  • Certificates of Education (BS/BA and MSc/MA degree)
  • Two reference letters with contact information

To apply or if you have any questions regarding the vacancy, please contact Stéphanie Barillé,

All applications will be answered and applicants will be informed about the appointment when a decision has been made.

Salary will be according to the current collective wage and salary agreement between the Association of University Teachers in Akureyri (FHA) and the Minister of Finances.

Appointments to positions at the University of Akureyri are made in consideration of the University of Akureyri Strategy for Gender Equality and the Act on Equal Status and Equal Rights of Women and Men.


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University of Akureyri

Nordurslod 2         600 Akureyri, Iceland         Tel. +354 460 8000 / f: 460 8999

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