PhD Scholarships in International Relations/Military Change at SDU in Denmark

Country: Denmark;

Deadline: 12.03.2018



Do you want a research education as a salaried and institutionally supported PhD student? The Department of Political Science and Public Management at the University of Southern Denmark invites applications for two PhD scholarships within International Relations/Military Change as of September 1, 2018. As a PhD student, you will be affiliated with the Centre for War Studies (CWS) in Odense. For more information about the department organisation, research, and teaching, please visit the website.
The ideal applicant and PhD project proposal
To qualify for a PhD scholarship, you must have a high academic level and be able to outline an original research project. The project is individual, but it should be related to the collective research project “Transforming Armed Forces in the 21st Century” at CWS (see below). We are looking for candidates possessing personal qualities such as curiosity and a strong desire to understand and solve societal challenges. You must be able work independently and—in consultation with the PhD supervisor—prioritize the different aspects of your work. Finally, you are expected to have good interpersonal skills, be interested in engaging with the national and international research community (your supervisor and the department will support you in this), be present and take part in the daily academic and social environments in Odense.

As a PhD student, you will be become member of the department’s IR section that offers introductory IR courses to bachelors in political science as well as journalism, and graduate courses in political science and especially in the master programme in international security and law (MOISL). You will also be affiliated with the CWS, a multidisciplinary research centre promoting research into fundamental questions of war and peace. For a detailed description of the center, please visit the CWS website.

If offered one of the positions, you will work with associate professor Olivier Schmitt in the framework of the project “Transforming Armed Forces in the 21st Century”, funded by the Carlsberg Foundation. Thus, PhD project proposals within this framework dealing with “military change in Russia and/or China” or “21st-century technologies (drones, AI, cyber, etc.) and military change” will have priority. In addition to your own research project and departmental duties, you will – if appointed – be expected to help manage a research network on military change in partnership with the Royal Danish Defense College and the Center for Military Studies (Copenhagen University). 

When preparing your PhD project proposal, you are strongly advised to familiarize yourself with the “Transforming Armed Forces in the 21st Century” project and to consult the general guidelines for preparing a project proposal at the PhD School’s webpage. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the departments' Scholarly Qualification Matrix.

The department believes in fostering a stimulating and inspiring environment for both faculty members and students. The department’s ambition is therefore to recruit, develop, and retain talented scholars committed to both academic excellence and departmental development. Furthermore, the department wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Requirements and programme structure

As a PhD student, you will follow an individual PhD plan including course work, conference participation, and teaching. PhD students typically spend one semester at another research institution, often abroad. The scholarship carries a monthly salary including pension plus office facilities and financial support for conference travels and research visits abroad. Conditions of employment will be in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations).

If selected for one of the positions, you will be enrolled in the PhD programme in Political Science or alternatively Social Sciences. Applications are invited from candidates with a master’s degree (the 5+3 program). Candidates who in addition to their bachelor's degree expect to have passed 60 ECTS of their master’s programme by September 1, 2018 are invited to apply for a PhD scholarship within the 4+4 programme.

A 5+3 PhD programme spans over three years (fully salaried), while the 4+4 program runs for a period of four years. If enrolled in the 4+4 program, your will be enrolled in the PhD programme and the master’s programme parallel to each other. During this period, the pay will consist of the Danish Student Allowance (SU)—if you are entitled to it—and a supplementary salary for job assignments. After completing the master’s degree, you will enter a fully salaried PhD scholarship for the remaining two years. Employment as a salaried PhD Student is governed by the agreement of October 1, 2008 on Graduate Employees in government appendix 5—protocol on PhD Research Fellows.

For further information about the PhD programme, please contact PhD coordinator, Professor WSR, David Hopmann, tel. +45 6550 2464, e-mail

For further information about the collective research project, please contact PI, Associate professor, Olivier Schmitt tel. +45 6550 9687, e-mail

Application and assessment process

An application must include:

  • Application form (please see below)
  • A project proposal, max 5 pages of 2400 characters each, including spaces, notes, appendices, bibliography etc. The project description must be anonymized, i.e. it may not reveal your name or identity in any way. The total length in characters including spaces of the project description must be stated on the first page of the project description. If your name is mentioned in your project description or if the description exceeds the specified length, your application will be rejected without further assessment
  • An abstract for the above project description of no more than 250 words
  • Detailed CV
  • A certified copy of your master’s degree certificate including all examination results. In case of a possible 4+4 enrolment, a certified copy of your bachelor’s degree certificate and a transcribe of you master’s level examination results must be included.
  • Information on experience with teaching, dissemination, or scientific publication, if applicable

All documents in other languages than Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, English, or German must be translated into English. The project proposal, project abstract and CV must be written in English, Danish, Norwegian, or Swedish.

If you do not adhere to the above-mentioned specifications, your application can be rejected without further assessment. The department reserves the right to arrive at a decision solely based on the material submitted.

Applications will be assessed by a committee. The project description is assessed anonymously to avoid any unconscious bias. When the assessment committee has submitted its report, you will be emailed the part of the evaluation that concerns yourself and you will know if you are deemed qualified for the position or not. The assessment report is subsequently forwarded to the Head of Department who assembles an appointment committee and determines if one or more of the qualified applicants should be invited to a job interview. The appointment committee will manage and complete job interviews, and advise the Head of Department on which candidate(s) should be offered appointment.

When applying for a PhD scholarship, please fill in the application form available on our web page. 

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link "Apply online". Uploaded files must be in Adobe PDF (unlocked) or Word format.

Each field can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.