Postdoctor in contemporary photography and (natural) science

 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.

In partnership with Academy of Music and Drama, HDK-Valand constitutes the biggest artistic faculty in Scandinavia, offering a peerless breadth of education and research. We are located centrally in Gothenburg and enjoy a close working relationship with local and regional operators, along with a broad international network comprising partners all over the globe. Our goal is to team up with Gothenburg University to create the largest and broadest artistic faculty in Scandinavia, where education and research merge in a transdisciplinary integration to help tackle the biggest challenges of our age. Together, we are to create a dynamic, outward-reaching and international environment and a robust launchpad for education, research and cooperation.

The Hasselblad Foundation supports, initiates and executes research into photography in all its forms of expression: as art, as documentarism, and as a science – current, historical and future-oriented. This encompasses research in relation to both photographers and artists, as well as regarding the work of theoretical researchers, which is communicated through exhibitions, publications and seminars, often in partnership with Gothenburg University. By awarding scholarships, creating platforms for exhibitions, supporting publications, lectures and symposia, and – in particular – through an interest in working relationships at both national and international level, the Hasselblad Foundation is striving to expand and improve the practical conditions for conducting and disseminating research into photography.

HDK-Valand and the Hasselblad Foundation have a long-term collaboration whose purpose is to support the exploration and development of the relations between photography and science. Within this framework, we are now seeking an artist/photographer whose interest lies in the field of (natural) science for a 2-year postdoc position, starting in January 2024.

The successful applicant will be able to define their own project within the framework of photography and (natural) science. The position is open to projects and ideas for collaboration between artistic and scientific applications which may, for instance, comprise visualisation of environmental and climate-related challenges, humanity’s relation to natural resources, or a posthuman/non-human/AI or similar approach at the intersection between photography and (natural) sciences. The postdoc position can also be linked to current projects at HDK-Valand and the Hasselblad Foundation, as well as to the growing platform in Gothenburg, which comprises various actors within and outside the world of academia who are working with visualisation linked to science and sustainable societal development.

Applications for the postdoc position can be addressing innovative relations between art and science, for example visual representation and visualisation in the field of natural science, virtual remote research, research communication and narration with XR technologies, and the collection and processing of visual data in research. Applications will also be assessed from the perspective of critical approach and ethical consciousness.

For additional information about HDK-Valand, see

For additional information about the Hasselblad Foundation, see



The purpose of the postdoc position is to give the employee – having successfully completed his/her doctorate – a clear opportunity to develop his/her independence as a researcher, and to establish conditions for further qualification. The position comprises 80% research and 20% teaching and/or administrative assignments. The postdoc is expected to contribute to the research and teaching environment at HDK-Valand, as well as to the research and exhibition activities at the Hasselblad Foundation. The holder of the position is likewise expected to complete the majority of his/her tasks on site in Gothenburg.

We also expect the successful candidate to show commitment to publication in leading academic journals and/or in artistic contexts and public arenas. Applicants should also strive – individually or in partnership with other researchers – to develop external research applications.

The working languages are English and possibly Swedish, or one of the other Scandinavian languages.


The eligibility criteria for employing teaching staff are set out in Chapter 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance and in the Appointment Procedure for Teaching Posts at the University of Gothenburg. 

To be eligible for appointment as a postdoc, the applicant is required to have a doctoral degree, a doctoral degree in art or a foreign degree that is deemed to be equivalent to a doctoral degree. This eligibility requirement must be met before the employment decision is made. 

In the first instance, those who have completed their degree no more than three years prior to the end of the application period shall be considered. Those who have completed their degree more than three years prior to the end of the application period may also be considered in the first instance if special grounds exist. Special grounds relate to leave of absence due to illness, parental leave, commissions of trust within union organisations, service within the defence services or other similar circumstances, as well as clinical service or service/assignment relevant to the subject area.  

Assessment criteria 

In addition to the general research competence expected of the holder of a doctorate, especial emphasis will be placed on the applicant:

  • Having strong skills in the fields of photography, art, contemporary and visual practice (artistic)
  • Displaying a critical approach and ethical awareness in relation to photography
  • Being able to demonstrate proof of scientific publication (scientific)
  • Having the ability to define an executable and innovative research project
  • Having the capacity to initiate and develop working relationships with the surrounding community
  • Having established networks, both nationally and internationally
  • Possessing strong skills in communication and planning, as well as practical organisation capacity
  • Having excellent skills in English.
  • Teaching experience would be an advantage.

We will conduct a general evaluation and select the candidate considered to possess the best conditions for implementing and developing the stated assignments.



The position is  a two years time restricted full-time employment. The workplace is HDK-Valand in Gothenburg, in partnership with the Hasselblad Foundation.

The majority of assignments will be conducted on campus, but some remote teaching may be involved in accordance with Gothenburg University’s regulations.

The start date is 1 January 2024 or the date subsequently agreed upon.

Contact information 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Linda Sternö, Head of the Unit for film, photography and literary representation,

If you have any questions about the employment process, please contact the HR Department at HDK-Valand,



Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg can be found here: 


Submit your application via the University of Gothenburg’s recruitment portal by clicking the “Apply” button. It is your responsibility to ensure that the application is complete as per the vacancy notice, and that the University receives it by the final application deadline.  

Applications must contain the following documents:

  • Personal letter
  • Project description (max. 6,000 keystrokes), in which the applicant explains how he/she envisages conducting the work.
  • CV including a bibliography and three references who can be contacted by phone or email.
  • Portfolio of previous work, including two examples of work based on research within the area relevant to the advertisement and a short written report on the applicant’s research activities.
  • Education certificate/diploma (attach a copy to the application and bring the original to the interview if invited in for same).

Applicants are to write their name on all annexes.

Applications may be written in Swedish or English.

Publications that cannot be attached to the application in digital format should be sent to

Box 131
405 30 Gothenburg

and should be received no later than last application date. Mark the shipment with "Postdoctor PAR 2023/458".

Applications must be received by: 15 August 2023


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: 

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.

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