Department of Psychology


To learn more about individual supervisors’ research, see Researchers.

To qualify for a doctoral position in Psychology at Uppsala University, the applicant must have a master´s degree either including or in addition a minimum of 90 Swedish study credits in psychology. Applicants who have obtained qualifications equivalent of or comparable to the criteria described above abroad are also eligible to apply.

The application must consist of:

  • Application for admission to postgraduate studies
  • Attested degree certificate/s that confirms eligibility
  • Record of completed courses included in your degree/s
  • Master thesis in psychology or equivalent
  • A research proposal, maximum 5 pages
  • Contact information to academic references are desirable

Research Proposal

The research proposal should concern research that the applicant may wish to pursue as his or her dissertation project. However, at this stage, having written about a particular project does not imply a necessary commitment for the future.

The memo has to be limited to 5 pages, references excluded, and should start with an introduction, the aim of which is to give a background to your particular research problem. The problem or question must be integrated with existing theoretical, empirical and/or clinical knowledge, and its importance with regard to practical applications or theoretical developments should be commented upon. If feasible, hypotheses about possible outcomes of the planned study should be clearly formulated. Because the importance and quality of research in many respects are determined by how well integrated the particular problem is with the knowledge of the particular scientific field, the introductory section is a critical part of the memo.

With the problem and hypotheses as points of departure, a method should be specified that allows answers to the questions or tests of the hypotheses. If the problem is to be empirically investigated, the method section should define the population and describe characteristics of the obtained sample of the subjects. The pertinent independent and dependent or predictor and outcome variables must be clearly and operationally defined in terms of experimental or other manipulations as well as in terms of measurement methods or instruments. An important part of the method section concerns measures for dealing with potential threats to the validity of the conclusions that one hopes to be able to draw from the research. Given that the memo is about a so far imaginary case, there is no need to be hampered by the type of limited resources that most often plague real research. However, this does not mean that the planned project is allowed to lose its ties with reality; it should be possible to pursue in practice given proper resources.

If the problem is planned to be attacked primarily in a theoretical analysis, this analysis should be outlined as clearly as possible. Central theoretical distinctions must be presented, important concepts must be defined, alternative approaches should be outlined, and models of analysis specified. In general, a theoretical plan must be closer to the end product than an empirical one to be given a fair evaluation. Therefore, it is probably more difficult to write a theoretical plan than an empirical one.


The selection will be based on an assessment of the applicant’s aptitude for successful completion of graduate studies, made by the professors at the department. The bases for this judgment are the previously written research thesis, interviews (if deemed necessary), and finally, the plan for a research project.


Our department has limited resources to finance graduate students. Only applicants from whom a plan for financing of 4 years of full-time studies is secured can be accepted into the program. Financial means come from Uppsala University, from external grants, and from the applicant’s personal sources. Personal sources must be clearly specified and certified.

Further information can be obtained from the director of PhD studies Karin Brocki, +46 (0)18-471 2117,