Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

Umeå University is one of Sweden’s largest higher education institutions with over 37,000 students and about 4,700 employees. The University offers a diversity of high-quality education and world-leading research in several fields. Notably, the groundbreaking discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool, which was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, was made here. At Umeå University, everything is close. Our cohesive campuses make it easy to meet, work together and exchange knowledge, which promotes a dynamic and open culture.

The ongoing societal transformation and large green investments in northern Sweden create enormous opportunities and complex challenges. For Umeå University, conducting research about – and in the middle of – a society in transition is key. We also take pride in delivering education to enable regions to expand quickly and sustainably. In fact, the future is made here.

Are you interested in learning more? Read about Umeå university as a workplace

Umeå Institute of Design, UID, as a workplace is characterised by inclusion, curiosity, creativity and collaboration. A flow of international students and staff creates a unique atmosphere defined by togetherness and a common purpose. The organisation of UID is characterised by democratic processes and transparent leadership. Here students and staff are encouraged to challenge the boundaries of issues of sustainability and diversity. At UID, design is not only about solving problems, it is also about challenging the status quo and opening up new perspectives. Together we want to be involved in creating a better tomorrow.

In addition to a pleasant workplace with great colleagues, we offer an environment that promotes a good work-life balance as well as good development opportunities. Here you can read more about what benefits Umeå University offers employees.


The tasks consist of teaching and mentoring at all three levels of education, research, administration, organizational development, and shared departmental responsibilities at the Umeå Institute of Design.

The Associate Professor is expected to actively contribute to the teaching and research environment at the Umeå Institute of Design through their own research in their specialized field. They are also expected to actively engage with the developments in the field of design and other societal changes that are relevant to the work at the university. This includes disseminating and communicating their research internally and externally to create visibility and facilitate discussions. The responsibilities also include maintaining and developing good work practices, as well as contributing to the planning and development of the entire department's activities. Promoting a positive work climate by collaborating with others within the department, Umeå University, and external partners is an integral part of the employment in all its aspects. The tasks also involve teaching in design, focusing on user-centered and co-creative design, as well as emerging design practices rooted in these areas.

The distribution of working time is 80% teaching and 20% professional development. The professional development time can be used for research, and there are opportunities for additional research through external funding.  

Eligibility requirements

According to Chapter 4, Section 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance, a person shall be qualified for appointment as Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor if he or she within an area has demonstrated educational expertise and holds a doctorate or has attained equivalent academic competence or other professional skills relevant with regard to the subject area of the appointment.

The assessment of scientific skills shall focus on practice-based design research, preferably with an emphasis on exploring critical perspectives on emerging design practices through research through design. The applicant is expected to have the ability to articulate and reflect upon design as a field of knowledge and practice in a societal context, as well as to position their own design research practice in relation to this.

Assessment criteria and their weight

The assessment criteria for appointment as an associate professor/senior lecturer shall be the degree of the expertise required as a qualification for employment. As much attention shall be given to the assessment of teaching expertise as to the assessment of scientific expertise.

In the selection of candidates, emphasis will primarily and equally focus on the degree of scientific and pedagogical competence. Secondly, the degree and evaluation of professional competence shall be considered. In addition, administrative skills, language proficiency, and communication skills shall be taken into account, as well as other relevant skills in relation to the subject matter of the employment and the tasks included in the position.

Scientific expertise

Scientific expertise shall be demonstrated through independent scientific productivity. The degree of proficiency shall be assessed based on independent scientific production in the form of publications in internationally recognized design research journals and other relevant design research contexts, such as monographs, peer-reviewed conference contributions, and other recognized forms of contributions (such as workshops, exhibitions, film, digital platforms, and similar).

The criteria for assessment are:

  • breadth and depth of research – quality and scope
  • originality of research
  • productivity
  • contributions to the international research community
  • assignments within the research community
  • the ability to competitively obtain external research funding
  • collaboration with the surrounding society

The assessment of scientific skills shall focus on practice-based design research, preferably with an emphasis on exploring critical perspectives on emerging design practices through research through design. The applicant is expected to have the ability to articulate and reflect upon design as a field of knowledge and practice in a societal context, as well as to position their own design research practice in relation to this.

Pedagogical expertise

The pedagogical expertise for employment as associate professor should be demonstrated by documented experience of teaching with scientific foundation at university level. The criteria for evaluation are:

  • an ability to plan, implement and evaluate teaching and an ability to supervise and examine students at every level of education
  • an ability to vary teaching methods and examination formats in relation to anticipated study results and the nature of the subject
  • experience of collaboration with the surrounding society in planning and implementation of education
  • participation in the development of learning environments, teaching aids and study resources
  • a reflective approach to student learning and one’s own role as a teacher
  • good ability to express and communicate both process and results, as well as values/assessments within design.
  • documented experience of teaching, supervision, and other forms of educational work, such as internal training or mentoring in professional contexts.

The assessment of pedagogical expertise shall focus on the subject area of design, with an emphasis on user-centered and co-creative design, as well as emerging design practices rooted in these areas. This includes, but is not limited to, new situations, materials, and contexts where previous boundaries and categorizations need to be challenged, such as post-human perspectives, norm-critical approaches, non-Western knowledge formulations, among others.

Particular merits include:

  • Experience in educational leadership within higher education, such as course responsibility, program responsibility, study director, or similar.

Pedagogical expertise can be attained through education in university pedagogy, other education of relevance for teaching at a university level or documented and proven experience teaching at the university level.   

Further qualifications

A general basis for assessment for all teaching categories is both good cooperative skills and the expertise and suitability in general required to complete the work duties satisfactorily.

Professional proficiency. Criteria for assessment include:

  • Experience and ability to plan, implement, develop, lead, and document one's own design work in contexts outside of the university. Documented experience in one's own commercial or non-commercial (voluntary or public) design work.
  • Documented experience in one's own artistic design work

Administrative proficiency. Criteria for assessment include:

  • Ability to establish collaborations between different levels of education, research in design, other disciplines, professional contexts, and stakeholders.
  • Ability to plan, implement, develop, lead, and document activities, primarily within higher design education but also in other relevant contexts.
  • A well-developed ability to work independently and systematically, both individually and collaboratively with colleagues.
  • Documented experience in planning and working collaboratively and individually based on given resources, timeframes, and conditions.
  • Ability to initiate, plan, and lead projects involving multiple stakeholders.

It is particularly advantageous if the applicant demonstrates:

  • Administrative experience working within Swedish or international higher education systems, as well as experience working within Swedish or Scandinavian research structures and systems.

 Language and communicative proficiency. The criteria for assessment are:

  • Demonstrated language skills in both spoken and written communication.
  • Excellent ability to express oneself in English, both orally and in writing.
  • Excellent communication skills at both individual and organizational levels.

It is particularly advantageous if the applicant demonstrates:

  • Proficiency in Swedish or another Scandinavian language.


When you apply, we ask you to answer questions in Varbi. These questions replace a cover letter from you. The application should preferably be written in English, and include the following items:


  1. CV/Umu Application template. Fill in the required application template (word). Submit it attached to your application in the Varbi system as your CV. The following information must be provided in the application template:
    • basic information (contact details, employment and education history)
    • an account of research experience (including a list of articles published and a brief research plan)
    • an account of pedagogical experience and activities
    • an account of experiences of developing and managing activities and staff
    • an account of experiences regarding interacting with the surrounding society and popularizing science
    • references, including contact details
  2. Copies of relevant university degrees and diplomas
  3. Copies of five research publications relevant to the position, numbered according to the publication list
  4. Attachments to a pedagogical portfolio (see p. 3.5 in Umu Application template)

See instructions for what to include in the application, as well as how to describe scientific or artistic and educational activities (pdf)

Applications should be made via e-recruitment system Varbi and be received no later than August 20, 2023.

Type of employment Permanent position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment Snarast
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 50-100%
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1138-23
  • Demian Horst, Head of department,,+46907869782
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-7865365
  • SEKO, 090-7865296
  • ST, 090-7865431
Published 04.Jul.2023
Last application date 20.Aug.2023 11:59 PM CEST

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