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Postdoc Position

The information on these pages guides you through the postdoctoral recruitment process and facilitates and helps to quality assure and streamline the process. Always contact HR at your school to start the recruitment process.

Start of the recruitment process

The recruitment process will begin by strategic personnel planning where KTH's quantitative and qualitative staffing needs are planned. The recruiting manager in collaboration with the HR at your school carries out this planning prior to the start of a new recruitment process and develops an employment profile. All recruitment matters are handled via KTH's recruitment system Varbi.

Recruitment of a postdoc position

An employment as a postdoc position at KTH is regulated according to a collective agreement on fixed-term employment as a postdoc position. 

To recruit a postdoc, you do not need a recruitment permit. However, as a manager, you need to know the regulations that the postdoctoral agreement regulates before you contact HR.

The fixed-term employment of postdocs is regulated in a central collective agreement “ Agreement on fixed-term employment as a postdoctoral researcher,( ”According to the agreement, the person employed as a postdoc must have obtained a doctoral degree or a foreign degree deemed equivalent to a doctoral degree. The agreement applies to employees who are employed as postdocs and who will mainly conduct research. Teaching may also be included in the work duties, but not may not consume more than one fifth of working hours. During the employment period, a postdoc must mainly conduct research and develop his or her independence as a researcher and create conditions for further merit. A prerequisite for the application of this agreement is that the employee has not previously been employed as a postdoc under this agreement for more than one year in the same or related subject area with the same employer.

Doctoral degree

The eligibility requirement for a doctoral degree must be presented by the applicant no later than at the time of the employment decision. If there are applicants who need to submit additional information, it is therefore important to coordinate this with the employment decision date.

In order to be employed on the basis of this agreement, the applicant must have received a doctoral degree no more than three years ago, the framework time is three years back in time, calculated from the last application date. All applicants must be judged on the basis of merit and skill and applicants with an older doctoral degree cannot therefore be eliminated solely for this reason. Meeting the time frame of no more than three years is seen as a merit in evaluating the overall criteria.

Length of employment

A postdoc is employed until further notice, but for a minimum period of two years and a maximum of three years. A position may be extended if it is necessary to achieve the purpose of the employment, but the total period of employment may not exceed three years. If you do not want or can not hire for two years, but for a shorter period of time, then another time limitation basis must be used.

In addition to what is stated in the paragraph above, the employment may be extended if there are special reasons. Special reasons refer to leave due to illness, positions of trust in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical service or relevant service / assignment for the subject area. Special reasons also refer to parental leave during employment. In the case of such parental leave, the employee shall be offered the possibility of extension corresponding to at least the extent of the leave.

The previous postdoctoral agreement (dated 2008-09-04) Agreement on temporary employment as a postdoctoral fellow, 2008-09-04 (  applies to positions entered into on the basis thereof. However, such employments that run over 2022-10-01 may be extended to achieve the purpose of the employment as above and then this agreement applies in its entirety.  

Keep this in mind when filling out the employment profile

Much focus should be placed on the beginning of the recruitment process in order to produce a well elaborated employment profile (requirement profile). When completing the employment profile, think carefully about what is required for the current position in terms of work duties, education, experience and skills and personal skills. What is needed to perform well and to thrive and succeed in the role?

In KTH's recruitment system Varbi, you can select the personal competencies you have chosen for your employment profile / advertisement and get an interview and reference template with a list of questions for the selected competencies. Here you can read more about interview techniques and find current templates

Competency-based recruitment (CBR)

KTH has chosen to use the competency-based recruitment method (CBR). The method involves working in a structured way with a focus on recruiting the right skills in relation to the needs of the organization and assessing the personal competences of applicants in an equal and qualitative way. The CBR method includes, amongst other things, working with structured interviews. Contact your HR at your school for more information about competency-based recruitment and for support in the organization and execution of structured interviews. Here you can read more about the competency-based recruitment method (CBR).

If you want to learn more about competency-based recruitment (CBR) and structured interview technique, register for one of KTH's courses.