University West, Department of Health Sciences

Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is University West’s overarching profile and basic principle applied to learning, the exchange of ideas, and educational development. The government has assigned the distinguished task of developing WIL to University West. Work integrated learning in education and research develops new, relevant and advanced knowledge both within the academy and among its partners, which also benefits society in general. University West offers a wide variety of study programs, has a good number of applicants and the students show a high entry rate on the labor market. The main research environments at University West are Production technology, Learning in and for the new working life and Child and youth studies and is conducted in collaboration with the surrounding society. Campus is centrally located in Trollhättan with about 15,000 students and 675 employees.

University West is looking for a doctoral student in  Work-Integrated Learning with focus on interactive digital solutions in home care

Do you want to contribute in developing a new field of research?
University West is the first university in the world that offers a postgraduate education program in Work integrated learning (WIL)!

Digital decision-support systems are used in care to complement knowledge and competence of staff. The aim of digital decision support is to facilitate a structured assessment and ensuring the right kind of care, while at the same time documenting care process information.

In recent years, home (primary health) care professionals have faced increasing demands for advanced home care of relatively sick patients who just 10 years ago would not have been discharged from the hospital. There is also both a national and international trend to treat more patients in or in the vicinity of their homes, aligned with the Swedish government’s decision to increase “Nära vård” (“Close care”). This leads to new demands on assistant and registered nurses as well as care giving staff in general which newly graduated staff simply is not prepared for. In particular nurses, who are responsible for the care, need a broad competence, as they need to master advanced care in many different kinds of home environments. Today’s decision-support systems, if available at all, are insufficient. Furthermore, the introductory time for home care nurses is shorter today than in the past, despite needing more time to learn the job. Also, the nurses and assistant nurses are often working alone with a patient in their home, and they are often alone in making decisions in increasingly complex situations.

Although some support can be available from colleagues over phone, lacking confidence is a prevailing and serious stress factor for this workforce category, which the proposed PhD project and resulting IT solution is aiming to reduce. The project aims to contribute to learning integrated in the home care professionals’ daily work through the implementation and use of IT solutions, and also through promoting collegial learning in practice.

Based on this background, a research project at University West has been initiated with the aim of developing interactive digital solutions that contribute to improving decision-support in the daily practice for home care staff. The project is also to promote collegial learning in said practice.

The doctoral student’s scientific work in the project ”Interactive digital solutions in home care"
This PhD project is part of previously mentioned research project. Focus is on studying transformations of existing work practices within home care and suggest new or modified digital solutions for decision-support, validated in practice. The overall aim is to support caregivers and patients in reaching the best possible home care and life quality. The digital solutions for safe decision making to be developed in this project needs to be designed taking into account the conditions under which existing practices and staff is operating, and also include existing technology (potentially inspired by fields outside the care domain). Keywords in the project are safety, ethics, trust, competence development and sharing – based on factors such as individual needs of patients and individual expertise of involved caregivers.

Through a user-centered design process involving all stakeholders including both caregivers and patients, the suggested envisioned system are expected to be characterized by

  • ample decision- and action-support for inexperienced caregivers,
  • empower patients to become a responsible and equal part in care,
  • adequate integration with existing caregiving processes, IT solutions, and medical knowledge,
  • cost-effective design largely based on off-the-shelf hardware components and interactive devices already in use.

Theories from change management, learning, human-computer interaction, and digital transformation will be important in the project, as will qualitative and design-oriented methods.

Doctoral degree program: Work-Integrated learning (WIL)
Work integrated learning is an interdisciplinary, postgraduate subject with a connection to social science and humanities. The subject is defined by issues focused on the relation between work life and learning. Work life is broadly defined and includes other forms of work than traditional work-pay relationships. The concept of learning can be understood by sense and includes change and socialization processes connected to knowledge and competence. Subject Interests interests connects to the fields:Attention is given to learnings conditions, organization, processes, content, forms and consequences of the work life. Research within this subject includes, but are not limited to: work in change, relation between education and work, and Social social conditions for learning in the workplace. The focus of the studies can be individuals, groups, organizations, mechanisms or structures.

Research environment:
The PhD project will be conducted in close collaboration with other doctoral students and researchers in the Work-Integrated Learning research environment at University West,

The collaboration arenas Health Academy West (Hälsoakademin Väst) and the Municipality of Academy West are based on collaboration between University West, NU Healthcare, Primary care and the 14 municipalities in Fyrbodal. These arenas constitute collaborating parties and provide access to the work practices involved in the project.

Job description:
The research program includes, in addition to participation in third-cycle courses and other activities, implementation of an independent thesis work. Doctoral students shall primarily devote themselves to their own education. A doctoral student may, however, be engaged to a limited extent in education, research and administration, mainly within the department where the student is accepted. Such duties, before a doctorate has been conferred, may not occupy more than 20 percent of full-time working hours. (Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1993:100) Chapter 5 section 2). Depending on the profile and interest of the applicant, s/he will be associated with either School of Business, Economics, and IT or Dept. of Health Sciences.

Qualification requirements:
The basic eligibility requirements for doctoral programs as set out in the Higher Education Ordinance are as follows:

  • A degree at master’s level (one year)
  • completed courses totaling at least 240 university credits of which a minimum of 60 at master’s level or,
  • substantially equivalent knowledge gained in some other way whether in Sweden or abroad.

The research and education board can for a specific applicant grant an exception from the basic eligibility requirement if special conditions are met, in line with the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 7 §39.

To fulfill the special eligibility requirements for a doctoral degree in Work Integrated Learning,

  • a student must have acquired 90 university credits hold a degree at master’s level (one year) in a subject relevant to the doctoral degree subject Work Integrated Learning or
  • have acquired corresponding knowledge in other contexts and an degree project of at least 15 university credits at master’s level or other written work of corresponding character and scope. T
  • This degree may be in Work Integrated Learning or some related discipline, such as Informatics, Information Systems, and Health Sciences. The eligibility requirements may be fulfilled by studies in Sweden or abroad. 

For more information on requirements, please read 3.1 and 3.2 in General syllabus for the third-cycle programme in Work Integrated and Workplace Learning, Ref. No 2019/378;

Assessment criteria:
The basic factor for selection from among qualified applicants is the ability to profit from the doctoral program, and the ability to put knowledge into practice. For more information on selection and admission, please read section 3.3 in General syllabus for the third-cycle programme in Work Integrated and Workplace Learning, Ref. No 2019/378.

Selection and admission:
Admission takes place after an individual examination. The Examination examination is founded on an assessment of the applicants ability to succeed in the postgraduate education based on previous study results, the quality of independent written papers of scientific and investigative character that were produced as part of previous education programs. In addition, past practical experience will also be assessed.

Qualifications of merit for this position
To be successful in this project the applicant should in general be highly motivated, possess a structured way of working, have good collaborative skills, as well as good communicative skills in both Swedish and English language. The applicant should be knowledgeable in the information systems area where studies of technology, information and people are interrelated for supporting learning, knowledge acquisition and collaboration. The applicant should also have knowledge of the publicly funded healthcare and the health care system in Sweden. Other meritable knowledge for this position includes:

experience of (nursing) care and medical knowledge, experience from running iterative user-centered design processes including software prototyping and quantitative/qualitative evaluation methods.

The Doctoral student employment includes four years of full time studies and ends with a doctoral degree. (Högskoleförordningen 5 kap 7§). However, the employment can stretch over the span of 5 years but that includes 20% employment within the institution, for example Teaching teaching assignments or administrative tasks. The starting date will be in March or by agreement. For the employment to be accepted required decisions are made. The salary for the doctoral employment follows the respective university fixed salary chart for doctoral students.

An employment as a doctoral student is until further notice, though farthest to a set date and never longer than one year after completed doctoral degree. The first employment will be limited to one year. The employment will then be renewed with the maximum limit of two years at the time. The employment corresponds to four years of full time studies within the limit of maximum eight years. (Högskoleförordningen 5 kap 7§).

Applications are to be submitted electronically through the University West web-based recruitment tool, Varbi.
Go to

The application must include:

  • CV Personal letter containing:
    -Interest, knowledge and understanding of the research topic of WIL
    -Previous experience regarding the research topic and its research methods and scientific theories
    -Motivation to pursue doctoral studies
  • Idea sketch (containing an overall sketch of a research approach within the specified doctoral student project that interests the applicant)
  • Degree project at the second level of higher education
  • Degree certificate of first and second level of higher education
  • Name, email address, and phone number to two references, alternatively letters of recommendation
  • Other documents which the applicant wishes to invoke

Approved written languages for theses, degree certificates, grade sheets, and other relevant documents are the Scandinavian languages, English, or translations to these languages. Attach original documents when submitting translated material.

The application should reach University West no later than 2021-01-31

Documents that cannot be sent digitally, mark the application with 2020/216 and should be sent to:

University West
461 86 Trollhättan

Welcome with your application!

We decline any direct contact with the staffing and recruitment companies, as well as vendors of recruitment advertisers.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment By agreement
Salary Monthly pay
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Trollhättan
County Västra Götalands län
Country Sweden
Reference number 2020/216
  • Ann Svensson, Associate Professor , 0520223513,
  • Thomas Pederson, Guest Professor ,
  • Åsa Rejnö, Senior Lecturer , +46739013430,
Union representative
  • Berit Forsman, SACO, +46739013410
  • Amanda Johansson,OFR , +46520223101
Published 16.Dec.2020
Last application date 31.Jan.2021 11:59 PM CET

Return to job vacancies