Professor of social work

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 28 Apr 2021

We are looking for a professor of social work for a permanent position at the School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.

Subject area

The subject area for this position is social work.


Together with psychology, law and criminology, the department of social work at Örebro University forms the School of Law, Psychology and Social Work and the subject is the main field of study on the Social Work Programme. Social work research at Örebro University deals with various aspects of the importance of social relations, as well as structural conditions for bringing about social change for people with difficult living conditions at different stages of their lives, within professional settings and institutions. Research within the subject concerns both studies of social problems with respect to children, adolescents, adults and the elderly, and the prerequisites and conditions for social work and social interventions in connection with these.

With social work being the main field of study on one of Örebro University’s main professional degree programmes, strengthening and further developing research within the field is a priority for the university. This primarily concerns empirical research and theory development aiming to develop social work as a practice.

Örebro University and the department of social work are therefore seeking to appoint a professor of social work who is strongly rooted in the subject, who will contribute to strengthening and developing our research, and who will take charge of the department’s development. The person we are looking for has documented experience of strategic research development within social work and will contribute to the long-term development of the department through creativity, initiative, engagement and commitment.

Duties and responsibilities

As a rule, a professor at Örebro University spends the bulk of their working hours on research. They are also expected to work actively to bring in external research grants to the subject, take overall responsibility for its research activities, and contribute to developments within the subject field internationally. A professor is expected to be involved at all three levels of education at the university and to communicate and collaborate around their own and the department’s research activities.

A professor is moreover expected, within the scope of their employment, to make themselves available for executive and administrative assignments at the university.


A person who has demonstrated both research and teaching expertise is qualified for employment as a professor.

A general eligibility criterion for permanent teaching positions at Örebro University is that the applicant has completed courses on teaching and learning in higher education corresponding to at least 10 weeks. Knowledge and skills equivalent to such courses may also be assessed to establish whether these provide eligibility. This assessment will be made by Örebro University. For appointment as professor, the applicant must also have completed courses on doctoral supervision. A professor who at the time of appointment does not meet these criteria must complete the required courses no later than within two years of taking up the position.

Assessment criteria

When appointing a professor, both the applicant’s research expertise and their teaching expertise will be assessed, and both should be given equal attention. The assessment is also to consider the applicant’s qualifications and experience from collaboration with the wider community, of which the university is a part, as well as their national and international experience and mobility. In addition, the applicant’s suitability for the position and their leadership skills will be assessed. Suitability refers to the applicant demonstrating the personal qualities required to successfully perform the duties and responsibilities at hand, to be able to cooperate with other members of staff, and to contribute to the development of university operations.

Research expertise

The applicant’s research expertise will be assessed based on their independent research contributions. The appointment as professor requires not only an ability to conduct research independently, as is the case for the appointment as docent, it also requires considerable skills in leading research, which includes leading other researchers and research projects. Research output is expected to be at a continuously high level and published in channels of relevance to the subject using quality-assured processes. Research expertise also encompasses the ability to secure research grants in competition with others, experience of holding positions of trust in academia, and experience of doctoral supervision.

When assessing leadership and administrative skills, qualifications from leadership within research in particular should be considered, as should a demonstrated ability to initiate, organise and lead research projects or research groups. Particular attention is to be paid to candidates’ experience of special assignments, including faculty assignments and appointments to government research funding bodies. Particular attention is also to be paid to candidates’ engagement in the national and international research community. In terms of public engagement, the ability to communicate research is to be considered in conjunction with the ability to conduct research in collaboration with the wider community and the ability to utilise research results for the benefit of society.

Teaching expertise

When defining teaching expertise at Örebro University, three categories are used: teaching approach, how the teaching approach is put into practice, and professional development as a teacher. Teaching expertise is expected to be considerable and demonstrated through teaching qualifications, experience and contributions to varying degrees within teaching and supervision on courses and study programmes at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The applicant must be able to account for their teaching outlook and approach. The applicant should also demonstrate the ability to reflect on their own pedagogical development as well as on the teacher’s role. The applicant shall also have contributed to the development of educational activities. The applicant’s teaching qualifications are to be documented in compliance with Örebro University’s template for teaching portfolios, relating clearly to the values set out in Örebro University’s educational philosophy.

In addition to a well-formulated approach to the teacher’s role, teaching outlook and teaching practice, teaching expertise involves the ability to teach and supervise at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. Teaching expertise also encompasses considerable skills in taking responsibility for planning, executing, examining, and evaluating courses and study programmes, as well as the ability to contribute to and lead development initiatives relating to teaching.

Moreover, teaching expertise encompasses the ability to draw on research in teaching, as well as the ability to advance students’ own learning and interest in the subject.

Applicants’ leadership skills will be assessed in terms of their experience of leadership roles within education, which encompasses the ability to lead operations and staff, and the ability to organise and head up study programmes or other training activities. The ability to engage with other stakeholders in society will be assessed in terms of the ability to develop and undertake courses and other training activities for parties other than higher education institutions; communicate courses and study programmes; and prepare teaching materials for use by external parties.

Other assessment criteria

The successful candidate is expected to be able to teach and communicate, both orally and in writing, in Swedish and English. If the candidate lacks such skills, they are expected to be able to do so within two years of taking up the position.

Contributions on doctoral study programmes, including the supervision of doctoral students, documented experience of leadership within research, and documented experience of strategic research development within social work are considered a particular advantage.


This is a permanent full-time position. At Örebro University, salary depends on the successful candidate’s qualifications and experience.

For more information about the position, contact Professor Åsa Källström, +46 19 30 30 07, email:  or Head of School Kerstin Nordlöf +46 19 30 31 80, email: .

At Örebro University, we expect each member of staff to be open to development and change; take responsibility for their work and performance; demonstrate a keen interest in collaboration and contribute to development; as well as show respect for others by adopting a constructive and professional approach.

Örebro University actively pursues an equal work environment and values the qualities that diversity adds to our operations.


The application is made online. Click the button “Apply” to begin the application procedure.

For the application to be complete, the following electronic documents must be included:

  • Covering letter, outlining how you believe you can contribute to the continued development of Örebro University
  • CV with a relevant description of your overall qualifications and experience
  • Teaching portfolio (as instructed in Örebro University's guidelines )
  • Research portfolio
  • Publication list
  • Relevant scientific publications (maximum of 10 and in full-text format)
  • Copies of relevant course/degree certificates and references verifying eligibility and criteria met

Only documents written in Swedish, English, Norwegian and Danish can be reviewed.

The application deadline is 28th  of April 2021. We look forward to receiving your application!

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