The PhD programme in Learning, Working Life and Social Innovation forms a framework for the education of PhD students within a broad range of research areas. The PhD programme includes approximately 15 supervisors from several of the institute’s research groups, and there is particular emphasis on having a mutually supportive PhD education environment.
The PhD programme is concerned with opportunities and constraints for learning, development and innovation in work, education and civil society. Centrally, the goal is to explore issues with an interdisciplinary approach and an interest in research contributing to developing opportunities for participation, influence and democracy.
Research into Learning in a life-long perspective is designed in relation to the stages of life (children, adolescents, adults, elderly), learning contexts (education, institutions, family, work, health, social innovation processes, professions), gender, diversity, ethnicity and learning aspects (democratic development, expertise, identity and competence development, etc.). The fundamental goal is to develop a nuanced understanding of the interplay between people's conditions for learning and the subjective processes that are involved in processes of learning and change, as well as helping to develop innovative and democratic working and learning environments. The research is concerned with the consequences of sustained social modernization processes for children and adults, as well as for education and day-care institutions and family life.
Research into Working Life is concerned with recent developments in modern work, such as lack of boundaries, social acceleration and precarization. In this respect, it is particularly interested in the transformation of meaning, identity, subjects and professions, as well as in well-being, stress and the psychological working environment. There is also particular interest in changes in work related to the new (welfare) professions. Thus, the interest in recent trends in more classical areas of working life is accompanied by an interest in so-called human work. In addition to the interest in work itself, the research also focuses on labour relations, regulation and employment, as well as on a number of education programmes related to working life, and the interaction between learning in education and in working life. The key feature of the research area is the interest in exploring opportunities and limitations for influence and democracy in working life, and the use of research methods that involve employees and users/citizens.
Research in Social Innovation examines and contributes to the development of different types of efforts to solve societal challenges related to welfare, social, occupational, cultural, educational and psychological issues. The research in social innovation, intervention and social entrepreneurship meets a need in society for research-based design, planning, implementation, documentation and evaluation of social interventions, as well as a need to examine issues and develop efforts across administrative areas, across professions and across societal sectors, both public, private and civil society organizations. There is also a focus on how social value creation, combined with renewal and partnerships between public authorities, voluntary organizations and private enterprises, can create new welfare initiatives, employment opportunities and local community activities.