Our research

Our research aims to achieve a high level of societal and contemporary relevance, united with an active and critical approach to the past. Research at the university is generally outward-looking, even within subjects that traditionally study national culture and history. Multidisciplinarity is a key concept.

Södertörn University’s research will contribute to sustainable societal development; this is established in the vision produced by the governing board of the university. Our research now stretches across many disciplines and areas.

Societal and contemporary relevance

Many of our research groups and projects are characterised by their desire to achieve a high level of societal and contemporary relevance. Research includes everything from interreligious and intercultural relations to environmental problems, communication strategies and contemporary changes to the public sphere. Studies relate to Sweden, the area around the Baltic Sea and the new Europe. There a strong research profiles in the humanities, with their foundation in critical reflection on humanity and society, including a specialisation in cultural memory practices.


Södertörn University has a strong tradition of multidisciplinary research. Cooperation across traditional boundaries is important in achieving more nuanced knowledge of complex societal phenomena, which can also lead to new perspectives and problem formulations.

Research about the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe

Multidisciplinary research about the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe is an important profile at Södertörn University. At the university there is a great deal of expertise in examining, explaining and actively participating in analyses of ongoing change in the Baltic Sea region. Studies of the new Europe that has developed since the wall fell also belong here; they may cover housing segregation or young people’s search for identity. However, they could also deal with the Cold War. A great deal of this research is coordinated by the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES).


Research is not only a national concern, but is international and outward-looking to its nature. Many of the university’s researchers are part of international research environments through collaborations, publications and conference participation. At the same time, we also want to be an attractive environment for external parties in the form of visiting researchers and post-docs, of which a number are affiliated to the Baltic Sea and Eastern Europe profile. The aim is to continually develop and deepen our contacts with the world around us.

Research centres

Research centres provide the university with more academic value by focusing on a field of scholarly interest that is at the intersection between traditional disciplines, thus forming creative meeting places for staff and students.

Doctoral education

The university can award doctoral degrees in five multidisciplinary research areas for doctoral studies. Providing and being responsible for doctoral education is a vital part of a thriving research environment.

The university previously had students at doctoral level in various subjects. These were normally at Södertörn University for their education, but this was in cooperation with other universities. Overall, there are around one hundred doctoral students at the university.

Researchers from Södertörn University conduct or are active in many different research projects. They receive funding from the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, Vinnova, and the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, which is one of our biggest financiers.

Södertörn University has been granted funding for numerous research projects that start in 2019. For more information about current projects, please visit Södertörn University’s project database

“Södertörn University contributes to sustainable societal development through research and education, and offers a meeting place for critical perspectives.”

The governing board of Södertörn University validates the vision and objectives that will guide the university’s activities for a five-year period. The current vision objectives are for 2015-2019.

Research – within 5 years we will have achieved:

  • National and international breakthroughs in research relating to the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe, as well as recognition of the university’s status as a knowledge hub for such research
  • Doctoral education in central areas of activity
  • Teaching staff who conduct research, providing high quality links to research in all education
  • A greater proportion of external research funding

Education – within 5 years we will have achieved:

  • Popular, valuable and interdisciplinary courses and programmes, with teachers that conduct research
  • The highest quality on all courses and programmes
  • Internationalisation on all courses and programmes
  • Improved and well-functioning student influence

Third stream activities – within 1 year we will have achieved:

  • A new policy with a strategy and clear statement of intent for third stream activities

Third stream activities – within 5 years we will have achieved:

  • Third stream activities that are of mutual benefit to the university and the surrounding community
  • Incentives that reward and encourage third stream activities
  • Third stream activities and projects linked to the university’s profile: the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe
  • A thriving campus

Is your organisation looking for research partnerships for renewal and development?

As a partner of Södertörn University, you will be able to access current research that may create new ideas, provide new perspectives and translate into practical activities. The university’s research is conducted in the humanities and social sciences, and enriched by environmental science, education and media and information technology.

For the university, the interaction between academia and organisation, regionally, nationally and internationally, is important. We are therefore, as a complement to our basic research, in cooperation with actors outside academia, conducting needs-based research or participating in development work that requires scholarly illumination and problem-solution.

You are welcome to contact us if you have questions or would like more information about potential collaboration.


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