During the Spring Term 2020 HLK's Doctoral Student Organisation was created and directed by doctoral students the School of Education and Communication at Jönköping University. The purpose of the organisation is to be a locus for research students at HLK when it comes to academic and social activities. Every year two doctoral student representatives are elected by their peers at HLK to be responsible for the development of the organisation.

PhD in the Spotlight


Maria Helming Gustavsson


Husband, 4 children (2 boys and 2 girls in the age 21 to 9 years) and a 5 month old Labrador retriever


My research project focuses on reading engagement in fiction reading within the school subject of Swedish in grades 7-9. I will study how teachers in the school subject Swedish understand reading engagement and how this understanding affects text choices and reading activities within their teaching. How the pupils understand reading engagement will also be included in this project and how they receive the instruction about fiction reading. The project will have an ethnographic approach and will be based upon interviews and observations, and different sub-studies will be presented in articles which will be merged in a compilation thesis.

What in your research has been especially exciting?

Since I am at the beginning of my project, I have not yet done so much, but I think it will be exciting to hear teachers’ and students’ thoughts and conceptions of reading engagement when reading fiction. For the moment I am doing interviews with teachers and will later on analyze this material thematically. The result from that process is still to come – that is exciting.

Have you an academic book that you would like to recommend?

I have recently read the thesis Musicalized Characters: A study of music, multimodality, and the empiric child perspective on mainstream animation by Signe Kjaer Jensen and I did also attend the disputation. Kjaer Jensen has been studying childrens' understandings of the contribution of music as a multimodal tool in animated films. The study is interesting in different ways since it is based on childrens' understandings and experiences of media and also since she has studied the function of the music in animated films, as one of several modalities in an interplay within fiction. I was impressed by her research.

Anything more you would like us to know?

I am a part-time doctoral student and also a lecturer at the University of Borås (Skövde Campus). During the previous year (2020/2021) I was a PhD-student at CUL (Center for Educational Sciences and Teacher Research), at the University of Gothenburg, but have now transferred to do my doctoral studies at HLK.

What do we do?

HLK's doctoral organisation works to establish an informative, united environment for all doctoral students at HLK. The organisation consists of two pillars: academic and social. Therefore we organise activities for doctoral students, which are related to research and work itself, while also hosting social activities to contribute to a more cohesive environment at HLK.

What do we offer?

The academic component

We organise research related activities such as "writing retreats", various lectures and workshops with senior researchers, with the intent to support doctoral students dissertation and research work.

The social component

During 2020 have we hosted various doctoral student meet-ups lunches and breakfasts over Zoom.

In 2021 we have met for fika, had a doctoral book circle and an informal text seminar. The Doctoral organisation has also invited doctoral students to a writing retreat that took place in the fall.

Spring Term 2022

Doctoral Fika

We will meet the first wednesday every month 9:30-10:30am (with consideration of the pandeic we will meet digitally until further notice). A meeting link is sent out via outlook. If you have not received a link please contact us.


The popular bookcircle is back! For more info see Teams

We hope in the future to have more activities during the term. We follow JU guidelines in regards to the pandemic situation.

Please contact one of the doctoral student representatives linked below for for further information or suggestions regarding activities.

Our Podcast

HLK's doctoral student organisation has started their own podcast! Below you can listen to the first exciting episode with Karen Ann, Josefin, and Jens. 

Podcast Episodes

Episode 10 (Reflections on research ethics, workstructure and doctoral student's wellbeing)

Episode 9 (A New Term and Writing Retreat!)

Episode 8 (The Spring that has been. Happy Summer!) External link, opens in new window.

Episode 7 (with Ana Carolina Souza)

Episode 6 (a deeper conversation with Ylva Lindberg)

Episode 5 (Welcome back!)

Episode 4 (Reflections from 2020)

Episode 3 (with Elisabet Sandblom)

Episode 2 (with Susanna Anderstaf)

Episode 1

Do you have a suggestion for a future episode? Don't hesitate to contact one of the following doctoral student representatives below.

Doctoral Student Organisation Representatives 2021-2022:

Jens Sjöberg External link, opens in new window.

Karen Ann Blom External link, opens in new window.