PhD Handbook

Research is fun! Doctoral studies are a time of creativity, development and freedom. Yet like all other forms of education and employment, doing a PhD also involves duties and rights. 

What should you do if you get stuck in your research or have problems with your  supervisor(s)?  What conditions apply if you have a child and wish to take parental leave, or if you are ill?

The following handbook has been written to inform you on a wide range of such issues. Our aim has been to compile information that is
applicable across the entire University. Beyond such general information, each individual faculty and department has their own specific rules aguidelines, information about which you can seek
from both the faculties and departments themselves, including their websites and on Medarbetarportalen (often under “HR”), and the
PhD student committees at faculty level (fakultetsdoktorandråd). This is the third revised edition of the handbook. The work with compiling, revising and making the information up to date has been performed by a working group with members of the Doctoral Board (Doktorandnämnden).

Some Swedish words have been provided in parenthesis (e.g. in the last paragraph).

We hope this guide will provide PhD students an image of their rights and duties, along with a host of other useful bits of information, including where to find further information on different subjects mentioned here. We also hope that this will help enable you to enjoy all the many positive things that research studies have to offer.

Good luck with your research!

Uppsala, spring 2017
The authors
This document can be found electronically at:


PhD student influence and organisation

Outline of the organization

Overview of Uppsala University’s organization:


General information

As a PhD student, you have a right to influence your education: a right guaranteed by legislation. Student representation at Uppsala University is at the moment organized by the University’s six student unions (studentkårer), with the swedish names: Uppsala studentkår, Farmaceutiska studentkåren, Uppsala Teknolog- och Naturvetarkår, Uppsalaekonomerna, Juridiska föreningen, and Gotlands studentkår Rindi. Which of these particular unions that represents you depends on which faculty or campus you belong to. Membership in these organizations is entirely voluntary. For further information, including details on how to join, visit:

The Doctoral Board (Doktorandnämnden) is a co-operative body for the representation of all doctoral students from across the University’s faculties (irrespective of membership in the specific student unions). The Board deals with university-wide issues relating to PhD students, and is responsible for appointing PhD student representatives for various key boards and committees at the university level, as well as arranging social activities to bring doctoral students from different parts of the University together. To influence the PhD education within your particular faculty, you should turn to the specific committees established for this: the Faculty Doctoral Councils (fakultetsdoktorandråden). These councils are concerned with monitoring the situation of doctoral students in their respective faculties, as well as with appointing PhD student representatives for the faculties’ decision-making bodies and for the Doctoral Board. Within the area of Humanities and Social Sciences, there is a further body for cooperation between the various faculty-level councils, namely the Doctoral Committee for the Humanities and Social Sciences or HSDU (after the Swedish name Humanistiska och samhällsvetenskapliga doktorandutskottet), which discusses area-wide questions and selects representatives for the governing boards at this level (i.e. humsam), in particular the Board for the Disciplinary Domain (Områdesnämnden).

Many departments at the University also have their own particular organizations or associations for PhD students (doktorandföreningar), which serve to promote their member’s interests. These organizations play a vital role in allowing PhD students to connect with their peers and in working towards the improvement of their working environments and employment conditions. For further information about how to start up such an organization, contact the Chair of the Doctoral Board. If such an association exists at your department, it may appoint a PhD student representative to serve on the department’s governing board. Otherwise the department normally advertises the candidacy of such a position, according with the University’s statutes and regulations. All student and PhD student representatives are appointed for a mandate period of one year at a time.

Faculty doctoral councils

There are the following Faculty Doctoral Councils (fakultetsdoktorand-råd) at the University:

  • The Doctoral Council of Pharmacy (Farmaceutiska doktorandrådet; FDR),
  • The Doctoral Council of the Humanities (Humanistiska doktorandrådet; HDR),
  • The Doctoral Council of Law (Juridiska doktorandrådet; JDR),
  • The Doctoral Council of Medical Sciences (Medicinska doktorandrådet; MDR),
  • The Doctoral Council of the Social Sciences (Samhälls-vetenskapliga doktorandrådet; SDR),
  • The Doctoral Council of Theology (Teologiska doktorand-rådet; TDR)
  • The Doctoral Council of Science and Technology (Teknisk-naturvetenskapliga doktorandrådet; TNDR), and
  • The Doctoral Council of Educational Sciences (Utbildningsvetenskapliga doktorandrådet; UDR).

Contact information for the respective councils can be found at:   


There are normally PhD representatives in the different councils and boards at the respective levels. The Doctoral Board elects representatives at the University level, and the different Doctoral Council or their joint committees (e.g. HSDU) elect representatives at the Faculty and Disciplinary Domain levels.

Also, the PhD students are normally represented in the different Forums, Centres and Networks located at or tied to the University. How the doctoral representation is organized and elected varies.

For further information on the structure of the University, visit:



Ombudsman for PhD students

If a study related problem occurs during your time as a PhD student you can contact the Student- and PhD Student Ombudsmen, employed by the student unions, for advice and support. Such issues can for example regard questions about your rights when it comes to parental leave, occupational health care or a change of supervisors. The ombudsmen never pursue a matter or share information on your situation with a third party without your consent to specifically do so.

For further information, visit:

You can contact the ombudsmen at

The Mecenat card, student ID and nations

All students at the University, including PhD students, are eligible to apply for a student identification card at the beginning of each term, at the moment there is an agreement with Mecenat. The student identification card entitles the holder to student discounts on items ranging from books and computers to train and bus tickets and much more (further details can be found at or at Membership of either a student union or a nation is also printed on this card. However, you are entitled to a student identification card even if you are not a member of a student union or nation. If you are a member of a student nation, the card can be used, together with a valid proof of identification, to gain entry to Uppsala’s 13 student nations.

These nations play an important role in student life in Uppsala, both socially and for your studies. Besides being an excellent place to meet people studying a diverse range of subjects, nations also offer student accommodation, scholarships, libraries, pubs, food, cafes, student parties (gasquer), sports associations, choirs, theatre societies, orchestras and many other things that can enrich your time as a student in Uppsala. The funding scholarships available through nations can also provide a valuable extra form of financial support for research-related travel, purchases of equipment, fieldwork etc. More information about these organizations, how to join, forthcoming events and scholarships can be found at:




The PhD as a research degree

As an education programme the PhD consists of a series of courses and a thesis in which the doctoral student carries out an individual research project. The education programme as a whole corresponds to a net study time (nettostudietid) of four years of full-time studies (240 hp), the successful completion of which results in the award of a doctoral degree. To be accepted to a PhD programme certain admission requirements must be met, both general and subject-specific (to be determined by each individual faculty). Also, the candidate must be deemed to have the required skills and abilities to complete the degree successfully. If a candidate is from outside the Nordic countries, and does not have a previous education entirely in English, the candidate needs to have passed a test of English skills (IELTS or TOEFL). Each particular area and faculty has more detailed information about the relevant application conditions on their websites.

The faculty board may admit students to research-level studies leading to either a licentiate degree or a doctorate. It is considered important that the creation of a two-stage model of admissions is avoided. Therefore, when a student is admitted to a licentiate program, a special explanation must be incorporated in the student’s individual study plan. Admission of students to licentiate programs is to be decided by a Faculty board, or equivalent thereof, and may not be delegated. Graduate students originally admitted to a program leading to a licentiate may, upon renewed application and approval, continue their studies toward a doctorate. Research students who originally planned to complete a doctorate may be permitted to conclude their studies with a licentiate. (The stated follows from section 3 of the Admissions Ordinance for Studies at the Graduate Level Uppsala University, UFV 2006/1972.)  

Change of supervisor

Change of supervisor

If problems arise relating to supervision, the PhD student ought to firstly raise the issue directly with the supervisors, the head of the department (prefekt) or those responsible for the department’s post-graduate programme (i.e. director of research studies, studierektor för forskarutbildningen, or equivalent).  At any time during such a process you can turn to the Ombud for PhD students who can offer confidential advice.

According to national legislation (the Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 6 § 28 section 2), doctoral students have the right to request a change of supervisor, if they wish to do so. A PhD student is accepted to a Department at the University, and not to e.g. an individual supervisor there employed or to a project. A change of supervisor can involve complications, but it is a legal right, and thus the faculty and department are obligated to assist where necessary. The person responsible is the head of department. However, at some departments, this duty has been delegated to the director of research studies.

It is the duty of the head of department to find a solution, which as far as possible satisfies the interests of all parties. In some cases, e.g. where the student is nearing completion of the research, it should be considered whether the original supervisor should retain scientific responsibility for the project. In cases where the student has only recently begun the research, a change of project can be considered in addition to a change of supervisor. The extent to which this is motivated varies between different research subjects.

It is often easier to change a supporting supervisor than changing the main supervisor. It is not particularly uncommon that a change of supporting supervisor is made due to a project progressing in a direction where scientific reasons motivate such a change.  

A change of supervisor should take place if:

  • a supervisor is no longer employed by or adjuncted to the university, or takes full-time leave of absence over a longer period,
  • if duties within the university, or illness, make it difficult to fulfil the obligations of supervisor, or
  • if there is a conflict of interest. For more information, see regulations concerning conflict of interest in the university sphere (Jävsregler inom universitetets verksamhetsområde): (only available in Swedish)

In the case of a change of supervisor, the individual study plan must be revised and its changed conditions must be reported to Uppdok and to the Faculty Office (or the equivalent thereof at your faculty) for registration.


The PhD programme requires completing a range of courses, including e.g. reading courses. The extent of the course part of the research degree varies from subject to subject, but can be up to a maximum of 120 hp. The aim of these courses is in part to provide a general competence in the subject, and in part to ensure the necessary skills to complete the research work for the doctoral thesis. Certain courses are obligatory for all PhD students within a particular subject, others are a matter of individual choice in line with the specific demands of a given project. The obligatory elements shall be clearly stated in the general study plan, or in the study plan for the subject (ämnesutbildningsplanen) if such a plan exists. The individual courses you opt to study should be chosen in consultation with your supervisors as well as stated in your individual study plan.

Doctoral degree

The awarding of a doctoral degree is made on the basis that the student has completed the necessary courses for the research programme, and that a doctoral thesis has been examined and approved via public examination. This thesis presents the results of the research project in a way that demonstrates the candidate’s ability to formulate and treat academic problems independently. A doctoral thesis should convey new knowledge and in this way improve our knowledge. There are two types of thesis: monographies and article-based theses (sammanläggningsavhandlingar). A monograph is a unified and coherent work, while an article-based thesis is composed of a number of articles that have been written during the process of the research degree, accompanied by a unifying summary of these (kappa). Certain of the articles included may have been co-authored with several other people, but the individual PhD candidate must be the main writer for a significant proportion of the thesis. At least three weeks before the final public examination, the doctoral thesis must be publicly available at the University library with a sufficient number of copies to allow satisfactory review of the work prior to the examination. There is a fair amount that needs to be arranged in connection with this examination and the publication of a thesis. A check-list can be found here:



Licentiate degree

The licentiate degree can be completed after two years of full-time studies, provided that all the necessary courses have been completed and that the research student has written a thesis equivalent to at least 60 hp, which has been defended and approved at a ’licentiate seminar’. A PhD student who has been admitted to a doctoral programme cannot be forced against their will to submit for a licentiate degree, even if it is common practice in some subjects to complete a licentiate degree on the way towards a doctoral degree. Certain subjects also insist upon an obligatory ’half-time control’ seminar after two years (in which case this is to be included in the individual study plan). Details as to how the examination of the licentiate thesis is to proceed can be found in the general study plan for each subject’s research degrees.

Pedagogical training for undergraduate teaching

PhD students who teach undergraduate courses should normally have completed introductory teacher training or have attained equivalent skills via other means. It should be noted that all doctoral students at Uppsala University have the right to attend the shared, university-wide course in pedagogical training, and it is the Head of Department or Director of Studies that approves participation in such courses. Different faculties have different models in place for how they compensate for the time that PhD students spend in completing this course. Some departments are prepared to recognize this course as equivalent to a course for the research degree and thus include it as such. Other departments regard this course as a matter of staff training, and treats it as part of the employment as an assistant (institutionstjänstgöring; see below for more details). Some general information about teaching and educational training at Uppsala University can be found in the document Teaching and Learning at Uppsala University ( For more information about the teaching at your department, you can contact your supervisor, or for instance the director of research studies or faculty doctoral council.

Study plan

According to national university regulations each PhD programme should have a General study syllabus (allmän studieplan). In addition to this, an Individual study plan (Individuell studieplan) should also be agreed upon for each PhD student (the Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 6 § 29). The latter plan shall include details such as the particular degree being pursued, the time-plan for the programme, the financing of the studies, any intended teaching, any special conditions relating to place of work, computers and other equipment, as well as information about the project’s supervisors and the extent of supervision expected. (More information on the General study syllabuses and Individual study plans can be found in the Guidelines for Third-cycle Education at UppsalaUniversity: The individual study plan is a document with legally binding effect and is to be reviewed at least once per year by the PhD student and supervisors, modified where necessary and then signed by PhD student, supervisors and the Head of Department. If needed, the individual study plan should be revised more often. The purpose of such follow-up is to ensure the research project is proceeding satisfactorily, and to recognize and solve potential problems at as early a stage as possible. All parties should remember that the study plan is a legally binding document, which means that it states your obligations as a PhD student, and at the same time the University’s obligations towards you. This also means that the study plan can be utilized, e.g. by a PhD student who feels that something provided for in the study plan has not been given.


For each PhD student at least two supervisors should be appointed: a main supervisor, with primary responsibility for the research degree and the doctoral thesis, and a supporting supervisor. At least one of these supervisors must be qualified as a ’docent’. Similarly, at least one supervisor must be employed by, or adjunct to, Uppsala University. The chief task of the supervisors is to help the PhD student develop into an independent researcher. The supervisor should:

  • Act as a conversant in an academic discussion, helping with the choice of thesis topic and ensuring that this is realistic and practically conceivable.
  • Review manuscripts and other relevant material, and aid in the process of revising texts and results for publication.
  • Recommend appropriate courses and interesting and relevant reading material.
  • Assist with establishing contact with other institutions in Sweden and abroad.
  • Help in guiding the PhD student in visiting and participating in international conferences and meetings.
  • Recommend potential sources of research funding and financial support. 


Funding and financial support

The financing of a doctoral project can vary considerably between  different PhD students. According to Swedish university legislation (the Higher Education Ordinance, chapter 7 §§ 34 and 36), only PhD students who have secure financing for the entire research education may be admitted to doctoral programmes. In practice, this means that departments cannot withdraw support for a registered PhD student on the basis of a contingent lack of funding. The particular remuneration and benefits for a doctoral student differ depending on the type of funding one has. Provided below is an overview of the most common forms of financial support. More detailed information can be found at the Medarbetarportalen-website (see links below).

If you are employed as a PhD student (doktorandanställning) you are entitled to receive compensation (in the form of extra time or payment) in certain situations, i.e. parental leave, illness, military
service (maximum 60 days), care of a relative (närståendevård) and commissioned assignments (for instance, a post on the Faculty 20

Doctoral Council). Specific guidelines for how many days extension are applicable for the various assigned positions can be found at: (swedish).

Employment as a PhD student

Employment as a PhD student shall normally relate to work full-time.
If a PhD student so requests, the employment may relate to work
part-time, however no less than 50 percent of full-time (the Higher
Education Ordinance, chapter 5 § 3 a). The salary for this position is
to follow a development curve that is negotiated annually by the trade
union, see:

As an employee, you are provided with a range of benefits, including
paid holiday, sickness benefits and paid parental leave. You are also
entitled to paid leave in connection with funerals of relatives, moving
accommodation and medical appointments. There are different
systems in use for the practicalities of taking holiday depending on the
department; speak to your particular Personnel administrator to find
out what applies for your department.

Study grant

The study grant for PhD students is set by the government at currently (May 2013) 15500 SEK before tax. Certain faculties and departments are still using this study grant system to finance the first year of the doctoral programme, but these grants are due to be fased out in favour of full employment for the entire programme. From the 1st January, 2015 this form of financing is no longer to be used at Uppsala (though certain exceptions may still be permitted.)

PhD students funded via study grant are not formally employed by the university and are thus not entitled to paid holiday. Since the university does not pay the "employer’s contribution" for such students, this grant does not contribute to your social security entitlement (sjukpenninggrundande inkomst: SGI). You are not, therefore, eligible to apply for benefits from the Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) in case of illness or parental leave --- unless you have been employed for a sufficient length of time prior to doctoral studies to have earned some SGI. Instead, what generally happens is that you continue to receive all or a proportion of your study grant when absent for such things as illness, parental leave, etc.
Contact your department's personnel administrator for detailed advice about such matters.

Scholarships and other forms of financial support

Additional forms of financial support range from external funding and scholarships to self-supported studies. Funding from an external employer means that the PhD student is employed by that particular organization, and subject to their employment terms and conditions.

As of 2016 study grants are not an approved means of funding.

Information on available scholarships can be found in different places, among others: and

Doctoral students supported via scholarships have the right to an income level that is at least equivalent to a study grant after tax. It is generally the case that scholarship recipients are not entitled to the full social security benefits that an employed PhD student has (i.e. the right to paid sickness leave, holiday etc.). To improve the conditions and social protection of all scholarship funded PhD students, from the first of january 2014, there is an insurance at The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet), applicable to cases where PhD students are deprived of scholarship funding due to sickness or parental leave. For more information, visit:



Employment as an assistant

According to the Higher Education Ordinance (chapter 5 § 2) employed PhD students are supposed to primarily devote themselves to their own education (where the own research is included). However PhD students are commissioned to work up to 20 percent of full-time as an assistant (institutionstjänstgöring). This time can normally be spread out over the years of your education, and does not count as part of the doctoral programme. This means that working 20 percent as an assistant reduces the pace of studies to 80 percent, with the result that the education will take five years instead of four. Working as an assistant can cover a range of tasks at your department, from teaching and supervising labs to copying and administration.

You do not have to perform any teaching or other departmental duties unless your contract for your scholarship allows it, and it is written in your individual study plan. You generally do not have to do anything that is not stated in your Individual study plan. Some flexibility is however allowed, for example if a senior asks you to help out with smaller issues with short notice (and you do not have time to revise the study plan).

Leave of absence and study breaks

Prolongation (extension of education time)

A PhD student’s net study time shall correspond to four years of full-time studies (240 ECTS credits). If a PhD student spends time on other things than the student’s own studies the education time can in some cases be extended (prolongation), if there is reason for extension. Such reasons can be sick leave, leave for service in the armed forces or leave for commissioned assignments of trust in trade unions and student organizations or parental leave.

Guidelines for the extension of study time for PhD students with positions of trust are available at: (however only in Swedish).

Since the amount of work required can vary between the various positions, the guidelines provide for minimum levels of extension.

Sickness and sick leave

There is some information on the health care provided by the University below, under the section on Additional benefits and advantages. If you get sick you should report it. It can be reported via Primulaweb ( If you go on sick leave, your study time will be extended with a time equivalent to that of the sick leave. It is important to report in sick from first day, since you cannot go on sick leave retroactively.

As regards the compensation for employees, the following applies: The first day is a qualifying day (karensdag) and the whole pay is deducted. Day 2 - 14 you get sickness salary (sjuklön) from the University, with 80 % of the monthly salary. From day 15 the employer reports the case of sickness to the National Social Security Department (Försäkringskassan) which then pays social security benefits in the form of Sick Pay (sjukpenning) until, and including, day 365. The University will supplement this with 10 percent of your monthly salary as Sick Pay Supplement (sjukpenningtillägg). For more information: visit: (Swedish only).

Scholarship funded PhD students instead get compensation through the Health and parental insurance for doctoral students with stipends, where The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency (Kammarkollegiet), is the insurer. Sick reports can be made to: For further information on the insurance and on how to claim compensation, visit:

Leave of absence and ’study breaks’

Leave of absence can be granted when the PhD student, supervisors and Head of Department are in agreement, and it is documented in the individual study plan. If a student is scholarship funded, the application for leave works in the same way regardless of whether it is regarded as a question of ’leave of absence’ (tjänstledighet) or a ’study break’ (studieuppehåll). Whichever form of absence it may concern, it is important that the conditions surrounding it (the most important of which being the extent of it) are documented.

Parental leave

You have a right to parental leave, and are not required to perform work assignments during the time of leave. The rules governing benefits for parental leave can often seem complicated and hard to interpret. If you need to apply for parental leave, you are advised to contact both the National Social Security Department (Försäkrings-kassan), and the Personnel department at the University to establish what applies for you. It is important to do so as soon as possible in these circumstances, since you might be required to have worked a certain amount of time to be eligible for full parental leave benefits.

The faculty board may extend the research education time, due to, among other things, parental leave. In addition to the extension which should this way be given directly equivalent to the time of the parental leave, the respective faculty board may extend a phd student’s time with up to 3 months if the leave has caused particular difficulties for the resumption of gathering of materials, experiments or similar things, that is, grant so called start up-months (uppstartsmånader). A condition is that the phd student has been on leave for at least 4 months. See the Parental Policy of Uppsala University: (Swedish only)


Withdrawal of support and de-registration

PhD students who are judged to have grossly neglected their commitments, as laid out in the individual study plan, can have their support and resources, i.e. supervision, financing, office-space, telephone, etc., withdrawn. The decision to withdraw support is taken by the University Vice-Chancellor following the involvement of the organ responsible for doctoral programmes at the faculty-level. Both the PhD student and supervisors are entitled to express their views before such a decision is made.

Should such a situation arise, the Ombud for PhD students can offer help and advice. In the considerations leading up to a judgement as to whether a doctoral student’s support should be withdrawn, due attention shall be paid to how far the University has met its commitments according to the individual study plan, in terms of adequate supervision, a good study environment etc. If the University has failed to meet any of its obligations, measurements should be taken to help the PhD student get back on track with their studies. However, if it is established that the PhD student has failed to fulfill their requirements support can be withdrawn, through a fully documented and motivated decision.

PhD students who have had their support withdrawn can appeal for it to be reinstated following a special judgement, based mainly on the student being able to show clear signs of progress pointing towards the possibility of successfully completing the research education (the intended degree) within a reasonable time span. There is a difference between having support withdrawn and being de-registered. Even though support has been withdrawn, a student may continue to be registered as a PhD student and have the possibility of presenting a doctoral thesis. You cannot be de-registered against your wishes.

Employment forms and conditions


Employement as doctoral student

Scholarship funding

Rate of remuneration

Lowest salary: 25 000 kr (before tax)

Minimum: Equivalent to the level of a Study grant after tax, i.e. ca 12 500. Some faculties, as a general rule, pay more (often equivalent of a PhD-student salary).

Paid holiday?

28-35 dagar, with additional holiday payment (semestertillägg)


Grants right to social security entitlements (SGI) ?

Paid sickness leave.

Compensation from the Insurance for PhD students from The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency’s (Kammarkollegiet).

Compensation for medical appointments, prescriptions, etc??



Paid parental leave?

Parental leave payments claimed via social security department, Försäkringskassan. A supplementary payment (föräldrapenningtillägg) is made by the university of up to 10% of your salary. To be entitled to the maximum level of parental leave payments, you must have been employed for at least 8 months prior to taking leave.

Compensation from the Insurance for PhD students from The Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency’s (Kammarkollegiet).

Pension contributions?

Contributes towards general pension (allmän pension), and from 28 years of age even for state occupational pension (statlig tjänstepension).


Group life insurance?

Covered by the state’s group life insurance, including certain survivor protection.

Covered by the state’s group life insurance, including certain survivor protection (efterlevandeskydd).

Work injury?

Covered by insurance for, and legislation on, work-related injuries.

Not covered by insurance for, and legislation on, work-related injuries. Instead covered by the University’s student insurance.

Additional benefits and advantages

Health care

The student health organization, Studenthälsan ( specializes in study-related problems. They employ general practitioners, counselors, psychologists and nurses. Studenthälsan works actively with preventive health care, such as through the provision of ’health profiles’ after consultation with a nurse. The clinic also works with courses/groups, seminars and a focus on study environments. These courses include stress-management courses aimed at and tailored to PhD student.

Uppsala University uses occupational health care to prevent work-related illness, physical as well as psychological, poor health, injuries and disease, and to help individuals to return to work and to start work adaptation and rehabilitation as soon as possible. Following the first of January 2015, the University’s health care provider is Feel Good AB. All registered research students, regardless of their source of funding, have a right to use the services of the occupational health organization, provided that they have a degree of activity of minimum 20 percent. Visits are approved by and paid for by the Head of Department/equivalent or the Personnel department. For conversational support, three visits are paid for by the Personnel department, without the Head of Department/equivalent needing to be informed, but for further visits you need to consult with your Head of Department/equivalent, since further visits are paid for by the Department/equivalent.  

Employed personnel can be reimbursed by the University for Costs for medical care and medication. For further information, visit: (only available in Swedish, and requires login for Medarbetarportalen).  



Wellness subsidy

Uppsala university offers employees a ‘Wellness subsidy’ (friskvårds-bidrag), to promote well-being and physical activity. As a PhD student with an employment position (doktorandanställning) you are currently (2017) entitled to claim up to 2000 kr per year (or 1000 kr per term) for expenses concerning for example training memberships (i.e. a gym-card). To receive the full level of contribution you need to be employed for the whole period that the card is valid for, otherwise a proportional reduction will be made. For more information, visit: (login required).

Remember that many training- and sport-centers offer student discounts open to PhD students! Studenthälsan, for instance, has two centers under the name Campus1477 (



Finding accomodation

It can be hard to find accommodation having newly arrived in Uppsala. As a PhD student you are entitled to rent students' accommodation. The university has general information and lists of landlords with student apartments at:, and (in Swedish).The student union, Uppsala studentkår, has joined together with the university and local council to form a housing association: This site also offers some useful tips and advice on finding a place to live. Many departments at the university also have some form of accommodation for rent for shorter periods of time to visiting researchers, newly-arrived PhD students etc., so do check with your department if you are struggling to find somewhere to live.

Trade unions

As a PhD student, you can choose to join a trade union. There are several unions that represent doctoral students, both within SACO and TCO. Salary levels are negotiated locally by the SACO-S council, in which SULF is the dominant union. The trade unions are not affiliated with any political party. To be assisted by a trade union you generally need to be a member of it.


Unemployment benefits

If you have been a member of an unemployment fund (a-kassa) and meet certain conditions you are entitled to claim unemployment benefits while you apply for jobs after graduation. It is generally the case that membership in such a fund is connected to trade union membership, though there are exceptions. The most important condition in order to receive unemployment benefits is to have been a member in an unemployment fund for at least 12 months. You cannot claim benefits during the time you are studying, even at doctoral level, since you must be applying for jobs and prepared to take available work. Note that receiving a study grant, even including a 20 percent commission as assistant, does not entitle you to benefits. Part-time studies with, for instance, a half-time employment as a PhD student reduces the level of unemployment benefits you may claim. Contact these unemployment funds and the trade unions for more detailed information about the rules and regulations relating to unemployment benefit.



Useful websites, applicable rules and legislation, etc