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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: