Funding

Financial resources for doctoral studies come from internal funds and from external donors such as government research funding bodies, foundations, sectoral bodies, public authorities or the business sector.

Doctoral students whose means of support derives from external funding fall under the same regulatory framework as doctoral students who are funded out of the University’s own resources.

Means of support for doctoral students

All doctoral students must have adequate means of support throughout their studies. When admitting doctoral students, the department therefore undertakes to provide funding for four years of full-time study at doctoral level.

As stated in the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 7) and in Uppsala University’s Admission Regulations and Guidelines, the number of doctoral students admitted may not exceed the number that can be offered supervision, and who have funding for their studies in one of the ways specified below and otherwise acceptable conditions for study, e.g. sufficient resources for conducting the research project.

  • Employment as a doctoral student for the full duration of studies. The primary means of support for doctoral students awarded admission is employment as a doctoral student (a doctoral studentship).
  • Another means of support that has been guaranteed for the full duration of studies and that enables the applicant to devote a sufficiently large proportion of their time to their studies that these can be completed within eight years. The department must ensure that the doctoral student’s net financial position at least matches that of doctoral students employed by the University, as specified in the salary scale for doctoral students.

For each admission, an individual plan for means of support for the full duration of studies must be drawn up in the individual study plan.

As long as the doctoral student fulfils their commitments in the individual study plan, their means of support may not be withdrawn.

Employment as a doctoral student can be externally funded (funds granted following application by the supervisor to a government research funding body, for example, and administered by the department) or faculty-funded (direct government funding linked to a research programme). Doctoral students whose appointment is externally funded fall under the same regulatory framework as those who are funded out of the faculty’s resources. In cases where a doctoral student is employed at another Swedish higher education institution but is supervised at Uppsala University, an established agreement must be in place before admission. A template for such an agreement is available under Forms and templates.

Employment decisions are made by the head of department.

A doctoral student may not be employed for a longer period than corresponds to four years of full-time doctoral studies.

During the portion of their working hours that is defined in their study plan as study time, doctoral students should primarily devote themselves to their own doctoral studies. An individual employed as a doctoral student may, however, work to a limited extent with other educational tasks, research and administration in what are known as departmental duties. Before a doctorate has been awarded, duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post (Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Section 2).

If the doctoral student divides their working hours between, for example, 80 per cent for their own studies and 20 per cent for departmental duties (the maximum level), their four years of studies will be used up after five years. The total period of employment as a doctoral student can be extended if there are special reasons.

A doctoral student can be admitted with other means of support, but the department must always guarantee means of support for the entire duration of their studies. The applicant must be able to devote a sufficiently large proportion of their time to their studies that these can be completed within eight years (corresponding to four years of full-time study).

Externally employed doctoral student

The concept ‘externally employed doctoral student’ refers to doctoral students employed by an organisation other than Uppsala University, such as a company, another public authority, a municipality or a research institute. An externally employed doctoral student conducts research on a part-time basis as part of their employment and continues to receive their salary as an employee.

The Faculty Board’s Working Committee decides on the admission of externally employed doctoral students. An agreement must be entered into with the external employer prior to admission.

Some externally employed doctoral students conduct most of their studies at their external place of employment, while others spend this time at the department. The doctoral student often has two supervisors – one at their place of employment and one at the department.

Employed at another higher education institution

A doctoral student admitted to doctoral studies at Uppsala University can be employed at another higher education institution. An agreement must be entered into between the two institutions prior to admission to clarify their respective commitments in the course of the studies. A template for such an agreement is available under Forms and templates.

The Faculty Board has decided that scholarships are to be used restrictively.

Admission of a doctoral student funded by a scholarship requires an agreement with the organisation providing the scholarship. The application for admission is prepared by the faculty’s Doctoral Education Board for decision by the Faculty Board’s Working Committee. An agreement must be entered into with the organisation providing the scholarship prior to processing.

Scholarships can occur in doctoral studies when students from other countries have a scholarship from their home country or when a funding provider other than Uppsala University provides the scholarship. Except in special cases, the scholarship may only be used during the first year of doctoral studies and the doctoral student position must have been advertised.

Scholarships are not salaries; they are a tax-free grant for education which in principle should cover the student’s maintenance for the duration of the scholarship. Doctoral students funded by scholarships must have been admitted to a doctoral programme.

The faculty urges restraint in the use of scholarship funding, and for this reason admission decisions are made by the Faculty Board’s Working Committee. All admissions other than when the doctoral student is appointed to a doctoral studentship are made by the Faculty Board’s Working Committee.

Security for doctoral students funded by scholarships

One consequence of scholarships as a means of support is that the holder lacks some social security. The doctoral student is not entitled to unemployment benefit, parental benefit or sickness benefit, and the scholarship does not count towards pension rights. Doctoral students funded by scholarships have basic insurance coverage through the University’s collective insurance policies with Kammarkollegiet (the Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency). The department has an obligation to offer the doctoral student a good work environment and good conditions for carrying out doctoral studies in accordance with the general syllabus and the individual study plan. Like doctoral students with other funding, doctoral students funded by scholarships have a right to vacations corresponding to annual leave, a right to use occupational health services and time for wellness activities.

Supplementary funding for doctoral students

The department must ensure that a doctoral student funded by a scholarship is in a net financial position that at least matches that of a doctoral student employed by the University, as specified in the salary scale for doctoral students. This is done by paying supplementary funding for doctoral students (see forms and templates). For information about supplementary funding for doctoral students, see the faculty’s Guidelines for doctoral (third-cycle) education

  • Information about scholarships
  • Insurance for employees

Salary levels

The salary level for an employed doctoral student is set centrally through local collective negotiations in the form of the salary scale, which specifies the salary in year 1, year 2 and year 3, and after completing 50 per cent and 80 per cent of the requirements. A doctoral student normally reaches 50 per cent after two years of full-time study and 80 per cent after approximately 38 months of full-time study. If there are performance-based requirements for reaching 50 per cent or 80 per cent, this must be clarified in the individual study plan.

Employment as a doctoral student gives the same social benefits and insurance coverage as other employment at Uppsala University. Information about work and employment conditions.

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