Employment as a doctoral student at KI

According to the Higher Education Ordinance, employment is the most common means of support for doctoral students at KI. This page has important information about salary, other benefits, holiday and parental leave for students appointed to a doctoral studentship (employed as a doctoral student) at KI. Employment through a doctoral studentship is regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5 Sections 1-7.

Those appointed to a doctoral studentship shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. However, within the framework of a studentship, a doctoral student may take part in educational tasks and other departmental duties up to 20 % of a full-time post. If this arrangement has been planned in advance in the student’s individual study plan, the appointment can be extended with the corresponding length of time, although maximum 20 %

 A doctoral studentship shall be a full-time post. If a doctoral student so requests, the appointment may be a part-time post but for no less than 50 % of a full-time post. A person may be appointed to a doctoral studentship for a total of eight years. The total employment period may, however, not exceed the time corresponding to full-time doctoral education for four years. The total period of employment may exceed that time if special grounds exist, such as illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces, or an elected position in a trade union, or parental leave. In some cases, Covid-19 may also be regarded as special grounds. For more information, see the bottom of this page, under "*". “Leave of absence, from the employment as a doctoral student, that does not allow extension under the Higher Education Ordinance should not be granted Instead the doctoral student should terminate the appointment in order to save his/her appointment time as stated in the Higher Education Ordinance.

The initial appointment can be for maximum one year. An appointment can be renewed for maximum two years at a time. At KI, it is recommended that doctoral students be appointed for one year at a time.

In exceptional cases, a doctoral student who has not finished during the employment period available according to HF can be employed for a limited time according to LAS (The Employment Protection Act) as “Doktorand-L”. Special fixed-term employment (SÄVA) can be held for 360 days during a five-year period and began to apply on 1 October 2022 (General fixed-term employment (ALVA) can be held for two years during a five-year period, but the form of employment ceased to apply from 1 October 2022.) Employment according to LAS (for example ALVA and SÄVA) cannot be extended due to special reasons. The employment may affect the possibility of employment as a postdoctoral researcher at KI in the future.


The salary levels for employed doctoral students are regulated in a local collective agreement.

Quick reference guide doctoral

Local collective agreement (in Swedish)

Social benefits for doctoral students

Doctoral students employed by KI enjoy the same social benefits as other employees at the university.


Doctoral students at KI have a so called standard vacation (”schablonsemester”)

Parental leave

Parental leave is regulated through general agreements and Swedish law. KI also has a local agreement on parental benefits.

Information about parental leave, parental leave pay, reduction of work time for parents, taking care of a sick child and temporary parental benefits in conjunction with childbirth

If you get ill

If you are sick you should report this to your workplace the same day. KI pays your salary for the first 14 days of a sick leave. As of the 15th day, the National Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) pays out sickness benefits.

Information about calling in sick and reporting return to work, sickness pay and sickness benefits, doctor’s certification and reimbursement for medical care and drugs

Retirement pension

Doctoral students employed at KI have a pensionable income.

Information about pension for employees


Doctoral students who meet the requirements of Omställningsavtalet are covered by Trygghetsstiftelsen but only for the benefits resulting from 2 years of employment. Read more on Trygghetsstiftelsen's website.

Additional information for employees at KI

More information for employees at KI


Doctoral students employed at KI and supervisors that have questions about employment or employment conditions should contact HR at their departments.

Doctoral students with questions regarding their education should contact the supervisor, study director ("studierektor") or administrator for doctoral education at their home department.

Doctoral students employed by another employer

Many doctoral students at KI combine their doctoral studies with other types of employment, e.g. in the healthcare or in the industry. Approximately 35 % of the doctoral students at KI have an active affiliation to Region Stockholm.

It is the responsibility of the Department to upon admission to doctoral education assess whether a doctoral student can be ensured financial support during the entire period of their doctoral education. If the applicant plans to pursue doctoral education in parallel with employment within another organisation, e.g. Region Stockholm, there is a requirement that the head of the organisation approve the financing plan and certify that the doctoral student will have time and opportunity to perform the doctoral education.

When doctoral education is to be performed within the framework of an employment with another employer than KI and the other employer is responsible for the financing, it is recommended that a contract is established that regulates the financial terms up to and including the intended degree.

Social benefits

For questions regarding vacation, parental leave, illness and other benefits, please turn to the employer.


Doctoral students with questions regarding their education should contact the supervisor, study director ("studierektor") or administrator for doctoral education at their home department.



*Extension of a doctoral studentship because of studies being interrupted as a result of Covid-19:

The Swedish Agency for Government Employers has issued the following statement regarding this matter:

”The Swedish Agency for Government Employers deems that if a doctoral student has not been able to fulfil his/her obligations or perform tasks because of circumstances that can be linked to Covid-19, it should be possible to extend the total period of appointment.”

The following criteria are to be followed when a doctoral studentship is to be extended because studies have been interrupted as a result of Covid-19:

 •The extension must be directly and clearly linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some examples of such circumstances are that a project did not take place, the doctoral student or supervisor has been on sick leave because of Covid-19 for an extended period of time, or that the doctoral student has been forced to interrupt his/her studies because of circumstances beyond the doctoral student’s control. It must be emphasised that it is the doctoral student’s responsibility to make his/her way to KI and a fear of travelling by public transport is not a valid reason for interrupted studies that enables the appointment to be extended.

•The reason for the interrupted studies must be clearly documented in the individual study plan.

•The doctoral student’s appointment can be extended for the required length of time, although no longer that the period of time the studies were interrupted.

•Extension can only be made when the supervisor in charge can see that the doctoral student will not be able to complete and defend the doctoral thesis in time. This should imply, for example, that there is no reason to extend the doctoral studentship of a doctoral student who has recently started his/her doctoral studies.

If an employer extends a doctoral studentship without taking the above-mentioned points into account, there is a risk that the extension of the doctoral studentship (employment as a doctoral student) is not permitted.

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