KIPA Advocacy

Here you can read how KIPA strives to improve the working conditions for postdoctoral researchers in Sweden. Below you can find survey reports and links to KIPA statements in the press amongst others.

Being a postdoc at KI - Results of our surveys

Hands writing, illustrating statistics and planning.
Credit: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.

One of the main aims of the Association is to recognize how the situation of KI postdocs could be improved. Every 1-2 years we send out a general survey to all postdocs at KI asking about different aspects of their work and life in Sweden. We also prepare more focused surveys on specific matters (e.g. the stipend system). Based on the results, we formulate our agenda and recommendations to KI management. It's very important that all postdocs fill in the general and focused surveys.

The availability of reliable data is the best way to properly inform KI leadership about the needs of their postdoctoral fellows. We thank all the respondents for their time and help in the past and we hope to see even more respondents in the future!

Nature coverage of the ENPA survey

KIPA is one of the founders of ENPA, the European Network of Postdoc Associations. As ENPA, we ran an international survey in 2017 to assess the training and working conditions of postdoctoral fellows in Europe.

The survey report was published on bioRxiv and subsequently picked up by Nature that covered the survey's main findings.

Postdoctoral training program

The postdoctoral career stage requires advanced training and KIPA is a strong supporter of greater access to courses. More postdocs can now attend training provided as doctoral courses and KIPA is actively working with the university to provide a core postdoctoral training program.

During the spring of 2020 KIPA ran a survey to explore the preferences and needs of postdocs regarding training and skills development.

Unions for postdocs

In November 2018, the two main unions for academics in Sweden, SULF and Naturvetarna gave a joint seminar with the topic 'Postdoc Working Rights in Sweden' at a KIPA event. Representatives from the unions presented how they can serve the postdoctoral scientists.

KIPA's commentary on Vetenkapsrådets "Forskningsöversikt medicin och hälsa 2019" 

VR's Forskningsöversikt draft. This is a document by the Swedish Research Council to inform policy makers in biomedical research. KIPA wrote a short commentary focusing on the lack of a clear plan to enhance the postdoctoral career stage. The KIPA commentary can be downloaded here.

Swedish Government proposal to change the academic career system

Biträdande lektor

In 2017, the Swedish government announced an addition to the Higher Education Ordinance meant to improve job security for young researchers and set grounds for an organized Swedish tenure track system. Junior Faculty has summarized what the new amendment states.

The changes were inspired by a report to the Swedish government by Statens Offentliga Utredningar (SOU) about improving careers paths for researchers (SOU2016:29).

KIPA responded to the proposed changes.

The referral response to SOU 2016:29 was written by KIPA members including data from a large survey of the young researchers’ opinion at KI. Those results can be downloaded here:

JF-KI and KIPA survey on SOU 2016:29

Following the acceptance of SOU 2016:19, KIPA has attempted to reiterate the importance to reform the postdoctoral training experience in Sweden writing to the Swedish Ministry for Higher Education and Research. This document can be downloaded here:

KIPA letter to the Swedish Ministry for Higher Education and Research

Biträdande Lektor Summary from Junior Faculty at KI

KIPA statement regarding postdoc stipends

In 2018, KIPA gave a statement regarding postdoc stipends at Almedalsveckan, an annual Swedish event which is considered to be the most important forum in Swedish politics. One of the seminars, scheduled by the unions SULF and Naturvetarna, adressed the issue of postdoctoral stipends. KIPA sent a statement letter to the moderator, Karin Åmossa, who read out the letter during the panel discussion.

KIPA statement regarding postdoc stipends

KIPA's Interviews with the candidates for KI's Deputy Vice-Presidents for Research, Doctoral Education, and Education

In 2018, prior to their elections, KIPA was able to interview the candidates for Deputy Vice-Present for Research and Deputy Vice-President for Doctoral Education.