Fixed-term employment

An employment can be limited in time for several reasons. Fixed-term employments are regulated in law, regulations and collective agreements.

The main principle is that an employment is valid until further notice unless otherwise is agreed. All employments must be announced unless there is an exception in law or agreement. The appointments procedure collects rules for employment of teachers and researchers.

Basis for fixed-term employment according to the Employment Protection Act (Lagen om anställningsskydd)

Probationary employment

Max 6 months. The employment can be terminated by the employer but also by the employee. If the probationary employment is not terminated, it will be re-regulated to an employment until further notice.

General fixed-term employment (ALVA)

Only valid for employments that started no later than 30th of September 2022, after that ALVA is replaced by SÄVA.

No more than 2 years in total at KI over a 5 year period.

Special fixed-term employment (SÄVA)

Term for employment that replaces ALVA from 1st of October 2022.

No more than 12 months in total at KI over a 5 year period.

According to transitional provisions, the time for an ALVA from the 1st of March 2022 will be deducted in the event of a future SÄVA.

See text about waiver of conversion by SÄVA at the bottom of this page.

Substitute employment

No more than 2 years in total at KI over a 5 year period. It has to be a real substitute, work instead of somebody on parental leave, sick leave or otherwise.

Seasonal employment

Not applicable to KI.

Employment of employee after the right to remain employed is no longer valid

The main rule is that these employees should get affiliated, otherwise employed until further notice but they can also be employed on a SÄVA. See KI’s Rules for employment after the right to remain employed is no longer valid.

Basis for fixed-term employment according to Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen)

Adjunct Professor

First employment 4 years, can be extended for max 4 years at a time, max 12 years. Extent 20-50 %. Temporary competence from activity outside of the university sector that does not normally exist in the regular activities.

Visiting Professor

First appointment max. 3 years, may be extended. Employment can be no more than 5 years in total. Extent 20-100 %. Employed by other Swedish or foreign university/ corresponding.

Assistant professor (biträdande lektor)

The appointment must be least 4 years and max 6 years, the term can be extended under special circumstances as leave from work due to illness, parental leave or other special circumstances. Appointment must be decided before the employment. It´s a merit if a PhD is obtained within a maximum of 5 years before the application deadline. Has the right to apply for promotion to senior lecturer.

PhD student

Employment no more than 8 years when employed at 50 per cent or no more than 4 years when employed at 100 per cent. First appointment no more than 1 year, may be extended by 2 years at a time. Usually, the employment is extended one year at a time. Employment to no longer than one year after receiving a PhD if there is time left at HF. The employment is normally 100 % but if the PhD student request, it can be on part-time, but not less than 50 %. The time spent as a PhD student on scholarship shall be deducted from these periods, i.e. be included in the four years.

Clinical assistant

Maximum 1 year at the time, may be extended to max 3 years in total. Duties within clinical education and research. Only those who have been awarded the degree of Master of Science in Medicine or Master of Science in Dental Surgery or are admitted or have been admitted to third-cycle studies in medicine or odontology may be employed as clinical assistants.

Teaching assistant

Maximum 1 year at the time, may be extended to max 3 years in total. Max 50 % of full-time. Duties within education, administration or participation in research. Only those admitted to first or second-cycle courses and study programs in Sweden may be employed as teaching assistants.

Basis for fixed-term employment according to collective agreement


An employment as postdoc is a time-limited merit-based employment with a main focus on research as a first career step after the dissertation. A person can be employed as postdoc at KI for a maximum of four years, partly according to a collective agreement for postdocs (PKA) of a maximum of three years and partly as a so-called special fixed-term employment of a maximum of 1 year.

In order to be employed according to PKA it is a merit if the doctoral degree have been completed within the last three years before the end of the application period. If there are special reasons, the degree may have been completed earlier. Special reasons refer to leave due to illness, parental leave, commission of trust within trade unions, service in the total defense or other similar circumstances as well as clinical service or service / assignments relevant to the subject area. An employment according to PKA may also be extended based on the above special reasons. However, it must always be extended because of parental leave. An employment as postdoc refers to full-time work.

Adjunct lecturer

No more than 2 years at a time, may be extended without time limit. Normally 20 % of full-time employment. Temporary competence from activity outside of the university sector that does not normally exist in the regular activities. Usually, no salary is paid by KI, it is paid by the main employer

Special terms of agreement for certain employments (VASA)

Max 24 months. The purpose is to facilitate employment that promotes general labor market, social and employment policy goals in accordance with section 4 of the Employment Ordinance.

Guidelines for Employment Conditions for Service Abroad (URA)

Fixed-term employment for service abroad. The employment conditions are regulated in a foreign service contract and are tailored from requirements, assignments and the employee’s situation. More information here.

Fixed-term employment with hourly wage

It is possible to pay wages by the hour for people who have a limited-time employment, and it is then called an intermittent employment. Special fixed-term employment (SÄVA) is used as the basis of employment. For these employees, an employment agreement must be written which is signed by both manager and employee (or sent by email to the employee who confirms this). The manager then offers the employee work/employment, which the employee must confirm before the work is carried out. When the employee has worked, she/he must inform the immediate manager or other designated person of the hours the person has worked. The person must indicate the number of hours worked each day, preferably via the designated form or via email. This is then registered by a designated person in the PA-web.

Waiver of conversion of SÄVA to permanent employment in certain cases

If you are employed on a special fixed-term employment (SÄVA) and;

  • has your main employment through a government permanent employment or
  • receives any part of an occupational pension or
  • have your main occupation through studies

It is possible, after you have taken up the employment, to waive it from being converted into a permanent employment after a total of 12 months of employment in accordance with the Employment Protection Act (LAS).

In that case, you must report it to your manager and HR at the department. The earliest you can do it is when you start your employment.

You make the notification in writing (see form below) and you renounce conversion for up to six months. If after six months you still want to opt out of conversion, you fill in the form again. You can opt out of conversion up to 24 months (six months at a time), after which there is a waiting period of six months before you can opt out of conversion again.

Time during such a period when you renounced conversion cannot later be the basis for conversion at the employer.

If you have further questions, please contact HR at your department.

Profile image

Jenny Wärnlund

Profile image

Åsa Agréus

Profile image

Carolina Ström


More information for logged in staff

There is more information for those of you working in the following groups

  • K8.Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Log in with KI-ID
Content reviewer: