Working at KI in Sweden

Things you need to know about working at KI in Sweden.

Job and funding opportunities

Employment or scholarship

You can find all current job vacancies at KI at Jobs at Karolinska Institutet. Read more about terms and benefits of Your employment at the website.

If you are on scholarship, you don't pay taxes and are not covered by benefits in accordance with collective agreements or national social insurance benefits such as sickness benefits or retirement benefits. For more information about scholarship regulations and insurance coverage for scholarship holders see Scholarships

At work

An ordinary work week is 40 hours for fulltime employees. Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays that fall on a weekday, Midsummer's Eve, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are work-free days. Bridge days (a work day between two work-free days) are also work-free. See Swedish bank holidays

The academic year is divided into two semesters, each lasting 20 weeks. The autumn semester starts in early September and ends in mid-January. The spring semester starts in mid-January and ends in early June. However, the semesters for PhD students follow the calendar.


The Grants Office helps researchers at KI to identify, apply for and manage external and internal funding. Funding opportunities come from, in most cases, private and public foundations and government agencies within Sweden, EU and US. Visit Research funding for useful information about financing research.

You can find thousands of European and global vacancies and fellowships at the EURAXESS website.


In Sweden, taxes are almost always withheld at the time of payment. Your employer is obliged to deduct tax from your salary before you are paid. Income tax and wealth tax are direct taxes paid both to the state and to the local municipality. Value-added taxes are included in the price of food, goods and services.

More than six months

If you live in Sweden for at least six months, you are subject to unlimited tax liability. In order to correctly deduct taxes from your salary, Karolinska Institutet needs your income tax notice of assessment (skattsedel), which will be sent to you upon request by your local tax authority. See Salary

Foreign key personnel (second postdoc or more senior) can apply for tax relief at Forskarskattenämnden within three months of the start of the employment. Income taxes are based on only 75 percent of income. It will apply to the first five years of the temporary stay in Sweden.

The Tax Agency sends you a self-assessment (tax return) form, självdeklaration, in April if you are obliged to submit a tax return declaring the previous year’s income. You must submit your tax return to the Tax Agency at the beginning of May each year. Read more information about declaring taxes in Sweden.

Less than six months

If you stay in Sweden less than six months, you are required to pay tax in accordance with SINK (special income tax for non-residents). This means that your employer deducts this tax from your salary and you do not have to declare your income from work in Sweden.


A Swedish pension comes from different sources. If you have worked and lived in Sweden, you will receive a national retirement pension based on the income you have paid tax on. The national retirement pension consists of an income pension and a premium pension. The majority of those who work in Sweden also receive an occupational pension from their employer. In addition, some save privately to supplement their pensions.
Scholarship holders don’t belong to any pension scheme in Sweden.

For more information the national retirement pension visit the Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten). For information about the government employee pension visit the National Government Employee Pensions Board (SPV).

Career development

The KI Career Service is a career development service for all students, PhD students and researchers and promotes a career within or outside academia. Career Service provides career counselling, career days, internships in the industry, PhD courses, seminars and workshops. For more information and to register for the newsletter, visit Career Service, Facebook page or send an e-mail to

Innovation support and IPR

Karolinska Institutet offers innovation support to facilitate the transformation of research findings into products and services to the benefit of patients, health and society. In Sweden academic researchers own the rights to their patentable inventions (the Professor’s privilege or Lärarundantaget). This gives scientists a responsibility but also a great opportunity to exploit their findings in any way they see fit.

Karolinska Institute’s innovation system offers education, professional networks, financing, entrepreneurial expertise and business development, as well as incubation opportunities for projects and companies in life science.

KI Innovations help in all aspects of developing a commercial product from an idea or research results. An important aspect when commercializing academic research is to secure intellectual property protection before any publication. KI Innovations can give you free of charge advice regarding this as well as a broad panel of free resources for verifying the potential of research results. Within the incubator program, KI Innovations continues to support verification with increased focus on business development, so if you have a research based company you can get advice on business development in the DRIVE incubator program.

Education and research about entrepreneurship are organised by The Unit for Bioentrepreneurship.

You can contact any of the units in order to learn more about these questions or to get help with your project.


Unemployment insurance is not a part of the social insurance system in Sweden. If you pay tax on the salary in Sweden, you are covered by unemployment insurance at a basic level and have the right to apply for a limited compensation if you become unemployed. If you are a member of an unemployment fund (A-kassa) however, you can receive up to 80 percent of your previous salary when you are between two jobs.

Unemployment insurance funds often cooperate closely with the trade unions but are legally independent. When you start working in Sweden, investigate which unemployment insurance fund (widely known as A-Kassa) is available. In order to receive income-based benefits, you must have been a member of a voluntary unemployment insurance fund (A-kassa) for 12 months and have worked (employed) for at least six months. In addition, some trade unions offer an additional insurance against loss of income. See Akademikernas a-kassa (AEA) and Alfakassan as well as Sweden - Unemployment benefits

Please note that being able to stay in Sweden while unemployed depends on your immigration status.

More information for logged in staff

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

  • K7.Department of Oncology-Pathology
Log in with KI-ID
Content reviewer:
Ulla Tunkara