Practical information about living in Sweden

You can find som practical information about living in Stockholm, insurances etc here.

General curriculum

Every subject in which postgraduate training is organized must have a general curriculum describing the contents of the program. This is decided by the faculty board. The curricula for Physics, Theoretical Physics, Chemical Physics and Medical Radiation Physics are written in Swedish.

Observe that, approximately half way through your studies, it is mandatory to defend a licentiate thesis as part of your PhD studies.


Every PhD student should have a mentor, chosen by the student within three months of admission. The mentor should be a senior staff member, who is not involved in the thesis project, with whom the student may discuss the situation and get advice and help if needed. The mentor and the student should meet at least twice a year.

Individual study plan(ISP), development conversation

Once a year the supervisor group (one or several supervisors and a mentor) and the PhD student should have a development conversation. Anyone of these persons can call this meeting and the student may call any other person to the meeting, e.g. the director of postgraduate studies or another PhD student. The mentor has a right to participate. The first development conversation should take place as soon as possible after admission to PhD studies in order to have a first ISP ready within 2 months of the starting date.

Issues that should be discussed at these meetings

  • A follow up of the previous ISP
  • An updated ISP for the next year
  • Assistantship duties during next year
  • Other department assignments next year
  • Time for supervision next year
  • Agree on which of the required PhD courses that have been passed and acknowledged
  • Other issues relevant for the progress of the research training

The individual study plan (ISP)

The first ISP should be filled in within 2 months from the start of the education and revised yearly. The ISP form can be found here. The new/revised individual study plan contains a planning of courses, research projects, and study funding as well as the following attachments (free text): (1) a research plan, with a list of finished projects and a description of planned projects that are parts of the dissertation work and (2) a time schedule for the coming year (research work, courses, teaching, conferences, vacations etc.). In addition, for the revised ISP, it is mandatory for the supervisor to attach (3) a document showing how the education fulfills the general goals for a PhD in Sweden. The form for (3) is found here.

The new/revised individual curriculum, with enclosures, consisting of the agreements that have been done during the meeting, should be signed by the supervisors, the PhD student and the mentor and handed in to the subject responsible (Sten Hellman) for approval, who will forward it to the director of postgraduate studies for the archive.

Note that doctoral positions are prolonged for one/two years at a time. In order to get the appointment prolonged for another year it is required that the individual curriculum has been updated. Therefore, don’t forget to remind your supervisor about the development conversation in due time before your appointment expires.


The course requirement for a PhD is 60 ECTS credits. Read more about this requirement here. Courses on this level can look different. They can be "normal" courses at the advanced level, or PhD courses created for just one occasion by any research division at Fysikum. A selfstudy of a book may also constitute a course or an active participation in a summer school. All planned courses should appear in your ISP. Your supervisor decides upon the value of a course, in terms of credits.

Observe that all courses that should be counted in the PhD must be reported, by the supervisor, to the student office on a separate form.:

Form (25 Kb)

The form is then sent to the subject responsible for approvement before registration.

Study funding, salary

A condition for admission, apart from the required educational qualifications, is that the student will have sufficient economic support during the whole period of study, normally 4 years full time study. In most cases you will have a doctoral position. Other types of funding must be approved by the faculty. Assistantship, i.e. teaching or other department duties, up to 20% may be included in the doctoral position. The total funding time will be extended accordingly. The positions are appointed for one year at a time. The salary follow a doctoral salary ladder ("doktorandstege"), which will be revised every year after negotiations between employer and trade unions. At present, the starting monthly salary is SEK 26500. You can find some information about insurances, pensions etc here (Swedish page).


As employed with a doctoral position you have a certain number of vacation days per year (28 days per year until you become 30 years old). You have to use all vacation days that you are entitled to, during your employment time. Your supervisor must see to that you have the possibility to take your vacation each year. At the time your employment ends, all your vacation days have to be used.


If you want to come into question for teaching, contact the director of undergraduate studies, Fredrik Hellberg, room B4:1055, phone 8133. All assistants have to take a pedagogical course at the university.

Prolongation of study funding

In certain situations study funding might be prolonged beyond 4 years. Such situations could be illness, parental leave, change of subject etc. You can read more about this in the Stockholm University: Rules regarding doctoral studies (in Swedish).

Short time absence: The Science Faculty has decided that PhD students, who have PhD employments at Stockholm University (not grant or salary paid from other than SU), can have their support time prolonged in case of illness and care of child. PhD students with employment should as earlier report their short time absence to the personal division, see here for form that should be filled in and given to Hilkka Jonsson.
All PhD students should then also report their absence using a special form to Hilkka Jonsson:

Extension of study grant (169 Kb)

Fysikum will keep the filled in forms. Illness lasting longer than eight days must be confirmed with doctor’s certificate. Child care with certificate from day-care center.
You can also get prolongation when you are a member of Fysikum’s board, are a member of the PhD organisation board at Fysikum or other similar tasks at faculty or university level, see the Stockholm University rules (above) and the additional rules at Fysikum regarding committee work (in Swedish).

Prolongation in other cases than above may be approved, but is decided by the dean. An application, with a detailed motivation regarding the cause of delay, supported by the supervisor, is handed in to the Director of PhD studies.

Documentation of prolongation for the reasons above should be done once a year and written into the individual study plan.

You can read more about how to handle sickleave etc here.


Scholarships, mainly for contributions to travels, are announced by the university and by the department every year. In late autumn the department announces travel grants. In March a block of scholarships (“donationsstipendier”) are announced by the university. Travel scholarships (Liljevalch’s and Wallenberg´s) are also announced every spring by the Faculty. For a more complete overview of scholarships handled by the university, see here(in Swedish though). Questions about scholarships can be directed at “Studentavdelningen”. In UKÄ’s doctoral handbook you can get more information about scholarships. Each student is encouraged to apply for such scholarships which may enable a research or conference trip. You have to inform your supervisor in case you recieve a scholarship.

Conferences, summer schools

During their research training PhD students will get opportunities to attend conferences and/or summer schools. The funding for these can be scholarships or other sources available to the research group/supervisor.


All PhD students are expected to take an active part in seminars arranged by their own research group as well as arranged within AlbaNova. Students should also give their own seminars.

Seminar on ethical questions

All PhD students must once attend a seminar on ethical questions in science. The seminar is arranged by the mathematical-physics section of the science faculty once each semester. Invitations are emailed.

Licentiate seminar

A Licentiate degree (of total 120 ECTS credits with an academic thesis corresponding to 60 - 90 ECTS credits and the rest courses) may be a degree in its own right or a stage in the program towards a PhD. As a part of the 50% evaluation of the PhD education at Fysikum it is mandatory to fulfill the requirements of the Licentiate degree. The examination goals for the degree can be found here. For a Licentiate degree the students must write and present a Licentiate thesis at a seminar, which is scrutinized by an opponent. The Licentiate as well as the PhD thesis can be based either on a unified theme or as a collection of separate articles with a summary. In the latter case the thesis consists of a summary and referenced articles published in scientific magazines. Read more about theses in the doctoral handbooks.

Some important things about the thesis content:

  • There has to be a Swedish summary.
  • The contribution of the PhD student to the papers has to be clearly stated.

Apart from those copies that the student keeps for distributions among colleagues and friends, the supervisor, the opponent and members of the committee should have a copy each. Fysikum’s administration (Sigrid Molander) should also have a number of copies. Moreover, there should be 10 copies of the thesis available at the Licentiate seminar. The Licentiate seminar must be posted at least 3 weeks before the seminar. At the same time the printed duty copies of the thesis should be distributed. More about routines for the licentiate seminar is found here.

Public thesis defence

To be awarded a PhD, students must pass the courses that are included in the PhD program (60 ECTS credits) and have written a dissertation (thesis) corresponding to 180 ECTS credits (out of required 240 ECTS credits for the degree). The licentiate as well as the PhD thesis can be based either on a unified theme (monography) or as a collection of separate articles with a summary (compilation thesis). In the latter case the thesis consists of a summary and referenced articles published in scientific magazines. There are guidelines on how the thesis should look at Stockholm University found here. Be sure to mark properly the copyright holder ( © )(you yourself) and the ISBN number.

Observe that, in the case of a compilation thesis, the copyright holders of the copied articles are the journals. In order to include them in the printed thesis you need their permission, which should be stated in the thesis. Also observe that it will be regarded as plagiarism to copy parts (like sentences, paragraphs etc.) of published work into your own writing.

Some important things about the thesis content:

  • There has to be a Swedish summary.
  • The contribution of the PhD student to the papers has to be clearly stated.
  • If  there is material included from your licentiate thesis, this must be clearly stated in the beginning.

The final part of doctoral studies is an oral, public defence in which PhD students defend their dissertation.

A detailed description of the preparations for a defence at the department can be found here. Observe that the formal process has to be started approximately 2.5 months ahead of the defence.

Examination certificate

Students awarded a PhD or Licentiate degree will be given a degree certificate upon request. You apply here: Please observe that the date of the degree certificate is identical to the application date (and not the date of the defence).

Doctoral handbooks

The Handbook for Postgraduate Students from UHR, the Swedish Council for Higher Education, and the information on PhD studies from the Faculty of Science (English version).

As a member of Fysikum’s staff

Staff office at SU,
Trade unions SACO,, and ST,