May Newsletter


Hello Chalmers PhD students

Here's our newsletter, which we aim to send out 2-3 times a year. In our newsletter we keep you updated on changes and work that is relevant for you.


Benefits as a PhD student being a member of the student union

 Members get more

As a PhD student you’re a member of the student union. Why? Because  we work as hard for you as any other student. Read more here about what we work for and what support we can offer:

 Are there any membership benefits?

 All PhD students can get access to:

-          The pool, gym hall and music room – for free

-          The pubcrawl on campus and all other parties and night clubs at Gasquen

-          Tastings, discounted cinema and other cultural events

-          Discounts in all student union restaurants and cafés as well as STORE

-          Opportunity to get involved in hundreds of clubs and societies

 The union owns almost all the cafés and restaurants on campus so make sure you top up your student union-card in advance and use it for payment. In this way you will never miss a discount. You get discounts only when paying with the student union-card.  

 How do I become a member?

Membership is mandatory for PhD students. You belong to the doctoral student division (Chalmers Doctoral Student guild, DS).

By paying each semester you ensure you always have access to all the great benefits offered!

All PhD students should have DS on your card. If you don’t have it, you are paying your fee to the wrong student guild. Note also that the fee is lower for students registered as a PhD students compared to undergrad students. 

By paying your membership per semester, you make sure that you don’t miss any benefits, and DS can sooner make use of your student fee to improve your PhD education.


Benefits when you are an employed PhD student at Chalmers

 As an employed doctoral student at Chalmers, you have the same benefits and rights as other employees, being for example:

 The right to do exercise 1h/week during working hours (read more)

• Join a number of exercises for free in the gym "Linsen" (see here)

• Get 2000 SEK / year in reimbursement for gym membership or similar (See the criteria here)

• Get funding from Chalmers for some team activities, for example if you are a group that wants to run a race (See criteria here)

• You can also get help for getting started with exercising, get help to overcome alcohol abuse, get help to quit smoking etc (read more)

• Feeling unwell? As an employed PhD student, you have the right to visit the occupational health service, Feelgood, free of charge for work related problems. Feelgood has medical doctors, psychologists, nurses and more. The first three visits are completely anonymous. After those three visits, the Feelgood staff will ask you if it is okay that they inform you head of division, and then you can chose to say yes (if you need more visits at Feelgood) or no (if you dont need more visits, or if you feel uncomfortable with your head of division knowing about your visits). In any case, you do not pay for the visits. Read more here

 Information about your salary, the collective agreement, labor unions:

 The new rules for the licentiate-salary increase is valid only for students admitted after 30/4-2017

• You can find information about the doctoral student salary, updated after the negotiations each year here.

• As an employed PhD student you also work according to the collective agreement (the link to the agreement is found here). The agreement contains for example information about your right to vacation, about getting saved vacation days payed out at the end of your contract, which days are holidays etc.

• When working in Sweden (as for example an employed PhD student at Chalmers) it may be very beneficial to join a labor union. Membership in the labor union costs quite little, and can provide essential support in all types of work.related issues that may occur during your employment. Read more about the different labor unions here.


Underpaid doctoral student was proven right against Chalmers and is now back-paid retroactively


A recent article (in Swedish) in Universitetsläraren writes about a scholarship student case at Chalmers. The student was entitled to a top-up payment from the department to reach similar pay as employed doctoral students (the regulations can be found on DS web page). Unfortunately the doctoral student did not receive this during his time at Chalmers, but after a great job done by our DOMB and a labor union representative, he was able to receive the money retroactively.” Read more.


Information on sick leave

If you are sick, you are entitled to sick pay from the employer (Chalmers) for the first 14 days of a sickness period. The first day is a waiting period when no compensation is paid. The sick pay is about 80 percent of your pay. Everyone who are on sick leave for more than seven days are required to submit a physician's certificate to their employer.  If you are ill for more than two weeks, you get sickness benefit from Försäkringskassan, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The employer then submits a report to Försäkringskassan. In the case you want to prolong your employment as a PhD student due to sickness, it is important that you have notified the periods you have been sick to your employer.

Notification of illness and sickness benefits at Chalmers, click here

Försäkringskassan, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency, read more here

Report your sick leave in Primula when you are back from the leave, Primula is found here

General information about sick leave and coming back from sick leave can be found here


A message from the DOMB for PhD students who are not employees of Chalmers


Most PhD students are employed by Chalmers and their salary is specified by an annual agreement (found here on insidan under "Doctoral students").   However, there are PhD students who are part of a graduate school at Chalmers and not employed by Chalmers.  Two examples are:  industrial PhD students, who are usually paid by their regular employer; and doctoral students from university colleges that do not have PhD examination rights, who are usually paid by their home university college. There are several other important, but less frequent, cases which should also be mentioned: PhD students in double-degree agreements; PhD students funded by certain scholarships; and PhD students who are part of an important strategic collaboration funded by a certain form of scholarship.

Sometimes, these students have less funding than an employed student receives (after tax) and, in that case, may be eligible for top-up funding from their Chalmers department. 

 Finally, if you are a visiting (at least six months) international PhD student who is not part of a Chalmers’ graduate school, you might under certain conditions, be eligible for a special short-term scholarship (maximum six months) from your department.

 The rules governing the above are written in Swedish (they can be found on DS web page). Please contact the DOMB, in confidence, if you would like more information.

DOMB contact info can be found here.


Want to be in DS Board next year?


The Doctoral Student Guild (Doktorandsektionen) is a non-profit association for doctoral students at Chalmers University of Technology (Chalmers) and shall work for unity among the members of the association and their shared interests. The Doctoral Student Guild shall especially:

• through representatives in the boards and committees of Chalmers assure that the special interests of doctoral students are addressed.

• create an awareness of the situation for doctoral students at all levels at Chalmers

• provide a forum for contacts between doctoral students at Chalmers

The Board members with other PhD student meet biannually for the General Assembly and the represented Board members meet for a Board meeting 5-6 times a year. (read here for more information)

As DS Board member, you will get compensation, either as remuneration from DS Board, or in form of department work hours (only if possible).

Anyone registered as a doctoral student at Chalmers and a member of Chalmers Student Union is welcome to join the Doctoral Student Guild. Besides the formal tasks you will have the informal task of being the representative of Doctoral students especially in your department. Being a representative means being visible in your department, and search out for the people you represent.

Still thinking? Do you want to meet some of us, learn more about what we do, or have a question we might be able to help you with? Or are you interested in a position in our board? We would love to meet you!

Welcome to DS summer general assembly!

Date: 1st of June. Time: 12-13. Place: Lecture hall KE in Chemistry building. The Invitation will be sent out this week, but you can already now register through this doodle.


 Aila Särkkä: Research Supervisor of the Year 2016/2017

Aila Särkkä, Professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences, is the winner of Chalmers Research Supervisor of the Year 2016/2017 Award.

The Chalmers University of Technology Research Supervisor of the Year 2016/2017 is awarded to Aila Särkkä, professor at the Department of Mathematical Sciences. She excels in both scientific and soft aspects of supervision. Aila’s personalized approach, professionalism, responsiveness and availability to PhD students – not only limited to the PhD students Aila supervises – is highly valued in the department. Aila emphasizes both the professional and personal development of her PhD students. She is a role model for the PhD students she supervises, and for other supervisors in Chalmers.

Full text of the motivation letter is available here.


Generic and Transferable Skills

Generic and Transferable Skills can now be also found on Facebook - Chalmers Generic and Transferable Skills.   Follow us!  Here you find information about available seats in GTS courses (look here for short notice seats!), announcements about events for PhD students such as popular science presentations, other news and updates from the GTS management team, at this link.


If you want to talk to YOUR representative in DS, you can find their contact information here.

Feel free to contact us on our website, Facebook, LinkedIn or in “real life” at the Campuses.