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Hello Chalmers Ph.D. Students!

Here comes the first issue of the DS newsletter 2020, which we aim to send out twice a year. In this newsletter we keep you updated about changes and issues important for Ph.D. students at Chalmers, so please spend a few minutes to read this newsletter. It contains a lot of useful information for you.

About Chalmers Doctoral Students Guild (DS)

The Chalmers Doctoral Students Guild (DS) is the coordinating body of Ph.D. students at all Chalmers departments. It represents the Ph.D. students’ interests in several boards and committees at Chalmers and outside of Chalmers. Read more about DS here.
More information: DS Board members 2019/20, DS Website, Contact Us, Follow us on Facebook, Mandatory memberships, benefits of becoming a member and how to become a member.

The DS survey is out! It's time to speak up.

Please fill out the PhD survey properly; it's 'your' opportunity to give us 'your' opinions on the graduate education at Chalmers. We aim to use the survey to advocate improvements to the current working environment and research education framework.
This survey is totally anonymous and is taken seriously. It takes 15-20 min and focuses on topics such as supervision, research education, health and well-being among others.

! Click Here for the survey !

Doktorandombudet (DOMB): Our representative

You will find the new DOMB's report here.

Meet the DS Chair !

Ananda Subramani Kannan

Ananda Subramani Kannan, PhD Student at the division of Fluid Dynamics, Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences, is working as the Chair of DS Board 2019-2020. Recently we interviewed Ananda, and asked him questions ranging from "how does it feel like being in the DS Board" to "hobbies" and "handling stress".

"Whenever we have the opportunity to bring about a positive change, we must take it up!"

"There is no substitute for hard-work! However, sometimes hard-work can be substituted by ‘smart’ work: something that deserves consideration."

Read the full interview here.

Ananda interview
Photo: Ananda Subramani Kannan

The journey from Ph.D. (DS boardie) to GE Additive (previously known as ARCAM EBM)

Silvia Tuzi

After PhD at Physics department, Silvia joined GE Additive (previously known as ARCAM EBM) as Technical project manager in the Customer Success Engineering team. The company produces 3D printers specialized in the use of metal powders. Her role is focused on helping the customers through their additive journey.

''I was involved with team events like CHARM. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about organizations and administration and of course to train negotiation skills''

''Success has different meaning for different people. For me it means to be able to have a good work-life balance. To be able to do my job without losing grasp on my personal life.''

CHARM Career Fair Impression

The DS Board organized a booth at the annual technology fair (CHARM), this past February, interacting with prospective students about Ph.D. education at Chalmers. The booth was visited by over 100 students with diverse educational backgrounds. While talking to prospective Ph.D. students during the work fair CHARM, we also took the opportunity to talk with other companies at the fair.
The companies on the fair are aware of the number of Ph.D. students studying at Chalmers and are beginning to offer exciting career choices for newly graduated Ph.D.s.
If you are in the later part of your doctoral studies, consider paying CHARM a visit next year!

Ph.D. Alumni Event (CHARM Chalmers)

In connection with CHARM, the DS organized a Ph.D. Alumni event on the 31st of January 2020, which was attended by over 90 PhD students from across Chalmers. The objective of this event was to address the specific career related needs of PhD students, which are usually a lot different from a Master’s or Bachelor’s student. The DS invited 10 Chalmers alumni (from various backgrounds), who are currently in industry, to share their journey from a PhD student to their current role. The speakers, who were from Volvo Cars, RISE, FEV, Knightec among others, provided a very brief overview of their lives ‘after a PhD’ along with some refreshing insights into a career in industry. This session was followed by a dinner-mingle, which gave every participant an opportunity to further network and obtain valuable career guidance from our Alumni.
If you are in the later part of your doctoral studies, consider attending this event in the next year!

Upcoming Career seminar (18th March):

How far can your PhD take you?

Sveriges Ingenjörer and your local Saco-S association offers a lunch seminar on career opportunities and work life in Sweden for PhD candidates.
Sveriges Ingenjörer are the country’s largest network for graduate engineers. With more than 156 500 members, Sveriges Ingenjörer are a strong association with resources that makes a real difference for our members and for society.
Andreas Nyström PhD, Head of Negotiations for the Public Sector at Sveriges Ingenjörer delivers insights on which industries and sectors that hire PhDs and what salary and titles you can expect.

When: 18th March, 12:00 - 13:00
Place: KE-lecture hall, Chemistry building, Campus Johanneberg

Register here at latest 12th March !

Teach for Sweden’s leadership programme

In 2019, almost 16% of all ninth graders graduated from secondary school in Sweden without passing grades. In the group of children whose parents do not have a university education, the share is even higher – 25% of those students cannot apply to high-school or vocational training in Sweden. These children are at higher risk to become long-term unemployed or marginalised.

We know that a child only needs one adult that believes in them in order to succeed. That is why we offer a two-year leadership programme for capable university graduates, PhD-students and young professionals. During the two years, you work as subject teacher in an upper-secondary school with high needs. During the programme, you get a full salary, do complementary pedagogical studies and receive personal leadership development support. After the programme, you will be a qualified teacher and a leader that has made a difference – forever!

Teach for Sweden is a registered charity whose vision is that all children – regardless of socio-economic background or parents’ educational background – can choose their own future. We recruited our first cohort of programme participants in 2013. Today, we have 160 alumni that have completed the programme and 115 that are currently active as programme participants. 15% of our programme participants have done a PhD in natural science, mathematics or technology.

Are you interested? Reach out to Sara Heinrich, head of recruitment and selection, directly (sara.heinrich@teachforsweden.se) and we will book in a conversation via phone or face-to-face where you can learn more about our work.

Workshop: Navigate academia and maximize your potential

DS is planning for a workshop exclusively for PhD students on how to handle stress in academia, build healthy habits and improve sleep. Brochure from the workshop organisers can be found here.
Further details about the workshop will be announced soon.

Formation of Chalmers Women's Association

Chalmers Women's Association (CWA) was formed to build a stronger female network and inspire, motivate and engage students in their studies and future careers. Creating a more equal academy and technology industry. We are a non-profit association at Chalmers, founded by and created for female and non-binary students. Read more and sign up to be a member at www.cwa-chalmers.se.

The membership at Chalmers Women's Association is free and open for all students studying, as well as alumni and individuals working at Chalmers. as a member you will get the opportunity to:
- participate in our events and activities
- be part of a growing network between non-binary an female students
- connect with companies and individuals who represent a more equal academy and technology industry
AND you are going to have a lot of FUN and meet a lot on new friends!!
We will announce our first event soon so make sure to follow us on:
facebook linkedin instagram 

URGENT: Corona Virus Outbreak !

Tips on hygiene and read the updated information of Chalmers policy Here !

Parental leave or changing your contract to part-time, & it's implication on vacation compensation

This is very important; please read it! At the end of your employment, you have the right to receive monetary compensation for all vacation days that are saved up; but, the vacation compensation is (by law) calculated using your current employment percentage, and not the percentage with which you earned the days regardless of if you have increased or decreased your work percentage. For example, if you have matured vacation days when working full-time (i.e. 100%), but before ending your contract you change it to a part-time (say, 50%); then, the vacation compensation will be with the % of the salary of your final contract, not the % when you matured your vacation days.

For example, say you have saved the maximum amount of days from the year 2018 (i.e. 35 days) and you have worked full time until January when you for any reason change to part-time (50%). If you then work the whole year (i.e. 2019), taking out all new vacation that you are entitled to, and end your contract the year after (i.e. 2020) then you will still get monetary compensation for these 35 days that you have saved in the year 2018. But, since you at the end of your employment worked 50% (i.e. part-time), the compensation calculation will go as follows:
compensation = daily full time salary * 35 * 0.5

This means that you only receive half time pay for your saved 35 vacation days, regardless that you had earned them while working full time. If you had ended the contract before changing to part-time, or not changed to part-time at all, the compensation would have been the full 35 days of salary.

It is according to the law, and most likely will put in place to make the system easier. But, remember, it goes both ways. Vacation days that you earn while being on part-time parental leave counts as much as days that are earned working full time, so in the example above if you instead had just increased the work percentage you would have gained on the rules. It also applies for example if you have just increased your salary in case your compensation is calculated with your current salary rather than what you had when you earned the vacation day. So better take your vacation days before changing the contract, and/or discuss with HR for details before you change your contract to part-time.

Health service for PhD students at PE3

Chalmers is subscribed to health service PE3. Read here for further details

Chalmers Student Union Council Election

Should the union get a boat? Or build a roof terrace on the union building? A winebar at Olgas stairs? Nothing is impossible, and the student union council (FuM) decides!
Are you interested in becoming a member? Keep an eye on the Facebook page for info!

Have you paid student union membership fee?

In order to to make sure to get the new student card in time, you can pay the student union membership fee when you get the reminder or you can pay it directly on the student union’s homepage. Login and find your invoice under “Student fee”.
This is a good opportunity to check if you belong to the right section (i.e. right student union); It should be “DS”!

Did you know, that you can use your Mecenat Card right from your phone? In case your card takes a little longer in the post or you forgot it on some important trip – download the app!

Introduction Day, GTS Courses, Study Plan, Exam

Introduction day: A general introduction day is held each semester for all new doctoral students. This introduction day provides both general information about research studies (for example about the study plan) at Chalmers and information about rights and responsibilities. The introduction day is mandatory! Next session: 25th of March 2020 from 09:00 - 12:00. Read more about introduction day here.

GTS courses: The aim of GTS Courses is to develop your personal and professional skills. As per Chalmers policy, 15 HEC of the GTS curriculum is mandatory of which 9 HEC should be completed before the licentiate degree. Read more here.

Individual Study Plan: Individual study plan for Ph.D. studies is mandatory. Read more here.

Sign up for exams: It's mandatory for all students to sign up for exams on the Ph.D. portal. To sign up, go to "My start page" and choose the service "Examination, sign-up/cancel sign-up". Read more here. Alternatively you can send an email to the Student Centre: student.centre@chalmers.se. You can also see your transcript in the Ph.D. Student Portal.

Popular presentation: It is mandatory to do one popular science presentation (GFOK070) as part of the Generic and Transferable Skills training. To perform the mandatory popular presentation you should have reached the second half of your Ph.D. studies. Read more here. A list of available presentation platforms can be found here.

    DS Movie - On being a Ph.D. Student at Chalmers

    We highly recommend you to watch this 03-min long movie, made by DS, about Ph.D. life at Chalmers and how does it feel like being a Ph.D. Student at Chalmers. The movie is available on the DS website; also, you can watch the movie here. Feel free to share the movie and let the world know about Ph.D. Student life at Chalmers!

    Vacation - Don't work when you are on vacation!

    Vacation is an important time to rest and recover, allowing you to be more efficient during the rest of the year. So don't fall for the temptation to use it to catch up with you back-log. Also be aware that you are not covered by Chalmers insurance if you work when you have the vacation. Plan your vacation together with your supervisor and manager, so that you have enough time to rest. If you still have vacation days left when you end your employment you are entitled to be compensated for these saved vacation days. Read more about vacation rules here.

    Unemployment insurance, vacation rules, and benefits when you are employed as a Ph.D. Student at Chalmers (read more here)


    miscellaneous; photo from sunflowermeadowsherbfarm.com
    A. Spring in Sweden! Not yet! Be aware of slippery road and (maybe?) some snowfall in Spring. You can watch this video on YouTube about "Spring in Sweden".

    B. Chalmers Financial situation: Information regarding planned actions towards financial balance of Chalmers and the hiring freeze are available in the blog post here (in Swedish).
    C. 1177 - Finding your way around the Swedish healthcare system
    Gothenburg's Welcome Services will hold a lecture for international
    researchers, faculty and staff at University of Gothenburg and Chalmers on 5 of March, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM. It will give you a brief introduction to the Swedish healthcare system. Register and see details here.

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