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Hello Chalmers PhD Students!

Here's our newsletter, which we aim to send out 2-3 times a year. In this newsletter, we keep you updated on changes and work that is relevant to you. Please spend a few minutes to read this newsletter. It contains a lot of useful information for you.

About DS

The Chalmers Doctoral Students Guild (DS) is the coordinating body between PhD students at all Chalmers departments. It represents the PhD students’ interests in several boards and committees at Chalmers and outside of Chalmers. Read more about DS here.

Membership benefits

As a PhD student, you’re a member of the student union. All PhD students can get access to:
  • The pool, gym hall and music room – for free
  • The pub crawl on campus and all other parties and nightclubs at Gasquen
  • Tastings, discounted cinema and other events
  • Discounts in all student union restaurants and cafés as well as stores
  • Opportunity to get involved in hundreds of clubs and societies
  • And, much more!
Student Union card with DS Logo. The color might vary
Photo: Student union card with DS text

Mandatory membership for all PhD Student

Membership is mandatory for PhD students. You, as a PhD Student, belong to the doctoral student guild (Chalmers Doctoral Student Guild, DS). But, you need to register yourself and pay your small membership fee. Read more about membership here. Visit this link to pay your membership fee and become a member.

Benefits when you are employed as a PhD Student at Chalmers

As an employed doctoral student at Chalmers, you have the same benefits and rights as other employees.
  • The right to do exercise 1h/week during working hours.
  • You can also get help for getting started with exercising, get help to overcome alcohol abuse, get help to quit smoking etc.
  • Get 2000 SEK/year in reimbursement for gym membership or similar activities.
  • Not feeling well? As an employed PhD student, you have the right to visit the occupational health service, Feelgood, free of charge for work-related problems.
  • Get funding from Chalmers for some team activities, for example, if you are a group that wants to run a race.
  • Join a number of activities for free in the gym "Linsen".

Information about your salary, the collective agreement, labour unions: Read more here.

Vacation – same rules apply for PhD students as for all other employees at Chalmers

Unfortunately, we have been notified of several discrepancies on vacation between PhD students and their managers. Most of these relate to the right of saving vacation days and at the termination of employment have these paid as money.
The right to vacation is regulated by the Swedish Annual Leave Act but also by centrally negotiated agreements between the trade unions and the university. Also, vacation is an important time to rest and recover. Read the full text about vacation here.

Unemployment issues!

Everyone working in Sweden is covered by unemployment insurance at a basic level and have the right to apply for a limited compensation if unemployed. Members of an unemployment fund (A-kassa), however, can receive up to 80 percent of their previous salary when between two jobs. Read more.

You can also have a look at these two videos:

You can also consider joining one of the trade unions.
Unemployment benefits

6th December 2017

Save the date. We will have our General Assembly on that day. It's a good opportunity for you to meet DS board members, and possibly share your issues! We will arrange light lunch for you.
  • Sign up for the DS General Assembly
  • Have a look at the agenda here
  • Address: Lecture hall HA1 on hörsalsvägen, map

CHARM: 6-7th February 2018 - Save the date!

CHARM (Chalmers Student Union Career Fair) is held every year in February. As a student of Chalmers, the fair is a perfect opportunity to expand your professional network and see what the future has to offer. So give yourself a motivation boost and visit CHARM 2018! Read more about CHARM 2018 here.
Charm fair
Photo: CHARM Career Fair. Photo courtesy: Andreas Pegelow/CFFC.se
During the week before the CHARM fair (29th February - 5th March), we are planning to set-up a mingle event (in collaboration with the CHARM committee), where PhD students can meet and talk to Chalmers PhD alumni about possible career paths and future opportunities. The date will be confirmed soon. Don't miss this opportunity to meet your future employers!

Sign up for exams

Don't forget to signup for exams on PhD portal. It's compulsory now. You can easily sign up for your exams by logging in on the Doctoral Portal, go to "My start page" and choose the service "Examination, sign-up/cancel sign-up". Read more here, or visit PhD Student Portal to have a look and sign up. Remember that, you can also see your transcript in the PhD Student Portal.
Exam Sign Up

Introduction day for PhD Students

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: 14th May 2018. Register here.

PhD Student Survey

Make your voice heard and influence your education and work environment! Before the end of the year, DS will send out a survey focusing on how you experience your education and work environment. We will use the outcome to see in which direction our work for the upcoming years should go.

The Areas where we find common issues, among doctoral students, will be reported to:
  1. The student union
  2. Chalmers research education management and/or
  3. Chalmers management, with suggested follow-up actions
Survey DS
We are over 1100 doctoral students at Chalmers, and together we can have a strong voice! Your answers on this upcoming survey will provide us (the DS board) the solid statistics, which will help us to work with to improve the PhD Student work environment.

Call for supervisor of the year 2017/18

It’s time to nominate your supervisors for the honourable award "Supervisor of the Year 2017/18". The prize is a fine academic merit and it will be awarded by the rector at the promotion ceremony in May 2018. It acknowledges a supervisor at Chalmers, who has shown excellent supervision qualities and a large concern towards his/her PhD students. Read more here.
Deadline: Nominations are open until 11th December 2017
Send your nomination to: supervisoraward.chalmers@gmail.com

Interview with DS Chair

Maria Ekström, PhD student at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience (MC2), is our new DS chair. She is working with “quantum properties of Surface Acoustic Waves (SAW)” since August 2013. She has been on the DS board since 2014. During this time she was elected twice as vice chair and this year as chair of the DS board. Recently we interviewed Maria to know her passion and plans for DS. Read the full interview here.
Maria Ekström
Photo: Maria Ekström

Generic and Transferable Skills (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.
You can also take courses at other Nordic universities within the program called Nordic Five Tech. Read more here.

Popular presentation

It is mandatory to do one popular science presentation (GFOK070) as part of the Generic and Transferable Skills training. This means that all doctoral students must present their research work to an interested public that lacks deeper knowledge about the students’ work.

To perform the mandatory popular presentation you should have reached the second half of your PhD studies. Read more here. A list of available presentation platforms can be found here.
Popular presentation

Get prepared for Swedish winter!

Photo: Winter at Chalmers. Photo taken from www.chalmers.se
test sllls
Winter is coming soon! Be mentally prepared! It can be quite dark and cold. Read how an international student experienced Swedish winter here.
It might be hard to find a way to relax from stress coming from both work and cold, dark winter. You can read this article of "how to turn stress into success", it's really a well-written article.
One good way to overcome your stress is to join activities after your work. Here are few links where you can find events in Gothenburg: Göteborg, Move to Gothenburg, Newbie guide for newcomers, and PhD Pub.
And, most importantly, don't forget to have Fika's in between your work. Join (or invite) your colleagues for a coffee/Fika while you are at work, and discuss the weather!