Rules and rights for PhD students

Rules of procedure Doctoral Program: everything on doctoral students’ rights and duties (e.g., right to supervision, changing supervisor, when to schedule your licentiate, etc.)
Syllabus for the Microtechnology and Nanoscience Graduate School (English): requirements on credits, courses, passing grades, etc.
Allmän studieplan för forskarskolan Mikroteknologi och Nanovetenskap (Swedish)
Salary agreement (löneavtal) 2021-2024 (Swedish)
Salary agreement (löneavtal) 2024-2026 (Swedish)

Your wellbeing as a PhD student

Doktorandombudet (DOMB): get help with problems that may arise in the course of your research or employment (big or small).
Occupational health service (Pe3): get help with problems related to work (e.g., contact an ergonomist, or get psychological help — first 3 sessions are for free —)
Tools to improve communication with your supervisor: manage expectations, measure your development as a researcher and draw a development plan, etc.
A beginner’s guide to Swedish Academia
Other resources

Occupational health service

Through Pe3 – Chalmers’ occupational health service – you have access to:
• Occupational physician
• Occupational health nurse
• Physiotherapist/ergonomist
• Behavioural scientist/psychologist
• Work environment engineer
If you’re experiencing problems at work and would like to talk to a professional, you can get 3 sessions for free with a behavioural scientist/psychologist. You will be offered an appointment within a week. You can contact them confidentially and no one at Chalmers needs to know. After the 3 initial sessions, if you want to continue, then your line manager needs to be notified.

Insurance

Through Chalmers, you are insured while:
• At work
• On your way from and to work
• On a business trip
• On a holiday in connection to a business trip
• On a research stay
• Working remotely
Example 1: Occupational insurance covers you if you slip, fall, get hit by an object, or if you have been subjected to threats, violence, or robbery at your workplace. In the event of an accident, you can get compensation for lost income, expenses, and in some cases pain and suffering.
Example 2: Occupational insurance covers you if you have a biking accident on your way to work. In the event of such an accident, you can get compensation for expenses and in some cases pain and suffering. However, occupational insurance does NOT cover traffic accidents if you are traveling by car or motorcycle, since those are covered by your vehicle’s insurance.
Read more here.

Wellness benefit

Every Chalmers employee, including PhD students, has the right to a wellness benefit of up to 2000 SEK per year. This grant covers expenses of activities such as sports, gym memberships, and massages, and it is managed by Epassi. If you want to use your wellness grant on a supplier affiliated with Epassi, you can either
• order what you want through the Epassi website or app. When visiting the wellness supplier, show your digital receipt.
• identify yourself when visiting the supplier and state that you want to pay with Epassi. The wellness contribution will be deducted directly at the check out.
If the wellness supplier is not affiliated with Epassi, you can send your receipt via email through Epassi’s website.

You can find more information about Epassi and the wellness grant on the Intranet page.

Medication

You can be reimbursed for prescribed medicine within Sweden, in case of illness, accidents, and work rehabilitation. The subsidy covers reimbursement of pharmaceutical drugs up to 2600 SEK (in 2023) and it is registered through Primula. Read more here.

Useful courses

Here is a downloadable non-comprehensive spreadsheet of courses that may be useful for MC2 PhD students to take, both at Chalmers and at other universities. It includes master’s-level and PhD-level courses, summer schools, courses that give GTS credits, both presential and online. This list has been gathered by MC2 PhD students and it is continuously being updated, so if you have suggestions on new courses or find outdated information, please let the council know!

When you work, you still get paid!

All days spent on leave (sick leave, moving day, family matters, parental leave) will extend your employment. This means that all those days are paid twice: first, when you take paid leave, and then, when you work those days at the end of your PhD. Note that vacation days are not leave, and thus do not extend your employment — they are already accounted for.

Sick leave

If you get sick, you get to stay home with paid leave. Do not panic, these days are not lost! They are added to the end of your PhD, and extend your contract accordingly.

The compensation is the following:
• Day 1: you don’t get paid.
• Days 2-14: you get 80% of your usual salary.
• Days 15-onwards: you can apply for sickness benefit from the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan).

The reporting procedure is the following:
• As soon as you’re sick, let your supervisor know.
• When you’re recovered, you register the days you were sick on Primula. If you’ve been sick 7 calendar days or less, you do not need a doctor’s certificate.
• If you’ve been sick for more than 7 calendar days, you need to send a copy of the doctor’s certificate to the LRS.
• If you’ve been sick for more than 14 calendar days, you need to send a copy of the doctor’s certificate to the LRS, and the original to the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan). The LRS will report the sick leave to the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan) and, after that, you can apply for the sickness benefit directly from the Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan).

Read more on the intranet, here and here.

Moving day

If you are moving, you can take one day of paid leave. You apply via Primula.

Doctor’s appointments

You can take time off for a doctor’s appointment, with the exception of non-emergency dental appointments. If you work part-time, doctor’s appointments should usually be arranged outside ordinary working hours.

Family matters

If a close relative has a life-threatening illness or dies, you have the right to one day of paid leave. In addition to one day leave, a maximum of two days leave is granted per reason of absence for travel outside the Gothenburg area. You can, at most, take nine days of paid leave for family matters per calendar year.The application is done via Primula.
Leave may be granted for the reasons given below, which apply only to next-of-kin (spouse, registered partner, cohabitant, child, parent, sibling, registered partner/cohabitant parents, parents-in-law, grandchild, and grandparents):
• Life-threatening illness
• Death
• Funeral
• Estate inventory or distribution of inheritance (only if the employee is a beneficiary)

Vacation

Your are entitled to different amount of vacation days depending on your age:
• 28 days of vacation: until and including the year in which you turn 29 years old
• 31 days of vacation: from and including the year in which you turn 30 years old
• 35 days of vacation: from and including the year in which you turn 40 years old

You are legally required to use at least 20 days of vacation per year. However, you may not have more than 30 days saved in total. For vacation days that are not taken and that exceed 30, only the vacation supplement is paid.

The vacation supplement is 0.65% of your current monthly salary per paid day of vacation. The vacation supplement is paid out with your salary in connection with, or immediately after, the vacation.

You are entitled to 20 days of vacation during the summer months of June–August. If you prefer, you can schedule your vacation at a different time of year, as long as it is suitable with the work responsibilities within Chalmers. The time of your vacation must be agreed on with your supervisor, and the needs of your work must be taken into consideration.

Read more about vacation benefits here, and about Swedish holidays here.

Thesis review committee (TRC)

All students at MC2 must get their research and publications evaluated by the Thesis Review Committee (TRC) before they are allowed to defend their thesis. The committee looks at your entire list of publications, journal articles, conference papers etc., and decides whether you are ready to defend or if more work is needed. There is no official minimum number of publications required in order to pass the TRC, although very few students pass without at least 4 first author publications, or can show an equivalent amount of work. Multiple second or third author publications can make up for fewer first author publications.

There is sometimes a debate among students whether following the recommendations of TRC is a must or not, since there is no general Chalmers rule that requires a certain amount of publications in order to graduate. However, the department has decided that passing TRC serves as a necessary quality control of our research and is written as a requirement in the statues of our graduate school. Passing TRC is thus mandatory in order to graduate from the graduate school in Microtechnology and Nanoscience.

For detailed information about TRC, check out the TRC’s Intranet page.

International staff mobility office (ISMO)

The International Staff Mobility Office (ISMO) offers Chalmers’ staff support when migrating to or from Sweden. At ISMO’s Intranet page, you can find their contact information as well as information about tax and benefits, accommodation, migration, and introduction to work and everyday life in Gothenburg and Sweden.

Travel information

Below are documents and links with useful information about traveling as a Chalmers employee:

Travel insurance information
Regulations for business trips
LRS – How to fill in travel bills
LRS – Meal benefits
Primula travel bills – Quick reference guide
Egencia – Chalmers’ travel agency