1. PhD mailing list and Slack group for communication 🎉
  2. Individual Study Plan (ISP)
  3. Departmental duties
  4. Publication
  5. Thesis types
  6. PhD courses
  7. Doktorandpott (PhD budget)
  8. Buying books, materials for research etc
  9. Travel
  10. Student Discounts for PhD students
  11. Secondary Employment
  12. Labour/trade unions and unemployment insurance (“a-kassa”)
  13. SU PhD Student Councils
  14. Student Accommodation
  15. Improve your academic writing skills
  16. Other important and useful links

The PhD mailing list and Slack group

If you have been accepted as a PhD student at DSV, please email the information manager from the PhD Council to be added to the mailing list (remember to use your @dsv.su.se email to register). This is the primary communication channel between the council and all PhD students at DSV.

You can also join our Slack channel (remember to use your @dsv.su.se email to register) for PhD students. You can send direct messages to other PhD colleagues, make private channels with several people and you can create your own channels, so it provides an easy platform for communication with your peers!

Individual Study Plan

There are two important documents that every PhD student should take care of: the Basic Contract and the Individual Study Plan (ISP). New forms have been introduced for these two documents. The ISP-form is to be filled up in the first year of admission – this also acts as a Basic Contract and serves as a legal document. The  ISP follow-up form is to be filled up from the second year of studies and onward.

  1. Basic Contract
    This document specifies how often the PhD student and the supervisor meet each other. It also specifies how much percentage the PhD student should work and study, which is usually 20% departmental duty (340 hours per year) and 80% research. It also contains information like the activities which should be done in each year of PhD study. It is also used as evidence that the PhD student agrees on and knows about the legal issues like plagiarism control of the thesis.
  2. Annual Review / Individual Study Plan
    This document specifies the plan for the next year. It includes information like when and what courses are going to be taken, how the courses are going to be combined with departmental duties, etc. It should be considered as a tool for planning and controlling the study. Thus, it is recommended that PhD students fill the form with the help of supervisors. This document also contains a summary of what student has been done in the previous year. This is a very important document since it specifies the progress that the PhD student has been achieved, which influences the salary as well.

Departmental duties

The head of each Unit defines the departmental duties. DSV has four units: ACT in Communication with Technology, Information systems, Interaction Design and Learning – IDEAL, and Systems Analysis and Security. Therefore, it is important that PhD students participate in unit meetings, and the head of the unit can be considered as your boss. Your head of the unit is responsible for issues regarding the working environment etc. In addition to units, there are several centres, which are mostly relying on external funding. DSV has an intranet website with information on being a PhD student at DSV as well as a “good to know” resources page.

Important information from the department and your unit head is usually distributed via email.


DSV uses the Norwegian ranking system to measure the quality of publications. This ranking rates different publications with 0, 1, or 2 levels. Level 0 cannot be considered as an acceptable level for publications. It should, therefore, not be used for the articles in a PhD student’s thesis. Level 1 is usually a good place to start! However, it is essential to always discuss with your supervisor where to submit so that the publication is relevant and suitable. The levels are important since DSV and Stockholm University get credit through publishing in level 1 and 2 conferences and journals.

Thesis types

There are two types of theses at DSV: monograph and collection of papers. The monograph is like a book which does not rely on publications. However, it is crucial to have publications so that reviewers in your community can verify your results. A collection of papers is common at DSV and is usually based on 4 to 6 publications, depending on the depth of papers. It is always good to have one or two journal publications at the end. It is highly recommended that you speak with your supervisors to define a framework on how to meet regularly and clarify how you are going to communicate.

PhD courses

For students following the General Study Plans from 2016-09-01 (IS) or 2016-10-25 (CSS), the number of course credits is 75 PhD degree and 45 for the licentiate degree. Some courses are mandatory, and others you can select as you and your supervisor see fit. Based on the background knowledge/education of the PhD student, there may also be some supplementary course/s that a PhD student should take which are determined by the director of the PhD study. This and more information can be found in the Study Plans.

Buying books, materials for research, etc.

All purchases of various electronic materials, computer and mobile accessories, buns and cakes, fruit, books, travel etc. must be made through contracted suppliers. Then we get an invoice to the department, and we will not have problems with our contractual partners. For books, research materials and IT supplies, you should first discuss with your supervisor what you need, and your supervisor will know if you also need a confirmation from the unit head or not. Who to contact for what

Doktorandpott (PhD budget)

All faculty-financed PhD students have access to project money called “doktorandpott”, which corresponds to a maximum of 20,000 SEK per year. The “doktorandpott” is meant to ensure your publications – that is: to be able to participate in conferences for presenting papers and paying fees for journal publications. Besides, the money can be used for books, programmes, licences, and other materials you might need for conducting your research related to your thesis. This money has to be used during the calendar year, meaning that it cannot be accumulated between the years. To know the remaining amount of your budget, you can contact Michael NorĂ©n. Regarding the rules on how to spend your doktorandpott, contact ekonomi@dsv.su.se.

Besides for conferences, there are also other events, such as PhD consortiums, that you can attend to get feedback from other researchers outside of DSV. To buy a book, you can ask your supervisor, and if s(he) agreed, you could send an email to Michael (CC to your supervisor) to buy the book. PhD students can also apply for Eurocard through Caroline Thingvall at ekonomi@dsv.su.se. She can also help you to apply for an insurance card.


Before you book a business trip, you must do the following:

  1. Fill in the form Duty travel request.pdf (En) or Duty travel request.pdf (Swe)
  2. Contact your project manager/unit head who will approve the trip and sign the form/application.
  3. Leave the signed form in the Economy mail tray in the postal room on floor 3 by the E-lift.
  4. Afterwards, you can book your trip via Egencia. The travel agency sends the invoice to DSV.

After travelling

Remember to send the receipts after travelling as soon as possible (max 3 months after the trip) to make sure you get the money back.

Please look at this information:  Travel Bill Instructions. All employees are to make their own travel bill in Primula. If you want help with travel expenses, please contact Magdalena Pers Färjemark. Print the travel bill and submit it together with the original receipts in the Economy mail tray in the postal room. Payment to an employee is made together with the usual payroll. The breaking date of the month is usually the first week of the month.

Student Discounts for PhD students

You can join a student union to have a discount on subway tickets, DSV pub, café etc. The local student union at DSV is called DISK.  To register to SSSB (student accommodation in Stockholm), you need to be registered in a student union. However, if you only need to use the subway discount, you can apply for student union half-price membership. You can also get a lot of discounts from, e.g. Mecenat or Studentkortet directly without joining a union. You will then have to provide a document stating that you are a PhD student at Stockholm University (for example a scanned/photographed copy of your employment papers).

Secondary Employment

Secondary employment is any occupation or business that the PhD student engages in parallel with his/her employment.  The employee must report secondary employment annually. Secondary employment can be either paid or unpaid. Everyone, even those who have no secondary employment should certify in Primula that they have read the regulations. Fill in the form on My page in Primula. You report the changes continuously.

Labour/trade unions

(Please note that labour/trade unions are not the same as student unions!) In Sweden, working conditions are regulated to a greater extent through collective agreements than by legislation. Unions and employers negotiate these agreements. Therefore approximately 70% of all Swedish employees are members of a union, and these numbers are even higher for state employees. Unions are open to all, regardless of nationality or type of employment. Union membership can facilitate access to many kinds of assistance (e.g. information related to doctoral studies and legal assistance).

Two of the most popular ones at SU are SULF and ST.  If you have any problem related to your work at the university that you need help solving, you can reach out to Saco-S. They cover all of us at Stockholm University and is a negotiating body. You can contact Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64. Additionally, you can reach out to your own union, ask for help, advice, or represent you in a meeting etc.


In Sweden, it is widespread to pay for unemployment insurance, and they are called arbetslöshetskassa or simply a-kassa. While you are doing a PhD, you will have a guaranteed salary, but as soon as you finish, nobody can guarantee that anymore. While everyone working in Sweden is eligible for unemployment insurance at a low, basic level, the compensation is limited. But members of an unemployment fund can receive up to 80 percent of their previous salaries, making the transition between jobs a whole lot smoother. Therefore, it is recommended that you to start paying a-kassa to make sure you have unemployment benefits after your PhD.

At The Newbie Guide to Sweden, you have more information about it, including possible a-kassa’s one could join. The most common one for academics (i.e. for PhD students) is Akademikernas a-kassa. Even though you may not get unemployed soon, it is a good idea to register and start paying the fee (currently 140 SEK/month) since you need to have been a member of an a-kassa during at least 12 months to get the full benefits. 

SU PhD student councils: SFR and CDR

The Faculty of Social Sciences council (SFR) at Stockholm University is a cooperative body extending over the entire faculty, consisting of student and doctoral student representatives from the Faculty of Social Sciences, as well as representatives from Stockholm University’s student unions DISK, SSAS and SUS. SFR’s mission is to defend the interests of students and doctoral students in issues education-related at the faculty of Social Sciences. It is also responsible for the overall study monitoring work on the faculty level and functions as a discussion and information forum where the representatives from all student and doctoral councils at the faculty have the opportunity to exchange experiences and coordinate their work.

The Central PhD Student Council (CDR) is a central consulting body for
PhD Student Councils and for the Student Union. CDR is a separate legal
entity associated with the Stockholm Student Union responsible for its
own operation and answers to the Student Union praesidium. CDR may
provide more detailed guidelines for its activities within the scope of
this instruction. CDR is comprised of PhD student representatives from each faculty. The Faculty Councils of Humanities, Social Sciences and Science appoint
two members and one alternate member each. The Faculty Council of
Law appoints one member and one alternate member. It falls upon the
representatives of each faculty to, when possible, establish that their
views are compatible with that of their respective Faculty Council
whenever possible.

Student Accommodation

  • SSSB– You will find rooms and apartments all over Stockholm. Students who are affiliated to a student union can apply for comfortable and reasonably priced student housing in Stockholm. To at SSSB, students must fulfil the stipulated study requirements and be a member of a student union that is affiliated to the Federation of Student Unions in Stockholm (SSCO).
  • Check SU page on Housing for international students.
  • Kista Student apartment – you can apply through Stockholm bostad, previously registration was done using Kista Apartments.
  • Huge Student apartment – you can apply through Stockholm bostad, previously registration was done using Huge.
  • Stora Sköndal Kyrka Student Housing – 10 Minutes to Gullmarsplan by bus, and 10 minutes to Skarpnäk and Fasta Centrum you can find information at Stora Sköndal
  • Stockholm Bostad – after creating an account, you need to pay 220 SEK per year to stay active in the queue. It has a long waiting list; however, if you wait long enough, you can get student flats. You can find more information at Stockholm bostad
  • Second-hand housing – Studentboet.

Improve your language skills

Grammarly@EDU is an automated grammar tutor and revision tool for academic writing in English.

Swedish language classes

SU Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism offers Swedish language courses for international employees at SU. The courses give a basic understanding of Swedish language and culture to foreign employees at SU to enhance daily communication in an academic environment. You apply online, and your participation needs to be approved by your supervisor/head of department at SU. The courses don’t give any higher education credits. However, all participants receive a diploma upon completion.

Besides, Swedish for Immigrants (Svenska för invandrare or SFI) is offered for free for all newbies over 16 years old legally residing in Sweden. Read more about it in the Newbie Guide to Sweden. 

Other important and useful links