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The PhD student as a university employee

In this section we have gathered resources which concern the doctoral student as employee. For example, how does one go about reporting illness? What if one gets a child? What support functions are there at the department, faculty and centrally at the University? Who deals with what?


As a newly employed doctoral student you will receive a mentor. The mentor is a PhD student who has been here for some time and can assist you during your first time at the Department.


During your first semester you will be taken care of by an introduction team with which you will have regular meetings. The aims of these meetings are to contribute to the socialization process at the Department, to help you get in contact with other senior researchers, to give advice concerning the organization of your initial PhD studies, and offer a forum to start discuss your PhD thesis. The Introteam consists of the director of studies for the PhD programme and a colleague who defended her/his PhD thesis relatively recently.

Introduction days

An introduction is held early during the first semester at the Department. Here, newly admitted doctoral students get information from and the opportunity to talk to the head of department, the director of studies for PhD studies, the director of studies for undergraduate studies, the financial administrator, the safety officer, etc. The Faculty of Social Sciences also organizes introduction days for new PhD students. Moreover, all new employees are invited to participate in the University’s “Introduction Day for new Employees”. The event usually takes place once every semester. It deals with issues concerning the conditions of employment, the working environment, occupational health and staff organisations. It also provides a picture of the large organisation that is Lund University, as well as its history.

The upcoming welcome seminar is listed on the calendar of Human Resources.

Project PhDs

An increasing number of PhD students are funded by external project grants. For this reason the department has adopted a special

Degree of maintenance and activity

Degree of activity is the percentage of full time PhD studies the doctoral student has been able to carry out during the semester. Hence, it is the actual time for PhD studies (as % of full time, 40 hour/week) which shall be reported. PhD students doing teaching or other departmental work should decrease their activity accordingly.

Information about maintenance shall only deal with PhD studies and not other work in which the doctoral student might be involved. The sum of different types of maintenance shall always be 100 % during a semester even if reported degree of activity is less than 100 %.  

PhD students shall report their degree of maintenance and activity to the administrator of the PhD program by the end of each semester.

Salary issues and extension of a post

The salary of a doctoral student is automatically raised on three separate occasions: when 60, 120 and 180 higher education credits have been achieved. The supervisor submits a certificate to the head of department.

Besides extensions on the grounds of teaching assignments at the department, a post can also be extended after sick leave or parental leave. In addition, some types of leave of absence, but not all, can give rise to an extension (check in advance with the financial administrator). There are also rules for extension of an employment period due to positions of responsibility within student organisations and student representation (refer to the financial administrator for more information).

The University’s formal rules and regulations

The University has gathered all its formal rules and regulations in the Rules and Regulations portal.


The department encourages participation in international conferences (along with national ones, of course) as well as stays in other research and education environments. Doctoral students are first and foremost expected to apply for external funding for participation in conferences, doctoral studies courses in other locations and for stays in other environments. If one is unable to obtain funding in this way, or if funds obtained are insufficient, then one can apply for funding to the head of department. In that case, when participating in a conference, the doctoral student is usually expected to present a paper. Longer stays abroad must be funded externally.

Doctoral students’ council: your own committee

At the department there is a doctoral students’ council which is an association created to safeguard the interests of doctoral students at the department. The doctoral students’ council usually meets once a month, but there can be exceptions. In the council’s meetings, one can raise issues and problems encountered in one’s work as a doctoral student and that one is having difficulty resolving on one’s own.

In case of illness

If you have been ill, you must report it by handing in a form (which can be downloaded from the University’s homepage) to the Salary Office. Sick leave entitles you to an extension of your research studies. See also handbook for employees at Lund University.

If you are or become a parent

Refer any questions to your supervisor and the financial administrator. Parental leave entitles you to an extension of your research studies. See also handbook for emplyees at Lund University.

If you feel obstructed or harassed

See the Equality and Equal Opportunities plan on our Equality pages.

If you get into conflict with your supervisor(s)

If a conflict arises between you and your supervisor(s) which cannot be resolved in discussions between you, you must refer to your head of department and/or director of studies for PhD studies. If the head of department /director of studies for PhD studies is your supervisor, refer to the chair of the doctoral studies board of the Faculty of Social Sciences. You also always have the possibility of referring to the faculty board with such problems. As a doctoral student, you have the right to change supervisors after consulting with the head of department if the conflict cannot be resolved.

Learn more at the Department of Political Science’s Equality pages as well as the Swedish Council for Higher Education’s Handbook for Doctoral students.

Your working environment

See our pages on work environment

Contribution to fitness training

The University compensates certain expenses for wellness/sport. Contact the department’s financial officer if you have any questions.


Page Manager:

Department of Political Science
Lund University
Visiting address: Paradisgatan 5H (House: Eden)
Postal address: Box 52, SE-221 00 LUND
Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences