Lobbying for Increased PhD Salaries

The DSA has lobbied for an increase in the PhD student salaries to put KI in line with the salaries offered by other medical/biomedical faculties in Sweden. Also, the DSA has tried to make the point that the PhD salary should, in part, reflect the higher cost of living in the Stockholm region compared to the rest of the country. The DSA sent a letter to the parties involved in salary negotiations (i.e. trade unions and KI) in mid-August. The following points were brought forward by the DSA :

  • Every doctoral student should be employed from day one 
    • All doctoral students should have the same conditions and rights, social benefits including unemployment reimbursement, paid parental-, sick leave and vacation reimbursement, as well as pension fund, from day one of their doctoral studies at KI. 
  • Provide same benefits to all doctoral students 
    • Receiving a doctoral education at KI should imply the same treatment for each and every student. It is unacceptable that some doctoral students are treated in a different way than others. 
  • Monitor the implementation of rules and enforce accountability 
    • Even though KI has worked a lot on improving conditions for doctoral students, rather often cases come up where group leaders and the corresponding department seem to find a way to circumvent the common rules suggested by central KI. This should not be accepted and there should be clear rules determined by central KI that are mandatory for everyone to follow. 
  • Improve KI working conditions to top competitive level 
    • Salary is an important factor for quality assurance and recruitment of top doctoral students to KI. KI is one of the best medical universities in the world, however, even when comparing salaries of doctoral students at KI with other universities in Sweden, KI is not offering competitive salaries. 

The letter the DSA sent to the parties with our full demands and monitoring of the PhD salaries nationwide can be found below.

Increase in Salary for Doctoral Students

The parties (trade unions and KI) have agreed to a new salary ladder for PhD students, which is valid from November 1, see below. The parties have chosen to increase the entire salary amount starting from month 25 of the doctoral education. There is thus no change in the starting salary for doctoral students. The parties have noted from the DSA’s letter that KI’s doctoral students cumulative salary over four years of doctoral education is lower compared to doctoral students at other universities.

Year of Doctoral StudiesPrevious Salary*New Salary*Difference
Year 126 80026 8000
Year 227 30027 3000
Year 328 30029 500+1 200
Year 428 80030 000+1 200

*Salary is denoted in SEK per month before taxes. Additional salary is given to PhD students with a medical/dentist degree (+2 700 SEK) and for licensed doctors/dentists with two years of public practice experience (+5 100 SEK).

For full details on the new salary ladder please see KI’s page on doctoral employment. Employment as a doctoral student at KI –