Welcome (back) PhD students!

A new semester has started, and we are happy to welcome you (back)! We are doing our best to ensure high-quality education and professional development opportunities, advocate for your rights, and support PhD student welfare. We have exciting plans for the coming months, and we will do our best to offer you fun, insightful, and enriching activities and workshops in a socially-distanced way. With that said, take some time to:

  • Browse this website to get important tips for new doctoral students, learn more about our work and advocacy, or read the latest meeting minutes to see what we are up to.
  • Follow us on facebook to stay up-to-date on new events and happenings.
  • Get in touch if you have any feedback, ideas, questions or concerns we can help you out with!

All the best for a successful new semester,

Your PhD Chapter Board

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PhD Chapter Meeting and Elections — October 19th, 2020

The PhD Chapter board welcomes the members of the PhD Chapter to the first chapter meeting of the operational year 2020/2021, which will take place on October 19th, 2020, at 17:17 (precise venue TBA due to format considerations).

During this Chapter meeting, we will hold by-elections for vacant positions on the Chapter board, which are Education Manager and Webmaster. Read more about the positions here and click here to apply. The deadline for applications is September 29th. Please get in touch if you have any questions; we’ll be happy to answer them!

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Doctoral student issues at KTH’s Faculty Council (FR)

The Faculty Council (SV: Fakultetsrådet, FR) is KTH’s leading central body mandated to discuss matters concerning quality and collegial anchoring. Since a few years, the PhD Chapter has a representative at this forum. On September 3rd, Mohit Daga, the current Chapter representative at FR, was given the opportunity to present doctoral student issues at the FR meeting.

Issues presented drew upon the Doctoral Survey Report (released by the chapter in June) and illustrated major issues experienced by doctoral students: doctoral courses, supervision, matters concerning stress & well-being, and issues related to HR & administrative support. The presentation also highlighted issues related to career guidance and support, a topic mentioned in UKÄ’s 2020 report. Prof. Anders Forsgren, Dean and Prof. Sofia Ritzén, Vice-Dean were present at the meeting and emphasized that the issues highlighted in the doctoral student survey report and the presentation should be taken into account in doctoral subject study plans, and in quality-dialogues relating third-cycle education.

The THS CFU, Oscar Stenström, praised the presentation. The Chapter appreciates its continued collaboration with the THS Management Team (SV: Kårledning, KL) and is proud to be part of THS, one of the most committed student unions in regard to student life and educational advocacy. The Chapter aims to collaborate with KL to not only work towards a sustainable and enjoyable doctoral student life but also to resolve doctoral student issues.

This presentation was a continuation of efforts made by the Chapter to raise awareness about doctoral student issues at different central bodies of KTH. In the previous semester, a presentation was made by Chapter representative Emma Riese at KTH’s Committee on Third-Cycle Education (SV: Forskarutbildningsutskottet, FU). The Chapter has also learnt that the doctoral student survey report will be discussed in meeting by department management teams (SV: Ledningsgrupper) at some schools, and has already been taken up during a recent FU meeting of the ITM school. The Chapter appreciates the input and continued advocacy work of all the school councils.

The Chapter aims to continue to raise the issues of doctoral students at relevant forums at KTH to improve doctoral students’ education, work, and well-being.

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Some final words from the Chairperson 19/20

I would like to take this opportunity to say some final words as my mandate period as the chairperson of the PhD Chapter is over very soon.

It has been a challenging and unusual year, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to be the chairperson of this wonderful chapter during this period! I have been very proud to be the chairperson as when we have worked together, the PhD School Councils, PhD Chapter board, and THS Management Team. Thank you so much for all your hard work! In a pandemic, when nothing is like we are used to, the strength of joining forces and collaborating has really been shown. Student influence at the doctoral level at KTH has truly improved during the year, but the request and need for a decision regarding time-compensation due to commission of trust positions, also on the school level, will be a question I hand-over to the newly elected board.

I am very proud of the two surveys we have distributed, the broad one late last year and the one about the consequence of COVID-19, that we opened late March. I hope these will also bee useful for the coming boards of the PhD Chapter, the PhD school councils and, KTH. To me, it has been invaluable feedback that enabled me to be a better doctoral representative in the KTH central organs I have been a part of. Thank you to all of you who took the time to fill them out!

Soon, the new academic year starts with a new board and a new chairperson, Gloria Samosir. I am sure it is going to be a great year and I wish you all the best!

Enjoy the summer!

Kind regards,
Emma Riese

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Report of Survey Results

At the end of last year (November -December 2019) the PhD Chapter sent out a survey to all doctoral students at KTH who had a study activity and a valid email address registered in LADOK at that time. The PhD Chapter board now proudly presents our report on the results (from 595 respondents) along with some recommendations on how to work with the identified issues.

The data is divided per school on each of the questions, to allow for comparisons. The survey consisted of 35 questions structured into 9 sections regarding:

  1. Background of respondents
  2. Individual study plan
  3. Departmental duties
  4. Supervision
  5. Courses
  6. Stress and well-being
  7. HR and administration support
  8. Overall evaluation of doctoral studies at KTH
  9. Work of the PhD Chapter

You find the full report with results and recommendations here.

We would also once again like to thank everyone who filled out the survey and thereby contributed to valuable input to both the PhD Chapter and KTH, many thanks!

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