The combined time of employment of a PhD student cannot exceed the equivalent of full-time, four year doctoral studies (a combined 48 months). A PhD student must be employed at least part-time. The first employment contract is valid for one year. The combined time of employment can then not be longer than four, full-time years, unless under special circumstances. The special circumstances can be leave due to illness, parental leave, leave for military duty, or required obligations within a union or student organization, or other duties for the department.

Doctoral students can choose to work up to 20% in teaching courses or as supervisors at the department, which would prolong their employment period by 20%.

Doctoral studentships through Stockholm University are regulated by the doctoral students’ individual employment contract, and by the general rules of employment at SU, which entitles doctoral students to the same social benefits as all other employees at SU.

For more information on terms of employment for PhD students, see the:

Handbook for Doctoral Students at the Department of Education

General Study Plan for the PhD Programme in Education

Handbook for international researchers at Stockholm University

International Applicants

Please be aware that admitted doctoral students need to find their own housing.
Click here for information on housing

Non EU-citizens need to apply for a work permit before moving to Sweden.
Click here for work permit requirements

Individual Study Plan

The supervisor and doctoral student should meet, at least once per term, to assess if the student’s doctoral studies are progressing according to the deadlines/goals set in the individual study plan. The primary supervisor is responsible for making sure the meetings take place. Both the supervisor and the doctoral student have the right to suggest changes to the individual study plan. The head of the department decides upon and signs the individual study plan which is then archived at the department. Every term, the supervisor assesses that the study plan is being followed. The doctoral student is informed of the assessment. The head of the department shall be informed in writing if there is a large shift or change made in the individual study plan.

If a doctoral student deliberately disregards their commitments outlined in the individual study plan, the head of the department can decide if the doctoral student is no longer allowed supervision or other resources for their studies. Before such a decision is made, the doctoral student and his or her supervisor is given the opportunity to state their point of view of the situation. The review process shall be based on their account and other available information. In the decision, a weighing of if the university has lived up to their commitments, as outlined in the individual study plan, should also be made. The decision should be provided in writing and with justification (HF§ 6:30).

Externally Financed PhD Positions

A PhD student, who receives an external employment contract, including full time financing for duration of their studies, can send in an application no later than March 1st every year. The application will then be assessed in the same process as the applications for our regularly announced positions financed by the Faculty of Social Sciences.

Decisions regarding admission of externally financed doctoral studentships are made by the Faculty of Social Sciences based upon an agreement reached by the Department of Education experts. Externally financed PhD students must also demonstrate English language proficiency through providing summaries of their degree project/thesis in English and orally present their research plan and summarize an article in the form of an abstract, in English.