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Maintenance and terms of employment


  1. Maintenance and terms of employment
  2. Departmental duties
  3. Scholarship
  4. Employment by another employer
  5. Extension of study period and employment


1) Maintenance and terms of employment

Forms of maintenance

For a doctoral student to be appointed at all, his or her income must be ensured for the whole period of study, i.e. four years in the case of admission for a doctoral degree and two years for admission towards a licentiate degree. At the faculty, as within the University as a whole, the guiding principle is that research students are to be employed under a doctoral studentship. However, it is also possible to be admitted as a doctoral student with a scholarship or while working for another employer (industry-employed doctoral student). Doctoral grants for doctoral student are no longer allowed at Lund University. Likewise, admission to research studies with maintenance from family or one’s own resources is not permitted.

Employment under a doctoral studentship

The decision on appointment is taken by the head of department in connection with the decision on admission to third cycle studies. The decision on appointment cannot be appealed to a higher authority. Employment is valid until further notice, although at most until a set date and never for a period longer than one year from completion of the doctoral degree. The first period of employment under a doctoral studentship is for one year. At the end of that year, employment is extended with no need to re-apply. However, a formal decision on extension must be taken by the department. The appointment can be renewed for two years at a time at most. The total period of employment is not permitted to exceed the equivalent of full-time third cycle studies for four years, and can last no longer than eight years in total. If the studies are to conclude with a licentiate degree, the total period of employment cannot exceed the equivalent of full-time third cycle studies for two years. Any time that the doctoral student has spent on research studies outside of the doctoral studentship (for example under a scholarship) is to be deducted from the total. The total employment period can be longer in special cases, however. Special circumstances can include parental leave, sick leave, military service, elected office within employee or student organisations or departmental duties. In such cases, the period of employment is extended for a time equivalent to that of absence due to special circumstances (see separate section on extension). Employment under a doctoral studentship provides the same social benefits and insurance coverage as other forms of employment at Lund University and is covered by ALFA (the general agreement on pay and benefits for government employees). Information on the basic agreements regulating employment is available on the LU website.


The Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 5 Section 3a) provides an opportunity to admit doctoral students with a non-standard rate of study at the students’ own request, although the rate of study can be no lower than 50% of full time. This usually applies to doctoral students employed outside the University, whose employer wishes to finance their third cycle studies. In that case, there must be a written statement of intent from the funder.

The announcement of vacancies for part-time doctoral studentships is not permitted.

Working hours and salary-setting

General conditions on working hours

Working hours for those employed under doctoral studentships are exempt from the law on working hours; overtime pay is not to be applied according to the agreements in place. This means that the work must be structured so as to make it possible to conduct one’s studies and departmental duties efficiently. This entails taking account of colleagues, management and the students taught by the doctoral student. The doctoral student has the right to daily rest, annual leave and leisure time according to the rules that apply to any other employment. Authorised leave of absence is only granted to doctoral students in exceptional circumstances. The decision on authorised leave of absence is not delegated to the head of department, but taken by the faculty’s human resources manager.

Human resources information on Lund University Staff Pages

Annual leave

The number of days of annual leave is 28 up to and including the year you turn 29, 31 days as of the year you turn 30 and 35 days as of the age of 40. Doctoral students are covered by the agreement on working hours for lecturers (PE 2012/157) in which annual leave registration is regulated in Section 10. The annual leave of doctoral students is not registered automatically as for other categories of teaching staff (whose entire annual leave is to be taken during the summer); instead, annual leave must be registered in Primula Web. This also means that doctoral students do not benefit from so-called squeeze days; instead they must register these days as annual leave if they intend to take them off work.


Salaries, just as other terms of employment for doctoral studentships, are mainly regulated in ALFA (the general agreement on pay and benefits for government employees). Salaries are set in local salary negotiations between employee and faculty representatives. There is an agreement on a salary ladder for Lund University doctoral students. This means that the doctoral student is placed on the starting rung of the ladder at the beginning of the employment period, with step-by-step salary increases for each stage of credits completed in the research studies programme. These increases take place on completion of 60 credits, 120 credits and 180 credits respectively. It is the responsibility of the doctoral student, together with the supervisor, to ensure that the application for a salary increase is submitted to the head of department each time a set of credits has been completed. Retroactive salary increases due to a delayed application can be made for a maximum of six months. If retroactive salary increases are requested for a period longer than six months, the supervisor and head of department must write a statement explaining the circumstances to the head of the salary office. As long as the doctoral student’s resources have not been withdrawn (pursuant to a decision by the vice-chancellor), assessment of the completion of the credits required for a salary increase is to be based on the time the student has spent on his or her research studies. One year’s full time study corresponds to 60 credits.

You'll find the regulatory document "Desicion regarding intervals of salary raise" on the webpage about regulatory documents and forms.


Sick leave is to be registered in Primula Web. In case of illness lasting longer than 7 calendar days, a doctor’s certificate is to be sent to the department or directly to the salary office. For more information, follow the links below.


Like all the University’s other employees, doctoral students are insured during their working hours and during direct travel to and from their workplace. In addition, business travel insurance applies when travelling further afield for work. In case of business travel abroad, the doctoral student is to carry an insurance card from Kammarkollegiet. This card can be obtained from the department or from the faculty.

More information on insurance on LU Staff Pages

2) Departmental duties

Doctoral students are mainly to dedicate their time to their own research studies but to a limited extent, up to a maximum of 20% of full working time, they can also work with teaching, research outside their own project and administration (collectively referred to as departmental duties). The head of department is the work manager and has the final say on the allocation of work duties. Only the work which concerns the doctoral student’s own education is counted as study time. It is therefore important to extend the period of study for a period corresponding to the time spent on departmental work. The faculty has decided on common guidelines for extensions as a result of departmental duties. Departmental duties and extensions are to be accounted for in the individual study plan.

You'll find the regulatory document "Prolongation for departmental duties" on the webpage about regulatory documents and forms.

3) Scholarship

Scholarships do not provide any social benefits and scholarship recipients are not covered by the terms and conditions that apply for employees at Lund University. However, scholarship recipients in research studies are covered by a special statutory insurance since 1 January 2014, which offers the scholarship recipient compensation in case of illness and parental leave according to the same conditions as employees. This insurance agreement has been signed centrally within LU but the premium for individual doctoral students is paid by the departments. In addition, the department is obliged to ensure that the scholarship recipient enjoys insurance coverage equivalent to that of other employees. The department is also obliged to provide certain guarantees in connection with admission, see the section on “Admission with a scholarship as funding”.

Should the scholarship funding dry up during the period of study, the department has the ultimate obligation to set up a doctoral studentship for the doctoral student in question for the remainder of the period of study.

4) Employment by another employer

Industry-employed doctoral students do not fall under the University’s terms of employment as they have a different employer. However, Lund University has a responsibility for the work environment of doctoral students active at the University.

Should an industry-employed doctoral student’s funding dry up during the period of study, for reasons beyond the doctoral student’s control, the department is obliged to employ the doctoral student for the remaining period of study.

5) Extension of study period and employment

The period of study and the doctoral studentship can be extended on various grounds (Chapter 5 HEO). Grounds for extension include parental leave, sick leave, military service, elected office within employee or student organisations and departmental duties. Departmental duties and associated extension have been dealt with above. For student union assignments, doctoral students are compensated by extension of their study time and doctoral studentship by a number of days according to a standard calculation for each type of elected office, as defined in the decision from the faculty. This decision is based on the general recommendations provided in a decision by the vice-chancellor.

In order to obtain an extension, the doctoral student must be able to document the scope of his or her assignment and to submit an application for extension to the department. This is best done towards the end of the study period, as a total of all assignments. The decision on extension is taken by the head of department. For deputies, the actual workload is to be assessed in order to calculate the number of days of extension. For extensions in connection with assignments not covered by the faculty’s standard decision, assessment must be done on a case by case basis. The department is then compensated by the faculty for the extensions granted.

Extension on the grounds of illness or parental leave is done on a day-for-day basis and extension can only be requested for illness or parental leave registered in Primula.

You'll find the regulatory document "Prolongation for commissions of trust" on the webpage about regulatory documents and forms.

Guidelines on the extension of employment as a doctoral student due to duties as an elected student representative at Lund University (PDF, 60 kB, new window)

Page Manager:


Tobias Nilsson
Scientific Officer
046-222 71 82
tobias [dot] nilsson [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se

Faculty of Science
Visiting address: Sölvegatan 27, 222 62 Lund
Internal mail code: HS 39
Mailing address: Box 118, 221 00 Lund
Invoice adress: Box 188, 221 00 Lund
Email: kansli [at] science [dot] lu [dot] se

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