Welcome to the NVS Doctoral Student Council webpage

Who we are

The NVS PhD Student Council consists of student representatives from each division at NVS. Our aim is mainly two-folded: 1.) to guard the interest of all PhD students at NVS by acting as a voice in meetings and committees at KI, and 2.) to offer support to PhD students at NVS who encounter issues or difficulties during their studies. Apart from these, we are also engaged in arranging activities and developing projects that we think could be of interest to us all, such as setting up social activities or reacting to information where we see the need for improvements.

Guarding our PhD students' interests

To be a voice for the PhD students and guard the interest of our work environment, we participate in several meetings at NVS, such as:

  • The NVS Department Council (Institutionsrådet)
  • The Committee for Doctoral Education (Forskarutbildningskommitté, FoUK),
  • The Committee for Doctoral Education Establishment Meetings
  • The Doctoral Students' Association (DSA)
  • The First Year Follow-up meetings

Supporting our PhD students

The first line to enable support for our PhD students is reached via the representative at your division. The representative will listen, try to guide you in your situation, and arrange actions within your division. However, other strategies are sometimes necessary, and the representative can turn to the council for further guidance. Of course, this does not mean that you can't turn directly to the council, but we recommend contacting your representative first-handedly.

Developing the work environment – examples of our work

Inner Sustainability week

Besides participating in meetings and supporting our PhD students, we initiate projects within different areas to develop our work environment further.

Before the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, we knew that the work environment for PhD students could be stressful and that there are always things that we can do to improve PhD students' work environment further, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. Regarding KI's strategy 2030, sustainability is well emphasized on several levels, although sustainability for PhD students is not always so easy. Here we saw a potential to develop something that could highlight the knowledge about mental health, how to manage stress, or how to promote emotional and spiritual well-being. When the pandemic became a reality in Sweden, we saw even more significant potential for these discussions. Therefore, we started an Inner Sustainability Week where we organized a whole week online with lectures and activities to highlight the potential of our inner worlds regarding inspiration, mental-, emotional- and spiritual health, insights, focus, and problem-solving. The Inner Sustainability Week was also conducted in 2021 but had a break in 2022 due to organizational factors.

On our "Inner Sustainability" homepage, you can find more information about the aim of the week and several accessible lectures from the event. Please get in touch with us if you have suggestions regarding what to include in the future Inner Sustainability Week.

Mental health folder

In the autumn of 2021, we received information from the latest exit poll (where students who have finalized their PhD evaluate their time as students) which indicated a need to investigate how students can find and get support when being in challenging work situations or having a tough time to balance work and leisure. As one action of this, we developed a Mental Health folder (link) where information is collected regarding where one could turn when one needs help and support. This knowledge can also be good to have before any problems arise on the horizon, knowing where to turn as a preventative action. You can find the folder further down on this page.

Collaboration with the doctoral ombudspersons

During 2022 we focused on developing our collaboration with the doctoral ombudspersons. These persons are essential partners when students experience problems related to their study process. As a first step, the council organized a workshop during the autumn of 2022 where the ombudspersons introduced themselves and discussed cases that could occur with the participants. This strategy aims to connect students with the ombudspersons and get a personal connection with them. Therefore, the council hopes it feels easier to reach out to them if problems arise during your PhD journey.

Influence our work!

If you have identified something in your or our work environment that you would like to change, if you want more social activities on campus, or if you have encountered any problems along your PhD journey, don't hesitate to contact us!

We are here for you, and you can influence what we do.

If you want to influence even more, contact your representative at the division and hear about the possibilities of joining the council.

NVS PhD Student Council

ARC (Aging Research Center)

Sakura Sakakibara

Doctoral representative

Clinical Geriatrics (south)

Anna Rennie

Doctoral representative

Clinical Geriatrics (north)

Charlotte Sørensen

Doctoral representative

Family Medicine and Primary Care

Jenny Nilsson

Doctoral representative


Charlotte Thurston

Doctoral representative


Linn Rönne-Petersen

Doctoral representative

Neurogeriatrics (south)

Isabel Runneberger

Doctoral representative

Neurogeriatrics (north)

Vilma Alanko

Chair and Doctoral representative

Occupational Therapy

Kajsa Söderhielm

Doctoral representative


Suggestions and comments

Do you have suggestions or would like to give feedback to the Doctoral Education council? Please send an e-mail message to the Chairman.

Heli Vänskä