Doctoral students with external scholarships

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At KI there are doctoral students who are wholly or partially funded through external scholarships.

What is an external scholarship?

An external scholarship means that KI does not make payments to the doctoral student; instead, the student has funding in the form of scholarships from their home country, home university or a similar source. KI believes that this type of financing can be a precondition of international collaboration with bodies outside the EU. However, it is important that doctoral students have a reasonable level of funding, regardless of the source of the financing.

According to the Scholarship regulations at KI, doctoral students at KI can be funded through external scholarships/stipends on condition that the total income level is not lower than the minimum income levels after tax in the local collective bargaining agreements for doctoral students. In those cases where the external scholarship/stipend is lower than these levels, additional funding shall be offered via a complementary doctoral scholarshipor employment

New higher education ordinance - limitations in doctoral scholarships

On 26 October 2017 the government took a decision on several amendments to the Higher Education Ordinance that concern scholarship-financed doctoral students

Minimum income levels

To ensure that the financial situation of doctoral students on scholarships or SIDA allowance is on the same level as other doctoral students, the Vice-Chancellor has established minimum income levels for the support of doctoral students.

In cases where the external scholarship does not meet the minimum levels established by the Vice-Chancellor, KI should provide complementary scholarships (or employ the doctoral student), see below.

These minimum income levels changes over time since they follow the general salary development for employed doctoral students at KI. Read about the salaries for employed doctoral students.

The present minimum income levels for doctoral students (valid from November 1 2017):

  • Minimum level for year 1: 20 781 SEK a month
  • Minimum level for year 2: 21 177 SEK a month
  • Minimum level for year 3: 21 917 SEK a month
  • Minimum level for year 4: 22 508 SEK a month
  • Same level all 4 years: 21 600 SEK a month

The minimum income levels are calculated based on the salary ladder for doctoral studentship (doktorandanställning), minus tax deductions according to the table of Solna municipality.

If the study rate is 50% the amounts may be halved.

Complementary funding

Cooperation agreements with other universities or partners must aim to set funding levels equivalent to those of the minimum income levels as above. Should it not be possible to reach an agreement that fulfils this requirement, the department may either provide complementary funding (see below) or decline to accept doctoral students under the agreement in question.

Complementary funding, either through temporary employment (as defined in the ALVA rules) or through a complementary scholarship, must always be worked out in consultation with the department's human resources officer and/or administrative manager.

Complementary scholarships

It is allowed to provide complementary scholarships for doctoral students at KI (if the external scholarship is lower than the established minimum income levels), provided that a number of conditions is fulfilled. Read more about this in the Scholarship Regulations at KI.

Please note that scholarships cannot be financed via government grants and that scholarships shall not be awarded to those who have received a salary or fees from KI within a two year period prior to the first scholarship payment. They may only be set up with funding from external funding sources that have given their written approval for the funding to be used for the payment of scholarships.

No other scholarships than these complementary doctoral scholarships can be issued at KI for doctoral students.

Social benefits for doctoral students with external scholarships

Scholarship holders are not employed by KI, and do not therefore have the same rights in terms of pensions, subsistence allowances, health promotion reimbursements, etc. Nor do they have any formally regulated holiday entitlement.


It should be noted that scholarship holders are not covered by any benefits in accordance with collective agreements such as parental leave pay, sickness pay, etc. The situation of the scholarship holder with regard to social security benefits varies based on the nationality of the scholarship holder, the period of residence in Sweden, etc. This must be clarified in each individual case to ensure that both the scholarship holder and KI are aware of the conditions that apply. Read more about insurance.

Illness and parental leave

According to the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 1, section 11c), KI shall provide insurance cover at Kammarkollegiet for doctoral students whose studies are funded through a stipend. The insurance shall apply when the doctoral student's stipend is reduced due to absence from studies in the case of illness or parental leave.

Kammarkollegiet's health and parental insurance is a mandatory group insurance which is administered by the Human Resources Office, but the insurance premium is paid by the student's department on a yearly basis. The insurance provide insurance cover for those cases doctoral student stipends are reduced due to absence from studies due to:

  • Sickness
  • Parental leave
  • Temporary parental leave

In addition, doctoral students receiving scholarships who are admitted to education at KI are covered by Kammarkollegiet's general insurance Injury Insurance for Student. It applies during school hours and during direct travels to and from campus and repays expenses for personal injuries.

More information about about Kammarkollegiet’s insurances for doctoral students with external scholarships

More information about insurance coverage for scholarship holders (in Swedish)


Scholarship holders have no formally regulated vacation since they are not employed. The scope and time of the leave should be regulated in the scholarship holder's individual study plan.

Retirement pension

KI does not pay a premium corresponding to a percentage of the wage for scholarship holders since they are not employed by KI.

Recruiting doctoral students on scholarship

All doctoral students at KI should be recruited through a process of competition. Most doctoral positions are today officially announced. However, according to the Higher Education Ordinance (Högskoleförordningen) there is a possibility for some exemptions to that rule which means that there is no need for advertising if the doctoral student has been through any other competition process, eg. received an external scholarship in competition.

More information about the recruitment of doctoral students


Doctoral students and supervisors with questions regarding scholarships may turn to the human resources manager at their home department.

Doctoral students with questions regarding their education may turn to the supervisors, the study director ("studierektor") or the administrator for doctoral education at their home department.

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