Doctoral candidate/doctoral studies

Departmental duties often mean an opportunity to gain experience in teaching, however they also pose a risk that thesis work may be delayed and that doctoral candidates may not finish in time.

Departmental duties often mean an opportunity to gain experience in teaching, however they also pose a risk that thesis work may be delayed and that doctoral candidates may not finish in time.

Employment as an assistant

The Higher Education Ordinance provides higher education institutions with the right to employ assistants and teaching assistants. However, there are constraints – only those who have been admitted to undergraduate university education may be employed as teaching assistants.

Scope and working tasks

A position as an assistant must not represent more than 40 percent of full time hours. A position as teaching assistant may represent a maximum of 50 percent of full time working hours.

These working tasks must consist of teaching, participation in research other than research within the doctoral studies or administration.

Employment form

Employment as an assistant or teaching assistant doctoral candidate is temporary, fixed-term employment based on the stipulations in the Higher Education Ordinance.

Temporary positions can be formulated either as to apply from a certain date to another date or as employment for an indefinite period, although to a certain date at the longest. In the latter case it is possible for both employers and employees, under certain conditions, to terminate employment before the final date and this is the form that the university should use when employing assistants or teaching assistants.

The first appointment as an assistant or teaching assistant is permitted to be for a maximum of one year which may then be renewed. An assistant may be employed only during the time he or she receives a study grant as a doctoral candidate.  The total employment period for at teaching assistant is a maximum of three years.

Collective agreements

Public sector assistants and teaching assistants are covered by Villkorsavtal-T and other collective agreements. Villkorsavtal-T provides entitlement to longer holidays, daily allowances/per diems, reimbursement for medical expenses, parental benefit etc. PA16 gives the right to pension contributions.

Overtime

Before teaching more hours than stated for normal working hours, consider the opportunities for other work or overtime pay. Please note that only overtime specifically ordered by the employer generates overtime pay.

Salary

Within the public sector, salaries are set individually. In order to ensure that assistant and teaching assistant salaries are not set too low SULF has, through Saco-S, concluded local collective agreements for assistant and teaching assistant salaries at most universities. These collective agreements are intended to safeguard against excessively low salaries but not provide barriers to higher levels of pay.

Salaries vary between institutions but also across disciplines. Current doctoral candidate ladders can be found on the SULF website.

Pension

In addition to the national pension, doctoral candidates who are employed are covered by the contractual pension provisions of the collective agreement (PA-16).

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