Doctoral candidate

Private scholarships
From 1998, government funds (such as direct appropriations to higher education or funds from a research council) may not be used for scholarships for doctoral studies. However there are numerous grants available from various private funds.

No social benefits
Scholarships provide no social benefits so, for example, insurance must be arranged separately. Since scholarship funding is not the equivalent of employment, candidates are not entitled to receive employment-based benefits such as sick pay or parental benefit from the Social Insurance Agency, unless they have a protected sickness benefit income from a previous job. Neither are candidates entitled to the collective agreement-based benefits such as parental benefit, reimbursement for medical costs etc. Consequently problems may occur in cases of  prolonged illness or parental leave.

SULF generally considers that scholarships should not be used as financing for doctoral candidates or post docs.

Scholarship, study loan or other funding
If candidates have scholarships or other funding for a period of doctoral studies, this period is deducted from the four full-time years of study. Consequently two full-time years on such grants will mean only two full-time years in doctoral candidate employment. Two years of full-time study corresponds to, for example, two and a half years at 80 percent doctoral studies.

Student loans may only be provided for studies for a maximum of 12 terms, including undergraduate education. Consequently an applicant who used loans for eight terms of undergraduate study may use the remaining four terms in the graduate programme (please note that even if the grant part of a study loan only is taken out for one term, student loans for that term have been used up). As the doctoral study programme is eight terms, additional funding must be available to the applicant in order to be accepted with ”other funding”. This additional funding may be arranged in various ways, for example through doctoral candidate employment.

Impact of student loans on doctoral studies
SULF generally considers that student loans should not be used for doctoral studies. Student loans provide no social benefits except that they can be extended if students become ill. Funding doctoral studies in this way also increases student debt, which will eventually mean a lower pension. The difference between two years on student loans instead of employment results in an estimated 5 percent reduction in pension.

Student loans or study grants after doctoral candidate employment?
Student loans may not be granted to candidates who have been employed as a doctoral candidate or has received a study grant. The relevant university must arrange additional funding beyond the four full academic years. All universities have been set targets for their number of graduates and it is in their interest that doctoral candidates finish their studies.
Scholarship and employed position If candidates combine scholarships with employment within or outside the university they continue to be covered by the conditions of employment that apply under their employment contracts as long as this situation remains.

Scholarship and employment
If you combine scholarship with employment you are covered by the terms of the employment.

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