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PhD Student Information

  • Mail List for PhD Students at IFM
  • Introduction List for New PhD Students
  • Mentor
  • Pedagogical Training
  • Insurance
  • Salary Steps
  • Communication guide
  • Support functions at IFM

Mail List for PhD Students at IFM

For PhD students at IFM, who are not on the PhD student e-mail list, you should follow the procedure:

In order to add someone to the list, you should send a mail to ifm-phds-request@lists.ifm.liu.se with the subject line or message body 'subscribe' (without the quote marks).

To leave the list, you can send an email to ifm-phds-request@lists.ifm.liu.se with the subject line or message body 'unsubscribe' (without the quote marks).

If you want more information about available functions, send an email to ifm-phds-request@lists.ifm.liu.se and write 'help' (without the quote marks).

To send an email to the list,
send the email to ifm-phds@lists.ifm.liu.se.

Introduction List for New PhD Students

For PhD students, who have recently started at IFM, there is a list with the purpose to introduce the new student into different facilities at IFM. You get this list from the administrator in your division.


Why mentorship?

- The mentor has an intimate knowledge of IFM's way of conducting doctoral studies. This means that the mentor can assist in matters regarding expectations for a supervisor as well as expectations for a doctoral student.

- Mentorship offers doctoral students an alternative to their supervisor. Doctoral students may ventilate their concerns to someone other than their supervisor, someone who is familiar with IFM's way of conducting doctoral studies. Problems and conflictive situations will hopefully come to light at an early stage and be resolved before they turn into a serious controversy.

- The mentor is someone who the doctoral student may approach with miscellaneous matters, such as practical laboratory work, workspace, doctoral-student appointment, and supervision.

- Doctoral students are encouraged to take the initiative in seeing their mentors for an introductory meeting.

- The mentor should study and discuss the doctoral student's individual curriculum.

- The mentor should be accessible to the doctoral student as an alternative to his or her supervisor. It is important to attend to any problems and take action at an early stage. Please contact the supervisor and/or director of studies if necessary.

- Every year, the doctoral student, the supervisor, the assistant supervisor or supervisors (if any), and mentor should follow up and revise the individual curriculum. The student's coursework and doctoral-studies schedule is discussed. The reason for any delay is analyzed.

Pedagogical Training

IFM is organizing a basic pedagogical course; Science Education for Postgraduate/Doctoral Students (3 hp).
This course is given in English twice per year, one in the spring and one in the autumn. Course responsible is Fredrik Jeppsson <fredrik.jeppsson@liu.se>.  Registration for the course should be sent to him directly. 

The Center for Learning and Training (CUL, Centrum för undervisning och lärande) offers a series of courses in pedagogical training, "steg-kurser," where each course represents a certain stage of teaching.
Stage 1 (Steg 1) is Learning, teaching, and knowledge (Lärande, undervisning och kunskap). This 4-point course, where 1 point is an elective choice, is required for anyone who will teach. 


Students do and do not have insurance!

Personal-injury insurance
Students attending state universities and university colleges (including doctoral students) are covered by personal-injury insurance during school hours and during direct travel between their home and school. The insurance covers personal injury as a consequence of accidents and certain cases of illness caused by infection. Compensation is paid for medical care, medicine, physical therapy, transportation, and other expenses. You may also receive compensation for pain and suffering. If your injury becomes permanent (in the event of medical invalidity), the insurance provides compensation for loss of income, deformity, and disability as well as for costs and inconvenience in general. For more information, please visit the following website: Student information

Insurance during off-school hours
The personal-injury insurance is not effective during off-school hours. Most accidents occur during leisure time. The university therefore recommends its students to effect an accident insurance for coverage during leisure time.

Homeowner's insurance
Please note that it is important to effect a homeowner's insurance.

Salary Steps

As of October 2014:

Step 1:  25800 kr
Step 2:  26600 kr
Step 3:  28300 kr

Communication guide

Communication guide


During the doctoral studies, it is essential that communication and expectations between PhD student and supervisor are clear and realistic. The need of supervision changes during the PhD period. It is therefore important that the PhD student and the supervisor take mutual responsibility in the communication and collaboration. The purpose of the communication guide is to stimulate the dialogue on these subjects.


The use of the communication guide is voluntarily. There are also other ways to receive the same result. Eg, in the course “Research supervision – Advanced Course in Higher Education Pedagogy” provided by Didacticum, LiU, some of the supervisors will learn about a so called Supervisory contract.


The communication guide will be discussed by the PhD student together with the main supervisor and/or a co-supervisor. It is recommended that this is done during the first three months. It is then recommended that the communication guide is rewritten and discussed at least yearly. Some of the questions can be difficult to answer the first year of the PhD studies. The communication guide should be regarded as a “living document” where the answers in the guide will change during the PhD period.


Some information relevant for these discussions can be found at:
http://www.ifm.liu.se/edu/graduate/ and at



As a start, read the guidelines for supervision of a PhD student in and discuss the guidelines.


The communication guide was written by Patricia Wennerstrand as part of a project at IFM during autumn 2013 and spring 2014. The work was summarized in a report (in Swedish) available at https://people.ifm.liu.se/stekl/Kommunikationsrapport.pdf


The attachments are more than 200 pages and can be received by contacting stefan.welin.klintstrom@liu.se





What kind of expectations do the PhD student have on the supervisor?
What kind of expectations do the supervisor have on the PhD student?
For info on this, see http://www.ifm.liu.se/edu/graduate/handledning/

What are your primary motivations in your work (question to both persons)?

How do you deal with setbacks (question to both persons)?

How frequently do you plan to have supervisory meetings?

How are the PhD student and the supervisor expected to prepare for the supervisory meeting?

When are you available for work or contact? In which contact form?

What are the roles of your supervisor and your co-supervisor/s?

What kind of project decisions should be decided by the PhD student and by the supervisor, respectively? What kind of decisions should be made jointly (minor or major decisions)?

What are the PhD student and the supervisor´s responsibilities internally/externally in a joint project?

Supervision of master thesis students or external collaborators (e.g. PhD students or Post docs)? What parts in the project will be handled by the PhD student and by the supervisor respectively?

What is your opinion on the writing of scientific papers currently in pipeline?

Whom apart from the main supervisor is available for scientific advices, daily practical questions?

(Remember that the questions are aimed to stimulate a discussion)
Do you give positive and/or negative feedback concerning the work effort or the ability to collaborate? If so, in which situations?

In what way do you prefer to give and receive feedback?

Are you good at giving and taking feedback?

How will the feedback on written manuscripts be organized? What time frames?

Teaching and courses
How do you balance research in relation to teaching and courses?

The last questions are to be answered by the PhD student from the second year of the PhD studies
Reflect upon your accomplishments developed during the last year

Reflect upon how the supervision and how the collaboration with you supervisor has developed during the past year regarding, supervision, feedback, project planning, expectations, teaching and courses. Is something in need of a change in your collaboration?

Support functions at IFM

At IFM there are several people you as a PhD student can talk to if you have problems in your studies or if you have any questions. Some of the support functions/persons available for PhD students at IFM are:

  • Per Olof Holtz for issues on the graduate program, supervision
  • Louise Rydström for issues on the staffing and personal support
  • Your supervisor for scientific, educational and supervision issues
  • Your deputy supervisor for scientific, educational and supervision issues
  • Your mentor for issues on the graduate program, supervision
  • Group for equal opportunities at IFM (Karin Enander and Anki Brorson) for issues on gender equality, ethnic and religious diversity
  • The PhD Reference Group at IFM for all PhD student related questions.
  • LiUPhD for getting in contact with PhD students outside of IFM and bring up general PhD student related questions not pertaining to IFM.

Informationsansvarig: Per Olof Holtz
Sidan uppdaterades senast: 2016-02-08