Being a PhD Student

Check out The Times Higher Education’s “10 steps to PhD Failure”. Some tips don’t apply to the Swedish context but worth reading nevertheless. We recommend 3, 4, 7 and 9. Cheer up! We have all been there.

Library services

The library services section offers support for doctoral students in learning how to search and use other library-related services. They have a web page for doctoral students where you can find out about upcoming seminars on topics like “Strategic choices for scholarly publication”, “Searching in educational science databases”, and so on. On this page you can also find contact details for library services members, whom you can email, telephone or visit in person.


It’s important to be have insurance if your doctoral project requires you to do fieldwork outside of Sweden. Information on ‘Kammarkollegiet’ (translated by Wikipedia as the ‘Legal, Financial and Administrative Services Agency’) will come soon. In the meantime, consult your supervisor or head of department.


Stuart Elden introduces following “Useful resources for academic writers“:

For some writing strategies check out ”The No-Fail Secret to Writing a Dissertation



Language Editing Group. Working on a manuscript? It’s a good idea to have an English native speaker proofread your work before you submit to a journal. Malmö University offers the service “Language Editing Group” free of charge to all staff members.  More information here. (Only in Swedish). Make sure to send your manuscript well before a deadline and keep in mind that the Language Editing Group does not proofread drafts. Make an effort to send what you consider to be a final version of your work.

Grants and Funding

General information provided by Malmö University
“Forskarservice” provides general information on external funding. From our experience, the information provided is targeted to senior researchers, staff mobility, and applying for EU funding for big research projects. Nevertheless, check out their website in Swedish and English and a special page developed targeting PhD students.

Grant options specific to doctoral students

Funding in general

  • Lars Hiertas Minne. Target: All areas. The information is only available in Swedish but worth checking out since the foundation awards 9 million SEK in grants each year. More info here.

Funding for fieldwork and travel

  • Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG). Target: Human Geography, Physical Geography and Anthropology. The application period is open. More information here.
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Letters (Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien) – Stiftelsen Wallenbergsstiftelsens Fond. Humanities and Social Sciences. Conference travel (doctoral student is expected to present). Maximum 25 000 SEK. The application period is open. Click here (only in Swedish).
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA). More info here
  • The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond). The RJ provides support for “programmes, projects, infrastructure for research, and research initiation.” ‘Research initiation’ is relevant for doctoral students since it “aims to facilitate conferences, seminars or workshops and the creation of new research networks.” Applications for ‘research initiations’ can be sent throughout the year and funding decisions are taken every one or two months. More info here: RJ grants in general, research initiation.
  • Crafoord Foundation (Crafoordska Stiftelsen). The foundation states that it normally does not grant support to PhD students but it doesn’t sound like it’s totally out of the question. One-year support grants of up to 500 000 SEK. “The Foundation welcomes applications relating to equipment, but may also grant support for other project costs such as running costs, technical staff, postdoctoral staff, conference travel (active participation is required), translation and printing costs, exchange of research scientists and research stays.” Click here


  • Scholar-Activist Project Awards. Antipode Foundation. Supports collaborations between academics, non-academics and activists. Click here.

Organize a conference

  • Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). A senior researcher needs to submit the application and the conference needs to take place in Sweden. Click here and here.
  • International Workshop Awards. Antipode Foundation. Grants of up to £10,000 to support radical geographers holding events such as conferences, workshops, seminar series, summer schools, and action research meetings. Click here.
  • Marcus Wallenberg Foundation for International Scientific Collaboration. Grants for symposia and summer schools. Application needs to be submitted by “qualified researchers” and take place in Sweden. More info here in English and Swedish.
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Letters (Kungl. Vitterhetsakademien). This is not really for a conference but to invite a guest lecturer (Gästföreläsaranslag”). Applications should be for around 20 000 SEK. More info here (only in Swedish).

Grant options for post-docs, junior researchers


  • See this page for a helpful overview of what Swedish post-doctoral research entails. here.
  • Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (FORTE). More information here.
  • Crafoord Foundation (Crafoordska Stiftelsen). Offers grants for two-year and four-year research projects. Click here.
  • The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT). Postdoctoral transition grants. The aim is “to support promising young researchers in Sweden after a postdoc period (which included at least one year abroad) in order to maintain and further develop their international network early in their careers.” Info in Swedish and English.
  • The Wallenberg Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at Stanford University. The program is open for all disciplines of science. Applicants should have a PhD from a Swedish university. The Stipend is for a period of up to two years of postdoctoral studies. More information here.

Help your fellow doctoral students by sending us other options that you know of and we’ll publish the information.