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Financing doctoral studies

Financing opportunities

The majority of the Faculty of Medicine's doctoral students study part-time and are simultaneously employed primarily in the healthcare sector. The doctoral education is then partly conducted within the framework of the clinical employment. The PhD students who study full-time are financed either through a doctoral position at the Faculty of Medicine or through an external scholarship from their home country.

To finance full-time PhD studies, a doctoral position is primarily used, but using an external scholarship is also permitted – i.e. a scholarship established by an organisation other than Lund University.
When a PhD student with a doctoral position has completed 50% (120 credits) of the programme, and also later at 75% (180 credits), the student is entitled to a salary increase (etapplyft in Swedish) according to a local agreement. An application for the salary increase Application for new salary level (pdf 1,01 MB, new tab) is completed and signed by the principal supervisor and the doctoral student, and sent to the HR coordinator at the PhD student's department. A copy of the minutes from the half-time review is attached at the 120-credit stage. The salary increase can only be made 6 months retroactively.

Those who intend to combine their studies with professional activities, such as clinical service, can be admitted to a part-time doctoral programme, at any time during the year. The employer/manager certifies that sufficient time can be set aside for the doctoral programme. Clinical research time is an important form of financing, and is an ALF/LUA resource applied for by the supervisor. The opportunities to engage in research within working hours vary greatly between clinics and positions.

According to Sweden’s Higher Education Ordinance, if a PhD student substantially neglects the obligations specified in their individual study plan, the Vice-Chancellor must decide that the student no longer is entitled to a supervisor and other resources of the PhD programme. The process is regulated in the policy documents for doctoral studies at Lund University.

Full-time PhD students

The Research Studies Board finances students with a doctoral position with 3 months of entry-level salary. 

  • These months correspond to the course time during the doctoral programme, and the funding is transferred to the supervisor of the PhD student with a doctoral position.
  • The funding is transferred to the supervisor the year following the completion of the half-time review, with the cut-off date of 1 October.
  • If the PhD student completes their half-time review after 1 October, the supervisor is compensated the following year, i.e. two calendar years after the half-time review. 

Requirements for the salary to be paid

  1. The doctoral student must have an individual study plan drawn up within three months of the admission date, otherwise 50% of the faculty funding to the supervisor is deducted. 
  2.  A follow-up of the individual study plan must be held within three months after the half-time review or 50% of the faculty funding to the supervisor is deducted. 
  3. No more than 30 months should have passed between admission and the half-time review (unless there are valid reasons such as illness or parental leave).

The above applies to doctoral students admitted after 1 July 2021.

Part-time PhD students

From 1 January 2023, supervisors of part-time doctoral students with employment in, for example, the healthcare sector, receive funding automatically after the doctoral student has completed their half-time review. Compensation from the Research Studies Board is SEK 75,000, supplemented by another SEK 75,000 in the form of ALF funds for supervisors with a clinical affiliation. There is no longer an application procedure for doctoral student months. Instead, the main supervisor for part-time PhD students who have completed a half-time review between 1 October 2021 and 30 September 2022 receive funds in March 2023 (and at the same time each subsequent year). 

Requirements for the salary to be paid

The requirements are the same as for full-time PhD students, except for point three – for part-time doctoral students, no more than 54 months may have passed between admission and the half-time review.
There are a few other exceptions where the principal supervisor for part-time doctoral students is not remunerated and these are if the doctoral student 

  • has received ST-ALF funding,
  • is admitted within a contract with the industry, or
  • has external scholarship funding.

Each year, a travel budget is allocated by the Research Studies Board. The funds only cover direct travel costs, not subsistence or allowances. Travel grants open for application three times a year, at the beginning of January, May and September.
Travel grants can only be awarded within these regular application periods.
Grants are awarded for travel in connection with doctoral-level education at another institution of higher education, in Sweden or abroad. Eligible applicants are PhD students enrolled in the PhD programme at the Faculty of Medicine at Lund University.

Travel grants are primarily awarded for: 

  • participation in a PhD course outside the city of the normal workplace.
  • visits to another laboratory to study new methodology or to process results.
  • participation in courses or learning activities that are a direct part of the student's doctoral education.
  • secondly, grants are awarded for well-motivated conference participation.

The grant is intended to cover all or part of the travel costs, or the fee for a digital event. A student can be awarded a maximum of SEK 15,000 of travel grants during their entire doctoral programme.

It is assumed that other expenses can be covered by departmental grants or other grants within the framework of the research project.

Grants are not awarded for:

  • travel to a course corresponding to the compulsory course package, nor for
  • travel that is directly work-related (e.g. travel to Läkarstämman), nor for
  • regular commuting or courses and conferences at Lund University.

Grants are based on the lowest possible travelling costs. 
Travel reports from previously awarded requisitioned grants must be submitted before a new grant can be awarded. The grant applies to future trips or digital events, and cannot be applied for retroactively.

How to apply

The application is made via an online form at the following link Application for travel grants for PhD students – Webforms (, application for travel grant. Your supervisor will receive an email when you have applied, which they need to confirm to Anette [dot] Saltin [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (Anette[dot]Saltin[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se). Ask your supervisor to do so no later than 22 May 2024.

To be awarded a grant, there must be an established individual study plan that is approved by the doctoral student, the supervisor and the deputy head of department. If you have been admitted to the doctoral programme for more than 1 year, it is also a requirement that a follow-up of the individual study plan has been conducted.
The next application deadline will be in September 2024 for travel until 15 May 2025.