There are a number of Swedish and European organisations that look after the interests of doctoral students.

Most higher education institutions (HEIs) that conduct third-cycle education have various forms of doctoral student organisations within the students’ unions. This includes elected representatives for doctoral students.

Doctoral student ombudsmen

Students’ unions at larger HEIs often also have a doctoral student ombudsman who can provide guidance for doctoral students regarding the rules, ordinances and accepted practices that relate to third-cycle education. It is also possible to talk to the ombudsman regarding problems or mistreatment during the programme. The doctoral student ombudsman has no formal power, but may function as a negotiator in conflicts between doctoral students and supervisors/institutions.


The doctoral students committee that is part of the Swedish National Union of Students, SFS-DK, is a national partnership for doctoral students who are active in students' unions, allowing doctoral students from different HEIs to meet and exchange experiences.

It monitors educational issues related to doctoral students and third-cycle education. It also disseminates information about the particular situation of doctoral students to politicians and decision-makers, among others, such as by responding to consultation papers.

SFS-DK consists of doctoral student representatives from different HEIs. The committee is also open to doctoral students whose students’ unions are not members of SFS.


European doctoral student organisations

There are two organisations that work at European level with issues relating to doctoral students, the European Students’ Union (ESU) and Eurodoc.



Page last updated 2017-09-01