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Season’s Greetings from the DSA

Photo: Aula Medica i vinterskrud – Katarina Sternudd (2018)

Dear Doctoral Student,

The time has finally arrived for some rejuvenating winter holidays. It’s the time of joy and hope, it’s the time to think about what we have done this year and to make wonderful plans for the next. It’s time to celebrate our successes and leave any unsuccesses in one of the drawers of our memory.

Our community of doctoral students at KI, just as the entire world, has faced many challenges: we have had to adapt to digital education, we have had to limit our social and work interactions, and most importantly, we have had to be distant from our loved ones.

As the DSA, we have done our best during this eventful year, to manage such a transition in the smoothest possible way. Thanks to our incredible network of central and local doctoral student representatives, we have constantly reported back to the KI leadership about any issues that came to our attention. We have advocated with tenacity and strength, to always obtain the best outcome for our doctoral education. The Covid-19 working conditions survey was one such action that we immediately undertook to assure good working conditions during these unprecedented times.

Our welfare and health workgroup has done an incredible job in assessing the mental health status of our community and taking immediate action after the results of the survey came out. We offered 100 of our colleagues the possibility to follow a DSA sponsored, professional “mindworkout” programme, and organised seminars covering topics such as tracking working hours.

At the same time, the doctoral education workgroup has worked hard to implement the mentorship programme at KI. We very well know that good mentors can have an incredible impact on our current and future career! The mentorship survey gave us the information needed to organise seminars and develop plans to create a network of mentors and mentees, that the next DSA board will continue to work with. At the same time, the workgroup tirelessley worked to assess the quality of our doctoral courses and to make sure that the newly admitted doctoral students could receive a well-planned and useful introductory course.

To facilitate some social interaction, even during times of isolation, our social activities workgroup has done a wonderful job organising online trivia nights, hosting funny quizes and virtual mingles for the newly admitted doctoral students. They also organised interesting seminars with different vantages, such as the recent seminar on “What Can We Learn from the Pandemics of the Past for Our Future?”. The workgroup has more interesting events in the pipeline, to ward of feelings of loneliness during this holiday season.

All such activities could not take place without the help of two other fundamental workgroups. The PR workgroup has consistently shared information about our functioning, through updates on our social media, newsletters and on our upcoming new website. The student representatives workgroup has marvellously coordinated the network of all central and local doctoral student representatives, while constantly working to recruit new people and organising workshops about the important theme of student representation and supporting democratic and accessible elections.

A special mention to the DSA managerial team, without whom we couldn’t update our outdated regulations, keep track of our budget and protocols. They were key to having smooth meetings, and to collaborate between the different workgroups that have actively shared feedback and ideas with other KI, Stockholm- based and national organisations.

With that, I want to really thank all the members of the 2020 DSA board and all our doctoral student representatives, who have done their best to be sure that this unique and special year could end as nicely as possible for our wonderful community!

A deep thanks also to the KI Career Service and KICC, without whom many of our events could not happen, and to the MF Presidium who were always available to support our interactions with the KI leadership or address our concerns!

I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a joyful new year!

Yours Sincerely,

Mirco Martino – DSA Chairperson (2020)

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‘Tis the Season with the DSA

Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com

We all are in the need for some cheer. The DSA has decided against stopping our pandemic-safe, virtual social events over this holiday season! We hope to bring along some fun and joy for you in the coming days.

Stay tuned to our social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, as well as our website, for more updates.

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Want to be the DSA’s Vice Chairperson?

Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

As the DSA Presidium, you are the reference person for the KI doctoral student community. During the time period of your appointment, you will be in contact with KI leadership, the Presidium of the Student Union (MF) and with other external associations and organisations. 

You are responsible for coordinating the work of the DSA board, chair the meetings, support the board members and supervise the working groups. 

It’s a rewarding job, since you have the possibility to meet and interact with many people, understand the internal organization of KI and MF at depth, and represent more than 2000 doctoral students. The tasks of this position can easily be accomplished without a prior knowledge of Swedish, however, knowing Swedish can be useful. The position requires the candidate to have previous experience with how the DSA board works. It is suggested to have a spirit of initiative and the ability to relate and communicate with people in leading positions. 

As the DSA Vice Chairperson, you will have weekly or monthly meetings with the doctoral education committee and KI leadership during working hours, evening meetings for some of the student union’s committees and handling a large volume of email correspondence. Although, it can sound like a lot of work, the position has many benefits. It allows you to deeply increase your scientific and personal network, while also powering-up your soft skills and resumé.      

The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson work in collaboration with each other to complete the needed tasks at hand. They attend many of the meetings together, while some are delegated amongst themselves.

Please contact us at dsa@medicinskaforeningen.se if you have any other unanswered questions or related queries. 

The DSA nomination committee will review all applications and the following board meeting will elect suitable candidates. If elected, your position starts January 2021 and you will hold it till the end of the year.

Applications open till a suitable candidate is elected.

Are YOU One of Our Missing Board Members?

Next year’s DSA Board is still incomplete! We are missing two PhD students to fill crucial positions: the vice-chairperson and one ordinary board member. Join our happy and energetic board next year to make lasting changes for your fellow PhD students at KI!

To apply, attend the DSA Board’s next meeting and candidate yourself during the meeting. The meeting will be held via Zoom on November 10th at 17:30. Contact us for the Zoom-link.

Candidate on November 10th


DSA Chairperson and DSA Vice-Chairperson 

As the DSA Presidium, you are the reference person for the KI doctoral student community. During the time period of your appointment, you will be in contact with KI leadership, the Presidium of the Student Union (MF) and with other external associations and organisations. 

You are responsible for coordinating the work of the DSA board, chair the meetings, support the board members and supervise the working groups. 

It’s a rewarding job, since you have the possibility to meet and interact with many people, understand the internal organization of KI and MF at depth, and represent more than 2000 doctoral students. The tasks of this position can easily be accomplished without a prior knowledge of Swedish, however, knowing Swedish can be useful. The position requires the candidate to have previous experience with how the DSA board works. It is suggested to have a spirit of initiative and the ability to relate and communicate with people in leading positions.  

The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson work in collaboration with each other to complete the needed tasks at hand. They attend many of the meetings together, while some are delegated amongst themselves. 

DSA Board Member 

The DSA board, consists of the Presidium, Secretary, Treasurer and another 7 ordinary members. It is the main decision-making body of the Doctoral Students’ Association. It is responsible for organising social and scientific events for the doctoral student community at KI, taking care of the doctoral education and welfare needs, and maintaining a dialogue with the KI doctoral education leadership. Moreover, the board is responsible for electing and coordinating the work of central and local doctoral student representatives. This workload is divided amongst the workgroups, that focus on specific aspects of PhD life at KI.  The board has its own budget that can be used to organise activities for doctoral students at KI.  

As members of the DSA Board, you are required to attend monthly board meetings and actively engaged with one or more of the working groups. No prior knowledge in Swedish is required and people without previous experience are always welcome: the board is often composed of experienced members and newcomers, to guarantee a good working balance of the board for years to come. 

Being a DSA board member will give you the possibility to increase some soft skills (managerial, team working, leadership) and to add many more people to your scientific and personal network. 


For all the above positions, please, contact us at dsa@medicinskaforeningen.se if you have any other unanswered questions or related queries. 

If elected, your position starts January 2021 and you will hold it till the end of the year. 

Positions within MF/DSA

DSA Chairperson and DSA Vice-Chairperson 

As the DSA Presidium, you are the reference person for the KI doctoral student community. During the time period of your appointment, you will be in contact with KI leadership, the Presidium of the Student Union (MF) and with other external associations and organisations. 

You are responsible for coordinating the work of the DSA board, chair the meetings, support the board members and supervise the working groups. 

It’s a rewarding job, since you have the possibility to meet and interact with many people, understand the internal organization of KI and MF at depth, and represent more than 2000 doctoral students. The tasks of this position can easily be accomplished without a prior knowledge of Swedish, however, knowing Swedish can be useful. The position requires the candidate to have previous experience with how the DSA board works. It is suggested to have a spirit of initiative and the ability to relate and communicate with people in leading positions. 

As the DSA Chairperson, you will have weekly or monthly meetings with the doctoral education committee and KI leadership during working hours, evening meetings for some of the student union’s committees and handling a large volume of email correspondence. Although, it can sound like a lot of work, the position has many benefits. It allows you to deeply increase your scientific and personal network, while also powering-up your soft skills and resumé.      

The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson work in collaboration with each other to complete the needed tasks at hand. They attend many of the meetings together, while some are delegated amongst themselves. 

DSA Secretary 

The DSA Secretary’s main job is to schedule, organize and announce the DSA board meetings, to prepare the meeting’s agenda, and to write and properly archive the board meeting minutes. In other words, together with the rest of the managerial team, the Secretary keeps our board meetings running smoothly.

There is no Swedish requirement, as the DSA board meetings are in English. So, if you have good organizational skills, or if you want to improve your typing speed (joking! 😛 ), then you would be a great DSA Secretary!

Additionally, the Secretary works as part of the managerial team and as an ordinary DSA board member. If you are curious about the Secretary duties in general, feel free to contact the current Secretary (Gabriele Girelli) at this email: DsaSec@medicinskaforeningen.se

DSA Treasurer 

The DSA treasurer is the accountant of the DSA and has the task to overview the expenses of the association. Each year the DSA board receives a certain budget for events and activities dedicated to PhD students. It is the treasurer’s job to manage the budget in a wise and efficient manner and to keep the finances up to date, as well as making sure that everything gets paid on time.

There is no Swedish or finance background requirement, but it is definitely a fun position to have as you get a small insight into finances and keep in touch with all DSA work groups to hear about their activity and budget plans.

In addition, the treasurer is an ordinary board member, but has also the pleasure to be part of the managerial team that organises the board meetings and takes part in election decisions.

DSA Board Member 

The DSA board, consists of the Presidium, Secretary, Treasurer and another 7 ordinary members. It is the main decision-making body of the Doctoral Students’ Association. It is responsible for organising social and scientific events for the doctoral student community at KI, taking care of the doctoral education and welfare needs, and maintaining a dialogue with the KI doctoral education leadership. Moreover, the board is responsible for electing and coordinating the work of central and local doctoral student representatives. This workload is divided amongst the workgroups, that focus on specific aspects of PhD life at KI.  The board has its own budget that can be used to organise activities for doctoral students at KI.  

As members of the DSA Board, you are required to attend monthly board meetings and actively engaged with one or more of the working groups. No prior knowledge in Swedish is required and people without previous experience are always welcome: the board is often composed of experienced members and newcomers, to guarantee a good working balance of the board for years to come. 

Being a DSA board member will give you the possibility to increase some soft skills (managerial, team working, leadership) and to add many more people to your scientific and personal network. 

DSA Standard Bearer 

The Standard Bearer is an honorary position at the DSA. The standard bearer gets to represent the doctoral students of KI at academic celebrations, such as the graduation ceremony (once per semester) and at the celebration of “Valborgsmässoafton” at Skansen. During some years, they can also be invited to the Nobel Prize banquet, together with the MF Standard Bearer. You will get to dress up for white tie events and carry the DSA Standard! 

DSA Representative at the MF Union Council (FuM) 

FuM is the highest decision-body of the Medicinska Föreningen (MF), the biggest student union at KI. 

The DSA, as one of the 12 sections of MF, has the right to have 1 or 2 representatives each year and 1 or 2 substitutes to voice their views in matters related to the doctoral student community. At the FuM, essentials decision related to the functioning of the DSA board are made, such as the budget, the approval of the DSA statutes, the annual plan and any changes to the MF bylaws. Moreover, the FuM is responsible for electing student representatives to many of the central positions, where having a doctoral student is many a times crucial. The FuM is composed of representatives of all the other undergraduate MF student sections and members elected from the uninominal election from the KI student community. Although, a majority of the discussions will be held in English, many documents will be in Swedish. Also, the substitutes must attend the meetings or justify their absence, but they have the right to vote only when the formal member is absent. The FuM meets around 3 times every semester. You can find out more information about the FuM over here

MF Board 

The MF board is the executive body of the student union and is chaired by the MF President. The members of the board are elected yearly by the FuM. It meets every other week and language of discussion and documentations is in Swedish. It is responsible for all administrative and financial matters of the MF and prepare the propositions to be decided by the FuM. It would be important to have doctoral students in MF board to support decisions and issues in favour of the KI doctoral student community. You can find out more information about the MF board over here


For all the above positions, please, contact us at dsa@medicinskaforeningen.se if you have any other unanswered questions or related queries. 

The DSA nomination committee will review all applications and the annual general meeting will elect suitable candidates. If elected, your position starts January 2021 and you will hold it till the end of the year. 

Deadline: October 16th

PhD Student Representative at the Central Level

Student representation at KI’s central level is super important to make sure that the voice of doctoral students is heard in KI’s highest decision-making bodies. These are bodies that shape KI’s vision, strategy, investments, recruitment and work environment. Many of these positions require that you are proficient in Swedish as this is KI’s working language according to the law.

The DSA nomination committee will review all applications and the annual general meeting will elect suitable candidates. If elected, your position starts January 2021 and you will hold it till the end of the year. 

Deadline: October 16th

Continue reading “PhD Student Representative at the Central Level”

Department Safety Representative (Student Safety Ombudsperson)

Fellow PhD students, 

Become a Student Safety Representative (safety ombudsperson) and help students stay safe at the department level! 

As a safety representative, you will be the contact person for issues and proposals from students of each level in your department. Besides answering specific questions, you will work towards improving systematic (!) problems at your workplace. You and the other elected representatives in your department will attend the work environment committee meetings where you can affect change – if necessary. 

Continue reading “Department Safety Representative (Student Safety Ombudsperson)”

PhD Student Representative in the Doctoral Programs and Research Schools Steering Groups

Doctoral Programs and Research Schools organize and coordinate courses and learning activities specific to their research field. As a student representative you will contribute in organizing, planning, developing and evaluating courses, seminars and other activities. The steering groups usually meet 2-3 times per semester but this might be different for each group. The Doctoral Courses and Programs Committee is the superordinate committee and coordinates/evaluates all steering groups. 

Continue reading “PhD Student Representative in the Doctoral Programs and Research Schools Steering Groups”

PhD Student Representative at the Department Level

Fellow PhD students, 

Join the group of student representatives that will tackle department related issues!

For the second year, we are calling on PhD students to apply for positions as department student representatives. For each department a mixed group of undergraduate and graduate student representatives can be elected by the MF Education Council. 

Continue reading “PhD Student Representative at the Department Level”