This information page is meant to help new PhD students at IDA. In most of the cases for every problem there is a good solution, you just need to talk to people around you (other students, teachers, administration, and so on). This page can not cover all possible issues and therefore do not hesitate from talking to people around you.
In case of any questions or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact me. Especially we appreciate suggestions from new people that have a fresh perspective.
This page is under construction. It means that this page will change and that this page is not closely reviewed for correctness. Let me know if you have any comments, observations, or suggestions.
Where To Start
LIU PhD Students
- It is very important to go through all pages listed in IDA Internal. Many pages are in Swedish and difficult to follow and probably difficult to perceive correctly for a newcomer (e.g., when Google translate is used). But still, it is recommended and very important.
Teaching AssistantTeaching Activities as Assistant
- You could be assistant for your own supervisor(s), or could be rented out to other teachers.
- It is recommended not to accept assistant-ship for a course that you have not passed. In such cases it is recommended to first take that course to understand how the course works. This is especially important for newcomers and in particular in regard to the inter/multi-disciplinary nature of PhD programs. An example is an student with physics background, doing electronics-related research in a computer department and serving as a teaching assistant for a course that is not related to programming, electronics, or physics. The best evidence of you being capable of delivering such a course is that you pass that course. It is recommenced to ignore all sayings that suggest you will manage and stick to the hard evidence of actually passing that course. Otherwise, the overheads might be overwhelming.
- Pay attention that a certain percentage of teaching activity may mean much more because of context switching overheads. For example teaching activity from 10-12 and 15-17 is only 50% of the day, but in effect it is likely that you only manage to do other meaningful things much less than 4 hours (50%) because for example it is necessary to review parts of a document or program before you start to proceed to new sections or start coding again.
- It is recommended that you keep track of your time and log for how long you were doing what. Teaching activities may easily surpass the amount of time that you should officially spend on teaching. By default the rest of time is for your own education and research.
- An unpleasant situation is that your teaching is taking more than it should take. The situation is even more complicated if your supervisor has rented you out. The solution is to (1) to limit the time you spend on teaching activities and (2) ask for an increase in your teaching hours. Officially the extra teaching hours will not be transferred to the next year and therefore it is very important to make sure that your supervisor agrees with the idea that at some point you should have less teaching.
- Another complicated situation is that on one hand you face the students and on the other hand you do not have sufficient control over the structure, content, and examination of the course. In case you are rented out, you may have multiple parallel bosses simultaneously. All of these may have contradicting expectations that could not be met. The situation is exacerbated by lack of meaningful regulations. A very important point is that when the courses are running, there is no hope of a peaceful way out, except complete resignation. Therefore, it is very important not to accept assistant-ship for a course that you are not sure about it content or about the behavior of the main teacher.
- Pay attention to the preliminary teaching schedule (It comes in a Swedish email) and make sure that there is no conflict with your schedule. You can ask for a change if it collides with your other activities.
- A bad situation that is good to avoid is teaching activity in the late evening that is followed by an early morning session. Remember that you are the one that should check for such cases and ask for changes.
- Teaching activities in evenings could pay you with a higher rate. You need to declare this by filling a special form. Talk to administration for the forms.
- For SaS, link to WORK PLANS for year 2013, change the year in the web-address for other years. There should be a similar webpage for other divisions. Ask administration about it.
- For current schedules check in TIME EDIT or HERE.
- In some divisions/groups you are entitled to a salary increase if you are assisting labs or other teaching activities in late evenings (e.g., after 6 pm).
- Not all courses are covered or listed in Graduate Portal. For example the courses that are offered outside IDA. In such a case, the course administration (including registration, schedules, and examination) are done directly with an external contact person (e.g., using emails). It is necessary to cross-check the schedule on the graduate portal with the schedule of such courses and merge them in your own calendar.
- There might be some mandatory courses among such external courses (as described above).
- Since external courses are not listed in the graduate portal and since interdisciplinary PhD projects are not uncommon it might be recommended to look around on your own to find courses that suites you. For example courses at math department are listed HERE.
- If you need a particular course that is not in the list of given courses please talk to your supervisor and PhD Students Council, Doktorandråd. Usually there exists a solution.
- PhD students might be asked to first complete a LICENTIATE degree. It might be that you have in fact enrolled for Licentiate when you are told that you have enrolled to PhD studies. It is something to discuss before you finalize your contract. Especially that it eats up your PhD studies time and it will be evaluated and understood as a Master degree.
- The Licentiate degree is useful if you do not have a Master degree. Note that students without a Master degree could be enrolled directly into a PhD program in Sweden and it is not uncommon.
- Usually the university reimburses for the costs that you have paid to do physical/sport activities (e.g., in Campushallen). There are limitations on amount of expenditure and type of the activity (I think an example of not being reimbursable is renting rackets), therefore ask from administration before starting the activity that you have in mind. Remember to save the receipts.
- There are massage chair, massage room, gym, and showers in IDA buildings. It might be possible to arrange a masseur. Ask administration for more details.
- Usually there are a number of FIKAs at lab and division level. Usually you are expected to take part in these coffee breaks when you are called for it. FIKAs usually are frequent; they could be daily, weekly, or occasional. There might be other group activities like IDA party, IDA lunch, MåBraDag, and so on. There are different degrees of expectations that you take part in them when you are asked for. It would be nice to figure out what is the degree of expectation. For example, when you are a new employee you are introduced to IDA at an IDA lunch.
- It is usually difficult to find accommodation in Linkoping. Act fast, since it probably will take a while before you find accommodation.
- It is common that the first contract with university is not as a PhD student. In such a case you are usually entitled to have student accommodation and this gives more opportunities. Usually the companies that provide accommodation have a special treatment for newcomers to Linkoping and also for students. Do not forget to explicitly ask them, mentioning that you are (1) New in Linkoping, (2) a student.
- Usually companies have a point-based system. You should register with them first and then immediately you receive a point per day. When applying for an apartment/room, the ones with higher points have higher priority. For example, stångåstaden gives ~300 points if you ask for it and tell them that you are new here. This is very important since otherwise you need around a year to collect that much points.
- You can find information regarding legal rights and issues as a tenant on hyresnamnden or hyresgastforeningen. It is a good idea to become a member at the latter.
- First responder number is 112 . This includes calling Police and Ambulance, for example in case of an Accident, Robbery, Fire, and so on. For more see SOSALARM.
- There are routines in case of fire that one should know. For example, for each fire exit there is special place that in case of evacuation people are supposed to stand there.
- Emergency packs are in printer rooms. Usually one can find adhesive bandage/plaster and so on there.
- Register with Försäkringskassan (Swedish Social Insurance Agency). You may find more information HERE. Find out how to register by clicking HERE. It may take several months to be registered therefore it is a good idea not to delay your registration.
- Always backup your files regularly. This is a very common advice that its importance is usually ignored. It has happened in other universities that fire has destroyed all records. This is very painful if it happens before a deadline or when you are completing your thesis.
- Have a household/home insurance that covers your belongings. Usually the insurance is not expensive, especially if you live in Studentbostäder accommodation, you can order through them.
- There is a dark room with a bed for emergencies. It is called VILRUM.
- Swedish courses
- There is a tendency to ignore the emails that are in Swedish. In general this is not a recommended practice, since some of them might be very important. You can use, for example, Google translate to see if it sounds important. It is not uncommon that the translated emails do not make sense. But if you are not sure that the email is not important, ask the sender for an English copy of the email.
- Usually a PhD student works at an office room alone. Depending on the resources there might be two or more students working in a single room, but in general this is not the case (at least for a long period of time). The office rooms for employees will have natural (sun) light.
- Bikes are a must have in Likoping and you can find a used one on BLOCKET or NOTICEBOARD. For affordable new bikes, probably BILTEMA is a place to look in. Unfortunately, bike theft is very common. Therefore make sure that you have sufficient locks on your bike and always make sure that the used bike that you are buying actually belongs to the seller (the actual owner may think you are the thieve). Have a household/home insurance that partially covers the bike as well.
- Good places to compare the prices when shopping online are Prisjakt and PriceRunner. For used items BLOCKET and NOTICEBOARD are two online places and Myrorna is a shop in downtown.
- Public transport is provided by ÖstgötaTrafiken. You can buy a cart and open an online account. Then you can add your card, using its identification number, to your online account. It enables you to refill the card on the internet. There are a number of tickets (electronics) that you can buy. There are offers for youth. Also you can buy a day-travel ticket that is good when you are about to travel a lot in a day (e.g., going to Norrköping for Migrationsverket for residence permits). You can buy it in the first bus that you take.
- Other option for commuting to Norrköping is CAMPUS BUS, especially if the origin of your round trip is from the university. In this case, usually, Liu card works as ticket.
- The costs for IEEE membership, SULF membership, residence permit (including travel to Norrköping are usually reimbursed. SULF reimbursement is usually done automatically.
- Lunch/eating options
- Zodiakens te & nudelbar
- There are also a few lunch rooms (e.g., HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE) for employees, some of them are equipped with freezers/fridges and microwave ovens and usually dishware and cutlery are available. Keep the place clean since the cleaning service is very limited and employees are supposed to keep the place clean. This includes fridges and washing sinks; make sure nothing is left after you are done with your meal. Do not keep public dishware and cutlery in your rooms; you can leave them in the dish-washing machine.
- There are coffee machines and e-kettle/boilers available, usually close to dish washing sinks. Machines or the rooms that the machines are there are locked for access control. You will be able to unlock the room or the machine using your office keys.
- Ljusgården is a public place for IDA employees with natural light. Note that this room is bookable and sometimes is booked by others. In such cases usually a note is left on the small whiteboard beside the main entrance. When booked you should not interrupt the ongoing event.
- Mail room. You will have a mailbox inside the mail room. You may leave there the envelopes to be sent to other rooms inside the university, inside Sweden, and internationally. This is for work-place use not personal. For personal purposes, there is postbox close to PRESSBYRÅN. You can buy envelope and stamps there and ask them to show you the postbox.
- Stationery (e.g., pens, notebooks, whiteboard markers, and so on) could be fetched from FÖRRÅD. In case the item that you need is not there, you may fill in the request form which is left there usually on the table.
- If your eyesight is so that you need eyeglasses solely for short distance (study glasses or for working with computers), the price could be reimbursable by university, to some extend. The glasses in this case are called "terminal glasses".
- In some cases, university reimburses for medicine. You need to show two papers. (1) the normal shopping receipts and (2) "receptspecifikation", on which it is specified the amount you paid yourself ("egenavgift"). Sometimes you need to ask
specifically for this. Talk to administration to make sure what is covered and how.
Contributors to the information: Adrian Lifa, Amir Aminifar, Ekhiotz Vergara, Maria Vasilevskaya, Massimiliano Raciti