Doktorandkommittén GUDK

Göteborgs Universitets doktorandkommitté - University of Gothenburg doctoral committee

What is GUDK?

GUDK is an association of PhD student representatives from each faculty of the University of Gothenburg. GUDK is a part of the University of Gothenburg Student Unions (GUS), which gathers three out of four student unions at GU. Each PhD council at faculty level may elect two representatives (a regular and an alternate) for GUDK. GUDKs purpose is to provide a platform for collaboration between PhD students and to increase PhD students' control over their learning and work situation. GUDK focuses on the central level and on matters that are relevant for all PhD students at the University of Gothenburg.

Finally, GUDK works with an international perspective and all of our meetings are held in English. We generally strive towards convincing the university to have a more inclusive language policy, in which English is emphasized as a natural meeting language when international staff is present.

Doctoral student representation
Did you know that our right to influence our education and represent our fellow students when decisions are taken or prepared is regulated in the higher education act (HEA chapter 1, 4§) and further specified in the higher education ordinance (HEO chapter 2, 7§ and 8§). This is a right we have as students, and therefore the student unions are responsible for appointing representatives to different boards and committees. Since the compulsory students’ union membership was abolished in Sweden in 2010, it has become increasingly difficult for the student unions to engage students in their work. One problematic aspect is that the student unions represent all students, no matter if they are members or not, which makes it difficult for some to see the purpose of being a student union member.

The members of the GUDK board are well aware of the important and impressive work done by GUS, the GUS student/PhD student ombudsmen and the different student unions at GU. They keep themselves updated on PhD student issues and represent us in central boards and committees. As a PhD student you do not have to be a member of a student union (unless you take on representative duties) but it is something we strongly encourage. Join the student union as an act of support! It is a small price to pay for showing that you appreciate the hard work done by student and PhD student representatives at GU.

Your right as a PhD student
You have the right to four years of employment specifically for your PhD education. Teaching and other departmental duties are extra, and always result in prolongation of the employment period. Departmental duties should according to the Higher Education Ordinance (HEO) never exceed 20% of the employment time, which means that you can be granted up to a year’s prolongation for such tasks. However, student union work, such as chairing committees and doing representative tasks, is not part of the departmental duties, and result in additional prolongation (see HEO chapter 5, 7 §). Importantly, this prolongation is not paid by the department or project, but rather by the faculty or university, depending on the level of representation. Supervisors or heads of department should therefore never dissuade or prevent a PhD student to take on representative duties.

In chapter 14 of the Rules and Regulations for Third Cycle Studies at the University of Gothenburg it is stated that all PhD students, regardless of how their studies are funded, have the right to carry out representative duties and to be granted additional time for such duties.

Do not hesitate to contact the GUDK chairperson or any of the faculty representatives if you have questions or want to get engaged in our work!


Veronica Daver Ideböhn
(Faculty of Science)

Vice Chairperson
Apostolia Roka
(Faculty of Education)

Second Vice Chairperson
Danai Voukelatou
(Faculty of Education)

Kalliopi Maraiti
(Faculty of Education)