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Help with Salary - PhD

Life in Gothenburg

MSR123
post 6.Mar.2017, 07:54 PM
Post #1
Joined: 6.Mar.2017

I am from India (29 years old) and I got an offer for pursuing PhD at Chalmers. The salary is around 29100 SEK before tax. Is this salary sufficient for two people to live in Gothenburg and still save money or would it be financially tight? How much will this increase year on year?

I heard that the salary difference between industry and research is very less. But is it really true?

Some leads on the above questions will help a lot.
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yet another brit
post 6.Mar.2017, 08:00 PM
Post #2
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

29k to be a PhD student is quite OK, even generous. 29k as a post-doc salary is below expectations. It will only increase by a couple of % a year, I would strongly suspect. There may be something about increasing after completing your 50% evaluation, but you'd have to check.

29k for two people will work out tight [by local standards], unless you get a very good housing deal. This is because the system assumes that both partners are working (and/or accessing some kind of benefits). I would be surprised if you could save much on that salary if you were supporting two people.

Industry pay more than academia, but not vastly more in the beginning of a career.
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MSR123
post 6.Mar.2017, 11:27 PM
Post #3
Joined: 6.Mar.2017

Thank you for your fast reply.

The university arranged an accommodation for me and the rent is 5300 SEK for 32 sq m. I have no idea about the cost of living in Gothenburg. Is the salary too less for a decent living for two people?
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delta76
post 6.Mar.2017, 11:57 PM
Post #4
Joined: 4.Oct.2014

Depends on what you meant "decent living". Obviously it'll not be same as your Swedes friends who take 2 weeks vacations skiing or such. 29100kr/month for 2 people, before taxes will be a little tight, but manageable, as I assume your partner will not be working at first, so he/she can spend time cooking/buying cheap stuffs to save money. You'll have to limit your eating out or luxury entertainment (read, cinema or such).
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yet another brit
post 7.Mar.2017, 07:05 AM
Post #5
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (MSR123 @ 6.Mar.2017, 11:27 PM) *
Thank you for your fast reply. The university arranged an accommodation for me and the rent is 5300 SEK for 32 sq m. I have no idea about the cost of living in Gothenburg. Is ... (show full quote)


That housing cost is OK - there are a lot of people who would *love* to be only paying 5300 for 32 m2. As per other reply - if you are careful then you can live fine (what lifestyle did you expect as a phD student anyway?!) but if your partner can find some work and/or start studying him/herself then you'll obviously be better off and could even save a bit.
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MSR123
post 7.Mar.2017, 10:50 AM
Post #6
Joined: 6.Mar.2017

Thank you for your replies. Seems like it will be financially tight for two people.

How will the salary increase year on year? Do you have any idea on the salary that industry gives? My manager told me that the pay PhD is like another industrial job. So I thought the pay difference wouldn't be much. Is that true?
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Anil1981
post 7.Mar.2017, 11:26 AM
Post #7
Joined: 25.Jun.2013

Chalmers phd salary is same as intro or mid level job, and from 2015 onward, spouse of phd is allowed to work, in my opinion, if if live in kind of ok life style ( no car, expensive eat outs , ) then its quite ok,
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MSR123
post 7.Mar.2017, 11:33 AM
Post #8
Joined: 6.Mar.2017

Thank you, Anil. Can my wife study masters at Chalmers University? Is it free of cost or should she need to pay for it?
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delta76
post 7.Mar.2017, 11:43 AM
Post #9
Joined: 4.Oct.2014

QUOTE (MSR123 @ 7.Mar.2017, 10:50 AM) *
Thank you for your replies. Seems like it will be financially tight for two people. How will the salary increase year on year? Do you have any idea on the salary that industry ... (show full quote)

Expect it to be around 3%. Even less if your employer is not doing well. If you are exceptional then it can be 5%, but very hard to get more than that.
A bigger raise can only come from a promotion, or a job switching.
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Gjeebes
post 7.Mar.2017, 11:54 AM
Post #10
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

"Can my wife study masters at Chalmers University? Is it free of cost or should she need to pay for it?"

It is no longer free for non-EU nationals. Very few scholarships are on offer, so in all likelihood, your wife would have to pay for it.

I don't know what they offer there, but only do a master's of 2 years. A 1 year master's may qualify you to do a PhD in Sweden, but probably not in other countries.
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MSR123
post 7.Mar.2017, 12:05 PM
Post #11
Joined: 6.Mar.2017

Does my wife still needs to pay even if I pay tax in Sweden as a PhD candidate?
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yet another brit
post 7.Mar.2017, 06:30 PM
Post #12
Joined: 5.Jan.2013

QUOTE (Gjeebes @ 7.Mar.2017, 11:54 AM) *
scholarships are on offer, so in all likelihood, your wife would have to pay for it.I don't know what they offer there, but only do a master's of 2 years. A 1 year ma ... (show full quote)


Aren't they all Bologna-ised now? So that if you have a level-whatever-it-is-called in SE it should work at least elsewhere in Europe in the same way as a qualification for progression? I thought that was the whole point. Maybe I haven't kept up...

OP - since your wife will be legally resident (as your partner, and you are here for more than a year) she may be able to study for free, but you should check. Try the international student office at Chalmers for advice.
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Gjeebes
post 7.Mar.2017, 08:09 PM
Post #13
Joined: 20.Feb.2012

Bologna is confusing and not at all "all encompassing", especially in Sweden. For non-EU nationals, the only appeal in coming to Sweden for graduate degrees was that they were "free", and union positions that guaranteed an unnecessarily high "salary" and the rubber stamp at the end, regardless of the quality of the work (at least, where PhD degrees are concerned). Nothing happening in Sweden, for example, in chemistry, and Sweden doesn't really offer anything you can't get elsewhere, except perhaps for FEMBOT type "gender" educations (but who really needs that, even if free?).

Now that non-EU people are looking at 200,000 SEK/yr to have the joy of being in Sweden to study master's, Sweden all of a sudden stopped being so interesting. That and the bleak prospects for employment after degree completion, mean Sweden has become far less popular.

As a result, nonsensical "master's year" degrees become more "popular", since you are "good to go" after only 1 year, and for a research stream, that might even mean less than 6 months in the lab. In other countries, this is considered an "honour's project", at the end of a bachelor's degree (i.e. it should in no way be considered a master's just because that word appears in the name). Of course, this should not qualify anyone for PhD candidacy, at least not in the physical sciences...but there you have it.

Who would you take, a 1 year master's graduate, or a 2 year master's graduate, knocking on your door for PhD studies?

While I contested this at many a PI meeting locally, citing the "non-competitiveness" of such a lame excuse of a degree, that actually places the student at a disadvantage (having to compete with others whom have received a proper 2 year master's), it was sheepishly motivated by Sweden's finest, at said PI meetings, as being necessary otherwise no one would bother to register, considering the low "value to money" ratio of a 2 year programme, for non-EU nationals, in Sweden.
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dr_MadGeek
post 7.Mar.2017, 10:07 PM
Post #14
Joined: 11.Apr.2016

QUOTE (MSR123 @ 6.Mar.2017, 07:54 PM) *
I am from India (29 years old) and I got an offer for pursuing PhD at Chalmers. The salary is around 29100 SEK before tax. Is this salary sufficient for two people to live in ... (show full quote)


Speaking from my experiences as a PhD student, 29100 SEK is a generous start (but chalmers is anyways the most highly paying university). I started as a PhD student in 2011 and my starting salary was 24500 SEK. Right now the PhD students at my university who just started are getting somewhere around 27000.

Being this amount sufficient for you and your wife depends on you completely. Gothenburg is though a little expensive in terms of housing compared to east coast where I live but I think 29K is a handsome amount and you can have around 2-4k savings per month after paying rent+bills+car insurance etc.

And yes, your wife can study for free as she will be give a DX or DF class visa for co-applicatnts of doctoral students.

Lastly, salary difference between industry and academia is not very comparable. PhD students at my university who are done with licentiate are earning exactly the same what people in industry (in this city) with 5-8 years of experience here are earning.
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TLSucks
post 7.Mar.2017, 11:41 PM
Post #15
Joined: 12.Dec.2013

Chalmers has a minimum salary table for PhD students depending on how far you have come towards your degree. These are the minimum salaries for 2016:
Entry salary: 28525/m
50% towards degree: 32300/m
80% towards degree: 33475/m

The tables are adjusted every year. The increase was 2.5% for 2016.
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