The PhD Student Network


In January 2019, an organized network of PhD students is established, who conduct research in all disciplines along the entire mining value chain as part of Swedish Mining Innovation. The purpose is to build a community and to support mining research and innovation in Sweden. The success of this network, coordinated by Luleå University of Technology, is demonstrated by a large number of members, alumni members, participating Swedish universities and the great interest and active participation of external stakeholders in the network activities.

The network in numbers (2023)
104 PhD students
13 alumni members
13 participating Swedish universities
workshops to-date
delegation to RMW in Brussels

Key objectives of the network

  • Increase collaboration and contacts between PhD-students, also from different thematic areas.
  • Increase contacts and interaction between PhD-students, industry and other stakeholders.
  • Increase PhD students’ understanding and awareness of industry challenges.
  • Increase access to qualified personnel in industry and academia.
  • To give a broader perspective of the industry and mining in society.

Students were acknowledged at the Raw Materials Week in Brussels

The network was recently acknowledged at the Raw Materials Week (RMW) in Brussels. Nils Jansson, the Network Coordinater was contacted by EUMICON with the specific request to send members to join the high-level event on critical raw materials, which they organized for the European Commission. Twelve PhD students from the network went and after the event the network recieved a letter of appreciation from Director General at EUMICON, Roman Stiftner.

Letter of appreciation
”… På uppdrag av EUMCON skriver jag för att uttrycka vår uppriktiga uppskattning för det ovärderliga stöd som det svenska nätverket ger för att underlätta svenska doktoranders deltagande vid den 10:e årliga högnivåkonferensen för det europeiska innovationspartnerskapet om råvaror den 15 november 2023.

Det nära samarbetet mellan Eumicon och det svenska nätverket har varit avgörande för att främja ett dynamiskt utbyte av idéer och kunskap vid konferensen. Närvaron av de svenska doktoranderna berikade inte bara diskussionerna utan tillförde också ett unikt perspektiv till diskursen om viktiga ämnen som råvaror för energiomställning, investeringar, strategiska projekt och partnerskap…”, skriver Roman Stiftner, Generaldirektör på EUMICON.

Nils Jansson, Associate Professor and the Network Coordinator.
What would you like to highlight when it comes to the importance of the PhD Student Network?

-One of the key objectives of the network is to give a broader perspective of the industry, and the role of mining in society. We want to create meetings places for PhD students from all universities and mining-related research topics in Sweden, regardless of if it is Natural, Engineering, or Social Sciences. This has primarily been done via workshops in Swedish mining districts, where members of diverse background from all over Sweden have come together and interacted with each other and key stakeholders from industry, government, academia and NGOs.

Primarily, we want to foster contact and collaboration between PhD students, and also help the PhD students to build a professional network already prior to defending their thesis. We also want to make the PhD students more aware of current challenges that industry and society are facing, and how their research fit into the bigger picture of an integrated and dynamic raw materials value chain.

What does the future of the network look like? Visions and goals?
-The future for the network looks bright in that we are currently initiating a new 2-year phase of the network, in which we are planning new exiting workshops, the first one being a workshop in Bergslagen in May this year. For the next period, we have set the ambitious goal of having more than 160 members by the end of 2025, a goal we hope shall be easily achieved by a general increase in mining-related research in the coming years.

My specific vision is that in the future, companies and government organizations in search of a diverse and talented workforce will increasingly view the network as an asset for being able to quickly engage with a large group of young professionals from all over Sweden. This has already been demonstrated in practice last year when we were approached by Eumicon and asked to send a group of PhD students from Sweden to the Raw Materials Week (RMW) in Brussels. Hence, 12 PhD students from LTU, Chalmers, KTH, Stockholm University and Örebro University attended the RMW with very positive feedback from the organizers. We hope to see more of this future, e.g. talent recruitment divisions from companies or governmental organizations contacting us and asking us to bring our members to them, e.g. on career days and workshops.

Swedish Mining Innovation has been instrumental for the realization of the program, both with regards to providing the financial means for allowing PhD students to travel to and attend the events we organize, but also in being the initiators of what is Sweden’s first national network for PhD students in mining-related fields. We hope and believe that upon completion of Swedish Mining Innovation, the network will remain as one of the key legacies of the entire program.

“My specific vision is that in the future, companies and government organizations in search of a diverse and talented workforce will increasingly view the network as an asset for being able to quickly engage with a large group of young professionals from all over Sweden.”

-Nils Jansson, Associate Professor and Network Coordinator at Luleå University of Technology.



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