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How To - First Aid and Common Practices

Welcome to LTU! This page intends to provide the most important information useful for newcomers and members working here at LTU.

This page intends to provide the most important information useful for newcomers and members working here at LTU. It is generated and maintained by the Machine Learning group members, but other people can add and edit information here as well, if they think it is suited. This list is neither an official guideline nor a complete list of rules at LTU, those are given at the official staff pages. We created this list because we think it is useful to have the most important information for us available at one place (use Ctrl+F for finding things) and to explain things which are typically not mentioned in the official guidelines, but which are often needed.


  1. Editing Websites
  2. Working at LTU
    1. General Information and Walk Through the Staff Page
    2. Purchases, Payments, Orders, and Invoices
    3. Absence
    4. Finding References, Articles, Research Papers (Library)
    5. Getting Access to Databases when Outside Univerity Internet
    6. Ordering Software, e.g., Matlab, Acrobat
  3. PhD students
    1. Starting - What is all this stuff with the ISP, licenciate, and credits???
    2. Preparing and defending the licenciate
    3. Finishing up - Writing, handing in (nailing) the thesis, and defending
  4. Traveling - How To
    1. Before Travel
    2. During Travel
    3. After Travel (only for employees)
    4. After Travel (not for employees)
  5. E-mail and Calendar
    1. E-mail
    2. Calendar
  6. Order Prints (Posters, Theses, Business Cards, etc)
  7. Online Storage and Group Folders
    1. Group Folder Organization of the EISLAB BOX folder
    2. Group Folder Organization of the EISLAB Machine Learning Group
    3. Folder for the ML Reading Group
  8. Office/Team Rules
    1. Minor Rules
    2. Emails
    3. Email Signatures
    4. Meetings
    5. Communication Channels
  9. Weekly Seminar and Reading Group
  10. Useful Links
  11. Living in Norrbotten
    1. Surviving the Winter
    2. Surviving the Summer
    3. Recommended Medicine Cabinet
  12. Newcomers and Visitors
    1. Find LTU and the ML-office
    2. Visitors Checklist
    3. Moving to Sweden
    4. Obtain a Person Number (as early as possible)
    5. Getting a Bank Account
    6. Getting a (Mobile) BankID
    7. Requesting a Temporary Credit Card Number
    8. Health - Become Part of the Swedish Health System and get a European Health Insurance Card
    9. Learn Swedish
    10. Student life
  13. Unemployment insurance system in Sweden
  14. How to send a letter or package using university facilities?
  15. Travel Grants and Scholarships Opportunities
  16. Useful information from the library

Editing Websites

Even though it might not be the first thing you are looking for (use the navigation above or Ctrl+F to find what you need), it is important to give the editing information here, so that contributors who want to change things in this page know what to do. The polopoly-system is in general quite powerful, unfortunately, the LTU-version does not enable all powers and we as normal members have only a very limited set of functions available. However, we can still do a lot:

  • In general, there is an SRT person who helps us in setting up and editing pages, at the moment it is Linda Alfredsson. If you start a new website (for a project or so), please contact her to speak about the structure. There are many things which can go wrong (I experienced a few), so ask her for advise and help.
  • Every page which you are authorized to edit, contains an "EDIT PAGE" link at the button of the page which links to polopoly and where you have to login with your LTU credentials.
  • Information about the usage of polopoly is given here. Before editing this page, start with the Simple Guide and set up your own personal article.
  • Finally, for this website we found out that we can make most use of internal anchors by editing everything in one big text block. Make sure to use the "Maximize" button in editing mode so that you have enough space. Then simply edit the text (you can change the styles in the toolbar, add lists, and put Links). Make sure to use (and name) anchors and (unfortunately manually) update the table of contents on top accordingly. We decided not to numerate the individual headers in the text, just in the top menu, because there is no way to automatically update the numbers and references in our version of polopoly.

Working at LTU

Before starting to work, especially if you are new in Sweden, it is very good to follow the online course "Surviving the workplace: on managing stress and building confidence". This course is mandatory for ML group members. It takes around 10-20 hours and should be within a 2 weeks span if you do not want to pay for futurelearn:

General Information and Walk Through the Staff Page

The staff page of LTU contains most important information. Some things are tricky to find (that's why we set up this page), but once you know how to get around, this page is the first place to go+

Here follows a walk through the most important items which are needed to be known at the beginning of the work. More and detailed information might follow in designated sections below.

  • My Employment
  • My Work
    • PhD Students: Here you can find useful information about third-cycle studies and student associations.
    • Post Docs: Here you can find more details about external funding and overview of research in different streams.
  • Services and Support
    • Securing purchases, Purchasing IT, WISUM - Please note that items can be purchased only from LTU's designated providers. Do not use Amazon or any other online shop for purchases. Only use Procured providers, e.g., go on WISUM and find what you are looking for. Once you found your item of interest, take a screenshot of the complete basket and put a new IT request in the online Service Desk. You will have make an IT request and give a project number for the purchase (ask your supervisor for the number).
    • IT -> 24h  Guest Wifi - Use this section to create wifi access for guests using their mobile number.
    • If you want to change eduroam password:

    • IT -> Report incidence - Always immediately use this section to report any incidences involving theft/loss or damage of LTU devices like phone and Laptops.
      • IT -> IT Support for staff - Contains details about user account, box folder,....
      • Email and Calendar set up - You can also set up stuff and work remotely using Forticlient.
      • Video conferencing - Use Zoom for video conferencing.
      • Printer - Printer can be used with the Pull Print option. With this option you can send any file for printing and pick up the printout using your id card at the printer.
  • Tools
    • Publish (DIVA) make sure to register all publications in the publication database   
    • Local Booking (TimeEdit) - use this to book meeting rooms. Select room, time, project number, add your name and book a room. Comment is optional. It is always a good idea to add some buffer time before and after the meeting.
    • Service Desk - Steps for IT problems: Login -> Service Desk -> Create new request -> "I am looking for something new" -> fill out details; Or (more fast) direcetly go to requests and generate a new request

If you are missing a service or a tool (e.g., for getting a business card, for ordering specific hardware not available in WISUM, other payments...), the secretary of your division (For Machine Learning this is Erika Klasson, however, for conference sign-ups please contact Monica Björnfot instead) will be very helpful. For HR, resp. personnel issues, Eva/Karin are helpful in the SRT. Also, your supervisor can help, or knows who can help.

Purchases, payments, orders and invoices

In case you need to purchase something or make a payment for work (for example, paying conference admissions or ordering office equipment) here are the things to think about.

  • Make sure that the purchase/order is allowed (check this with Marcus, head of division, or the project lead).
  • In case of an order add Marcus and other relevant seniors to cc for e-mails
  • If what you are ordering is available through WISUM (see "Sevices and Support" above), use that.
  • Always ask for an invoice if this is available
    • Information of what should be included in an invoice can be found here
    • Forward such invoices to Marcus, other relevant seniors, and
  • If invoice is unavailable then Monica Björnfot can issue single use debit cards for that purchase.
    • In this case SAVE the receipt and send a copy to Marcus, other relevant seniors, and
    • Note that this can only be done when Monica is at LTU, so plan
  • If neither invoice nor card payment is available you can pay yourself and then make an expense report (this can be a bit a hassle so only use this option if you have to).
    • To make an expense report go here (click the flag in the upper right to switch language).
    • Go to Expenses->Create new transaction->click the Expenses icon
    • Fill in the necessary information and upload any receipts.
    • Forward this to Marcus, other relevant seniors, and


Sick note, Illness.  Rules are given here. If you are ill and unable to work, please announce it to your project leader(s), supervisor(s), and your chaired professor. For an illness or accident case, you have to hand in a medical certificate to your superior, from the eighth day of absence and register your case in Primula.

Holidays for hired staff: The general rules for holidays are given on the staff page. Typically you have between 28 and 35 days of holidays, which are by default be registered in Primula from the first Monday after Midsummer (24 June 2019). If you want to have your vacation another time during the year, you shall make an agreement with your project leader(s), supervisor(s), and your chaired professor (note, can be the same person) and send an email to all of them, informing them about the holidays. Furthermore, mark them as absent days in your exchange calendar. The registration in Primula will by default stay the same. Discuss with your supervisors once if and how this should be changed. Note: If you intend to save vacation days until next year (not recommended), then you have to fill out a form for saving vacation days (spara semester) and leave the form to the division lead (Avdelningschef, for EISLAB currently Ulf Bodin). Hen (Swedish gender-neutral third-person reference) will decide and leave the form to administrative staff who send it to the HR department. The HR department must have this information before 1st of June of the first affected year (the one you want to move holidays from).

Scholarship holders have no forms to fill, just make an agreement with your project leader(s), supervisor(s), and your chaired professor (note, can be the same person) and send an email to all of them, informing them about the holidays. Furthermore, mark them as absent days in your exchange calendar.

Finding References, Articles, Research Papers

Of course, your supervisor or research colleagues will give you many nice references, articles, papers, theses, etc. to read. And sometimes you find things of interest on Google Scholar or arxiv, or one of the many libraries available online. Also, when being connected to the University network, you can access works from most of the known publishers. However, sometimes, you will need actual help by our Universitie's experts to find and/or buy an article of interest. Then you have to do the following:

  • Register a new library account here: University Library
  • Order the article through LTUs library's order form (the cost if you go through them is 0 sek)
  • They typically send a printed version of the article - So please ask specifically for an electronic version!

Getting Access to Databases when Outside Univerity Internet

When working from home, abroad or any situation when you are not connected to the university internet, you don't get automatic access to publications like you do when you are connected. However, there is a way to gain access, but it has to be done for all databases individually.
The steps are as follows:

  1. Go to the University library page.
  2. In the menu to the left, click the plus on the right of the 'Search' field.
  3. Click 'Databases', it should take you to the Databases page.
  4. Under the subheading 'All databases', click the link called 'All databases'.
    Now you should be on the Database list page.
  5. Now choose the database you want access to and log in with your LTU credentials.

TL;DR: Add this page to your bookmarks and choose the appropriate database when necessary.

Ordering Software, e.g., Matlab, Acrobat

LTU has a site-wide license for matlab, and all staff can now order matlab free of charge for the individual project. Just create a request at the ServiceDesk. Also for Adobe Acrobat you can get a download link from the service desk.

Coordinates, Mail Address, ...

Sometimes it is required to give a full physical address including the streetname of LTU. As a matter of fact, the physical address is not found on the main official LTU page. So we put it here:
Luleå University of Technology
Aurorum 1
971 87 Luleå, Sweden

For mail there are two different addresses to be used

  1. For letters:
    • Luleå Tekniska Universitet
    • SRT/Name_of_addressee
    • 97187 Luleå
    • Sweden
  2. For packages:
    • Luleå Tekniska Universitet​
    • SRT/Name_of_addressee
    • Godsmottagningen
    • Laboratorievägen 14
    • 97754 Luleå
    • Sweden

The office address can be found on your personal page, including map, etc.

PhD students

This information is a collection information from experienced PhD students who went through the process. It mainly highlights those issues which were most importand and somewhat difficult to find. The information could be outdated, so it is always good to also discuss with your supervisor and the administrative staff. No warranties. Wish you success.

Here you can find useful information about third-cycle studies and student associations.

Here you can find various forms that you might have to fill out during you studies. Specifically forms for reporting course and thesis credits, credit transfer from previous third cycle studies, requesting licentiate seminar, and requesting disertation.

Starting - What is all this stuff with the ISP, licenciate, and credits???

Rules for the Individual Study Plan (ISP) for PhD and Licenciate

  • The complete (and official) rules are given here. This list is only a short summary of the most important aspects which we think are important
  • Alltogether, a complete PhD takes 240 credits, which are split into coursework credits and thesis credits. As a general rule 25-30 hrs of work corresponds to 1 credit but this can also be flexible (the exact number would be 26.66 in Sweden ;) ). The number of credits given per course at LTU is predetermined, other external lecture credits are always to be agreed on with the supervisor.
  • PhD students are required to complete at least 60 coursework credits and at most 120 courswork credits.
  • The remaining credits are for the actual PhD thesis (research studies, writing papers, ...)
  • There is a list of courses available in leadership, research methodology etc. (see above)
  • Strongly recommended to take a course in Academic writing and publishing as well as Third Cycle Studies (TCS) introduction.
  • The Machine learning group plans a reading course starting in February 2019. The idea would be to read a paper and discuss about it. Can also be done online via Zoom.
  • Specific online courses can also be taken and be added to the ISP.
  • Conferences, online courses, course work can be included to ISP for credits
  • In addition to the ISP there is also an ASP (General Study Plan) for your research subject. A list of these can be found here.

Where can I find internal PhD courses?
The university provides PhD courses a list of which can be found here.

More undergraduate courses at LTU are listed here.

(Might be outdated) Furthermore, Kåre Synnes has prepared a nice list of PhD courses which are typically given every year and might be interesting for people from the SRT.

Where can I find external PhD courses?
There is a huge variety in online courses that are given from all around the globe. Before you take an external course there are a few things to keep in mind. The completetion of the course must provide you with a certificate to prove that you've taken and passed it. The course must have a syllabus. And, of course, your supervisor should have approved of taking the course to begin with. With that in mind, here is a list of places where you can look for courses (feel free to build on this list):

What is Expected from me? (Thanks to the Input from Jerker)
You work with your 3:ed cycle studies meeting your degree timeline. Participates in undergraduate teaching and other division duties. The requirement levels for licentiate and PhD exam is outlined below:

  • A broad and general knowledge in your research area (Industrial Electronics, Machine Learning, ...), including theories, methodologies and tools for design and analysis
  • Specialist knowledge in the area of the thesis. This includes the ability to advance on current state of the art in the field
  • Ability to select method(s) to the problem(s) at hand. Specialist understanding of method(s) selected for the thesis.
  • Ability to autonomously identify and extract key properties and/or challenges arising in complex systems.
  • Ability to autonomously review and assess proposed theories, methods and tools to establishing properties and/or addressing challenges.
  • Skills to formulate for the field relevant problems and assign suitable scientific methodologies.
  • Ability to de-compose overall challenges into tractable targets, plan and conduct activities towards sub-goals within set time-frames
  • The ability to independently author academic publications.
  • The ability to de-compose complex challenges into tractable sub-goals.
  • The ability to synthesise new knowledge, both at the level of identified sub-goals and by their aggregation.
  • Skills in presenting and discussing research at national and international conferences.
  • Skills in communicating research results to the general society.
  • Skills in publishing in recognized scientific journals in the field of Specialization.
  • Skills in making excellent oral presentations in terms of content, performance, and supporting material.
  • Skills in identifying open problems and opportunities for new research projects.
  • Competence in how to share knowledge with peers, industry, students or general society.
  • Ability to make knowledge claims and intellectual contributions independent of the traditional authorities and colleagues.
  • Ability to understand possibilities and limitations of academia.
  • Knowledge of how academia and research in the field is connected to society and industry.
  • Understand the requirements of regulatory frameworks, such as certification for the specific area.
  • Understanding the responsibility of the researcher for how results are used and their possible influence on society.

Which meetings to attend?
Division and department regular meetings. Other meetings agreed with your supervisor.

What is department duties?
Answer: Common examples are: Teaching, Course development, Lab responsibilities
Doing deparmental duties gives you an equivalent amount of extra time to finish your PhD (up to a year extra). However to make sure this amount to be properly added your departmental duties should be noted both in the ISP and added by the administrative staff. For SRT this is done once every semester.

I finished a course. What do I do now?
First, you need to make sure you report the course credits by filling in the "Reporting of course and thesis credits" form that can be found here. Then your supervisor needs to sign that form and hand it in to the department administration. Second, next time you update your ISP make sure you add that course as completed.

Is there a PhD student handbook?
Please find it here

What is the PhD Student Association?
The PhD Student Association is part of the Student Union and any PhD student at LTU can join. The association have representatives elected by the members that hold position in various boards and committees at the university. These representatives work to make sure that PhD students get a say in how the university is run. More information as well as the different representatives can be found here. If there are any general or practical issues regarding your PhD studies you can always contact the representative for your department.

What is the doctoral students' representative?
Not to be confused with the elected representatives for the PhD Student Association. The doctoral students' representative is for PhD students who feel the need to discuss their work situation, supervisor or other issues with an impartial person. While the association deals with more practical and systemic concerns of the PhD students the doctoral students' representative deals more with indiviudal and personal problems. Contacts information can be found here.

Preparing and defending the licenciate

TBD, input welcome

The Licentiate degree is a half-way point between a Master's degree and a Doctorate. A licentiate degree is earned by fulfilling the criteria for the degree including writing a Licentiate Thesis and presenting it in a public Licentiate Seminar (can be viewed as a miniature/practice disseration). It isn't mandatory to get a Licentiate degree and whether or not you will pursue one as part of you Doctoral studies should be discussed with you supervisors early on.

For writing a Licentiate degree the university has provided a "Checklist prior to licentiate degree" which details the different deadlines that need to be fulfilled up to the seminar. An unofficial spreadsheet version of this checklist, which automatically calculates the dates for each deadline, is available here.

Please, note that students are required to arrange the schedule for thesis writing and defense together with both supervisors, at least half a year before the planned defense date. This will give enough time for supervisors to read your thesis & give feedback.

Information on the Licentiate seminar can be found here and order can be made here.

Finishing up - Writing, handing in (nailing) the thesis, and defending

TBD, input welcome

PhD thesis reuirement - A minimum of 60 course credits are required to have a PhD. This is cummulative with the Licentiate. For example, if one declared 35 course credits for the Licentiate, you only need 25 course credits to make up the minimum for the PhD. By implication, this is also true for the thesis credits to make up the complete 240 credits.

The university has a checklist for the administrative steps that needs to be taken up until the disseration, including deadlines, which is available here. An unofficial spreadsheet version of this checklist, which automatically calculates the dates for each deadline, is available here.

Traveling - How to

Before travelling

  1. Ask and confirm supervisor before registration / booking - give approximate budget (+- SEK 1000)
  2. Conferences/workshops etc., should be possible to go to when you first-author a paper, please synchronize with your supervisor before submission of papers
  3. On the website there are general rules for travel.
  4. All travel should be booked with the procured travel agency. This makes it easy to handle as they book everything and no forms are to be filled afterwards.
  5. The travel agency requires a project number. Ask your supervisor.
  6. You have to write a mail to the travel agency and include your supervisor in CC. Furthermore, ask the travel agency to use "reply to all" and make sure that your supervisor is informed about the final costs and travel plan.
  7. Don't forget to add your absense/travel days in the exchange calendar so that others see your availability.
  8. Don't forget to printout or otherwise have available your insurance (such as the European Health Insurance Card)

During Travel

[to be written. Will contain useful information like what to do if you get sick during travel or other problems that might arise]

After Travel (only for employees) - Making an Expense Report

Important note!! This procedure does not apply for PostDocs, only for employees!!

After you've been on a business trip this needs to be registered with LTU in order to recieve allowances for covering food and lodging as well as any additional expenses related to your work (for example parking or mileage for a personal vehicle). Below is a step by step guide to doing this (using the American-English verison). Expenses in this report are only those you paid or are related to you. For example if you were a passenger in a car they will apply for Mileage recompense themself.
NOTE: The reimbursements will be added to your next salary after their approval which means that they can easily take up to 6 weeks for you to recieve and even more if the approver is on vacation!

  1. Expense reports are filled here. The instructions are here. (some of the bullet tips below may no longer apply so kindly edit this page if necessary)
  2. Click "Create travelbill" and select the appropriate type of report: One-day trip or Longer trip (You'll typically never need to use the third option)
  3. There are four main categories of information to fill in. General, Per Diem, Expenses, and Mileage.
  4. General (Time, place and costs)
    1. Fill in date and time of departure for trip and arrival back from trip. You can also add any "interuptions" for example if you took days off for vacationing during the trip.
    2. Here you also add a description, purpose, and destination of the trip. If your destination isn't available select "Other location - Sweden"
    3. Under Accounting you make sure that it is the correct project number related to the journey as well as what percentage of full-time you were working typcially 100%).
  5. Per Diem (Daily allowance and additional salary)
    1. Here you calculate how much you will recieve as allowance to compensate for your daily expenses.
    2. Add what country you were in at which times.
    3. First fill in what days you recieved free meals. Note that there is a difference between meals with and without Tax Benefits. In general all meals are Tax Benefits except hotel breakfasts that are included in the room price and public transport food included in the ticket price.
    4. Also fill in which days (if any) you used your private lodgings instead of hotel or other lodgings (usually not applicable).
  6. Expenses
    1. Here you can add any additional expenses that are relevant for the business trip that isn't food, fuel, or lodging (e.g. parking).
    2. Remeber to save the reciept for any such expenses and add them to Attachments in the General section.
  7. Mileage
    1. Here you can add the distance you drove if you use your personal vehicle.
    2. Usually you will select "Car, full compensation" but if the car was not the most suitable means of transportation you will select that category instead.
  8. Then you need to select who should review and approve the report. This is usually your division manager.
  9. If you have an itinerary from the travel agency please attach it to the travelbill
  10. also attach the conference or workshop program
  11. Finally click "Send for approval" in the bottom right corner
  12. Then, give the physical documents to the accounting team (e.g., Eva/Karin)

After Travel (not for employees)

If you are not an LTU employee (i.e. post-docs) then you can only get compensation for extra costs for hotel room and travel (train, bus, flight….) that are accepted after scrutiny. If you have any costs of that kind, then you should give the original receipts to the project economists of your department, along with your bank account number (IBAN).

[...3.4 Remuneration in addition to scholarships: The purpose of a scholarship is to thank the cost of living in food, rent and travel during a fellow's education. Subsidies during the study period the scholarship may only refer to substantiated costs for expenses for compulsory parts of the program. When traveling on behalf of the authority, actual travel expenses and accommodation can be reimbursed but not expensive living expenses / allowance. The trips must be booked primarily through the travel agency with which the university has an agreement and is directly invoiced to the University. Any outlays are paid out via the financial system. ...]

E-mail and Calendar

Staff and students (and some external) have Outlook provided by LTU. In Outlook (when accessed via LTU) you can find the mail addresses and mailinglists that belong to LTU in the address book. You can also access the public calendars of other people at LTU which is helpful to check if they're free at a specific time. 


(Section not yet completed, feel free to add more)

  1. Join a mail list
    1. To join a mail-list one of its adminstrators needs to add you to it. You can find all mail lists and their owner's mail addresses at IST-Admin. By clicking on a list's name you are taken to a screen where you can subscribe to the list.
    2. You become a member of the list after an admin approves your subscription.
    3. The admins can also add you directly with no need for subscribing if you ask them, which is what you have to do if you are not part of LTU.
  2. Create and manage mailing lists
    1. Mail lists are created via a request to the servicedesk. The form for requesting a mailing list is found under "E-post/E-mail". Any maillist should be prefixed by "srt-" since we are part of the SRT department (if you aren't I suggest you check with your own department what to name the list). The list should end with "".
    2. Mail lists are managed via IST-Admin where you can find both list you administer as well as those you are a member of. To manage a list you administer simply click on it (the name is a link) and that will take you to an admin view from which you can add new members both inside and outside of the university.


Using the LTU standard Outlook calendar comes with a few advantages: Ability to share your calendar internally so others at LTU can see your availability, ability to check other LTU users calendar and availablity, and ability to send meeting/appointment invitations that will automatically be added to the calendars of those invited (including through mailing lists). Below will cover each of these in more detail. (Feel free to expand on this section).

  1. Accessing other people's calendar
    1. In the Calendar section of Outlook, select Home and press the "Add Calendar"-button.
    2. Select "From Address Book..." and now you can search for anyone with an LTU e-mail, select all calendars you with to add and click "OK".
    3. Their calendar will now be added to you "Shared Calendars" (typically found in the lower left corner). By expanding this list you can select which calendars to view next to your own, which can be helpful for planning meetings (though don't assume someone is free just because their calendar is open).
  2. Sharing you calendar for others to view
    1. In the Calendar section of Outlook, select Home and press the "Share Calendar"-button.
    2. Select which calendar (if you have several) to share.
    3. Now you can add which organizations or specific people can access your calendar and how much information they can access. This is useful for making sure people can check your availability when booking meetings and to share your internal calendar with an external calendar (if you have one).
    4. Now you can select existing entries and change their viewing permissions or click Add to give additional people access.
    5. It is recommended that "My Organization" (which means all of LTU) is set to at least "Can view when I'm busy" so people can take that into account when planning meetings.
  3. Good practice for making appointments
    1. When you add an appointment or meeting to your Calendar there are several options available to you which can good to use.
    2. Show As: (add availability)
      1. Several options for showing availability in your calendar is available.
      2. Busy: This means that you have something planned and you're either not available or at least need to reorganize to be available.
      3. Tentative: This means you are unsure if you will attend a meeting/event. Typically used to respond to meetings you have not yet decided to attend or skip.
      4. Working Elsewhere: You are not in your normal office, but might still be available for online meetings. If you're working from home for one day it could be useful to add a "Working Elsewhere"-appointment for that day to let people know.
      5. Free: You have addded something to the calendar as a reminder or a task during which you are available for others to meet with or book meetings.
      6. Out of office: Almost completely unavailable. Used for vacation and other times when you are not available at all (even if you are available for some people you can use this and tell those people separately).
    3. Start time / End time
      1. The time of the appointment, self explanatory.
      2. For meetings with people it is good practice to start/end the meeting five minutes past/before the full or half-hour so people have some time to get between meetings and to relax.

Order Prints (Posters, Theses, Business Cards, etc)

To order printed material (and some other things) simply go to the order site of the graphic services select the applicable link and fill in the form. This will need a project number so make sure you have approval of whoever is in charge of that project number before placing any orders. Printing usually takes around 3 business days.

Online Storage and Group Folders

General information on storage is provided in the IT support. Mainly a combination of BOX and OneDrive is useful.

Group Folder Organization of the EISLAB Division BOX folder

The EISLAB Division maintains a BOX folder for collecting files from Division common meetings, seminars, etc. For example powerpoints from Division common lectures are uploaded here. Don't upload files to this BOX unless you are sure that they are supposed to go there (ask your supervisor if you are unsure). To get access to the EISLAB BOX folder please send a mail to:

Group Folder Organization of the EISLAB Machine Learning Group

In the ML group we use a shared OneDrive folder (called 'ml') to store files relevant to the entire group. Files in this system should be stored under the correct category folder (meetings, presentations, etc). The names of any added files should start with a date of the format "YYYY-MM-DD_". For adding several related files place them in a new folder that follows the naming convention. Any files or subfolders in such a new folder does not have to follow this convention (though they still might). To gain access to this shared folder please send a mail to (or ask) one of the seniors with the e-mail you wish related to the shared folder.

Cannot find the shared folder on your computer? Go to More>Settings>Account and then  click "Choose folders" from "Marcus Liwicki". There you can select what to sync to your computer and see where on your computer OneDrive stores those files (not necessarily in the OneDrive folder). If this doesn't work you can still access your shared folders through the browser at: There you use your LTU mail (or whatever mail you wanted to use for OneDrive) to login. When logged-in you should be able to find the 'ml' folder either under "Shared" or by searching for it in the search bar.

Folder for the ML Reading Group

The ML group hosts a reading group with a Box folder for storage. Read this for more information.

Office/Team Rules for the Machine Learning Group

  1. Minor Rules (Agreements)
    1. Outdoor shoes must be removed when entering the lab. You are of course free to have a pair of indoor office shoes that you can use in the office.
  2. Emails
    • Always use reply to all if useful for all people in the mailing list.
    • Avoid using reply to all for courtesy messages.
    • Always have Marcus in CC for important emails.
    • For project related emails always discuss with the project leader and have him/her in CC for project related emails unless asked not to.
  3. Email Signatures. Please use the following signature for emails:
    Name (e.g., Prof. Dr. habil. Marcus Liwicki)
    Position (e.g. Chaired Professor of Machine Learning)
    Luleå University of Technology (LTU)
    Aurorum 1, 97187 Luleå
    Office: A3570
  4. Meetings
    • Monday Morning 9AM weekly meetings. The meetings will be in SCRUM style. Each member is given 1 min to update the team on: what he/she has done, what he/she will do over the week and If there any problem he/she faces.
    • Prepare for all meetings because without preparation, meetings seem boring and not efficient.
    • Work hours shall officially remain 9:00-15:00 Monday-Friday however meetings can still be schedulesd from 15:00 to 16:00/17:00 without feeling guilty.
    • One should not feel pressure to accept every meeting invite, but you should react. No reaction is hard to interprete, maybes are difficult in science ;)
    • All members of the lab are definitely expected to be in office by 9:00
  5. Communication Channels
    • Emails - Only for things that need to be documented for later
    • Calendars - Another useful feature of Outlook for communication is that we can add each other's calendars. For this we first have to click on the calendar icon in the bottom left corner of outlook. Then, after a right click on "My calendars" we can add a calendar from the address book. By default this will only allow us to see whether the other person is available during certain time slots or not. If we want other members of the group to be able to see the topic and location of our planned events in our calendar, we can do it as follows: first, right click on the calendar to be shared (in the My Calendar field), then select the Properties... menu, where in the Permissions field we can add e-mail addresses, and modify their permission accordingly. Even then we can still have calendar events not transparent to those we share our calendar with. For this we only need to right click on the event, and set it to Private with the lock icon.
    • Telegram - For quick conversations. 
      • ML group - Only share relevant information which is interesting for the entire team.
      • ML Fika - Only use for day to day chat and small talk.
      • Later we can also have ML extended group to discuss with friends of the ML lab.

Weekly machine learning seminar and reading group

The ML-group organize a weekly seminar and reading group for machine learning. We meet every Wednesday from 10:30-12:00 (60-90mins). Any deviations from this will be announced via the mailing list.

During seminars someone in the group will have prepared a presentation about any topic related to ML that might interest the group. This is often a good way to keep the rest of group up to date with your own specific research field or topic, but can also be used as a place to talk about another aspect of machine learning that caught your interest.

Sometimes we have a reading group instead. Instead of preparing a presentation, someone in the group selects a paper for everyone to read. Then that person hosts a reading group by holding a short overview of the paper, the related field, and preparing some discussion topics to get the group started in discussing the paper.

  1. Everyone who wants, participates, ML-members always participate (if you want to participate contact Gustav). 
  2. Participants are part of a mailing list through which the coming reading group and seminar sessions will be announced.
  3. Seminars will have one featured presentation about the seminar topic which will be followed by discussion of the topic. Optionally, there can be two shorter presentations and discussions (check with the other presenter to make sure you can fit both your presentations+dicusson during the timeslot).
  4. The reading group is led by a moderator that have carefully read the paper and have prepared topics for discussion. The reading group usually start with a summary of what the paper is about by the moderator, a quick round of what everyone's imperssion is, followed by discussion.
  5. In addition, anyone who wants may give an unscheduled 5-minutes presentation afterwards or bring up any other topic for discussion.
  6. There is a folder in the ML-group's OneDrive (organization > seminars > ML_Seminar_and_Reading_Group), where you can find a schedule as well as a folders with resources for old and upcoming seminars. If you don't have access to this folder contact Gustav.
  7. PhD Students in the ML-group must hold a presentation at least once per semester unless your supervisor have agreed to otherwise.
  8. A semester of the seminar and reading group can be taken as a course (2 credits). Check with your supervisor if you can take it. The syllabus can be found in the ML OneDrive (education > third-cycle-courses > syllabus-machine-learning-serminar.docx).
  9. To select a slot for holding a seminar or moderating a reading group, add your name to the OneDrive schedule slot you want. Before you add the presentation title you need to check that it's suitable with one of the ML-group's hired seniors (professors or lecturers).
  10. A presenter of a featured presentation or a moderator for a paper discussion should contact one of the ML-group's hired seniors (professors or lecturers) to go through the presentation with them at latest the Monday before the session. This is our way of ensuring the quality of the sessions. For inexperienced presenters this is also a good way to get early feedback on the material. If this is not done the seminar or reading group will be cancelled!

Useful links

LTU Powerpoint template  (requires login to the intern page)
Template for posters  (portrait mode; requires login to OneDrive)
Plagiarism tool (Urkund)

Living in Norrbotten

[This heading should contain useful information for surviving in Norrbotten]

Surviving the Winter

Winters in Luleå are three things: Cold, dark, and dry. Here are some things that you might want to get in order to survive during the winter. If you are unsure of how to get hold of these things many members of the group know how to do this so you can ask them.

  • Winter clothing: During the winter months the temperature regularly goes below -20°C, clothing to deal with this is highly recommended.
  • Crampons (Broddar): It gets icy, and it gets slippery. These can really help with that.
  • Vitamin D supplements: The lack of sun can easily cause vitamin D deficiency, so it's recommended to purchase some supplements from a pharmacy for the winter months.
  • Lotions, lip balm, and oil-based shower products: During the winter it gets extremely dry, so you might want to make sure your skin doesn't dry up as well.

Surviving the Summer

While the summer doesn't get exessively hot (some swedes might disagree but that's because they've never spent the summer south of Denmark) there are still some things you might want to keep in mind.

  • It's never dark. So get good light blocking curtains, or a sleeping mask (or both) if you can't sleep in daylight.
  • Mosquitoes. There can be quite a lot of them in places so getting some mosquito repellant is a good idea. There are very few diseases carried by mosquitoes in Sweden and those diseases are very rare, so this is not something you need to be worried about.

Recommended Medicine Cabinet

We recommend that you follow the UK national health services guidelines for what to have at home. Please carefully read the following page, especially the must have first aid kit items. The information is from the NHS in the UK but apply to other countries as well.

Newcomers and Visitors

Welcome to Sweden and to LTU, here we you can find some general information about how to quickly get along in Sweden.

Find LTU and the ML Office

To visit LTU you need to find your way there. The physical address is Aurorum 1 and a map over Campus can be found here. To get to the University from the city center you can take bus 4, 5, or 6 from "Smedjegatan" to "Porsö centrum". To get to the University from the airport you can take bus 4 all the way or 104 to "Smedjegatan" and change there. You can search for other bus stops and routes here

Then you need to find the ML-office. It is in room A3570 in the A-building which can be found using the Campus map, Google Maps, or asking someone in the building for the "SRT staff room" and then the ML-office is just one floor up from that.

 Visitors Checklist

Moving to Sweden

Pedro has written a great story about the issues faced for moving to Sweden useful for a non-EU citizen. It can be found here. Some of the following information is taken from there.

  • When you are accepted, you should get all the needed information and documents to apply for a VISA. As You will be a PhD student this page is the one you will have to go and apply.
  • Online application to the Swedish Embassy: When you got accepted into LTU you should receive by email all the documents needed and since you are a PhD employee don't need to show a bank statement, health insurance, or anyhting else that it says in the masters or lower education. Here I chose the online form, because it is faster to proccess and the embassy is not close to my home to go and do it. Please make sure you read everything from migrationsverket page concernig how to apply to have some peace of mind, and be more relaxed.

  • The response can take a while and they may for more information. The LTU is typically very fast on their side

Obtain your Swedish person number/personnummer

At the end of your registration either in the embassy or in Sweden, you will get your personnummer which is the way to handle all of the official business in Sweden. Than you have to also go to Skatteverket, the tax office to register there also. Once you have your ID number, set ut a meeting a skatteverket online and apply for the ID card.

Opening a bank account

Once in Sweden you will need a bank account for many things, which you can get with your personnummer, yur contract, a skatterverket letter (the bank ask for a A-skatterbrevis, but I couldn't get one due to the personnummer they gave me another which also worked) and go to the bank, get an appointment, go to it and you have your account, the card will be ready in 3-4 days. That account you will have to tell LTU administration to deposit your salary in. If you have my issue you can ask them to pay you by a check and they will do it, so do not worry about this.

Hint (from Marcus): there is a way to get an account before obtaining a personnumber. Marcus has a mail from Swedbank, which he can forward you (request it via mail from him), stating that people working at LTU can make an appointment (also via phone), but they have to state that they work at LTU. ". Then they will get an appointment within one to two weeks depending on how much availably time we got. "

Requesting a Temporary Credit Card Number

Send a mail to (CCing Erika Klasson) asking for a temporal credit card and provide them directly with the following information: Name: Project: Purpose: Amount: Currency.

Getting a (Mobile) BankID

For many services in Sweden a BankID is required. It is accepted like a legal signature for online business and orders. Even governmental ones. So as soon as you have a personnumber, get as go again to Skatteverket to order an ID card (you need to make an appointment online). Upon receiving the card you can go to the bank and activate your account for mobile BankID. Then you can install the app and set up everything online.


Health - Become Part of the Swedish Health system and get a European insurance card

Become part of the Swedish Health insurance system by:

  1. apply here for the registration (and directly also for the EU-kort).
  2. and read here more information about how to reimburse money (sometimes it takes 10 months before the application in 1 is granted).


  1. Only for emergency issues (i.e. feeling pain) use this link
  2. For any other cases, choose a private dentist. For example (just examples, you can choose any other dentist you like):  (i) here is one in the city center, (ii) here is one a bit outside

Learn Swedish

After a few months of learning Swedish, we looked at several resources and here are some experiences:

  • The book "Complete Swedish beginner to intermediate course" together with the app is the definitive winner (not too expensive and good learning strategy). However, the pronunciation there is not very correct (Pimsleur is good for that, but quite expensive. Maybe you can rent it).
  • It is good to run several things in parallel, for learning, the app "50 languages" set to Swedish is really helpful (for free). They also have nice tests online.
  • I found a website which has many online games for school children, but also some for foreigners who want to learn. I have set up a "class" and a sequence of games to play. If you want to joint the class, please let me (Marcus) know and I send you a login.
  • SverigesRadio has a nice online program for simple Swedish listening and reading. Could become your daily routin ;
  • With Språkplay one can watch programs of the Swedish National Television and get help in the development of Swedish language skills. The app is suggested for those who newly arrived to Sweden.

Student Life

The Luleå University Reception Committee (LURC) is a student organisation operated by volunteers that provides many interesting opportunities for students, particularly, exchange students and students coming from abroad. One can read more about LURC on their website or facebook page.

Unemployment insurance system in Sweden

1. You need to be member in a so called a-kassa (unemployment fund) in order to receive unemployment benefit based on your previous job salary. There are different a-kassa. You need to be a fund member and have been in membership for at least 12 months before being unemployed so plan in advance. I recommend AEA a-kassa. Useful info in English.

2. There are different worker unions that also provide some support when unemployed but I have not been a member in such and cannot tell much about it. One that I have heard for example is this one.

3. As a state employee there is a second unemployment fund which is payed by the state organisation - in our case LTU. The fund is called Trygghetsstiftelsen (tricky name I know:))

It provides also some support in looking for a new job but most importantly gives you additional unemployment benefits. Together with A-kassa and Trygghetsstiftelsen you get 80% of your salary when unemployed. You can read more on that here:

You do not need to be a member or apply for Trygghetsstiftelsen before becoming unemployed as LTU is taking care of that. You can also get from them financial support if you later find new job that is paid less compared to your current position at LTU.

How to send a letter or package using university facilities?

You should go to Building K, room K14 (more information here)

Travel Grants and Scholarships Opportunities

Many thanks to  Denis for providing us this valuable information!

1. Wallenberg Foundation "Jubileumsanslaget" Travel Grant
Purpose: Participation in conferences and research visits outside of Sweden.
What is covered: The grant covers only travel expenses, i.e., flight tickets and ground transportation (bus, taxi, and train).
Guidelines for application: Contact Anders Henriksson at for more information
Application deadline: No deadline, can be applied continuously.
Eligibility: young researchers at LTU (< 35 years), PhD students and new PhDs (less than a year).
Tips: Since the grant covers only travel expenses it suits well  conferences/research visits, which are held outside of Europe when the flight tickets are a significant part of the total budget.

2. Stiftelsen Seth M Kempe Stipendiefond vid LTU
Purpose: Participation in conferences and research visits.
What is covered: The scholarship covers only travel expenses, i.e., flight tickets and ground transportation (bus, taxi, and train).
Guidelines for application: Please check the details here.
Application deadline: Once per year, usually in April-May. In 2019, the deadline is on May 12.
Eligibility: PhD students and undergraduate students, however, note that only members of the Student Association at LTU (Teknologkaren) are eligible for this scholarship. Therefore, before submitting the application you should enroll in the association. Please see the details here.
Tips: Since the scholarship covers only travel expenses it suits well conferences/research visits, which are held outside of Europe when flight tickets are a significant part of the total budget.

3. AForsk Travel Grant
Purpose: Participation in conferences abroad, doing master thesis abroad, and research visit abroad.
What is covered: The grant covers full costs of the travel but not daily allowances.
Guidelines for application: Please check the section Travel Grants here.
Application deadline: There are two application periods for travel grants, one in the beginning of the year and another in the beginning of fall. The closest deadline is on September 30, 2019.
Eligibility: PhD students and undergraduate students. The eligibility of postdocs should be double checked.
Tips: It is important to note that the AForsk travel grant could be obtained only once. Therefore, one tip could be to apply for this grant when you would like to do a long (e.g., a couple of months) research visit.

4. The Ericsson Research Foundation Travel Grant
Purpose: Participation in conferences and research visits outside of Sweden.
What is covered: The grant covers full costs of the travel but not daily allowances. The grant amount should be in the range between 15,000 and 50,000 SEK.
Guidelines for application: Please check the details here.
Application deadline: Once per year, usually in February. In 2019, the deadline was on February 22.
Eligibility: PhDs, PhD students, and undergraduate students at Swedish universities in the field of Electrical Engineering (in a wide sense that is of interest to Ericsson). Undergraduate students could apply for doing master thesis abroad but most grants go to PhD students and PhDs.
Tips: Since the grant amount is rather large, one could apply for this grant to cover the full costs of a conference or to do a long (e.g., a couple of months) research visit.

5. Letterstedtska Foreningen Grant
Purpose: Study visits to other Nordic countries.
What is covered: The grant covers full costs of the travel but not daily allowances. Note that the grant amount should be in the range between 2,000 and 10,000 SEK.
Guidelines for application: Please check the details here.
Application deadline: There are two application periods for grants, one in the beginning of the year and another in the beginning of fall. The closest deadline is on September 15, 2019.
Eligibility: PhDs and PhD students at Nordic universities.
Tips: The motivation of your study visit should be very well grounded to the actual agenda of Nordic countries.

6. Other possibilities
The landscape of scholarships and grants is changing constantly, therefore, it is worth exploring other possibilities. You could start with the following links:
LTU's scholarships and awards page
Scholarships at Swedish universities
Research Professional database
The Global Grant database

Useful information from the library

On Elsevier…
Negotiations are ongoing but BIBSAM and Elsevier are still far apart.
Elsevier publications published between 1995 and June 2018 is still available to us. (Applied on the publishing date for the journal issue, not the publishing date for individual articles!)
We are not alone! Many are advocating a faster transition towards Open Access. Germany, Hungary, Norway and the University of California have also canceled their subscription contracts with Elsevier.
Here is an up-to-date list of cancelled subscription contracts going as far back as 2009.

On access to publications…
If you don’t have access to something you need:

1. Check again! There are tools that help you identify and find Open Access material:
Open Access Button

2. Google and Google Scholar are your friend (but only on rare occasions…)

3. Engage in scholarly sharing as much as possible.

  • Use your networks
  • Contact authors
  • Check sites for scholarly communication such as ResearchGate etc. (Note: the library does not endorse the use of SciHub for article access.)
  • Make sure your own Open Access publications are available in DiVA and on other useful sites for scholarly sharing. Paying for Open Access and not utilizing the benefits is not a good way to handle your budget!

4. Get it from the library!
You can always order resources from the library. Your department will not be charged but nothing is free - LTU still pay for each publication we place an order for. We have access to many services and the cost per publication can vary between $6 and $500 per article. Depending on what service we order the publication from, it may be delivered in either printed or digital form (because the terms of service do not always allow us to deliver digital copies). Delivery times vary from service to service but in general, you can expect to have the publication in 2-4 days at the very latest. When ordering books through interlibrary loans, delivery may take up to a full week.

On Open Access…
Use Directory of Open Access Journals to find journals that comply with Gold Open Access criteria. 
Use Sherpa/Romeo to search for copyright policies for specific journals to find out if you can parallel publish your articles in our publication database DiVA. 

On issues with VPN…
I have not found any reason why using a VPN should limit your access to the information resources we subscribe to. Please contact the library when you experience these problems so we can trouble shoot your specific case.

I have an update regarding access to the library's information resources when using VPN. It turns out that when using VPN you get a network that does not have auto-cas which means that you have to log in and make sure you use the library's proxy addresses to ensure access. IT states that it is safety requirements and classifications that are behind the decision not to allow auto-casing via VPN. 

How do I contact the library?
We love meeting researchers face to face in our campus libraries in Luleå and Piteå. Drop by anytime!
If you don’t have time to visit us, we encourage you to use our form when contacting us.
If the form feels too impersonal you can always call or send any of us an e-mail directly.