"I get to meet a lot of amazing people"

Johanna Utterström is a doctoral student in biophysics and biotechnology. She is also a member of the Forum Scientium network and chair person of the Student Council.

Portrait of a woman Johanna Utterström. lejla Kronbäck

Forum Scientium celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021. Forum is both a graduate school and a network for doctoral students and postdocs at the interface between medicine, technology and science. There are currently about 60 doctoral students in Forum, spread over five departments on Campus Norrköping, Campus US and Valla. Part of the Forum's hallmark has been to enable students to take their own initiatives

What does Forum Scientium mean to you, Johanna Utterström?
“Forum provides the opportunity to get to know many other PhD students and Postdocs over a wide range of research areas. This gives opportunities to establish multidisciplinary collaborations which benefits all our research.”

She notes that there is a great willingness to help within the group:
“If you are facing a new challenge, help can always be found within Forum as people are happy to share their knowledge. I get to meet many amazing people and learn so much more than I otherwise could have done.”

What role do you have in the Student Council?
“I am chairperson which makes me responsible for the communication between the Student Council and Forum’s members. I am also leading the work within the Student Council to make Forum Scientium even better.”

Why is it good to have a Student Council?
“I think the Student Council has a very important function and I am proud of the big role we take within Forum as it allows us members to influence our time here. To the Student council, we can bring up positive aspects, things to be improved and new ideas which we in the Student Council can work with.”

Forum Scientium

  • Forum endeavours to give these doctoral students and postdocs the best possible opportunities in terms of courses, workshops, summer conferences, study visits and a large network.
  • The aim is that research groups at the intersection between medicine, science and technology, learn about each others’ projects and people, so well that the possibility for collaborations increases.
    The organisation is positioned for long-term operations, through support from LiU management, faculties and external sources.
  • All PhD students and postdocs within the interface between medicine – natural science – engineering are welcome to become members. The cost for the supervisor to have a PhD student in Forum Scientium is SEK 10,000 per year.
  • Forum has a student council for the members to influence and plan Forum activities.
  • In what is called ‘the backpack’, doctoral students receive SEK 10,000 per year, to be used e.g. to attend conferences of their own choosing.


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