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personal id number catch 22

Karolinska researchers can't receive their funding

Published lördag 6 juli 2013 kl 10.54

Foreign researchers at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute have complained that the system that finances their services with scholarships is a virtual Catch 22.

They tell Swedish Radio News that they can’t receive their grants without Swedish personal identity numbers. But to obtain these the Tax Authority demands that they be able to demonstrate they will be in this country for at least one year.        

Unfortunately, even though many of the foreign researchers are in Sweden for two year periods, Karolinska Institute only gives them contracts for six months at a time.

Hilske van Duinen, one of the researchers, tells Swedish Radio News “It is very difficult to obtain a personal ID number, and without the number you can’t really do anything in Sweden.”

By this she means difficulties in opening bank accounts, a residence, or Internet or telephone subscriptions. Moreover, without the personal ID number healthcare is more expensive.

The Karolinska Institute is perhaps best known as the organization that awards the Nobel Prize in Medicine every year. Hans-Gustaf Ljunggren, who is Dean of Research at the institute, says they will review the six month contracts in the Fall.

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