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Doctoral thesis defence
The main task of the supervisor is to help doctoral students develop into independent researchers with a scientific approach.
The supervisor should continuously keep up-to-date with rules and guidelines concerning doctoral-level education, and:
- Ensure the doctoral student acquires the expertise specified in the study plan.
- Ensure that adequate resources for conducting the project are put at the doctoral student’s disposal at the department.
- Facilitate the doctoral student’s participation in relevant doctoral courses, symposiums and conferences in line with the individual study plan.
- Support, encourage and be available for discussions with the doctoral student to the extent specified in the study plan.
- Help broaden the doctoral student’s network of contacts at the department by encouraging them to present their project in seminar format both at the beginning of their project and at regular intervals thereafter.
- Ensure work on the thesis progresses at a reasonable pace, thus ensuring the work is completed within the stipulated period.
- Take responsibility for initiating, conducting and documenting an annual follow-up and mid-way review.
- Determine when work on the thesis has reached the stage at which it is ready to be defended (responsibility primarily rests with the supervisor in terms of assessing when the thesis fulfils the requirements placed on an academic thesis with respect to quality and scope).
- Propose – together with the head of department – an external reviewer and members of the examining committee and inform the doctoral student about the rules surrounding defence of the thesis.
The Research Training Committee must appoint at least two supervisors for each doctoral student, one of whom is principal supervisor with main responsibility for the programme, including the thesis, and one of whom is assistant supervisor. The principal supervisor should be a docent (associate professor) or have equivalent qualifications. One of the supervisors must be an employee or adjunct employee (employed for at least 20% of a full-time position) of Uppsala University.
To register as principal supervisor of a doctoral student at the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, certain requirements must be met.
The intended principal supervisor must fulfil and be well acquainted with the rules concerning doctoral-level education in place at Uppsala University. Normally, a principal supervisor is already a docent (associate professor). In cases where the intended principal supervisor has not yet become a docent (associate professor), the planned supervisor constellation should have been formally approved in a separate and attached supporting document signed by the head of the Uppsala University department at which the doctoral student is to be registered.
An application for admission to doctoral studies will be reviewed by the Research Training Committee, and factors that will be considered as part of the overall assessment of the proposed supervisor constellation include the principal supervisor having:
- Well-documented post-doctoral scientific experience, production and independent line of research.
- Their own (external or internal) research funding that has already been obtained.
- Undergone the one-day supervisor information seminar given at the disciplinary domain.
As a rule, the assistant supervisor should have completed a doctorate, but on occasion a supervisor who has not done so may have specific expertise that is relevant and important for the project.
A doctoral student who so requests will be allowed to change supervisors.
Various situations may lead to a supervisor being changed. Similarly, an individual may wish to add a supervisor. Any changes to the set of supervisors entails a revision of the doctoral student’s individual study plan and should be processed by the Research Training Committee. There is a special form that should be completed when an individual wishes to notify any changes.
Each doctoral student is to have a specially appointed examiner. The examiner should participate in the annual follow-up of the individual study plan. In the case of doctoral students, the examiner should examine for-credit components of the doctoral programme when reporting to the study documentation system. The previous possibility for supervisors to examine for-credit components ceased on 1/7/2019.
The examiner should also provide support to the doctoral student in discussions surrounding the theoretical part of the programme and examination.
- Examiners should be at least docent (associate professor) or in some other way qualified to act as principal supervisor for doctoral education.
- Examiners should be employed at Uppsala University.
- Examiners should be working at the department at which the doctoral student is registered.
- Examiners and supervisors must be independent actors and have no relationship posing a conflict of interest.
- Examiners may chair the thesis defence, but may never sit on an examining committee.