On this page you can read about:
Qualifications of the supervisor
General study syllabus
Individual study plan
Reporting activity level
Read more here:
Doctoral thesis defence
Guidelines for third-cycle (doctoral) education
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.
Qualifications of the principal supervisor
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. The examiner should examine for credit components of the doctoral programme when reporting to Ladok.
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.
General study syllabus
For each subject in which doctoral-level education is offered, a general study syllabus is required. A general study syllabus should indicate the following: the main content of the study programme, specific entry requirements and any other regulations required.
General study syllabus – Pharmaceutical Sciences
General study syllabus – Medical Sciences
Individual study plan
An individual study plan is to be drawn up for each doctoral student. This plan should contain the undertakings made by the doctoral student and the higher education institution and a timetable for the doctoral student's study programme.
At Uppsala University, individual study plans should contain information regarding
- intended degree;
- timetable for the doctoral student’s programme;
- funding plan for the entire period of the programme;
- planned courses, teaching, basic training in teaching and learning and/or other departmental work;
- organisation of supervision; and
- special conditions applicable to the studies.
The individual study plan must be followed up annually and revised if necessary. The PhD student and the principal supervisor, in consultation with other supervisors and the examiner, conduct the annual follow-up.
The report from the annual follow-up must include how the work on the thesis and the implementation of theoretical elements in the programme are progressing in relation to the individual study plan. The documentation must be registered at the department.
Major changes to the plan must be reported to the KUF. Use a special form for changes concerning supervisors and examiners. If the research plan or the timetable for the thesis work changes significantly, the revision must be made in the electronic system. The Chair of the KUF decides on a new study plan after revision.
Reporting activity level
PhD student activity must be reported in Ladok every calendar half-year.
A statement of current and planned activity must be included in the Individual Study Plan (ISP). This is done by including a timetable with a statement of activity in the research plan that is part of the ISP.
It is the responsibility of the principal supervisor to ensure that the ISP is up to date, but only the PhD student can revise their ISP in the system. The principal supervisor and the Head of Department (or a person appointed by the Head of Department) then approve the revision.
The departments’ postgraduate administration reports activity in Ladok based on the activity indicated in the ISP. If the activity changes, the ISP must be revised.
The revision is done in the electronic ISP system. The planned activity should be indicated as a percentage for each calendar half-year. The design of the timetable can be done in different ways according to the procedures of each department. It is essential that the current activity for the given calendar half-year, and the planned activity, can be easily identified.
Here is an example of how this might look. Note that the sum of the number of net months of postgraduate study in the plan should always be 48.
|Starting date: 1 February 2023|
|Year 1, first half of 2023||5 months||80%||4 net months|
|Year 1, second half of 2023||6 months||80%||4.8 net months|
|Year 2, first half of 2024||6 months||50%||3 net months|
|Year 5, first half of 2028||1 month||100%||1 net month|
|End date: 31 January 2028|
|48 net months|
To access the revision function, go to the start page of the electronic ISP, where you will find the PhD student’s ISP under the heading "Your issues".
There are three links next to the ISP:
- Revise or Edit
Click on “Revise” or “Edit” to open the revision function. You can then upload a new research plan containing the current activity level percentage.
Please note if the audit link is not visible or the principal supervisor or Head of Department has changed since admission, it is not possible to audit the ISP via the system. In this case, use the form “Revision of Individual Study Plan (ISP)”.
For PhD students who do not have a revised ISP with a clearly indicated activity, the activity in question can be shown in the ISP under the headings “Time plan for entire graduate programme” or possibly “Planned employment for entire project”.