SLU news

Doctoral education and possible Covid-19 pandemic consequences

Published: 15 April 2020

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may affect SLU doctoral education. Therefore, principal supervisors should, using the individual study plan (ISP) and together with their doctoral student(s), assess any consequences for the planned period of study. From now on, every supervisor/doctoral student should succinctly document any problem that arises and the subsequent adjustments.

According to Chapter 6, Section 29 of the Higher Education Ordinance, in certain cases, the adjustments may lead to extending the period of study if there are special grounds for doing so, such as illness, elected position in a trade union or student organisation, parental leave, etc. The pandemic can be viewed as special grounds. A doctoral employment may be extended if there are special grounds for doing so (Chapter 5, Section 7 of the Higher Education Ordinance). The scope of the extension depends on the individual doctoral student’s thesis.

The department is responsible for creating the conditions that allow a doctoral student to complete their studies. Doctoral student income funding is one of these conditions. Normally, funding is available through an SLU doctoral employment or through external employment (businesses, other universities, etc.) or scholarships. In cases where the Covid-19 measures result in a substantial study period extension, the head of department and principal supervisor must assess whether the planned funding can cover the extended period. If that is not the case, and if it is not possible to cover it in other ways – for example through discussions with funders and external employers – the department must cover any supplementary funding.

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