Supervision and supervision policy at SLU

Last changed: 07 June 2023

Both doctoral students and supervisors have rights and obligations, and it is important to know what these are as early as possible. This will make your journey towards a doctoral degree easier.

Doctoral education at SLU are regulated by laws, ordinancies and SLU´s own guidelines. A doctoral student is always admitted to specific doctoral education subject, with a general study plan. It is recommended that you read through the SLU guidelines for doctoral education and the general study plan for your subject, or for your doctoral student´s subject if you are a supervisor. Don't miss the related information in the links at the bottom of this page. 

The division of learning and digitalisation at SLU offers courses, seminars and work-shops for supervisors. 


Supervision and responsibilities

At least two supervisors are appointed for each doctoral student. One of them is nominated as the principal supervisor. Students are entitled to supervision during their studies, unless the Vice-Chancellor decides otherwise in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 6 Section 30. A  student may ask to change supervisor.

 The principal supervisor is responsible for the content and quality of the education. He/she should also make sure that the content of plans and reports is well in line with the subject tradtion, and the character of the thesis work.

The supervisor and doctoral student must arrive at a common understanding of the implications of the degree outcomes for them specifically, that is they must together formulate individual learning outcomes for the programme. Together, they should continuously discuss and follow up how the education is progressing and adjust the planning accordingly. This is documented in the indivual study plan.

The principal supervisor is responsible for determining whether the student has achieved the learning outcomes related to the degree, see chapter 5.4 in the SLU guidelines for doctoral education, and for ensuring that the thesis is of good quality according to the critera applied within the discipline.

Supervision policy at SLU

Supervisors at SLU should

  • guide the student in both practical and theoretical issues, and keep abreast of educational theoretical and practical advances;
  • strive to create favuorable conditions for scientific discussions between student and supervisor, and other members of faculty;
  • guide and encourage the student in terms of methodology, literature, publishing and networking;
  • have a professional approach in order to promote equality and all forms of non-discrimination;
  • not commit to more students than they can provide adequate supervision for;
  • be well informed about SLU's rules and policies for doctoral education.

The main supervisor is responsible for

  • the quality and of the research project, which constitute the base for the thesis work. The project should be of reasonable extent
  • that the doctoral student get adequate courses within the education
  • that follow ups of the education, including external pre-examination procedure, are conducted according to the guidelines
  • thesis defence and/or licentiate seminar is being prepared and conducted according to the guidelines
  • continuing his/her education for supervision and pedagogics with help of courses offered by for example SLU.