Information for doctoral students and supervisors

Last changed: 19 July 2019
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This doctoral education portal lists links to webpages with information for doctoral students, supervisors or other staff working with doctoral education at SLU.

You can also find general information about doctoral education at SLU at the staff web.

Guidelines and objectives

Doctoral education at SLU is regulated by Swedish law, and also by guidelines decided by the SLU Vice-Chancellor. Here you will find guidelines, degree outcomes, and forms. 

Admission of a new doctoral student

Information about announcement and admission of doctoral students. All admissions, including those not advertised, must be preceded by the same application process. 

Introduction of new doctoral student

Template for doctoral student registration of actual period of study

With the help of an  SLU-approved template  the doctoral student continually registers the type and extent of activities not included in the program but conducted in parallel with the doctoral program. Download a copy of the template and enter editing mode.

Recommended procedure for calculating the actual period of study
  1. Activities included in doctoral courses and programmes are stated in the ISP.
  2. The doctoral student enters, with the help of an SLU-approved template (only available in Swedish) (see appendix), the type and extent of activities performed that are not included in their studies but which are carried out in parallel with these.
  3. The doctoral education administrator at the department or equivalent provides the principal supervisor with instructions, Ladok excerpts and the Ladok report form in ample time before every six-month Ladok report.
  4. The principal supervisor and doctoral student review how much time has been spent on their courses and programmes during the past six months. This is done by reviewing the doctoral student's personal records and other relevant information regarding sick leave, etc. When they have reached a consensus, they both sign the Ladok report.
  5. The head of department reviews and approves the Ladok report for registration. If the principal supervisor and the doctoral student do not reach a consensus, the head of department decides on the actual period of study in their place.
  6. An authorised Ladok administrator registers the Ladok report.

Thesis/Public defence



After the degree

Advice and support

Information from the faculties

Rights and obligations

At least two supervisors must be appointed for each doctoral student, and one of them should be appointed principal supervisor. Doctoral students are entitled to supervision during their studies, unless the Vice-Chancellor decides otherwise by virtue of the Higher Education Ordinance. A doctoral student may request to change supervisor.

The faculty board decides on any change of supervisor. Applications can be made either by an individual student, or by a student and his/her supervisor together.

Doctoral students should

  • actively and independently pursue their studies, both experimental and theoretical parts, and document the research results so that a thesis can be presented and defended after 4 or 2 years net study respectively;
  • continuously inform supervisors of educational, scientific and practical developments and propose changes and adaptations motivated by how the thesis project is progressing;
  • after consultation with the supervisor, take part in PhD courses;
  • be well informed about SLU's rules and policies for doctoral education.

Supervision - education and qualification

Supervision 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 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 he/she 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.


Qualification demands and education for supervisors

Education collaboration

Legal questions

  • Advice and support for contract management, guidelines on scientific misconduct etc:  Legal affairs
  • Free assistance with questions related to cooperation with industry, patents, contracts, business law and financing:  SLU Holding 

Ethical questions

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