Select and admit to doctoral courses

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If there are more applicants than openings, a selection process is required. This process must be transparent to applicants and be based on their qualifications and the relevance of the course to their research projects.

General selection criteria

The following priorities* generally apply for all KI financed doctoral courses that are announced in the course catalogue (these criteria are not to be specified in the catalogue):

1. Doctoral students at KI

Doctoral students in KI collaboration programmes are equated with doctoral students at KI. See links to the universities that participate in KI’s collaboration programmes.

2. Post docs at KI*

3. Doctoral students from other universities and higher education institutions (in Sweden and abroad)

4. Other applicants

* New selection criterion from VT14

Specific selection criteria

The course provider enters the specific selection criteria for each course occasion (in KIWAS), that then will be published in the catalogue.

The first selection criterion for most general science courses is the date of admission to doctoral education. The reason is that the doctoral student should take an examination in these courses as early as possible during their doctoral education.

If the doctoral student would benefit more from the course at a later point, the selection criteria in the course occasion must so specify.

Examples of selection criteria

Here are some examples of how selection criteria, specific to the individual course, can be formulated:

  • The selection is based on the written motivation of the applicants as to why they want to take the course.
  • The primary criteria are 1) the usefulness of the course for the doctoral student’s research project, and 2) the written motivation submitted with the application.
  • Doctoral students in the field of xxxxxxx are given priority in the admission process. Selection is based on 1) the applicant’s written motivation 2) the date of admission to doctoral education.
  • Selection of course participants is based on the relevance of the syllabus to the doctoral projects of the applicants. If necessary, additional selection is based on the date of admission to doctoral education.


Admission is done at the department of each course, primarily by using the function for admission in KIWAS. Applicants that have been added after the end of the application period in KIWAS can be admitted by sending admission offers manually using e-mail. 

From autumn semester 2015, it is mandatory to use a reply form (also called supervisor certificate) that the applicant and his/her supervisor must sign and return to accept an admission offer (this also applies to KI post docs who by this prove their status as KI post docs). In KIWAS admissions module this is built in. For manual admissions, download the form provided.

To make the selection for admission

In the selection process applicants are grouped together on the basis of the general selection criteria (see above). Within each group a ranking is made based on the specific selection criteria specified in the course catalogue (course occasion). When admission has been made in the first selection group (KI doctoral students and those equated) and there still are vacancies, one can move on to the next selection group (KI post docs), and so on.

To consider:

Drawing lots is not permitted. It must be possible to rank the applicants.

Admission may never be based on the order that the applications were received. Selection is performed after expiration of the application period.

A general piece of advice is to try to admit a few extra applicants in order to ensure that the course can start and obtain funding. If there are not enough participants, you should consider cancelling the course.

In KIWAS under Help in the left hand menu you will lfind a quick reference guide that describes each step more in detail.

Handling late dropouts

The department that provides the course is entitled to charge the supervisor a fee if a KI doctoral student or postdoc first accepts an admittance offer and then drops out too close to the course start or during the course (such that the course organizer's planning is made more difficult). Illness, sick children etc. are acceptable reasons for absence. 
The department determines the size of the fee, but the recommended guideline of the Course and programme committee is SEK 3,000 if an applicant drops out 30 days or less before the course start or during the course (this applies to both theoretical and laboratory courses). (The time limit 30 days used to apply to only laboratory courses, but starting from spring 2016 it also applies to theoretical courses).

The prerequisite to charge a fee in case of late dropout is that the doctoral student in advance has been informed about the deadline for cancellation and which amount will be charged after that date. Information about timeframes for cancellations and the opportunity for the department to bill for late cancellations are available on the reply form. The course director should, however, in connection with admission specify the dates and amounts applicable for this course. (If KIWAS is being used for admission a free text field in the admission email is available).

The Course and programme committe has decided (2016-05-31) that late dropouts with an acceptable reason should not affect the course organizer economicaly in the way that it leads to reduction of granted funding. Thus, dropouts and reason should be indicated in the participant list for requistion of funding (from the committee or the doctoral programmes) so that these are clearly shown. 


Administrative officer

Anna Gustafsson

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 860 18

Chair of the Course and programme committee

Lennart Nilsson

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 810 99

Vice chair of the Course and programme committee

Lena Von Koch


Coordinator of doctoral education

Ingeborg van der Ploeg

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 867 00


CourseDoctoral educationDoctoral programmes