The admission process for a new doctoral position at LIME
On 1 July 2018, KI introduced new admission regulations for doctoral education.
Under these regulations and in order to ensure the university's ability to provide high qualitative doctoral education, the admission process for a new doctoral position at the department of LIME consists of four consecutive steps:
- Establishment of a doctoral position including green light for principal supervisor
- Advertisement and recruitment for a doctoral position
- Admission decision
- Individual study plan (ISP) and ISP-seminar
The admission process begins with the establishment of a doctoral position (step 1), to which a prospective student is then recruited (step 2). The process ends with the head of department's decision to accept the candidate into doctoral education (step 3), upon which an individual study plan is adopted (step 4). '
From Rules for doctoral education at Karolinska Institutet, Dnr 1-8/2020, paragraph 2.5: Admission towards a licentiate degree: "Doctoral students shall, as a rule, be admitted with a doctoral degree as their goal. Only those who are professionally active and who would like to complement or deepen their knowledge in a field of research and only wish to take a licentiate degree may be accepted with a licentiate degree as their goal."
Step 1: Establishment of a doctoral position including Green light for principal supervisor
A presumptive doctoral student can only be admitted to doctoral education at KI on the premises that the principal supervisor can present an approved form “Establishment of a doctoral position”, including an approved form “Application for green light”. The decision is made by the head of department together with the director of doctoral education and the head of administration at the department of LIME. The Board for Doctoral Education at LIME will assess that the scientific project is viable and suitable as a doctoral project.
A presumptive principal supervisor must apply for an “Establishment of a doctoral position” even if the doctoral student is recruited in other ways than through advertising, for example when the intended doctoral student is employed by SLL (Stockholm county council). The decision for an approved establishment (together with the green light) is only valid for a specific doctoral project. One application is needed for each new doctoral position.
To apply for establishment for a new doctoral position and receive a green light for becoming a principal supervisor, the planned principal supervisor is to follow the steps listed below.
Checklist, forms and attachments under paragraphs 1-8 are to be handed in on printed single-sided paper (NO STAPLES), together with either paragraph 9 or 10 to administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg, post box on floor 4, LIME. For a faster handling always hand in a fully filled out application together with all the applicable necessary mandatory attachments (don’t forget signatures). Regarding how to hand in the application during the coronavirus pandemic - contact administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Form Checklist for establishment of a doctoral position at LIME (Updated December 2019) is to be filled out and signed by applying planned principal supervisor, and also signed by each co-supervisor.
- Form Establishment of a doctoral position (Updated August 2019)
- Form Application for green light (Updated March 2019)
- Research plan (5 pages). Read more about how to structure the research plan at LIME here: Instructions for writing research plans at LIME
- Description of the competence of each supervisor in relation to the research project and a description of the doctoral education environment. Read more here: Instructions for writing descriptions of supervisor competence and doctoral education environment (NOTE! Updated instructions - Sept 2019)
- Planned supervisors’ CVs (maximum two pages each)
- If applicable, document verifying the reason for exemption from advertising
- Certificate of supervisor training and web course (web course not older than five years)
- Form Financing plan for a doctoral student at the Dept of LIME (Updated June 2019). To be signed by research group leader or similar, principal supervisor and if applicable, funding organization
- If the planned doctoral student is employed at LIME, or there is a planned employment at LIME – fill out ‘Letter concerning financial support’. This document is to be signed by research group leader/similar/person authorized to sign. Template: Letter concerning financial support for a doctoral student already, or to be, emplyoed at the Dept of LIME
- a) If the planned doctoral student will pursue a doctoral education within an employment outside KI (externally employed doctoral students), please contact email@example.com. They will provide you with a template from the Legal Office at Karolinska Institutet.
b) If the planned doctoral student has own funding outside LIME – attach his/her CV
The proposed research plan (one of the attachments listed above) will be reviewed at one of the scheduled meetings with the Board for Doctoral education at LIME. Scheduled meetings for autumn 2020 is:
A complete application, with all necessary attachments and signatures, are to be submitted three weeks in advance of upcoming board meeting.
Regarding how to hand in the application during the coronavirus pandemic - contact administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If exemption from the requirement to advertise is boxed in the application for establishment of a doctoral position, the planned doctoral student is to participate in one of the scheduled meetings of the Board for Doctoral education at LIME. At this meeting the planned doctoral student is to present him/herself and a research project for instance the student’s master thesis or the research plan for the doctoral project (10 minutes); and then discuss the research project with the board (10-15 minutes). Supervisor(s) for the planned doctoral student can participate. Note that the presentation and discussion are to be held in English. There is a maximum of three presenters / planned doctoral students per meeting.
A green light is also needed if you want to become a new principal supervisor for an earlier accepted doctoral student at the department. A supervisor who wishes to become a new principal supervisor for a an earlier accepted doctoral student at LIME is to hand in form Application for green light (paragraph 3 below) together with attachments under paragraphs 8 and 9. Read more on our page regarding "Supervision".
Step 2. Advertisement, recruitment and assessment of general eligibility
After approval of establishment of a new doctoral position and an approved green light for principal supervisor there are two different processes that follow in step 2, depending on whether the doctoral student will be recruited by advertising or if there is an exemption from advertising.
If the planned doctoral student is to be recruited through advertisement
- Contact HR and create an advertisement
To advertise the doctoral position, send an email to email@example.com with a copy of the approved establishment decision, with your research group leader as 'CC' (copy) in the email. After your first contact with HR, they will provide you with support during the whole recruitment process. The next step is to create an advertisement for the position. HR will provide you with templates.
- Evaluate the applications and general eligibility assessments
After last application day for the doctoral position, the supervisor evaluates and chooses four or less applicants and flags the chosen applicants in KIs recruitment system Varbi. The general eligibility assessment is carried out by the University Administration (UF) with the assistance of HR. HR will be notified when the assessment is done and the status of the applicants will be “eligible” or “not eligible” in Varbi.
- Interview eligible candidates
After the eligibility assessment, the recruiting supervisor contacts the eligible candidates for an interview. HR will participate as support during the interviews. As final step; contact two references of the best candidate.
- Write a justification for the selected candidate
Write a justification of the choice of candidate. The justification should be signed by you, the main supervisor, as well as the research group leader. Send the signed original to HR. You will also need to attach a copy of this justification to the application for admission form, in the next step of the process. When the main supervisor has selected a candidate for the doctoral position, a notification is sent to the University Administration officers. An 'eligibility statement' will be available for the selected candidate in Varbi that needs to be attached to the form for the admission decision. After admission, a decision is also taken on employment for those doctoral positions that has been advertised.
Remember that you can contact HR for any additional support during all steps of the process.
If exemption from the requirement to advertise is approved
- Contact doctoral education administration
The principal supervisor or the planned doctoral student contacts the administrative officer for doctoral education at LIME regarding assessment of general eligibility for the planned doctoral student: firstname.lastname@example.org For planned doctoral students outside Sweden, this must be done before arrival. The application of eligibility is handled by the University Administration who will contact the planned doctoral student with further instructions on how to upload the relevant documents in the recruitment system Varbi for the purposes of eligibility assessment. If a planned doctoral student is considered eligible, an eligibility statement is sent to him/her and the supervisor. This statement is then to be printed out and appended to the admission decision application.
- The planned doctoral student is to have participated in one of the scheduled meetings of the Board for Doctoral education at LIME. Read more about that above (Step 1).
Read more about entry requirements (eligibility) for doctoral education on KI central pages.
Step 3. Admission decision
The admission decision for a doctoral position is made by the head of the Department, based on the recommendation of the director of doctoral education.
Submit the form “Admission decision”, together with mandatory attachments listed below (also listed on the form), printed on single-sided paper to administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg, who will forward the documents to the director of doctoral education and the head of the department. Post box on floor 4, LIME.
Regarding how to hand in the application during the coronavirus pandemic - contact administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg by email (email@example.com).
Form Admission decision, with attachments:
- Eligibility statement
- Description of the selection process and how ability and suitability has been assessed
- CV of applicant
- Certificate of supervisor training (principal supervisor)
- Financing plan (updated August 2019) with attachments if any. Note, only use this specific financing plan form for admission application
- Documents proving participation in collaboration programme with double degree, if any
Note that the date of decision is not necessarily the date when the studies start, for example if the student has not arrived to Sweden when the decision is made. After admission, a decision is also taken on employment for those doctoral positions that has been advertised. Within one month of the start of the studies (which can differ from date for admission), the supervisor and doctoral student must submit a proposed individual study plan. Read more under Step 4 below.
Step 4. Individual study plan (ISP) and ISP-seminar
The Higher Education Ordinance (chap. 6, section 29) requires that an individual study plan (ISP) shall be drawn up for each doctoral student. The ISP describes the scientific project, the courses and other learning activities planned, and how the student, within the research field in question and on the basis of the specific project, is to attain the intended learning outcomes of doctoral education.
The ISP process
- Construction of the ISP is to begin the moment doctoral studies start. The doctoral student and supervisor are to submit a proposed ISP within ONE month after starting doctoral studies to the administrative officer, Ingrid Smedberg. Note that start of studies can differ from date for admission. Remember that the research and financing plans have already been prepared, see steps 1 and 3. Use one of the below forms.
Form 3.1: Individual study plan - degree of doctor (revised 2019-08-15) English version
Form 3.1: Individual study plan - degree of doctor (revised 2019-08-15) Swedish version
Form 3.2: Individual study plan - degree of licentiate (revised 2019-08-15) English version
Form 3.2: Individual study plan - degree of licentiate (revised 2019-08-15) Swedish version
Instruction to form 3 English version
Instruction to form 3 Swedish version
- The director of doctoral education makes sure that it is correctly completed and thorough.
- The ISP seminar (read more about how to arrange an ISP seminar at LIME below)
- The director of doctoral education approves the ISP after the ISP seminar
All doctoral students must have their ISP approved and adopted within three months of the commencement of studies.
How to arrange the ISP seminar at LIME
The ISP seminar is to serve as an introductory seminar and to welcome the new doctoral student, as well as to provide the doctoral student with an opportunity to present the research project from his/her perspective and to obtain feedback on it.
- The seminar is to be held in English and is to be advertised (see point 2 below) publicly
- Participation is mandatory for principal supervisor, co-supervisors are expected to participate but it is not mandatory
- Maximum one hour long seminar
- Principal supervisor, together with the doctoral student, leads the meeting
- The main focus is on courses and the research plan
- A member from the Board for doctoral education at LIME will participate at the ISP seminar.
The Board member fills out and signs a protocol that afterwards is handed in to director of doctoral education, before the ISP is approved. All doctoral students must have their ISP approved and adopted within three months of the commencement of studies.
- Contact director of doctoral education at LIME, Tomas Månsson, at least two weeks before the planned ISP seminar: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact webmaster at LIME for publishing this event on the LIME web calendar: email@example.com
- Principal supervisor is to send an invitation by email to all firstname.lastname@example.org with information about what it is (ISP seminar, name of project), when it is (date and time), where it is (room and floor) and who will be there (doctoral student's name, supervisors' names)