The admission process for a new doctoral position at LIME
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 new doctoral position and 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 studies 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 at LIME and receive a green light for becoming a principal supervisor, the planned principal supervisor is to follow the steps listed below.
The application constist of a number of documents (listed further down) - how many and what documents depends of the nature of financing for your future doctoral student. E-mail the appropriate documents as three pdfs to administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) in below order:
Pdf one: paragraphs 1, 2 and 8
Pdf two: paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 OR 10
Pdf three: Checklist for establishment of a doctoral position at LIME
Signatures can be done using EduSign or scanned originals.
The form Checklist for establishment of a doctoral position at LIME (updated February 2023) is to be filled out and signed by applying principal supervisor.
- Form Establishment of a doctoral position (Updated September 2021).
- Form Application for green light(Updated March 2021).
- Research plan (5-7 pages). Read more about how to structure the research plan at LIME here: Instructions for writing research plans at LIME (Updated September 2022).
- 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 (Updated October 2020).
- 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 (Updated December 2020). To be signed by those at Karolinska Institutet responsible for financing the doctoral student or, if there is an other employer than KI, signed by head of organisation, head of clinic or equivalent.
- If the planned doctoral student already 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 the Legal Office at KI by e-mail: email@example.com. They will provide you with a correct template.
b) If the planned doctoral student has own funding outside LIME – attach his/her CV.
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). It is mandatory that the presumptive principal supervisor also attends the meeting, and if possible also the co-supervisor(s). The presentation and discussion are to be held in English. There is a maximum of two presenters / planned doctoral students per meeting.
All applications for establishment of a new doctoral position will be reviewed at one of the scheduled meetings with the Board for Doctoral education at LIME.
Dates for Board meetings autumn 2023 are:
A complete application, with all necessary attachments (don´t forget signatures), are to be submitted three weeks (see how, above) in advance of upcoming board meeting. Note - we have a maximum of TWO applications for externally funded planned doctoral students to present at each meeting. First come, first served.
A separate application for green light is to be done when:
- You are to become a new principal supervisor for an earlier accepted doctoral student (change of supervisor constellation)
A supervisor who wishes to become a new principal supervisor for a an earlier accepted doctoral student at LIME is to send in, by e-mail, to firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Form application for green light
- Form LIME Financing plan
- Fill out, and sign, template letter concerning financial support
- Certificate of supervisor training and web course (web course not older than five years)
- Form change of supervisor group
Read more on our page regarding "Supervision" at LIME.
- You are applying for green light for application for KID funds or likewise
A supervisor who wants to apply for funding from KID or likewise and needs a green light for this application is to send in, by e-mail, to email@example.com:
- Form application for green light. Make sure to write in the designated box ("Comments and other relevant information") about your previous experience of supervising doctoral students (if any), and how you plan to provide good supervision for a future doctoral student
- Certificate of supervisor training and web course (web course not older than five years)
- CV, max 2-3 pages
Step 2. Advertisement, recruitment and assessment of general eligibility
After approval of establishment of a new doctoral position together with 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com 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 studies.
Submit the form Admission decision (updated Sept 2022), together with mandatory attachments listed below (also listed on the form) by e-mail to Administrative officer Ingrid Smedberg: firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Eligibility statement
- Description of the selection process and how ability and suitability has been assessed
- Certificate of supervisor training (principal supervisor)
- CV of applicant
- Documents proving participation in collaboration programme with double degree, if any
- Revised financing plan (only if the situation has changed since the financial plan was approved at the time of establishment of the doctoral position)
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 Individual Study Plan (ISP)
The digital Individual Study Plan (ISP) was launched at KI February 1st 2021. All doctoral students admitted from February 2021 are to use the ISP-system for their new Individual Study Plan. The Individual Study Plan (ISP) is written by the doctoral student together and in agreement with his/her supervisors.
The principal supervisor will get ISP-access from the administrative officer for doctoral education after the doctoral student is admitted and registered in Ladok. The doctoral student is granted access automatically after the admission is registered in Ladok and the KI-ID is activated. The administrative officer for doctoral education will also give ISP-access to all co-supervisors.
It is only a principal supervisor who can create a new ISP. As soon as the principal supervisor clicks Save the doctoral student can access the ISP in the system. The doctoral student and the principal supervisors must approve each others edits in the ISP-system in order to able to send the ISP forward to the Study Director.
Please learn more about the ISP-system on this educational KI page (leaving LIME page):
Teaching is mandatory part of the research education at LIME for doctoral students admitted October 1st 2020 and later
As of October 1st 2020 all newly admitted doctoral students at the department of LIME is to plan for 1,5 credits for teaching activities in their individual study plans (1,5 credits is equivalent to 40 working hours including preparation). This makes LIME one of the first departments at KI to include teaching as a mandatory part of the research education. Teaching is to be carried out within the doctoral students "own research field for practical pedagogical training", which can include teaching about e.g. scientific methods and problems of philosophy of science. Teaching activities can for example consist of lecturing in a classroom environment, or supervising students' project works at undergraduate levels. It can be performed at LIME or at other departments at other universities. Of course, also doctoral students at LIME registered before 1 October 2020 are encouraged to participate in teaching activities as part of their development within the academy. For more information see the document below (in Swedish) or contact the director of doctoral studies at LIME, Per Palmgren.
The ISP process
- Construction of the ISP in the ISP-system is to begin the moment doctoral studies starts (the doctoral student is admitted and registered in Ladok).
- The doctoral student and supervisor are to submit a proposed ISP within ONE month after starting doctoral studies. Note that start of studies can differ from date for admission and that research and financing plan have already been prepared, see earlier steps 1 and 3.
- Contact director of doctoral studies at LIME, Per Palmgren, at least two weeks before the planned ISP seminar: email@example.com
- Contact webmaster at LIME for publishing this event on the LIME web calendar: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Principal supervisor is to send an invitation by email to all email@example.com and 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).
- The ISP seminar takes place (read more about how to arrange an ISP seminar at LIME below)
- The director of doctoral studies or a member representing the Board for doctoral education at LIME attending the ISP seminar, is responsible for completing and archiving the LIME ISP seminar protocol.
- The director of doctoral studies 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.
- The seminar can either be online only or a hybrid version (campus plus digital solution to participate), doctoral student and supervisor decides. Maximum one hour long seminar.
- Participation is mandatory for principal supervisor. Co-supervisors are expected to participate but it is not mandatory.
- Principal supervisor, together with the doctoral student, leads the meeting, and the main focus is on the research plan, courses and the time plan for the doctoral project. Time plan detailing data collection, data analysis, manuscript writing for all sub-studies, and courses. It may also be a good idea to clarify what parts of the research the doctoral student will perform and what parts of the research that will be done by others and what have already been done.
- The director of doctoral studies or a member representing the Board for doctoral education at LIME will attend the ISP seminar (and fill out the LIME ISP seminar protocol).