Doctoral education at MEB

Do you want to become a doctoral student at MEB? Find information and useful links below.

How do I become a doctoral student at MEB?

All positions for postgraduate education at KI are advertised on KI web.

Information for doctoral/third level students at MEB

Establishment of a doctoral position at MEB

The principal supervisor needs to establish a doctoral student position and get approved as principal supervisor for doctoral studies before a doctoral position can be announced.

Please follow step 1 Establishment of a doctoral position on KI’s homepage.

Hand in the following documents to the Education Officer:

  • Form: Establishment of a doctoral position
  • Green Light application
  • Research plan
  • CV of supervisors
  • Descriptions of the competence of each supervisor in relation to the research project
  • Description of the doctoral education environment
  • Financing plan with attachments. The financial plan should, for each academic semester, contain details of the type of financing, sum per month for each period, and source of financing (PI and project number).

Principal supervisor and financial plan will be evaluated according to the already established “Green light” process. The green light decision is made by the Study Director and the Head of department (prefekt). The financial plan is sent to the Economy Department and to the head of the administration for approval.

The doctoral board at MEB will evaluate:

Supervisor constellation (the name of at least one co-supervisor should be provided at this stage).

Advertisement of doctoral position

When the Establishment of the doctoral position has been approved by the head of the Department contact MEB Human resources unit for the advertisement.

All doctoral student positions at KI have to be advertised, except in cases when exceptions applies.

If the PhD position will not be advertised (i.e.: employment outside of KI, China Scholarships, positions where the student already has been selected in a competitive recruitment process): send name and e-mail address of the selected candidate to the Education Officer and she will send a link for the general eligibility for positions that are not advertised.

Eligibility assessment

To be selected for a doctoral position, the candidates must meet the formal entry requirement for eligibility to the doctoral education. When the applicants apply for a doctoral position in the Varbi system, they must submit documents for review of eligibility. The Education Support Office, the HR Unit and the Education Officer are involved in this process.

Recruitment/selection process

The selection process is where candidates are being evaluated (see Chapter 2.5 in Rules for Doctoral Education at KI

The supervisor suggests two faculty members for a selection group that will help in the process. The Study Director should approve the selection group. Whenever possible the Study Director is one of the two faculty members.

Potential candidate(s) is/are invited for a visit to meet the research group, an interview by skype or video conferences can also be organized. This visit is financed by the supervisor. During the visit, the candidates are interviewed and give an oral presentation and can be asked to perform additional tests used for evaluation (for instance to write a short report) by the selection group. If the candidate chosen is a person that already works at MEB this step is not needed.


When a candidate has been chosen and approved by the selection group, the supervisor needs to hand in the following documents to the Education Officer:

  • Form: Decision admission to doctoral education
  • Eligibility statement (this document can be obtained from HR or the Education Officer)
  • Description of the selection process and how ability and suitability has been assessed
  • CV of applicant
  • Certificate of supervision training and web course (the web course should not be older than 5 years

The Education Officer will hand in or send the documents to the Study Director for the evaluation decision and finally to the Head of the Department for the final decision. When the Head of the Department has signed the form of admission to the Doctoral Education, the PhD student is officially admitted as a PhD student at MEB.

If the supervisor’s intention is that the PhD student should start on another date than the date of the decision of admission this should be stated on the form: Decision: Admission to the doctoral education.

Individual study plan (ISP)

The individual study plan will be worked out after the registration.

Within one month from the start of studies a draft of the individual study plan (ISP) should be registered in the digital ISP-system. Information about the eISP-system and a user guide are found on KI's web page:

The main supervisor must create the study plan in the system and the PhD student and the supervisor writes the ISP together.

The PhD student should send an electronic copy of the ISP, the research plan and the ethical permits to the Education Officer by email at latest two weeks before the ISP seminar. The eISP should be sent to the Study Director in the ISP system after the ISP seminar since changes can be suggested by the evaluation committee.

For research in epidemiology a minimum of 30 university credits are required. At least 10 credits should be achieved before half-time.

In addition to the guidelines, the following courses must be listed under obligatory courses:

  • Epidemiology I (1.5 credits)
  • Epidemiology II (1.5 credits)
  • Epidemiology III (1,5 credits) or Causal Inference for Epidemiologists (1.5 credits)
  • Biostatistics I (3 credits)
  • Biostatistics II (1.5 credits)
  • Biostatistics III (1.5 credits)
  • Good Data Management practice (1 credit)
  • Courses in programming for statistical analysis, e.g Fundamentals of Stata Language or Introduction to R. Contact the Study Director for further information about courses that meet this requirement.

Requirements for 3 university credits in human biology or nosology

For doctoral students lacking basic higher education knowledge in medicine, it is compulsory to acquire knowledge regarding human biology or pathology (equivalent to 3 higher education credits). This includes knowledge within public health sciences and pathology from a sociological perspective. The Study Director at the department decides from case to case which course(s) can be accredited to meet these obligatory course requirements.

Compulsory courses in general

Information regarding compulsory courses for all doctoral students, see General syllabus:

 Note that students at MEB are supposed to take Biostatistics I-III where Biostatistics I is accepted as the core course basic statistic.

External Mentor

As a complement to the supervisor, an independent person shall be appointed to act as mentor to the doctoral student during the doctoral education . The mentor will be appointed following a proposal by the doctoral student, within a year of their admission.

Time plan

The individual study plan should include a time plan. Each of the major phases of each sub-project should be specified (e.g., data collection, data cleaning, lab work, analysis, manuscript drafting and revision). The plans for course work should also be specified. It is important that a detailed time plan is provided since the Study Director Judge whether the proposed research can be completed within the framework of a doctoral degree. This time plan will also form the basis for annual follow-ups during the course of the project.

Individual study plan Seminar (ISP Seminar)

An ISP-seminar is required according to the KI rules within three months of the commencement of studies. After consultation with the Study Director, the principal supervisor can choose two members for the Evaluation Board. Whenever possible, the Study Director will be one of the members of this board.

Contact the Education Officer to check on free times, assess the seminar and arrange the logistics of date, time and location. 
At the ISP seminar, the student should hold a presentation of the project and the planned doctoral studies. The student should prepare a 15 minute presentation and cover the following information:

  • A brief presentation of her/himself and background (including information on medical knowledge)
  • Background, hypotheses, research question and methodologies in the planned four years of studies to come
  • A timeline
  • A brief presentation of the supervisor and their expertise
  • A brief presentation of the courses and other credit bearing activities that the student plans to take part in
  • The main supervisor should be present at this meeting

After the meeting, the Evaluation Board may propose changes to the study plan and the PhD student and the main supervisor will change the plan accordingly and see that all mandatory attachments are uploaded in the ISP system.

The student and the main supervisor forward the ISP to the Study Director in the eISP system and he will establish the ISP document.

Data management

Almost all projects at MEB involve the collection and/or analysis of data, and need to adhere to the GDPR regulations for researchers. The MEB data management group has constructed policies to guide us in these endeavors (e.g., data standards, documentation, archiving, transferring). The policies are available on the MEB intranet (under working groups/Data management). All researchers (including doctoral students) at MEB are expected to be familiar with these policies and implement them in their research. Opportunity to attend internal courses in good data management will be given annually.

More information on the course webpage:

An online web lecture is available at:

From 2018 all newly accepted doctoral students, based at MEB, will be contacted by the DM group in the beginning of their studies to discuss data management and research documentation of their project.

After one year, you as a PhD student should have created a good structure for the documentation and your work will be controlled by the DM group annually until your defence.

How to apply for credit transfer

Credits for courses studied at KI while registered as a doctoral student are registered in Lado by the department responsible for the course. It is the students’ responsibility to apply for credit for other courses (form 13) and credit- bearing components (form 16).

The completed form should be submitted to the Education Officer together with appropriate supporting documentation.

For KI courses completed prior to registration as a doctoral student, the course certificate is the only required supporting documentation. For other courses, the supporting documentation should include evidence that the course has been completed (e.g., a transcript or course certificate) along with details of the course content and duration.

Here you find information of specific interest to doctoral/third level students at MEB and link to all forms for application and credit transfer.

Credit-bearing components


1.5 university credits are awarded for each 40 “working hours” (the combination of time spent preparing and teaching). The application for credit must be accompanied by a written statement from the course director (an e-mail is acceptable) specifying the number of face-to-face teaching hours as lecturer and/or teaching assistant. MEB applies the general guideline that one face-to-face lecture hour is equivalent to ten working hours and one face-to-face hour as a teaching assistant is equivalent to three working hours. Minimum 1, 5 university credits, maximum 4, 5 university credits for this element.

All MEB doctoral students are expected to contribute to MEB’s teaching activities if requested by the Study Director. The amount of teaching expected is equivalent to acting as teaching assistant for at least 1 week during the course of the studies. The teaching duties will be coordinated with the student and supervisor; nobody will be forced to teach at a time that is inappropriate for them. Students with a desire to act as teaching assistant for a specific course should contact the course director or Study Director.

Journal Club/Student workshops

Student workshops are arranged by the doctoral students. All students are requested to present at a workshop. Students attending 5 workshops and presenting at least on one occasion are entitled to 1.5 credits. To get credits the student has to fill in form 16, attach a certificate from the seminar coordinator or from the main supervisor attesting the attendance and the presentation and hand in to the Education Officer. 

Attending seminars

Students are expected to attend department seminars. According to the KI rules, credits may be obtained for “participation in the department’s seminar series, journal clubs, etc.” MEB students receive credits for active participation that is, presenting a seminar at a journal club/student workshop (see above) or being on the examination committee at a pre- dissertation seminar. MEB students can also receive credits for attending research seminars and workshops according to KI:s general rules (read on form 16) but they are strongly recommended to present at least on one occasion. 

Fill in the form 16 and attach a certificate from the Seminar Coordinator or from your main supervisor send the documents to the Education Officer.

Mock examination committee at pre-dissertation seminar

It is common practice at MEB for doctoral students to present a “pre-dissertation seminar” shortly before the thesis defense. The student presents his/her research and is questioned by fellow students in a mock examination. The students on the “examination committee” are expected to study the thesis in advance. Participants in the “examination committee” are awarded 0.5 university credits per occasion. You can get maximum 1.5 university credits for this element.

Visit to another university to learn/study new methods

Doctoral students may obtain credits for visiting other universities to learn/study methods that are not available at KI. 1.5 university credits are awarded for each week. Such visits should be relevant for the education and planned in conjunction with the supervisor (who is also responsible for financing the visit). Visits to institutions responsible for relevant epidemiological databases (e.g. The National Board of Health and Welfare, SCB) are also appropriate. The method should be applied, or the data used, as part of a research project. The application for credit should be accompanied by a report detailing the purpose and result of the visit (Maximum 6 university credits for this element).

Active participation in international conferences

All doctoral students are expected to participate in international conferences relevant to their research project. Students are required to make at least one personal presentation at an international conference. “International” refers to the focus of the conference, not the location. That is, a conference held in Stockholm may be international. 1.5 university credits are awarded for each conference where a presentation (either oral or poster) is made. The application for credit should be accompanied by an abstract and/or conference program. A minimum of 1.5 university credits, maximum 3 university credits for this element.

Half-time review

The half-time review shall be carried out for every doctoral student who will be taking a doctorate and should be carried out two years after admission or when two years of full- time doctoral education or the equivalent has been completed. If the half-time is not planned at this point, a meeting with the student, the supervisor and the Study Director will be needed.

The aim of the half-time review is primarily to check that learning outcomes for the doctoral education are well on the way to being achieved. The knowledge in the subject of research and knowledge specific to the project shall be presented orally at an open seminar for a specifically appointed board.

The compulsory doctoral introductory course as well as statistics and ethics course must be done before the half-time review. At least one annual review of the research study plan must have been completed between registration and halftime control.

For the practical organisation, contact the Education Officer for booking the seminar room and for the advertisement on KI’s homepage.

Half-time summary

Before the half-time review, the doctoral student should compile a half-time report (use the KI template) consisting of:

  • a literature review of the research field (normally about 8 pages excl. references)
  • a progress report of (2-4 pages)
  • the research project
  • the learning process in relation to the individual learning outcomes
  • a plan for the remaining doctoral education (1-2 pages)
  • reflections on ethical considerations in the project
  • The doctoral student and his/her supervisor must have  a discussion regarding scientific writing and run the literature review through the anti- plagiarism tool iThenticate before form 5 is signed by the Study Director.

Documents to the board

The doctoral student notifies the department of an up-coming half-time review by filling in the form 5 half-time review notification and report. The doctoral student and the supervisor fill in part 1 and give/send the form to the Education Officer at the department. A Ladok transcript should be attached. The Study Director appoints the half-time committee by signing the form.

The supervisors and the doctoral student ensure that the half-time board receives the documents in time, at latest 2 weeks before the seminar. These documents consist of:

  • The half-time report, written in the template
  • Copy of the individual study plan
  • The research plan
  • A Ladok transcript to see completed courses
  • Copy of ethical permits (the decisions, not the application)
  • Completed publications and manuscripts planned for inclusion in the thesis, if any
  • The document:  Information to the half-time committee
  • Copy of form 5, Half-time review notification and notification, part 1 completed

Instructions for the board of half-time review and the form 5 should also be sent to the members of the board.

They can be found at:

Here you also find information on the seminar setup.

You should also send an email to the Education Officer with information about the location or zoom link and the title of the half time seminar so that she can announce the half time seminar internally at MEB.

Fill in the Electronic individual study (eISP)

  1.  The principal supervisor creates a new version of the ISP by clicking on Study plans - Revise.
  2.  The doctoral student updates the following information:  
    • Update status for each sub-study (section 6)
    • Delete the planned courses when they are completed (section 4)
    • Update with completed learning educational activities (section 4)
    • If a mentor has been appointed: Update information (section 5)
    • Update with completed activities for each degree outcome (section 10)
  3. Doctoral student and principal supervisor approve the new ISP version without sending it further  (as a pdf). 

The half-time Seminar. The time frame is about 1.5 hour-2 hours. After the half time Seminar the committee has separate meetings with the PhD student and with the supervisor. The committee fills out the form 5 part 2 (it can be signed with Edu Sign or ink signature or signed and scanned).

After the half-time seminar, the student should update the date of the half-time seminar and upload the following documents before the doctoral student approves the ISP and it goes to the Study Director for establishment:

  • Half-time summary
  • Copy of the half-time protocol (form 5) signed by the Committee and by the Study Director
  • Copy of decision in case of change of supervisor (form 15)
  • If applicable, new ethical approvals, updated research plan and/or financial plan
  • Published manuscripts

The completed and signed protocol is handed in to the Education Officer for report and is the basis for the registration in Ladok.

The Defence

For the process of Defence contact the Education Officer Alessandra Nanni. She will give you a check list and help you with every step until the Defence Seminar. Read also carefully the information on KI:s homepage.


People involved with doctoral education at MEB

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Paul Lichtenstein

Director of postgraduate studies
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Mark Clements

Deputy Director of postgraduate studies
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Fredrik Wiklund

Deputy Director of postgraduate studies
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Alessandra Nanni

Education Officer
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Gunilla Nilsson Roos

Educational Administrator

Administrator for the head of department: Gunilla Sonnebring

Content reviewer: