Doctoral education

Detailed information is found at the KI central web site. Link: Doctoral education

Want to become a PhD student?

Information on how to become a doctoral student at KI: Link: want to study at doctoral level at karolinska institutet

Rules and regulations for doctoral education

Research level education is governed by the Higher Education Act and Regulation. These are supplemented by local rules at KI. Link to up-to-date Rules for Doctoral education:

Admission to doctoral education

The process of admitting doctoral students is described at the central KI website


Step 1

A prospective principal supervisor applies to establish a doctoral position.

The form ”Establishment of doctoral position” is found at:

At the Department of Medicine, Solna, we have four occasions per semester with the final submission date for the application.
The application is assessed by the director of studies and the administrator of doctoral education, by the department's research education committee, as well as by the head of administration and finance director. Supervision and doctoral education environment is assessed according to KI's rules for doctoral education.

Application attachments:

1. Research plan (about 5 pages)
a. Including a description of alternative ways to achieve the goals if the plan is unsuccessful.
2. Green-light application (”Grönt-ljusansökan” – If not previously approved for the present doctoral position.)
3. Certificate of completed supervisor training and / or up-to-date web course.
The form ”Application for green-light” at:
4. CVs of all the supervisors (max 2 pages per supervisor)
5. Description of the supervisors’ knowledge and skills in relation to the research plan
a. Do the supervisors have the opportunity to assist with good and professional supervision?
b. Can suggested co-supervisors contribute with relevant complementary expertise?
c. What previous experience of supervision has the supervisor group?
d. How do you intend to organize the supervision in the proposed doctoral project (how does the supervisor's different skills benefit the project)?
6. Description of the research education environment
a. What are the supervisors' presence in the group (full or part-time, workplace, etc.)?
b. How many doctoral students are currently being supervised?
c. Which are the opportunities for contacts with other PhD students and researchers, for example through networking, seminars, etc.?
d. Is there support for the PhD student's studies, for example in the form of postdocs, statisticians, biomedical analysts and other researchers?
e. What opportunities are there for international exchanges / contacts?
7. Financing plan
Use the form ”Financing Plan” at:

We will need 3-4 weeks from the application deadline to assess the applications.

Step 2


All doctoral positions at KI must be advertised. Exceptions from the required advertisement may be allowed when:
1. the doctoral student is to complete the education within the framework of employment by an employer other than the higher education institution. (SLL, Industry)
2. the doctoral student has begun the studies at another higher education institution
3. if there are similar special grounds, i.e. positions in which the doctoral student already has been selected in a competitive recruitment process.

The department has a responsibility to ensure the suitability and ability of the doctoral candidate - even when there is an exception from the required advertisement.

Further information on doctoral candidate recruitment can be found at the KI web site. Link:

When recruiting, contact the department’s administrator of doctoral education, Lillemor Melander.

Assessment of eligibility for doctoral education

Information on eligibility requirements can be found on the KI web site. Link:

The assessment of eligibility procedure differs depending on recruitment process. For further information, please visit the KI web site at:

Step 3

Admission decision

At the decision on admission the form ”Desicion: Admission to doctoral education” is used. Link:
Attach an Eligibility statement from the University Administration, and the Doctoral Student’s CV. If the form ”Financing Plan”, and certificates on supervisor training have been included earlier in the admission process (Step 1), they do not have to attached again.

A description of the processes of selection and ability/suitability assessment may be required by the department.

The following decisions are made:

1. The decision to admit the applicant to research level education, from the conditions outlined in Step 1 and 2 above.
2. The decision to appoint supervisors.
3. Approval of the Financing Plan including a confirmation that the department has the ultimate responsibility for the doctoral student during the planned study time.

The Head of the department decides on admission to doctoral education at the recommendation of the department’s director of studies. Decisions are made on a continuous basis when a candidate is selected and the recruitment terminated, without any waiting period. Note that the date of the decision may differ from the date of study start (e.g. if the candidate has not yet arrived in Sweden).

After admission, a decision on employment may also be taken. For more information on employment and supply of Doctoral students see link:

Step 4

Individual Study Plan (ISP)

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 remains as a roadmap for the doctoral student and his/her supervisors. A thoroughly worked-out ISP makes expectations clear and provides a solid ground for quality supervision.


1. Start working on the ISP immediately after start of the studies. (Note that the Research Plan, Financing Plan, and supervisor description may just be inserted from the documents in Step 1 and 3.)
2. At the latest one month from the start of studies, the doctoral student and principal supervisor hand in an ISP suggestion.
3. The Director of studies ensures that the ISP is properly filled in and completed.
4. ISP-seminar (see below)
5. The Director of studies approves the Individual Study Plan. All doctoral students shall have an approved ISP three months after study start, at the latest.



• To serve as an introductory seminar and to welcome the new student.
• To provide the student with an opportunity to present the research project from his/her perspective and to obtain feedback on it.
• To be a learning activity for the student (note that the seminar is to be held in English).
• To help the department ensure that all doctoral students have an ISP.

The ISP seminar should be held as an open seminar within the research department’s regular seminar activities, or as an open additional seminar. Seminar invitations should be made in the most appropriate way to reach participants even outside the research group. An appropriate seminar length is 25 - 45 minutes. Lillemor Melander shall be notified by email when the ISP-seminar is completed, to make it possible to approval the ISP.


Individual Study Plan (ISP)

Your personal education follows an ”Individual Study Plan” which includes the common KI requirements as well as your unique plan for the research education.

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 remains as a roadmap for the doctoral student and his/her supervisors. A thoroughly worked-out ISP makes expectations clear and provides a solid ground for quality supervision. Thus, the individual study plan is an important document! The individual study plan should follow a specific template.

Forms and documents for doctoral education:

Note! The Department of Medicine, Solna will be piloting a new electronic system. From around January 2019 new doctoral students will develop their ISP in the new system.

General syllabus for Medical Science

All doctoral students at KI is admitted to the doctoral education subject Medical Science. The general syllabus valid at the time of admission describes what is expected of the doctoral student, for example when writing the individual study plan. Link to the General Syllabi:

The Ladok-system at KI

Ladok is a national system that is intended to give universities in Sweden support in various parts of the study administration process. In the Ladok system your courses are registered, you print certificates of studies, and applies for diplomas. On Ladok: Link:Using Ladok as a doctoral student | Medarbetare (

Information on Ladok for doctoral candidates: Link:

Login to Ladok’s student interface: Link:

Half-time review

The half-time review shall be carried out for every doctoral student who will be taking a doctoral degree and should be carried out two years after admission or when two years of full-time doctoral education or the equivalent has been completed. More information on the half-time review: Link:

Director for doctoral education

Michael Fored,

Visiting address

Institutionen för medicin, Solna
Enheten för klinisk epidemiologi
Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, byggnad T2 (Eugeniahemmet)
171 76 Stockholm

Administrative officer for doctoral education

Lillemor Melander,

Visiting address
Institutionen för Medicin, Solna
Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset, byggnad D1:04
171 64 Stockholm

Board of research education at the department

Michael Fored (chair), Avdelningen för klinisk epidemiologi

Josefin Lysell, Avdelningen för dermatologi och venereologi

Klas Nordlind, Avdelningen för dermatologi och venereologi

Peder Olofsson, Avdelningenför kardiovaskulär medicin

Anna Smed Sörensen, Avdelningen för immunologi och allergi

Annelie Tjernlund, Avdelningen för infektionssjukdomar

Doctoral student representative


Lillemor Melander, Administrationen, forskarutbildningen MedS

Lillemor Melander

Administrative officer
K2 Department of Medicine, Solna

Innehållsansvarig: Lillemor Melander / Michael Fored