Call for applications for partial funding of doctoral students 2023

The Mälardalen area doctoral school in healthcare science is announcing partial funding for 11 doctoral students for the autumn of 2023.

The research school provides education at the doctoral level combined with teaching in a health professional program to strengthen the connection between research and education and to meet the need for competence supply in healthcare education.

The funding covers 60% of a salary for a doctoral student equivalent to four years of full-time studies (48 months) at the university where the doctoral student is registered. The doctoral program can be extended to five years, as the universities are encouraged to offer doctoral students the opportunity of 20% teaching.

The cooperating universities split the doctoral positions and Karolinska Institutet is allocated four places, Uppsala University three places, Mälardalen University and Sophiahemmet University two places each.

Application period: February 20th to March 30th, 2023.

Applications are made through Prisma and must be submitted no later than 2:00 pm on March 30th.

Allocation decision:

The decision on whether the projects are included in the final ranking and the allocation of funding is made by the steering group of the research school. Each university is allocated a reserve place.

Allocation decisions will be announced on June 1, 2023.

Conditions for application:

  • The application must include at least two applicants (main applicant and co-applicant), both of whom must have a PhD, and at least one is an Associate Professor.
  • The main applicant must be employed or formally affiliated and active at the university where the doctoral student is expected to be admitted.
  • The main applicant must have documented supervision training and meet the respective university's requirements for supervision.
  • The main applicant can only participate as the main supervisor in one application in this call. If a main supervisor appears as the main supervisor in several applications, all applications are considered invalid.
  • Rules governing supervision and doctoral education at each university respectively apply to those who are awarded funding.
  • Co-applicants (up to three) are researchers who intend to be co-                                supervisors to the recruited doctoral student. Co-supervisors can be co-applicants on several applications.
  • The main and co-applicants must be the same persons who will later be appointed as supervisors at the respective university when the doctoral student is admitted.

Application evaluation:

For received applications, an initial assessment of eligibility is made based on the research school's description of the research area in health sciences. Projects that are clearly deemed irrelevant do not proceed to further review.

Senior researchers (at least Associate professors) employed to or affiliated with universities not included in the research school's partnership will assess the applications. The reviewers must be free from conflicts of interest with the relevant projects. Each project is assessed by at least three persons who report scores for each application based on the assessment criteria:


1) Relevance for the research area of healthcare sciences (yes/no)

2) Appropriate as doctoral student project (1-5 points)

3) Supervision and doctoral education environment (1-5 points)

4) Feasibility of the project (1-5 points)

5) Scientific quality of the project (1-5 points)


    5 points = excellent

    4 points = very good

    3 points = good

    2 points = acceptable

    1 point = insufficient


For the project to be included in the final ranking:

At least half of the reviewers must assess the project as relevant to the research area of healthcare science.

The assessment results of the reviewers are compiled, and the applicants are ranked per institution. Each assessment criterion must have an average score of at least 3 points (total score divided by the number of reviews) to be included in the ranking and be considered for funding.

Doctoral student recruitment:

The main applicants that are granted funding then participate in the recruitment process of doctoral students. The recruitment process involves advertising the positions, based on the respective institution's regulations. Recruitment will be carried out in competition, and only individuals who have not yet been accepted for education at the research level can be recruited.

Projects that have been granted funding will be presented on the research school's website. Applications for a doctoral student position for each project are submitted via the four institutions' application systems. It is possible to apply for more than one project, and a separate application must be submitted for each project. After this, a selection and admission process takes place at the institution where the prospective doctoral student will be registered.

The doctoral student must be admitted and employed when the research school starts on November 20, 2023.



The application can be in Swedish or English

Project title

The project title must clearly state the research area and what the project is about. It should be possible to form an opinion of the project for those who are outside the specific project area. The title should be in Swedish and English.

Applying supervisors

A minimum of two applicants are requested, main applicant, and a co-applicant, who should have a PhD degree and at least one Associate Professor. Main applicant should be employed or have formal connection to the university where the doctoral student is expected to be registered. A maximum of three co-applicants are accepted.

Short summary of the project

The summary should include overall aim, research questions, hypotheses, methods, planned studies, the project´s significance and relevance for the research area. The summary should be in Swedish (maximum 4000 characters).


Relevance for the research area healthcare science

Describe and motivate the relevance according to the research area as described by the research school (maximum 2000 characters).


Appropriate as doctoral student project

Describe and motivate how the project is suitable and feasible for a doctoral student in relation to postgraduate education Describe the role of the student and how teaching can be combined with doctoral education studies while conducting the project (max 2000 characters).

Supervision and doctoral education environment

Describe previous experiences of supervision on the level of doctoral education for all applicants. Describe how their competence is relevant for the project and a plan for supervision of the student. It should be clarified how the group of supervisors will be a good match for the project and how their combined skills can compensate if the main applicant is less senior than Associate Professor.      

Describe the doctoral education environment and the conditions for the student´s learning and the pedagogical support that will promote the learning process towards the student’s independence. Name any national or international cooperation or networking assets that may be of significance for the students learning process. Describe if the project offers any multi-professional cooperation (max 3000 characters).

Feasibility of the project

Describe the conditions for conducting the project regarding financial resources including partly financing a doctoral student. Describe the resources available for the project and the doctoral student with regards to other staff members, methods, equipment, and material.  Clearly state a study time plan and motivate how the methods are appropriate for the study research questions and hypotheses. Describe the ethical considerations of the project (max 2000 characters).

Research plan

The research plan including references may be a maximum of 25 000 characters, can be written in English or Swedish. The plan should include the project aim, background, research questions, methods, studies planned, and the significance. It should include information needed to judge the scientific quality and feasibility of performing the project. It should also describe the position of the project in a national and international context.

Ethical approval

Ethical approval should be stated (registry reference number).If there is no approval yet it should be available (or the submitted application) to the research school by the latest at the registration of the doctoral student.   

Outcomes of doctoral education

State clearly, giving examples how the outcomes of the doctoral education will be achieved:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Proficiency and aptitude
  • Ability to assess and approach

Information regarding the national outcomes for doctoral education according to the Higher Education Ordinance


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