Select and admit to doctoral courses

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If there are more applicants than places available, a selection process is required. This process must be transparent to applicants and be based on their qualifications and the relevance of the course to their research projects.

General selection criteria

The following priorities generally apply for all KI financed doctoral courses that are announced in the course catalogue (these criteria are not to be specified in the catalogue):

1. Doctoral students at KI

Doctoral students in KI collaboration programmes are equated with doctoral students at KI. See links to the universities that participate in KI’s collaboration programmes.

2. Post docs at KI

3. Doctoral students from other universities and higher education institutions (in Sweden and abroad)

4. Other applicants

Specific selection criteria

The course provider enters the specific selection criteria for each course occasion (in KIWAS), that then will be published in the catalogue.

The first selection criterion for most general science courses is the date of admission to doctoral education. The reason is that the doctoral student should take an examination in these courses as early as possible during their doctoral education.

If the doctoral student would benefit more from the course at a later point, the selection criteria in the course occasion must so specify.

Examples of selection criteria

Here are some examples of how selection criteria, specific to the individual course, can be formulated:

  • The selection is based on the written motivation of the applicants as to why they want to take the course.
  • The primary criteria are 1) the usefulness of the course for the doctoral student’s research project, and 2) the written motivation submitted with the application.
  • Doctoral students in the field of xxxxxxx are given priority in the admission process. Selection is based on 1) the applicant’s written motivation 2) the date of admission to doctoral education.
  • Selection of course participants is based on the relevance of the syllabus to the doctoral projects of the applicants. If necessary, additional selection is based on the date of admission to doctoral education.


Admission is done at the department of each course by using the function for admission in KIWAS. We have a system integration between KIWAS and new Ladok which means that we can transfer admission data, i e that the applicants that have been admitted and accepted the admission offer via KIWAS is transferred to the course occasion in Ladok.

This assumes that the admission is done using KIWAS and that the applicants accept the offer via My courses before the transfer date, as well as that they have stated a complete Swedish personal identity number in their personal profile.

Manual processes associated with admission should be avoided as far as possible. Manual handling is used:

- when an applicant has only entered birth date (not a complete personal identity number) in KIWAS

- when admission to vacancies is performed outside KIWAS (late applications). See also below under Applications outside the catalogue.

- when applicants accept an admission offer via KIWAS after the data transfer has been done (last reply date is decided by the course organiser when creating the admission email and the data transfer date should be taken into account).

In these cases the course organiser must contact the department's administrator for doctoral education to have the participants manually added to Ladok. This should be done as soon as the admission is carried out.

Supervisor certificate

From autumn semester 2015, it is mandatory to use a supervisor certificate to be signed by the applicant and his/her supervisor to verify that the course is in line with the planned studies (this also applies to KI post docs who by this also prove their status as KI post docs). In KIWAS admission module this is built in as part of the admission email sent from the system. Remember, when receiving the signed supervisor certificate, to check that the applicant also has accepted the course offer via My courses in KIWAS.

For manual admission, download the form provided (see below).


In the admission email the applicants are informed about the cancellation policy and that they should contact the contact person of the course if they need to withdraw their admission acceptance. However, in new Ladok it is possible for a student to cancel a course via the student interface. When this is done no notification will be sent to the course organiser. Thus, take as a routine to check Ladok regularly after transfer of admitted to Ladok has been done and until course start, in case someone has cancelled only by using this function.

From spring semester 2019 doctoral students will be incouraged to cancel their participation via the Ladok student interface, instead of to the course organiser, and the admission email has therefore been reworded. Exception applies to courses that start in early January - for these, any cancellation has to be made directly to the course organiser in order to meet the 30 days time limit.

See also below regarding handling of late dropouts.

Normal workflow for courses

For courses that are advertised via the course catalogue, this is the normal workflow from application to having the results reported in Ladok:

1. The doctoral student applies via the KIWAS course catalogue.

2. The course organiser admits promptly after the course catalogue has closed, using KIWAS, and decides a last day to reply to the admission offer (not more than two weeks ahead, see recommended date in information sent to course organisers). 

3. The doctoral student receives an admission email (including a supervisor certificate) and replies via KIWAS. He/she also prints the supervisor certificate in the admission email and sends it signed back to the course organiser, via email (if having accepted the course place).

4. All applicants that have been admitted and have accepted via KIWAS will be transferred to the course occasion in Ladok (provided that acceptance is done before deadline for transfer – for that reason it is important that last day to reply is before the transfer date).

5. The doctoral student registers to the course via the Ladok student interface (registration is open from one week before course start until two days into the course).

6. Results are reported (by administrator, teacher or examiner) and approved (by examiner) in Ladok.

Applications outside the catalogue

Please note that applications received after the course catalogue has closed for application are handled manually outside KIWAS and that the supervisor certificate has to be attached to the admission email. When the admitted students have accepted, an authorized person at the course responsible department (normally the Ladok administrator for doctoral courses) admits the students to the course occasion in Ladok.

To make the selection for admission

In the selection process applicants are grouped together on the basis of the general selection criteria (see above). Within each group a ranking is made based on the specific selection criteria specified in the course catalogue (course occasion). When admission has been made in the first selection group (KI doctoral students and those equated) and there still are vacancies, one can move on to the next selection group (KI post docs), and so on.

To consider:

Drawing lots is not permitted. It must be possible to rank the applicants.

Admission may never be based on the order that the applications were received. Selection is performed after expiration of the application period.

A general piece of advice is to try to admit a few extra applicants in order to ensure that the course can start and obtain funding. If there are not enough participants, you should consider cancelling the course.

In KIWAS under Help in the left hand menu you will lfind a quick reference guide that describes each step more in detail.

Handling late dropouts

The department that provides the course is entitled to charge the supervisor a fee if a KI doctoral student or postdoc first accepts an admittance offer and then drops out too close to the course start or during the course (such that the course organizer's planning is made more difficult). Illness, sick children etc. are acceptable reasons for absence. 
The department determines the size of the fee, but the recommended guideline of the Course and programme committee is SEK 3,000 if an applicant drops out 30 days or less before the course start or during the course (this applies to both theoretical and laboratory courses). (The time limit 30 days used to apply to only laboratory courses, but starting from spring 2016 it also applies to theoretical courses).

The prerequisite to charge a fee in case of late dropout is that the doctoral student in advance has been informed about the deadline for cancellation and which amount will be charged after that date. Information about timeframes for cancellations and the opportunity for the department to bill for late cancellations are available on the supervisor certificate. The course director should, however, in connection with admission specify the dates and amounts applicable for this course. (In the KIWAS admission module a free text field is available for the admission email).

The Course and programme committee has decided (2016-05-31) that late dropouts with an acceptable reason should not affect the course organiser economically in the way that it leads to reduction of granted funding.  Neither should late droputs without acceptable reason negatively affect the course organiser’s funding, why the committee has decided (2018-10-02) to pay the difference between the charged administrative fee and the expected funding if the participant had completed the course. I. e. the course organiser charges the administrative fee as usual, but will not have any economic loss if the fee does not cover the actual loss.

Thus, dropouts and reason should be indicated in the participant list for requistion of funding (from the committee or the doctoral programmes) so that these are clearly shown,as well as stating any charged fee. 


Administrative officer

Anna Gustafsson

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 860 18

Chair of the Course and programme committee

Erika Franzén

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 888 78

Vice chair of the Course and programme committee

Lena Von Koch

Phone: +46-(0)70-786 93 86

Coordinator of doctoral education

Ingeborg van der Ploeg

Phone: +46-(0)8-524 867 00


CourseDoctoral educationDoctoral programmes