Consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on KI’s doctoral education

[Updated 2022-09-30]

General information for staff and students regarding COVID-19

Below is information regarding different aspects of doctoral education at KI and how they might be affected by the pandemic.

If the pandemic has caused changes of a doctoral student's education

Many doctoral students have been affected, and will continuously be affected, by the COVID-19 pandemic. We recommend that affected doctoral students together with their supervisors review their individual study plan and discuss alternative ways to reach the degree outcomes without prolonging the education.  This applies to the research plan as well as to participation in courses, seminars and travels.   

Prolongation of employment

The Swedish Agency for Government Employers (Arbetsgivarverket) have announced that if a doctoral student, as a consequence of COVID-19, has been prohibited from performing his/her tasks as a doctoral student, it should be possible to prolong the employment beyond the stated four years. It is the KI department where the doctoral student is registered that decides if a prolongation should be considered. The assessment of the individual case is done on a case-by-case basis. 

Criteria for a possible prolongation (at the bottom of the page)

Doctoral students who perceive that the pandemic has affected their doctoral education must make sure to document this. Such documentation is required if at a later stage an assessment will be made to judge if the delay was caused by COVID-19, and hence without the control of the student.

Courses and other educational activities

Information about which form of teaching applies to each specific course, is given by the respective course provider before course start, if it differs from the information given in the course catalogue.

Information about education regarding COVID-19 for course providers

Half-time review

Half-time seminars can be held at campus, as a digital meeting, or as a hybrid form with some digital participation. This applies regardless of any pandemic restrictions. The decision how to set up the seminar should be based on how the doctoral student in the best way has a relevant and useful learning situation. 

The purpose of the half-time review 

Public defences

There are no recommendations or restrictions concerning public defences.

Information regarding digital solutions for public defences (hybrid defences)

General information regarding public defences and licentiate seminars: Time to defend your thesis

Supervision at a distance

Support for supervision at a distance:

  1. Effective Practices in Supervising Doctoral Candidates at a Distance, a webinar from the UK Council for Graduate Education held on the 1 May 2020, available on YouTube.
  2. A Guide to Online Supervision – Guide for Supervisors 
  3. Successfully supervising research students remotely, a webinar by Academic vice president for doctoral education at KI Robert Harris held on 21 December 2021. The webinar is a part of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) collaborative webinar series and is available on YouTube.

Travel, research visits and international conferences

Personal presentations at international conferences are obligatory for KI’s doctoral students. Today, everyone is expected to be able to fulfill that requirement.

KI’s travel grant for research visits for doctoral research

The travelling/utilisation time for KI’s travel grants for research visits for doctoral students granted during 2019 and 2020 has been extended to December 2022. 

If you have applied for a grant for a trip that has been cancelled, we ask you to repay the money, although the sum granted can be used to cover any costs you may have incurred in cancelling.

Information for international doctoral students

If you need to stay longer in Sweden than originally planned or need to leave Sweden earlier: