Green Light – approval of a doctoral supervisor


A Green Light is an assessment of the suitability as supervisor with focus on track-record and time to supervise.

Green Light is one aspect of many assessed when a new doctoral position is established. 

The Green Light is connected to a specific doctoral position and should not be considered as a general approval to supervise.


The Green Light form is completed and submitted by the intended principal supervisor, together with the application for establishing a doctoral position, to the department where the doctoral student will be registered.

Note that a Green Light only considers supervisor skills and time for supervision, and that there are other criteria that must be met for a doctoral position to be established (financial plan, quality of research project, co-supervisors etc). 

A Green Light can in some situations be issued separately from the decision of establishing a doctoral position, for example for a KID-application, an application for CSC doctoral students or when a new principal supervisor is to be appointed during ongoing doctoral education.

Information on establishing a doctoral position and the rest of the admission process


Assessment and decision

The decision of Green Light is made by a group at the department. The head of the department and the director of doctoral studies are always involved in the decision-making. 

The Green Light is only valid at the department issuing the Green Light. If a supervisor moves to another department, the new department has to be informed of previous decisions. The new department has to make their own assessment.

Denied Green Light

If an application for Green Light is denied the decision has to be accompanied by a clear and articulate written motivation. The applicant has the right to apply again if the situation has changed.

Examples of reasons for a denied application:

  • Has already a large number of doctoral students and has neither time nor space for more.
  • Has been involved in one or more conflicts with previous doctoral students
  • Has done inappropriate ethical assessments at a number of occasions.
  • Has shown lack of accessibility or support in the learning process of earlier doctoral students.
  • Reached the age where it is not allowed to supervise doctoral students  (according to Rules for employment after the right to remain employed is no longer valid)