Doctoral education: contact, organisation and support functions



Doctoral students and supervisors with questions regarding Doctoral education should first contact their Study Director ("studierektor") or Administrator at their department.

Central support

E-mail addresses to Professional Services 


The Faculty Board has overall strategic responsibility for the faculty's educational, research and outreach activities.

The main fields of responsibility are:

  • resource allocation
  • quality systems
  • recruitment of teaching and research staff
  • infrastructure
  • internationalisation

The Committee for Doctoral Education (KFU) provide support to the Faculty Board by means of preparation, quality control and implementation regarding doctoral education.

The Course and Programme Committee (KPK) is subordinated to the Committee for Doctoral Education and has the right to decide on certain matters. The committee also acts as a preparatory body in other matters related to doctoral courses and programmes.

The Dissertation Committee is appointed by the Committee for Doctoral Education to oversee compliance with the examination rules and to ensure the highest possible quality of theses published by KI.

A doctoral student is admitted to one of KI departments. Each department has at least one Director of doctoral education who:

  • Makes decisions on establishment of doctoral positions, admission to doctoral education and supervisor appointment
  • Supports the department's doctoral students and supervisors
  • Establishes Individual Study Plan (ISP)
  • Makes decision on credit transfer

Support functions for doctoral students

There are different types of support functions for doctoral students at KI.
You can find them in the drop-down menu below or on the web page Support to doctoral students.

The principal supervisor has an overarching responsibility for the supervision and for the implementation of the research project.

Co-supervisor(s) shall above all complement the scientific expertise that exists within the project but can also support the doctoral student in other ways. 

The division of roles in the supervisor group and the scope of each supervisor's assignment is stated in the individual study plan (ISP). It is important that the ISP is updated if the conditions change.

Doctoral supervisors at KI are required to take a professional approach. This means ensuring that all doctoral education including research that is planned and executed is of a high standard and realistic in scope. Supervisors are expected to make themselves available to their students, to be clear and consistent in their supervision, and critically review the results obtained. 

Supervisors are always required to promote equal treatment by taking a firm stand against all forms of discrimination and harassment and to be fully familiar with the rules and conditions of doctoral education. It should be reported to the manager of the supervisor in case a supervisor does not follow these rules of conduct.

A supervisor can also be the doctoral student's manager, and thereby have a formal responsibility for the work environment, but that is not always the case.

Read more about supervision, e.g. requirement to appoint supervisors and changing supervisor.

The student and doctoral students’ ombudspersons are independent experts employed by the Medical Students’ Union (Medicinska Föreningen) to support the doctoral students. The ombudspersons work under complete confidentiality, unless explicitly told otherwise by the doctoral student that seeks advice.

Directors of Doctoral education at your department:

  • Supports with information about admissions, individual study plan (ISP), credit transfer, half-time review, degree requirements and supervision 
  • Helps to deal with problems or conflicts
  • Follows up progress in doctoral education

Administrator for Doctoral education at your department:

  • Provides with information and practical administrative support and advice about admission, individual study plan (ISP), credit transfer, half-time review and thesis defence/degree requirements

Contact Director of Doctoral education or Administrator at your department

The central director/coordinator Ingeborg van der Ploeg can be contacted for central support related to the student-supervisor relationship. 

The university library offers:

  • Digital resources - materials on searching and evaluating information, scientific publishing, writing and referencing
  • Possibility to receive individual guidance for information search and reference management
  • Training on development of information skills

Each student has one or more mentors to supplement the input of the supervisors. The mentor shall act as a bridge from the doctoral student to the world outside the direct research environment, as well as being an independent asset for discussions.

The mentor can support doctoral students seeking advice from an independent person on, for example, career planning or contact with sectors outside KI.

Visit the Doctoral Student Association's virtual meeting to get help to find a suitable mentor within or outside of academia.

Welcome to the PhD Handbook

This is a guide for those who are pursuing a doctoral degree (PhD), in Sweden, as well as for those who are considering such a degree. 

Rights, laws, and regulations

Here you can find links to some of the most important legislation relevant to your life as a doctoral student enrolled at a Swedish university. 

Avonova offers preventive and rehabilitative occupational health services for doctoral students who are employed at KI or scholarship-holders.

Doctoral students (both employed at KI and scholarship-holders) may also call the counselling helpline operated by Falck Healthcare, whose experienced consultants give advice on work-related psychosocial issues and private matters of a legal or financial nature.

All doctoral students at KI are affiliated to a KI department. The form of affiliation may differ depending on if you are employed at the department, employed by another employer (for example Region Stockholm or a company) or if you lack employment and is financially supported by scholarships/stipends.

Regardless of the form of affiliation, KI has a responsibility for your work and study environment. If you are an employed doctoral student, your immediate manager/boss (sometimes is your manager also your supervisor) has a delegated responsibility for personnel and work environment and have tasks that they must fulfill. If you have another employer than KI, the work environment responsibility is shared between KI and your employer.

If you are unsure who to contact regarding work and study environment issues, contact HR at your department. 

Here is information gathered regarding Work environment and health.

Safety representatives and Student safety representatives have the mission to watch over and work for good working conditions (physical, organisational and social). They collaborate with managers and doctoral students, but they are not responsible for taking measures etc.

The Student safety representatives represents all students (including doctoral students) at their departments. 

Doctoral students with an employment at KI may also discuss work environment issues with a local safety representative at the department. Ask the Work environment group at the department whom to contact.

Here is information gathered regarding Work environment and health

Anyone who has experienced an irregular or unlawful situation or who wants to draw attention to a risk at work can report this through KI's incident reporting system. Submitting can also be anonymous. Examples of incidents are sexual harassment as well as a work accident.

The more we get to know, the more effectively we can act, and the better placed we will be to make KI a safer, more secure and more sustainable workplace. 

KI's work on equal opportunities is based on the Discrimination Act (2008:567). The law states, for example, that universities and health and medical care provider are obliged to investigate alleged harassment and discrimination as well as work to work preventively. There are seven grounds of discrimination: gender, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. Doctoral students are covered by the Discrimination Act.

More information about KI's work on equal opportunities

KI Career service offers activities and information to help doctoral students build a career.

KI International staff gives practical information to overseas students on residence permits, Swedish courses for doctoral students and other such matters.

As a researcher at KI you can get support from several units and at your department. The web page Research Support & Services summarises all available support to give your research the foundation for growth and success, from the first idea to the publishing and impact of your results.