Exit Poll for doctoral students

The Exit Poll survey is an important element of KI’s quality assurance system. A questionnaire is sent to all doctoral students after they have defended their thesis. The results are used for identifying strengths and challenges and contribute to the continuing development of KI’s doctoral education.

An exit poll has been sent out to all newly graduated doctors at KI since 2008. 

The poll is anonymous and contains about 45 questions. The response rate is around 75-80 percent. It is accessible via a link that is sent to the respondent by email within one month after the defence of the thesis.

The purpose 

The purpose of the poll is to develop and improve doctoral education at KI. Finding out the attitudes of former doctoral students to their education will help us remedy whatever aspects of it are considered unsatisfactory.


The questions cover the following aspects:

  • Supervision
  • Courses
  • Work environment, including the existence of unequal treatment, discrimination, and harassment
  • Learning objectives 
  • Administrative support
  • International mobility
  • Background information (gender, educational background etc)

Extra questions can be added during a shorter period of time. Examples are questions regarding the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, and questions to clinical doctoral students.


The survey is anonymous, and the respondents should be aware that their identity are protected and that all answers are treated with the utmost confidentiality.

The annual reports, with accumulated results, are made with respect to the respondents and is thoroughly reviewed to make sure that nothing is revealed regarding specific persons. We take extra measures protecting the data concerning discrimination and harassment issues, and we guarantee that no supervisors, research group leaders or similar have access to any individual answers or information regarding who has participated or not.

The comments given in the open-end questions are read by a small group at the Faculty office and by the Academic vice president of doctoral education. Sometimes someone leaves such detailed information that it is possible to identify people, but even if the information is serious or upsetting no one will be approached about it due to the promise of anonymity. If a respondent has knowledge of any situation that should be acted upon, we recommend contacting the Academic vice president or the Central study director directly. The doctoral student’s ombudsperson can also be contacted.

How the results are used

Once a year, a report is presented for the Committee of Doctoral Education with the accumulated responses from the last year. This is an important part of the systematic quality work within doctoral education. The Exit poll reports are also published on this webpage, see below. 

When there are enough answers to ensure anonymity, usually every fourth year, the accumulated results are divided into the different departments to give the department a chance to revalue their quality work.

The data are also used to answer specific questions such as: How many doctoral students have attended a research school, or how many have spent time abroad. The data base is also a useful tool for deeper analyses, for example finding solutions for the group students combining doctoral education with clinical duties. 

Steering document for the Exit Poll survey (Swedish)

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Karin Vågstrand at Professional Services.