ISP: Frequently asked questions

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Newly admitted vs. current students

Which information is required in the ISP? 
Do current doctoral students need to fill in the ISP in the same way as those who are newly admitted?

All fields and obligatory attachments are required for the ISP to be approved, both for newly admitted and current doctoral students who will transfer the content of their paper study plans to the ISP-system.

I am a doctoral student, I have my study plan on paper (form 3.1 or 3.2) and now need to transfer the content to the digital ISP-system. How should I fill in my ISP in the ISP-system?

Your principal supervisor has to create a digital ISP in the ISP-system.

You should always fill in your current study plan in the ISP-system. A lot of information is easy to copy-paste from your existing study plan (Word document). Some information will be uploaded automatically from Ladok, for example most of the basic information (section 1-2) and completed courses (section 4). In the ISP-system you describe both completed work (e.g. educational activities, doctoral project, degree outcomes), as well as planned work that you still intend to conduct.

If you have been conducting your doctoral education for a long time and have made major changes to your original study plan, upload all previous versions of your study plan (form 3.1 or 3.2) to the ISP-system, name the documents so it is easy for the Study Director to follow your progress. 

ISP-system at KI

Why should the ISP system be used at KI?
According to the Higher Education Ordinance every doctoral student should have an Individual Study Plan (ISP) that is an agreement about planned research and educational activities and timelines between the doctoral student and their supervisors. The KI Committee of Doctoral Education has decided to use a digital ISP management tool to make the administrative initiation and follow-up of doctoral education more efficient and user-friendly.

When should a doctoral student start using the ISP-system at KI?
• Doctoral students admitted from February 2021 must use the digital ISP-system.
• All current doctoral students must transfer their study plans on paper to the digital ISP-system no later than December 2021 (except those who plan to defend their thesis during Spring 2022). Departments will inform their doctoral students and supervisors how the implementation will be conducted within their department.

Do I need to print out or archive my ISP from the system?
No, you do not need to print and archive your ISP because archiving of all study plans occurs directly in the ISP-system. The approval of the ISP in the ISP-system corresponds to signing a paper version.

Web browser / language / login

Which web browser is recommended for using the ISP-system?
It is recommended to use Firefox or Google Chrome as web browser. If you experience technical issues while using the ISP-system with one web browser, try the alternative web browser.

How can I access the Swedish/English version of the ISP-system?
You can select the language at the top right after logging in (flag symbol). The ISP system choses the default language that you have chosen for the web browser. Watch ISP film.

What is the difference between internal and external login fields?
The internal login is for all those persons employed/affiliated at Karolinska Institutet. The external login is for co-supervisors belonging to another universities.


ISP access and roles

How can principal and co-supervisors get access to the ISP-system?
The departmental Study Administrator will give access to the ISP-system if the doctoral student has been registered in Ladok and has an activated KI-ID. More information.

What is a co-supervisor's role in the ISP-system?
The ISP must be written in agreement with all co-supervisors. However, co-supervisor can only view a non-editable PDF version of the created ISP. They cannot make any changes in the ISP. The principal supervisor has to fill in the details about all co-supervisors, their contribution and responsibilities in the ISP section 5. Supervisors and responsibilities.

I am both supervisor and Study Director, how can I switch roles in the ISP-system?
If you have more than one role in the system, you will automatically be logged in with the higher level of authorisation, i.e. you will be logged in as a Study Director. You can change role by clicking Change permission in the Menu to the left.

Create and write the ISP

I am a principal supervisor, I have been granted ISP-access and the role of supervisor. Where can I find the Create study plan button?
Go to Study plans - Create study plan. You might need to Change permission in order to make sure that your role is selected as a Supervisor (if you have a few roles). Then you will see the Create study plan button. Watch ISP film.

I am a principal supervisor, but I cannot find my doctoral student. 
1. Check if the name is spelled correctly. For example, you might need to search for Anna Maria for someone usually called Maria. You can easily check the correct name at using the ‘Search’ function. Watch ISP film.
2. You might also need to check if the doctoral student has been registered in Ladok and has an activated KI username (for newly admitted students). In that case, talk to your departmental doctoral education administrator.

I am a principal supervisor, but I cannot find the Approve button.
Doctoral student and principal supervisors must approve each others edits in the ISP-system in order to able to send the ISP forward to the Study Director. Once the doctoral student has approved the plan the Approve button will be accessible for the principal supervisor.

I am a doctoral student and I cannot edit some sections in the ISP system. Why?
The following sections can only be edited by the principal supervisor:
Section 1-2. Research school, if applicable
Section 3. Time plan and financial support
Section 4. Obligatory courses
Section 5. Supervisor team and responsibilities

I am a doctoral student but cannot open a study plan - why?
The principal supervisor needs to press the Save button in order to permit ISP access for the doctoral student.


Follow-up and update the ISP

How can I see updates made in the ISP?
The ISP-system is designed so that both the progression of the doctoral student as well as any changes or additions should be documented at the annual follow-up or half-time review. All fields in which changes have been made in a revised ISP are marked with a blue line. You will also get a notification about the changes when you login to the ISP-system.

How often is the ISP-system updated with information from Ladok?
In order to see the updated information from Ladok in the ISP, doctoral student or principal supervisor need to go into Edit mode. For example, when it is time for the annual revision, the principal supervisor creates a new version of the ISP. The ISP will thereby get updated with the latest registrations from Ladok.

As a doctoral student, how can I update my study plan?
After establishment, the ISP is locked and only available as a PDF. Only your principal supervisor can create a new version of the ISP in order to follow-up and update the ISP. Once your principal supervisor has clicked the Revise and then Save and close buttons you will be able to review and edit the ISP content. More information.



How is a principal supervisor changed in the ISP?
Please contact ISP-support for a change of principal supervisor. If a study plan already established it can be assigned to a new principal supervisor. Once the new principal supervisor has created a revised version of the study plan, this person will thereafter be included in the study plan as the principal supervisor.

How is a co-supervisor changed in the ISP?
Change of a co-supervisor is managed directly in the ISP by the principal supervisor when a revision is made of the study plan. More information.

If a doctoral student has changed department, what action is needed in the ISP-system?
A new ISP needs to be created when the formal admission to the new department and change in departmental responsibility in Ladok has been finalized. When this is done, a new ISP can be created in the ISP-system. It is not possible to continue working on an existing ISP when changing department/subject. More information.

Admission to Doctoral Education (latter part)
Upon admission to a doctoral degree, latter part (i.e. for those who had previously been admitted for a licentiate degree), a new ISP must be created for the new admission, as the ISP-system does not handle multiple admissions in the same ISP.

Forced approval
In the event that, for whatever reason, the doctoral student or principal supervisor don’t approve an ISP, the designated establisher may force the approval process. This is because the Ordinance states that higher education institutions are obliged to establish an ISP for each doctoral student.

ISP e-mail notifications

Who receives e-mail notifications, when and why, during the creation of the ISP?
The e-mail notifications are automatically generated every time a user decides on approval/non-approval during the decision process steps when creating the ISP. The automatic e-mail notification is sent to the person with the next role in the process, with a reminder to make a decision (approve, or disapprove and send back to the previous role for revision and new approval). If there is no action taken an automatic e-mail will be sent out weekly reminding the person to judge the revised study plan.
In the normal process, an automatic e-mail notification is sent to the doctoral student, a principal supervisor, co-supervisors and the Study Administrator once the Study Director has approved the ISP. See the ISP workflow.

Who receives e-mail notifications at time for revision of the ISP?
11 months after establishing the ISP an automatic e-mail notification is sent to the doctoral student and to the principal supervisor with a reminder to revise the ISP. If the ISP has not been updated within two months after the reminder, an automatic e-mail notification is sent to the Head of Department with a reminder about the revision. More information.

When do the automatic e-mail notifications cease?
The e-mail reminders will no longer be sent out if the doctoral student has begun permanent leave, or when the final degree has been completed, issued and documented in Ladok.

ISP message box

How should I use the message log function?
Every time a user takes an action in the ISP (revision, reading and agreement of content) this should be documented in the message log, so that the next user in line understands what has been done by the previous user.