Supervisor to doctoral student

The supervisor is appointed by the head of department at the department where the doctoral student is admitted in connection with the decision on admission.

All doctoral students have one principal supervisor and at least one co-supervisor. The responsibilities of each supervisor are described in the individual study plan. It is important that all supervisors are aware of how their commitment is described in the study plan. 

Instructions for changing supervisors below.

Following requirements apply for a doctoral supervisor:

  • A principal supervisor must have the means to assist with good, professional supervision (must have ‘green light’)
  • A co-supervisor shall contribute the relevant complementary expertise
  • All supervisors must have a doctoral degree
  • At least one of the supervisors must be an associate professor (docent) or a professor
  • A principal supervisor must be employed at KI or be affiliated with KI in order to be able to fulfill his assignment as principal supervisor
  • At least one of the supervisors, preferably the principal supervisor, must be active in the department to which the doctoral student is admitted.
  • The principal supervisor must have completed doctoral supervisor training as below
  • Family relationships or other close relationships between doctoral student and supervisor is not allowed
  • Two persons with a close relationship or family relationship may not be in the same supervisor group

All supervisors shall be thoroughly familiar with KI's regulations governing doctoral education.

According to the Rules for employment after the right to remain employed is no longer valid, it is not allowed to become principal supervisor for new doctoral students after the age of 68.

Mandatory supervisor training

A principal supervisor must have completed doctoral supervisor training. The mandatory education consists of two parts:

  1. KI's web course for supervisors for doctoral students. A passing score on the web course cannot be older than 5 years prior to accepting a new doctoral student. The purpose is to ensure that all supervisors are familiar with the prevailing rules for doctoral education. This is mandatory for all principal supervisors, including those with equivalent knowledge as described below.
  2. KI's introductory course in doctoral supervision. The aim of the course is to prepare participants for the role of supervisor and to provide insight into the responsibilities that it entails.

Equivalent expertise

Those who have equivalent expertise

  • have been principal supervisors for doctoral students who have graduated with doctoral degrees from, for example, a university in one of the Nordic countries or another country which has comparable doctoral education, or
  • have taken part of another research supervisor training equivalent to the KI course.

If you have already taken a supervisor training course and wish to have it assessed, send an application that includes a course certificate or diploma and a brief description of the content and scope of the course, to the coordinator in the Committee of Doctoral Education, Faculty Office, KI.

Each department is responsible for checking the qualifications of the proposed supervisor.

Changing supervisor

It is sometimes beneficial or necessary to make changes to the supervisor group during ongoing doctoral education. According to the Higher Education Ordinance a doctoral student has the right to change supervisors if they so wish.

Below are the routines for changing supervisors. It is assumed that the doctoral student has a digital individual study plans (ISP). Contact the department if any questions. 

Changing principal supervisor

  1. New supervisors are appointed by The Head of Department. Submit form 15 to the administrator for doctoral education at your department. Note that the prospective principal supervisor needs to apply for a green light. 
  2. As soon as the decision is taken, the individual study plan (ISP) is transferred to the new supervisor. This is done by the ISP-support: Contact isp@ki.se
  3. The new principal supervisor creates a new version of the previously established ISP, and revises/updates the information regarding supervision.  
  4. A copy of the decision (form 15) is uploaded to the ISP system by the doctoral student or principal supervisor.

The above applies regardless of if the new principal supervisor was a co-supervisor to the same doctoral student.

Changing co-supervisor(s)

  1. New supervisors are appointed by The Head of Department. Submit form 15 to the administrator for doctoral education at your department
  2. The principal supervisor creates a new version of the previously established ISP, and revises/updates the information regarding supervision. This must be done right away and cannot wait until the next annual follow-up, since the ISP is the main source of information regarding doctoral supervisors.
  3. A copy of the decision (form 15) is uploaded to the ISP system by the doctoral student or principal supervisor.
  4. Make sure the new co-supervisor has access to the ISP-system. If not, contact the administrator for doctoral education at your department