Teaching Commitments at the Department of Neuroscience

The Department of Neuroscience has an extensive commitment in education with an involvement in many educational programs. In line with Karolinska Institutet's strategy, which has as goal to ensure a strong interaction between research and education, it is essential that the department ensures a broad and active participation of researchers, from doctoral students to professors, in different teaching activities.

Teaching is also an important merit for higher academic positions. It is essential that all teaching duties within the department are distributed in a fair and
transparent manner and that teachers are selected based on educational profile and expertise.

To comply with these goals, guidelines for the participation of researchers at different levels in teaching were established in July 2018.

Teaching by professors and university lecturers

All professors that are fully paid by the department should teach a minimum of 10 lectures (each 45 minutes) per year, including formulation and correction of examination questions.

The teaching requirement can also be fulfilled by equivalent activities that will be judged on an individual basis.

In addition to these minimum requirements, the department depends on far more extensive teaching commitments by several professors. Moreover, the university lecturer and adjunct positions including extensive teaching commitments that are set for each individual position.

The contribution to teaching with regard to quantity and quality (e.g. as assessed by course evaluations) will be considered when salary levels are set.

Unpaid teaching by researchers and postdocs with salaries from non-departmental sources

An important part of the teaching in the department is conducted voluntarily by researchers (assistant professors, associate professors, postdocs) who do not receive their salary from the department. For this group the merit value for higher academic positions and docent qualification is of particular importance.

Paid teaching

Certain teaching commitments are difficult to fulfill under the above criteria. In these cases, the department can pay a compensation as an amount to the teacher´s research account or, in exceptional cases, as an honorarium. Paid teaching needs to be limited and must be approved by the director of education, i.e. GUA (= grundutbildninsansvarig).

Teaching by Doctoral students

Doctoral students contribute significantly to the department's teaching, primarily in laboratory practicals, group seminars, and oral exams within neuroscience courses.

To ensure that the teaching duties are fairly distributed, each doctoral student should teach a minimum of 36 teaching points (see below) per year, except for the first semester when registration is conducted, as well as during the semester of the PhD defense.

PhD students interested and talented in teaching are encouraged to teach more than this minimal requirement.

Teaching gives Ladok points (3 credit points/80 teaching points) and economical compensation (>120 teaching points/semester) to the PhD student. Teaching is also an important merit for many postdoctoral positions.

To help the PhD students during their teaching activities, the department will provide them with a free copy of the course book (Neuroscience by Purves et al., 6th edition).

Teaching point system

8 points (per 45 minutes)

  • Lecture

6 points (per 45 minutes)

  • Oral examination
  • Group Microscopy
  • Advanced supervision during laboratio
  • Responsible at workshop, practibal examination or station examination
  • Supervision during dissections (presence at 100%)

3 points (per 45 minutes)

  • Group work
  • Laboration
  • Assistant or mentor in histology teaching
  • Assistant during workshop
  • Supervision during dissections (presence at stand-by mode)

2 points (per 60 minutes)

  • Guard and examinations

Point = number of students x examination points/50

  • Correction of examinations

0 points

  • Responsibility for smaller teaching part (= avsnittsansvar)

Points = 50 points + (number of weeks x number of students/10)

  • Responsibility for course / Responsible for part (= momentansvar)

10 points per week (only during teaching period)

  • Overall responsibilty for basic education - Grundutbildningsansvar (GUA)

2 points per week

  • Responsible for donation programme

2 points per week (only during teaching period)

  • Responsible for teaching subject

Distribution of teaching duties

It is key that the teaching duties of each researcher are matched by his/her individual competence and interest. In many cases the course leaders at the Department will recruit suitable persons to fill specific needs, but we encourage researchers to contact the relevant course leader to express their interest.

Responsible persons

GUA ("Grundutbildningsansvarig") with overall responsibility.


Hugo Zeberg


Björn Meister


Lennart Brodin