What is an Individual Study Plan (ISP)?

  • An Individual Study Plan (ISP) is an educational tool.
  • It is written by the doctoral student together and in agreement with their supervisors.
  • The ISP describes how the degree outcomes will be achieved by the doctoral student.
  • It summarizes how the doctoral education will be organized - what will be done, how and when.
  • The ISP is thus a formal agreement between doctoral student, supervisors and their department that defines everyone's contribution and responsibilities. 
  • Remember that ISP is a public document and can be reviewed by anyone.
  • Regulations governing individual study plans are found in the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance and KI’s Rules for Doctoral Education.

Film - what is the ISP?

1 February 2021 the digital ISP-system has been launched at all KI Departments. Departments will inform their doctoral students and supervisors how the implementation will be conducted within their Department.
• Doctoral students admitted from February 2021 must use the digital ISP-system directly after admission.
• All current doctoral students must transfer the content of their ISP on paper (form 3.1 or 3.2) to the ISP-system at the time of their next yearly follow-up or half-time review, but no later than December 2021 (except those who plan to defend their thesis during Spring 2022).

Time plan

  • The ISP must be submitted within 1 month after registration and be approved by the departmental Study Director within 3 months of registration.
  • The ISP must be updated every year irrespective of study activity and employment status.
  • The doctoral student and principal supervisor will receive an e-mail from the ISP-system when it is time to update the ISP.

ISP seminar

Before the ISP can be formally established after admission, the doctoral student should present the research and education plan during an ISP seminar. The doctoral student might receive input from researchers in their field that requires further revision of the ISP. 

It is required that newly admitted doctoral students have a seminar in their local environment within 3 months after admission (presentation for their research group, division/section/unit, preferably before the meeting with the departmental Study Director). 

Follow-up & update

  • Every year the doctoral student should have a follow-up meeting with their principal supervisor to discuss and report progress, and to update the ISP.
  • The ISP must be updated at least once per year or whenever there are significant changes to the original plans.

Features of the ISP-system

The ISP-system:

  • Sends an automatically generated reminder to the doctoral student and principal supervisor when it is time for the annual review and update
  • Retrieves data on completed courses and transferred credits from Ladok
  • Provides current study plan and previous versions in a digital format
  • Ensures that correct users are involved in the approval and follow-up of a study plan
  • Includes a message log where users inform each other about edits or tasks in the ISP
  • Permits easy follow-up of progression through the doctoral education
  • A supervisor has access to study plans for all their doctoral students; a Study Director and Study Administrator have access to all study plans at their department
  • Can be accessed anywhere