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Who can be a doctoral supervisor?


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.

An overall assessment of the proposed supervisor constellation is made in connection to the establishment of the doctoral position

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According to Rules for employment after the right to remain employed is no longer valid, it is not allowed to become principal supervisor for new doctoral students after the age of 68.

Even though a doctoral student may only be registered at one department, the student may benefit from taking place in more than one department and with supervisors from more than one department. How supervision and activities will be organised and divided between the supervisors shall be specified in the individual study plan.

Mandatory supervisor training

A principal supervisor must have completed doctoral supervisor training arranged according to the instructions of the Faculty Board.

It is mandatory for all principal supervisors, including those with equivalent expertise, to complete the 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.

In addition, a principal supervisor, unless having equivalent expertise, must complete the 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
  • have taken part of another research supervisor training which is approved by KI.

If you have already taken a supervisor training course, e.g. at another University, 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 prior to admission.

Collaboration between KI and other universities

For someone who will be supervising a doctoral student who has been admitted to doctoral education at KI, or a doctoral student who has been accepted both at KI and another college or university for a so-called double degree, the following guidelines are applicable in order to fulfill the supervisor training requirement. These guidelines are applicable from 1 January 2010.

Collaboration with other colleges and universities in Sweden

The principal supervisor must have completed the doctoral supervisor training or have equivalent qualifications.

Collaboration with colleges and universities abroad

If the principal supervisor is at another college or university, then the local KI supervisor must have completed doctoral supervisor training or have equivalent qualifications. A principal supervisor working at colleges or universities abroad with doctoral students at KI should complete a web-based training course for doctoral supervisors.


Rules for doctoral education at KI (for supervision - see chapter 6)