The title of "Docent" is well known nationally and has long been a recognized expression of scientific and pedagogical competence. The title provides by tradition 'venia docendi', that is 'the right to teach' and supervise at all levels at universities and university colleges, as well as to evaluate research and education.

A docent at KI must have a doctoral degree and in addition considerably broadened and deepened her/his research and teaching expertise, as well as her/his leadership, development and collaboration skills. Furthermore, broad and deep knowledge and understanding within the subject area is required. The subject of the docent title should reflect the main scientific and pedagogical direction, and be named in accordance with the Swedish standard for classifying research subjects (only available in Swedish). 

Both rights and duties 

A docent should have a clear connection to and be of benefit to KI by conducting both teaching and research. The docent title thus gives the holder legitimacy and is an important driving force as an academic merit. A docent is also expected to take on other assignments, such as educational assignments, supervision, member of thesis committees, expert assignments, assignments as faculty opponent, administrative assignments, and collaboration with the surrounding society. 

An accepted docent with ongoing employment at KI receives a salary increase of SEK 3,300. The department handles the administration.


Qualification requirements and assessment grounds are established in Rules for docent at Karolinska Institutet (Ref. no. 1-1016/2019). Eligible to be accepted as a docent, is anyone who, in addition to a doctoral degree or equivalent, is regionally established and has achieved certain international recognition in her/his field of study. A more detailed description is provided in the instructions Ref. no 2-2632/2020, among other things, how the application is to be formulated and how the assessment of applicants shall be done.

Application process

The average processing time, from receipt of the application until a decision on the docent is made, is six to eight months. The Docent Committee reviews applications in the order in which they are received.

At an initial meeting, the Docent Committee conducts a general assessment of the applicant's application, and decides to either appoint experts and send the application to assessment by experts, to defer the application for a request for minor supplements (within 2 months), or to reject the application.

When statements of opinion have been received from both experts, the matter is taken up at a second meeting and the Docent Committee then decides to either admit the applicant as a docent, to defer the application for a special supplementation or to reject the application.

Apply for docent

The docent application is sent by e-mail to as per below and with attachments (files) numbered in the following order. For more information how to write the documents see Instructions for Regulations for docent.

  1. Form for application for docent 
    Shall be prepared according to a special template.
  2. KI’s qualification portfolio
    KI recommend that your application is written in English and follows the special instructions for KI’s qualification portfolio. All heading in the template must be present and intact even when the applicant does not have qualifications to present under such a heading.  The clinical portfolio can be included for applicants with clinical qualifications, but does not constitute a basis for the assessment.
  3. Independence biography
    Must be prepared according to a separate template, where the applicant must briefly describe his or her independence in teaching and research.
  4. Recommendation from the head of department
    The head of department shall describe the benefit for teaching and research at KI that the docent in question is expected to entail. In addition, the head of department shall propose the docents’s subject designation, according to the Swedish standard for classifying research subjects. The applicant’s independence shall be separately described and confirmed. The head of department shall provide suggestions on two experts, an internal and an external expert according to Instructions for Rules for docent.
    Take part of the assessment matrices the experts use for each area: research expertise, educational expertise and leadership, development and collaboration skills
  5. Teaching table
    Must be set up according to a special template in Excel format. 
  6. Certification of teaching
    Certification from a course coordinator or the equivalent is required for the teaching hours that are presented in the teaching table. The certifications must be numbered and reference to serial numbers must be provided in the teaching table.
  7. Certification of training in teaching and learning in higher education
    The course certificate must indicate the course’s intended learning outcomes, or be appended.
  8. Certification regarding doctoral student supervision
    Certification or a screen dump from Ladok can be obtained from the department’s doctoral studies administrator, where doctoral student leadership is shown.
  9. Accepted manuscripts
    Accepted, but not yet published articles must be confirmed with a copy of a letter of acceptance, and the manuscript must be attached to the application.

Pedagogical courses

To be eligible for docent at KI you need a minimum of five weeks of professional training in higher education teaching, with learning objectives in accordance with recommendations for teaching qualifications required for employment as academic teacher by the Association of Swedish Higher Education. Certification is required in order to have pedagogical courses approved.

The Unit for Teaching and Learning is the Karolinska Institute’s educational development unit arrange free courses for teaching staff and employees at Karolinska Institutet within the fields of pedagogics and computer-supported learning. Many of these courses constitute qualifications when applying for docent. Information about courses offered can be found below.

Courses at the Unit for Teaching and Learning.

Transfer of docent

Applicants, who are docents at another Swedish university and would like to have the docent transferred, must also fulfil KI’s criteria for docent in order for a transfer to be approved. The assessment of applications is done by the Docent Committee based on KI’s regulations and instructions without assessment by experts. There is a special form for a transfer of docent

Docent Committee

The Docent Committee assesses the docent applications. The most important role of the Docent Committee is to assess whether newly received docent applications are sufficient to be sent for expert review and to make a final assessment of applications once experts have given their review.

The Docent Committee decides whether applications are approved or rejected. There is no formal right to appeal the committee’s decisions.

The Docent Committee 1 April 2019 - 30 June 2023.


More information for logged in staff

There is more information for those of you working in the following groups

  • C8.Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Log in with KI-ID
Content reviewer: