This years Doctoral Conferment Ceremony will be different

9 October 2020


The jubilee doctors will be honoured with flowers, and their diploma will be sent to them after the ceremony.

This year's Spring Conferment Ceremony, which was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held on the 13th of November – corona-proof. The ceremony will take place in three rounds – all on the same day and all streamed in real time.

Given the current safety restrictions, the faculties cannot hold their degree conferment together in the same ceremony. Conferment will instead be handled separately – a variant of how things were arranged prior to 1935. This means that the ceremony will take place on the same day in three rounds, with a division of promovendi. In other words, conferment will be handled according to disciplinary domain.

We asked Academy Steward Per Ström how it feels to not be able to hold one of the University’s highest honours in the traditional manner:

“I don't have a lot of emotions about it personally, but it is a challenge to meet and try to make the best of the current situation. It does feel a little sad for the honourees, particularly the jubilee doctors, a group that includes several friends and a dear former teacher of mine,” he says.

What has been the toughest to handle?

“The uncertainty about what will apply at the time, and the unbendable rules regarding public gatherings, with a specific number of people regardless of external conditions.”

Do you see any advantages to digitalising the ceremony?

“No, because the actual ceremony cannot be performed digitally but must take place in reality. But there is a great advantage to being able to stream the conferment ceremonies so that they – unfortunately with the necessary absence of the jubilee doctors and loved ones who cannot be allowed to attend – can still follow the actions in real time.”

A cannon salute will take place on this date to mark the respective festivities.
Following the usual procedure, three lecturers have been asked to give a lecture on their research – one lecture for each round of the conferment ceremony.

All jubilee doctors will be conferred the honour in absentia (i.e. in their absence). The Curator Curatorum’s speech to the jubilee doctors will be repeated at all three ceremonies, and the jubilee doctors’ response speech will be read at each ceremony.

The jubilee doctors will be honoured with flowers, and their diploma will be sent to them after the ceremony.

Given the current restrictions, it will not be possible to hold the traditional banquet in the auditorium after the ceremony. Uppsala Castle will instead hold receptions for the promoti and a small number of guests in the Rikssalen hall. 

Schedule for the conferment ceremony 13th of November:

Salute as usual 7:00 
Bell ringing in Uppsala Cathedral 8:00

Then the conferment ceremony as follows: 

  • 9:15–11:00 Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy
  • 12:15–14:00 Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences 
  • 15.15–17.00 Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology

All of the ceremonies will be streamed, and can be followed directly via a link on the University’s website.

The Winter Conferment Ceremony on the 29th of January will probably be conducted the same way.