The primary task of the supervisor is to help doctoral students develop into independent researchers with a scientific approach.

As a supervisor, you must continuously keep yourself informed of the rules and guidelines that apply to doctoral education and:

  • Ensure that the doctoral student acquires the knowledge specified in the study plan.
  • Ensure that sufficient resources are available to the doctoral student at the department for the project.
  • Facilitate the doctoral student’s participation in relevant doctoral courses, symposia and conferences according to the Individual Study Plan.
  • Support, encourage and be available for discussions with the doctoral student to the extent specified in the study plan.
  • Contribute to expanding the doctoral student’s contact area at the department by encouraging them to present their project in seminar form at the beginning of their work and at regular intervals after that.
  • Take responsibility for initiating, conducting and documenting the mid-way review and the annual follow-ups.
  • Determine when the thesis work has reached the extent that it is ready for public defence (it is primarily the supervisor’s responsibility to assess when the thesis meets the requirements for an academic thesis in terms of quality and scope).
  • Together with the head of department, propose a faculty reviewer and examining committee members, and inform the doctoral student of the rules concerning the public defence.

For each doctoral student, the Research Training Committee shall appoint at least two supervisors. One shall be the principal supervisor with primary responsibility for the programme, including the thesis work, and one assistant supervisor. The Principal Supervisor should be docent or docent-competent. One of the supervisors must be employed by, or adjunct (at least 20% employment) at, Uppsala University.

To be registered as a principal supervisor for a doctoral student at the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, certain requirements must be met.

The intended principal supervisor must be familiar with and fulfil the rules for doctoral studies at Uppsala University. Usually, the Principal Supervisor is already docent. If they are not a docent yet, the planned supervisor constellation must be approved formally in a separate attached letter of support, signed by the head of the department where the doctoral student is to be registered.

The Research Training Committee reviews the application for admission to doctoral studies. The overall assessment of the proposed supervisor constellation will take into account that the principal supervisor has:

  • A well-documented post-doctoral scientific experience, production and independent line of research
  • Already received their own (external or in-house) research grants
  • Completed the one-day supervisor’s briefing provided by the Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy

As a rule, the assistant supervisor must have a PhD, but sometimes, a non-doctoral supervisor may have specific knowledge that is relevant and important for the project.

A doctoral student can request a change of supervisors. This may be justified in various situations. Similarly, they may wish to add a supervisor.

All changes in supervisors involve a revision of the doctoral student’s Individual Study Plan and must be submitted to the Research Level Committee. You must fill in a particular form when you wish to submit changes.

Each doctoral student must have a designated examiner. The examiner shall participate in the annual follow-up of the Individual Study Plan and examine credit-bearing elements of the doctoral studies when reporting in Ladok.

The examiner should also support the doctoral student in discussions on the theoretical part of the studies and the examination.

The examiner

  • Must be at least docent
  • Must have a position as teacher at Uppsala University
  • Must be active at the department where the doctoral student is registered
  • Must be independent of the supervisor and have no conflict of interest
  • May chair the public defence but may not be a member of the examining committee