Guidelines for Doctoral Studies at Uppsala university

Guidelines for Doctoral Studies at Uppsala University

The Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University has approved the following guidelines for doctoral (third-cycle) studies (henceforth doctoral studies).

The guidelines constitute the University’s clarifications of the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100). The guidelines are also based on the Admission and Grading Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Uppsala University (UFV 2022/729).

The guidelines describe the conditions that apply to the planning and implementation of doctoral studies at Uppsala University.

The guidelines are in effect from 1 January 2023. The guidelines also apply to doctoral students who started their doctoral studies prior to 1 January 2023, unless this would adversely affect their conditions.

1. Intended learning outcomes and frame of reference for doctoral studies

Doctoral studies are the highest level within the public education system. At Uppsala University, two degrees can be taken at this level, which differ in duration: the doctoral degree and the licentiate degree. The studies are to be planned so that the effective period of study is a maximum of 48 months for a doctoral degree and 24 months for a licentiate degree.

Doctoral studies at Uppsala University are based on national and local intended learning outcomes. The outcomes for doctoral studies are stated in the System of Qualifications (Higher Education Ordinance, Annex 2). Doctoral studies should be organised so that all the outcomes specified in the System of Qualifications are clearly assessed. This applies equally to knowledge and understanding, competence and skills, and judgement and approach.

The document Uppsala University: Mission, Goals and Strategies (UFV 2018:641) states the following goals:

“Ensuring the volume and breadth of third-cycle education and that all doctoral students belong to or have access to a stimulating doctoral education environment.”

The intended learning outcomes of doctoral studies are stated more precisely in the general syllabus for the subject.

2. Responsibility for doctoral studies

Under Chapter 2, Sections 2–3 of the Higher Education Ordinance, responsibility for doctoral studies ultimately rests with the University Board and the Vice-Chancellor.

Under the Rules of Procedure for Uppsala University, this responsibility has been delegated to the disciplinary domain/faculty board in the disciplinary domain concerned.

It follows from the Rules of Procedure that the disciplinary domain/faculty board has overall responsibility and determines how doctoral studies will be organised in that domain or faculty. Ongoing responsibility is exercised by the department at which the doctoral student is registered. The education must be conducted with high quality and efficiency. The rights and obligations of all concerned must be regarded.

The right of a disciplinary domain/faculty board to further delegate its decision-making powers is regulated in the University’s Rules of Procedure.

The mutual rights and obligations existing between a department and a doctoral student are specified in the individual study plan.

Instructions on the contents of the general syllabus are provided in section 4 below. Supplementary rules on the individual study plan are provided in section 5.

3. Admission to doctoral studies

The rules on admission to doctoral studies are set out in Chapter 7, Sections 34–41 of the Higher Education Ordinance. The University Board has adopted regulations for applications, entry requirements, selection and admission in the Admission and Grading Regulations for Doctoral Studies at Uppsala University (UFV 2022/729).

It is possible to admit doctoral students to a later part of a doctoral programme and in so doing for a shorter effective period of study than 24 months for a licentiate degree and 48 months for a doctoral degree.

4. General syllabus

Rules on the general syllabus are provided in the Higher Education Ordinance:

Chapter 6, Section 26: For each subject in which third-cycle courses or study programmes are offered a general study syllabus is required.

Chapter 6, Section 27: A general study syllabus shall indicate the following: the main content of the study programme, specific entry requirements and any other regulations required.[1]

The disciplinary domain/faculty board decides in which subjects to arrange doctoral studies. For each of these subjects, there must be a general syllabus indicating the main content of the programme, specific entry requirements and any other regulations required. The general syllabi must be approved by a disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body responsible for doctoral studies. The syllabus must state, among other things, which criteria will be applied when assessing the ability to benefit from the studies, the relationship between the thesis part and the course part of the programme, the possibility to take a licentiate degree and the requirements for each degree.

The general syllabus must also be available in English, unless this is manifestly unnecessary.

5. Individual study plan

The Higher Education Ordinance states as follows concerning the individual study plan:

Chapter 6, Section 29: An individual study plan shall be drawn up for each doctoral student. This plan shall contain the undertakings made by the doctoral student and the higher education institution and a timetable for the doctoral student's study programme. The plan shall be adopted after consultation with the doctoral student and his or her supervisors.

The individual study plan shall be reviewed regularly and amended by the higher education institution to the extent required after consultation with the doctoral student and his or her supervisors. The period of study may only be extended if there are special grounds for doing so. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave.

The mutual rights and obligations existing between a department and a doctoral student as regards education are stated in the individual study plan. Other obligations and rights, regarding employment for example, are regulated by other means. At Uppsala University, individual study plans must at a minimum contain information regarding:

  1. The intended degree (doctorate, licentiate or both). A special explanatory statement is required for admission to studies concluding with a licentiate degree.
  2. The timetable for the doctoral student’s studies. The plan should contain a general plan for each year and an estimated date for defence of the thesis. The plan should indicate the courses planned. It is particularly important that the plan is formulated so as to give a good description of the expected thesis work, including monitorable/interim goals with set dates for achieving them.
  3. The funding plan for the entire effective period of study. When funding other than employment as a doctoral student (a doctoral studentship) finances the studies, the special considerations made in the process of admission must be attached to the individual study plan as well as the agreement with the funding provider, where relevant.
  4. Planned teaching and other departmental duties.
  5. The organisation of supervision, specifying both scope and formats, as well as the undertakings of the different parties to ensure effective supervision.
  6. If any other special conditions apply to the studies, these must be stated.

The study plan must be approved by the head of department or another person in a position of responsibility after consultation with the supervisor and the doctoral student. The individual study plan is an active document in which both deviations from the plan and intermediate targets reached are documented on an ongoing basis. If targets are not achieved, this is to be stated in the study plan together with reasons for this and measures planned to remedy the situation. The head of department or equivalent is responsible for follow-up of the study plan at least once a year and revision of the plan if necessary in accordance with the procedures established by the disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body with responsibility for doctoral studies. If there is reason to foresee particular difficulties, more frequent follow-up and alternative approaches should be considered.

Doctoral students who teach should take a course in teaching and learning in higher education. This can either be a for-credit component of the individual study plan or take place within the framework of the doctoral student’s departmental duties.

6. Funding for studies

Funding for studies is regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance and in section 4 of Uppsala University’s Admission and Grading Regulations. The Higher Education Ordinance states as follows:

Chapter 5, Section 3: Only those who are or have been admitted to third-cycle courses and study programmes at a higher education institution may be appointed to doctoral studentships.

Chapter 5, Section 3a: A doctoral studentship shall be a full-time post. If a third-cycle student so requests, the appointment may be a part-time post but for no less than 50 per cent of a full-time post.

Chapter 7, Section 36: A higher education institution may admit applicants to third-cycle courses and study programmes who are appointed to doctoral studentships. The higher education institution may also admit applicants who have some other form of funding for their studies if it assesses that

  1. funding can be guaranteed during the entire period of study, and
  2. the applicant can devote enough time to their studies to enable their completion within four years in the case of a licentiate degree or a licentiate degree in the fine, applied and performing arts or eight years in the case of a PhD or a doctorate in the fine, applied and performing arts.

For an applicant funded by a scholarship, funding pursuant to point 1 of the first paragraph is regarded as guaranteed if the level of the scholarship is equivalent to the pay level for doctoral students regulated by a Swedish collective agreement or standard practice in the profession, after deductions for preliminary tax at source according to the tax table equivalent to the average tax rate for municipalities and regions and which is annually published by Statistics Sweden. If the applicant will alternate staying in Sweden and another country, the requirement for the level of the scholarship only applies to the time the applicant intends to stay in Sweden.

A disciplinary domain/faculty board that has been assigned overall responsibility for doctoral studies in an area has overall responsibility for the doctoral student for the entire period of their education as regards guaranteeing funding, supervision and other resources for their entire effective period of study. Any delegation of this responsibility to another body must be explicit and must not be made to a lower level than department level.

A doctoral student will normally be employed at Uppsala University. At a minimum, the pay level must be in line with the salary scale for doctoral students at Uppsala University.

6.a. Other funding for studies

This section concerns other funding in general, such as doctoral students with scholarship funding, doctoral students employed in industry, doctoral students employed by the regional health authority, and doctoral students employed at another higher education institution. Section 6b takes up additional details relating to scholarship-based funding for studies. The admission of doctoral students with other funding presupposes careful assessment that the funding for studies can be ensured for the entire effective period of study. The right to decide on the admission of a doctoral student with funding other than employment as a doctoral student (a doctoral studentship) at Uppsala University may not be delegated to a lower level than to a joint body for a faculty/disciplinary domain that has responsibility for doctoral studies. The obligation to provide funding for the doctoral student and the obligation to make other resources for the completion of the programme available during the period of studies must be regulated in an agreement or some other document drawn up between the provider of the funding and the department at which the doctoral student will be registered. The agreement must be binding on the funding provider. The agreement should also contain guarantees that the studies will be shielded from any changes of priorities on the part of the funding provider and that time to carry out doctoral studies can be set aside in the day-to-day activities. Decisions on agreements with countries that conduct activities that pose a security threat[2] can be particularly sensitive. Rules on who has authority to decide in these cases are provided in the Order of Delegation for Uppsala University.

Pay level for doctoral students with other funding

The pay level for doctoral students engaged at Uppsala University must be at least in line with the salary scale for doctoral students. The disciplinary domain/faculty board or, in the event of delegation, the department is responsible for topping up pay to the specified level if necessary.

The funding level for doctoral students engaged at another Swedish higher education institution or a foreign higher education institution/company must be in line with the level at the place concerned. The level of funding must be clear at admission. The Human Resources Division is responsible for instructions in areas concerning the practical management of top-up funding.

When funding is specified in a non-Swedish currency, the exchange rate in effect on 1 January will be used to decide whether the funding is adequate for the next year. The assessment will be made once a year and will take account of any taxation of the amounts paid out.

Loss of means of support during the period of studies

If the means of support for a doctoral student with other funding should fail during their studies, the disciplinary domain/faculty board or, in the event of delegation, the department is responsible for ensuring means of support for the remaining effective period of study.

Employment of a doctoral student with other funding

If a doctoral student admitted with other funding transfers to employment as a doctoral student (a doctoral studentship), the time they have studied will be deducted so as to adhere to the effective period of study for the qualification concerned. The period of employment is only to exceed four years in the case of a licentiate and eight years in the case of a doctorate in the circumstances specified in the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Section 7 (see section 7).

6.b. Funding for doctoral students via scholarships

Funding for doctoral students via scholarships is regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance as follows:

Chapter 5, Section 4: A doctoral student funded by a scholarship shall on application be appointed to a doctoral studentship no later than the date on which according to the individual study plan there remains a period of study corresponding to three years of fulltime study before the award of a PhD or a doctorate in the fine, applied and performing arts. This does not apply, however, if the vice-chancellor has decided on the withdrawal of the student’s resources pursuant to Chapter 6, Section 30.

Section 4a: A doctoral student funded by a scholarship does not need to be appointed pursuant to Section 4 if the scholarship is awarded as part of

  1. an aid and capacity building programme in which scholarships are an accepted form of funding with reasonable terms and conditions and the admitting higher education institution has insight into these terms and conditions and into how the scholarship is paid, or
  2. a programme funded by the European Union or other partnerships, in which scholarships with reasonable terms and conditions comprise an accepted form of funding and where requiring funding through employment would be a barrier to participation by the admitting higher education institution.

The disciplinary domain/faculty board concerned is responsible for ensuring that doctoral students funded under Chapter 5, Section 4 are informed that they are entitled, upon application to the head of department, to employment as a doctoral student when three years of effective study remain of their education. There is no time-limit for submitting such an application.

All doctoral students funded by scholarships must be informed of the differences in terms and conditions compared with a doctoral studentship, for example, with regard to access to social insurance benefits.

Uppsala University defines aid and capacity building programmes as the processes by which individuals, organisations and society as a whole raise, strengthen, adapt and maintain their capacity over time.[3] An aid and capacity building programme must be intended to build capacity in a country that is on the DAC/OECD list at the time of the doctoral student’s admission.[4]

At Uppsala University, funding via scholarships in accordance with Section 4a point 1 is permitted if 1) the scholarship organisation is based in one of these countries or 2) the scholarship organisation explicitly pursues the purpose of promoting capacity building in one of these countries.

The relevant disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body with responsibility for doctoral studies is to determine which programmes and other partnerships funded by the European Union come within the scope of the exemption under Section 4a point 2. This must be documented and communicated in a clear manner.

Requirement for agreement with the scholarship provider

Admission of doctoral students funded by scholarships as described in Chapter 5, Section 4 is subject to a prior agreement between Uppsala University and the scholarship provider, guaranteeing reasonable terms and conditions for the scholarship. For this purpose, the University must be given the opportunity to examine the terms and conditions of scholarships and the conditions for their payment (see Appendix).

A decision on an agreement with a scholarship organisation may not be delegated to a level lower than the disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body responsible for doctoral studies. Agreements with scholarship organisations that can support funding in more than one disciplinary domain must be University-wide.

The agreements are to be documented following established procedures so that they are readily accessible for follow-up.

In exceptional cases, if there are extraordinary reasons for doing so, a disciplinary domain/faculty board may decide to waive the requirement for an agreement with a scholarship provider when it is manifestly unnecessary because the funds involved are under Uppsala University’s own management or come from a well-established national scholarship provider with conditions that the University knows from many years of experience to be reasonable. It is not possible to waive the requirement for an agreement in the case of funding of doctoral students via scholarships pursuant to the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 5, Section 4a, points 1–2.

6.c. Educational cooperation leading to a joint degree

Under Chapter 6, Section 11a of the Higher Education Ordinance, educational cooperation leading to a joint degree must be based on a written agreement governing the division of responsibilities. According to the Procedure for establishing joint doctoral programmes (UFV 2018/681), the agreement must clarify the means of support that will be used. The pay level must be at least in line with the salary scale for doctoral students for periods when the doctoral student is engaged in studies at Uppsala University. In other respects, the terms and conditions for means of support follow the guidelines that apply to other funding.

6.d. Information requirement in connection with other funding

The Human Resources Division is responsible for matters relating to insurance, residence permits and, where relevant, work permits. In the case of other funding, Uppsala University must make information available to prospective doctoral students about the differences in terms and conditions compared with employment as a doctoral student (a doctoral studentship).

7. Extension of funding for studies

The Higher Education Ordinance states that the total period of employment as a doctoral student may not exceed the equivalent of four years of full-time doctoral study unless there are special grounds:

Chapter 5, Section 7: Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave.

In cases where there are special grounds within the meaning of the Higher Education Ordinance, an extension of employment as a doctoral student may be permitted. Types of leave other than those specified in the Higher Education Ordinance are only to be permitted in exceptional cases. In the event of relatively long periods of planned leave, such as parental leave, arrangements must be made to help the doctoral student keep their thesis project active. The recommendations made in Uppsala University’s parental policy apply regardless of the type of funding.

Guidelines for extending the period of employment and study for doctoral students in elected positions have been set out in a special decision of 1 February 2022 (UFV 2021/2081). These guidelines apply regardless of the type of funding.

8. Supervision

The Higher Education Ordinance states as follows:

Chapter 6, Section 28: At least two supervisors shall be appointed for each doctoral student. One of them shall be appointed principal supervisor. Doctoral students are entitled to supervision during their studies unless the vice-chancellor has decided otherwise by virtue of Section 30. A doctoral student who so requests shall be allowed to change supervisor.

At least one of the supervisors must have docent status and at least one of them must be an employee or adjunct employee of Uppsala University.

When supervisors are appointed, attention must be given to the issue of conflict of interest. The scope, formats and arrangement over time of supervision must be continuously updated in the individual study plan in consultation between the supervisors and the doctoral student.

The principal supervisor has primary responsibility for the doctoral student’s education, including work on the thesis.

Principal supervisors must undertake training for supervisors during their first year as supervisor at the latest, and this is also recommended for assistant supervisors. The arrangements and scope for such training are decided by the relevant disciplinary domain/faculty board or the equivalent body responsible for doctoral studies.

Supervision and other educational elements relating to research ethics in general, and to good research practice and ethical review in particular, must develop the ability of doctoral students to take responsibility for compliance with good research practice in their research. Ethical clearance must be obtained for the research conducted, as required by the Act concerning the Ethical Review of Research involving Humans (2003:460). The role of supervisor includes the overarching responsibility of the entity responsible for research for ensuring that the research is conducted in accordance with good research practice, as required by Section 5 of the Act on responsibility for good research practice and the examination of research misconduct (2019:504).

Disciplinary domain/faculty boards are responsible for ensuring that doctoral studies include the education and training in good research practice referred to above. The Vice-Chancellor specifically checks up on the provision of education and training in good research practice in doctoral studies during the annual quality dialogues with disciplinary domains.

9. Publication of thesis

Doctoral theses should be published with open access in the University’s publishing platform. To enable satisfactory review of the thesis, it should be published at least three weeks before the public defence of the thesis and 10 printed copies should also be deposited with the University Library at this time. In the case of compilation theses, the introductory chapter should be published openly in electronic form. The individual papers should also be published openly in electronic form when possible.

The period from 15 June up to and including 15 August may not be counted as part of the period of availability. Shorter periods of availability for a doctoral thesis may be granted by the dean or a supradepartmental body, but only in exceptional circumstances.

A period of availability equivalent to that for a doctoral thesis applies for a licentiate thesis before the licentiate seminar. When a student has been admitted with a licentiate degree as the final objective, the licentiate thesis should be published with open access in the University’s publishing platform.

The thesis must be published, printed and distributed so as to adhere to the effective period of study. The publication delay that may arise where patents are involved must not result in it being impossible to adhere to the normal effective period of study.

10. Assessment and credit transfers

Regulations on grades for examinations and thesis defences are provided in section 5 of the Admission and Grading Regulations for Doctoral Studies.

Assessment takes place as described in the Higher Education Ordinance. Disciplinary domain/faculty boards or equivalent bodies with responsibility for doctoral studies must issue supplementary provisions on assessment if necessary. The general syllabus for the subject is to describe any other provisions.

If the thesis or the doctoral student’s ability to defend the thesis has been failed at a public defence, another defence can be held provided that the thesis or the doctoral student’s ability to defend the thesis has been substantially improved.

A transfer of credits for courses may be considered either at the time of admission or later in the period of studies. Possible credit for courses must not serve as an advantage when qualifications are assessed in conjunction with admission. Any application for a credit transfer is at the initiative of the doctoral student. The scope of any credit transfer must be assessed on a course by course basis. Block credit transfers, i.e. credit for several courses at a standard rate, for example for the second year of a second-cycle (Master’s) programme, are not permitted. To ensure educational progression, an assessment must also be made of the number of credits that may be transferred relative to the original scope of the course. A credit transfer may not be linked to a demand for a shortened period of studies. The requirement of guaranteed funding for the entire effective period of studies remains intact. The disciplinary domain/faculty board decides how decisions on credit transfers are made.

In the case of admission to a later part of the programme, a credit transfer is made for previous studies.

11. Doctoral defence and licentiate seminar

Rules on the defence of a doctoral thesis are provided in the Higher Education Ordinance, Chapter 6, Sections 33–35, supplemented by section 5 of Uppsala University’s Admission and Grading Regulations for Doctoral Studies.

The Vice-Chancellor has decided to delegate the right to decide on the time and venue for a doctoral defence to the chair of a disciplinary domain/faculty board or an equivalent body with responsibility for doctoral studies. This decision must be announced at least three weeks before a doctoral defence. Doctoral defences and licentiate seminars may take place during the semester and during the summer recess, with the exception of the period 15 June to 15 August.

The disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body with responsibility for doctoral studies decides who appoints the examining committee, external reviewer and chair of a doctoral defence.

12. Withdrawal of a doctoral student’s resources

Regulations on the withdrawal of a doctoral student’s resources are given in the Higher Education Ordinance.

Chapter 6, Section 30: If a doctoral student substantially neglects his or her undertakings in the individual study plan, the vice-chancellor shall decide that the doctoral student is no longer entitled to supervision and other study resources. Before such a decision is made, the doctoral student and the supervisors must be given an opportunity to make representations. The case shall be considered on the basis of their accounts and any other records available. The assessment shall take into account whether the higher education institution has fulfilled its own undertakings in the individual study plan. A written record of the decision shall be made, which is to include reasons for the decision. Resources may not be withdrawn for any period in which the third-cycle student holds a doctoral studentship or is receiving a doctoral grant.

If a doctoral student substantially neglects their undertakings in the individual study plan, the right to supervision and other resources for the doctoral education will be withdrawn.

Withdrawing resources requires careful assessment and must be done within the framework of a transparent decision-making process following a format decided by the responsible disciplinary domain/faculty board.

The grounds for and against withdrawing resources must be stated clearly and the case must be treated with respect and due consideration for the doctoral student’s privacy.

If such an assessment shows that the doctoral student has substantially neglected their undertakings in the individual study plan, the disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body with responsibility for doctoral studies must take measures and, where appropriate, apply to the Vice-Chancellor for resources to be withdrawn.

A decision to withdraw resources is taken by the Vice-Chancellor after the matter has been processed by the disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body with overall responsibility for doctoral studies.

Chapter 6, Section 31: If study resources have been withdrawn pursuant to Section 30, the doctoral student may, on application to the vice-chancellor, recover his or her entitlement to supervision and other resources. The doctoral student must then demonstrate convincingly, by presenting prospective study results of considerable quality and scope or in some other way, that he or she can fulfil his or her remaining undertakings in the individual study plan.

If a doctoral student has applied to the Vice-Chancellor to recover the right to supervision and other resources, the case is prepared by the head of department/equivalent who turns the application over to the disciplinary domain/faculty board or equivalent body with responsibility for doctoral studies together with their own opinion prior to decision by the Vice-Chancellor.

Depriving a doctoral student of the right to resources is not the same thing as deregistration. The doctoral student can continue to study, though if so, completely independently, and can still present a thesis for public defence.

Decisions to withdraw study resources from a doctoral student pursuant to Chapter 6, Section 30 and decisions that a doctoral student is not to recover these resources pursuant to Chapter 6, Section 31 may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board, as provided by Chapter 12, Section 2, point 6 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

13. Deregistration of a doctoral student

A doctoral student may be deregistered at their own request. Deregistration refers to a situation where a doctoral student’s doctoral studies are discontinued. The disciplinary domain/faculty board is responsible for ensuring that a doctoral student who wishes to discontinue their studies is aware that they will have to reapply for admission in order to resume their doctoral studies.

14. Application for a degree

After completing doctoral studies, the doctoral student receives a degree upon application to the Student Affairs and Academic Registry Division.

Appendix: Checklist for agreement on scholarship funding

The agreement must cover the following points:

  • The period during which the scholarship will be paid and the total amount of funding.
  • Any requirements regarding the gross total period of study.
  • How scholarship payments will be made, for example, the form and frequency of payments, with a view in particular to avoiding taxation of the scholarship.
  • Other benefits that may accompany the scholarship, for example reimbursement of travel expenses or other costs and insurance.
  • Undertakings/obligations of the doctoral student, such as reporting or return requirements.
  • Circumstances that could lead to an obligation to repay all or parts of the scholarship. A requirement for foreign doctoral students to return may not be associated with a demand for repayment.
  • That the University is not responsible for the doctoral student’s obligations in the way, for example, of reporting and return requirements or any obligation to repay the scholarship.
  • That the University is not obliged to admit doctoral students if they are granted scholarships.
  • That the prospective doctoral student must meet general and specific entry requirements to be admitted.
  • That the doctoral student, following admission, will follow the general syllabus and individual study plan.
  • Obligations falling on the University, for example, in the way of requirements to report on the doctoral student’s progress.
  • Whether the scholarship provider permits an extension of the gross period of study due to teaching or other departmental duties (which may presuppose that the University covers the costs this entails).
  • If the agreement is of a general nature and applies for an extended period, supplementary details on the amount of the scholarship may be given in another document that is binding on the scholarship provider. It should be made clear that, if necessary, the University will provide top-up funding for the doctoral student to bring the total net income into line with the salary scale.
  • Whether the doctoral student has the right to retain the scholarship for a longer or shorter period following absence, for example because of sickness, leave of absence, parental leave or prolongation.
  • The agreement must guarantee that absence because of sickness, parental leave or other factors, with the exception of the doctoral student substantially neglecting their undertakings in the individual study plan, will not lead to demands for repayment for the period of studies carried out.
  • The agreement should include a description of the admissions process.


[1] Quotations from the Swedish Higher Education Ordinance are taken from the translation on the website of the

Swedish Council for Higher Education (www.uhr.se), with minor adaptations. In these guidelines, the term ‘doctoral studies’ is used where the translation of the Higher Education Ordinance has ‘third-cycle courses and study programmes’.

[2] According to the Swedish Security Service Yearbook.

[3] Based on OECD/DAC, The Challenge of Capacity Development, 2006.

[4] OECD/DAC lists the countries that are entitled to aid (Official Development Assistance, ODA).

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