Supervision for doctoral students

A doctoral student must have at least two supervisors, and one of them must be the principal supervisor. Other supervisors are referred to as second supervisors.

The supervisors main task is to support the doctoral student in developing into an independent researcher with a scientific approach. The supervisors plan the doctoral education alongside the doctoral student. The plans are to be documented in the individual study plan (ISP) which must be updated at least once a year. Alongside the doctoral student, the supervisors are responsible for regularly discussing and following-up how the doctoral student's studies is developing, and adjusting the plans accordingly. Throughout the planning, the supervisors shall ensure that the doctoral education corresponds to the qualitative targets so that these are reached by the end of the doctoral education.

Requirements for doctoral level supervisors

Anyone who is employed at Halmstad University as a Docent (Associate Professor) or a Professor, and who conducts research as a part of their employment, is eligible to be a principal supervisor. In certain cases it is enough that the principal supervisor has significant and documented ties to Halmstad University. Eligible to be a second supervisor are thoose that are employed by the University and have a PhD. Even persons who do not have their principal place of employment at Halmstad University are eligible to be a second supervisor if they have a PhD.

More information regarding the requirements that have to be reached in order to become a principal or assistant supervisor of doctoral education at the University is presented in the guidelines.

The principal supervisor's responsibilities

In accordance with the University's guidelines regarding doctoral education, the principal supervisor is responsible for:

  • That the research project, which forms the basis for the thesis work, is of good quality and has a reasonable scope.
  • Work with the follow-up of the doctoral student's education and the individual study plan in accordance with the University's guidelines for the follow-up of doctoral students and the individual study plan (ISP). This means, among other things, that an ISP exists for the doctoral student and that the first ISP is drawn up no later than three months after the start of the doctoral student's studies, that together with the doctoral student, the content of the ISP is developed, worked with and quality assured, participation in follow-up meetings for the doctoral student, and that the ISP is updated. The ISP must be updated at least once a year.
  • Manage (assess and propose) credit transfer for doctoral students according to the University's guidelines for credit transfer and instructions for credit transfer.
  • Make decisions on courses and the scope of credits for what is referred to as individual courses or individual instance in accordance with the University's guidelines for examination at PhD level.
  • That the public defence/licentiate seminar is prepared and carried out in accordance with the University's guidelines for examination at PhD level and guidelines for review of licentiate theses and doctoral dissertations. This means, among other things, taking into account and informing about grounds for conflicts of interest in the proposal of opponent/examination board member/examiner and making the application of the public defence/licentiate seminar complete. This includes finalising the justification of the opponent/grading committee/examiner and a supervisor's declaration (at the public defence).
  • Together with the doctoral student, go through and agree on which courses are to be included in the degree in connection with the doctoral student's application for a degree certificate.
  • Be familiar with the laws and regulations governing doctoral education and the University's guidelines concerning doctoral education.
  • Further training in supervision and its pedagogy with the help of courses offered.
  • Prioritise and actively participate in the meetings for supervisors.
  • To have an ethical approach, which includes awareness that supervision and treatment are based on the values and approach described in the University's employee policy and policy for the work environment and equal conditions.

Change of supervisor

A doctoral student who requests it, has the right to change supervisor according to the Higher Education Ordinance.

The doctoral student directs the request to change supervisor to the relevant director of studies. The concerned School will then prepare a proposal for a new supervisor.

Follow-up of supervision

Follow-up of the supervision in the doctoral student's education takes place in conjunction with the update of the individual study plan (ISP). If shortcomings in the supervision is raised by the doctoral student this will be addressed primarily in the regular follow-up procedures. If this is not possible, a more detailed individual study is to be developed by decision of the Committee for Doctoral Education.