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Generic Knowledge and Skills - Portfolio

The picture shows a briefcase standing on a stone outdoors.

The main objective of the Generic Knowledge and Skills course (taught and examined through a portfolio) is that you as a PhD student, through continuous documentation and reflection, gain insight into your learning and the extent to which you are progressing towards the learning outcomes for the doctoral degree – with a focus on generic knowledge and skills. The portfolio also forms the basis for reviewing how you have achieved the learning outcomes at the end of the doctoral programme.

  • Course leader Olga Göransson Olga [dot] goransson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se
  • Examiner The deputy head for doctoral education at your department (FU-prefekt)
  • The course targets PhD students at the Faculty of Medicine
  • Credits 12 hp

Time period

Upon admission to the doctoral programme, students are automatically registered to the course  Generic Knowledge and Skills. You do not have to apply for this particular course. During the compulsory introductory course for doctoral students, information is provided about the content of the course. Thereafter, Generic Knowledge and Skills, in the form of personal work with a portfolio, runs throughout the doctoral programme.


The course aims to enable the doctoral student to achieve and demonstrate their fulfilment of the learning outcomes for doctoral education – especially those that are not achieved or generally examined through the dissertation.


Support for the work is provided by the course management in the form of workshops 2-4 times per semester, and a Libguide.

The learning outcomes are achieved through the various activities that the student participates in during the doctoral programme, as well as by the doctoral student themselves documents and reflects on these objectives, with the help of descriptive and reflective texts, appendices and other material.

The portfolio must be submitted 4 months before the public defence seminar, and is examined in conjunction with registering for the public defence seminar. During the examination the PhD student must show how the learning objectives have been achieved, by compiling the documented experiences they have selected, and through descriptive and reflective texts, appendices or other material. Prior to this, at the half-time review, the portfolio is formatively assessed by the half-time review opponents and by the deputy head of doctoral education at the student’s department (FU-prefekt).

  • Research process
  • Research methodology
  • Expertise in subject
  • Publishing
  • Pedagogical training and experience
  • Conferences and seminars
  • Collaboration with the national and international research community
  • Collaboration with society at large
  • Ethical issues
  • Career development
  • Supervision/supervisor
  • Administration, organisation and leadership

    Using the web-based system for the portfolio (Mahara) is recommended. Log in via the course Libguide.

  • identify and analyse challenges and issues in their own and others’ research, and propose ways to solve or manage these issues 
  • independently formulate a project plan including research issue, method and time plan 
  • reflect on the choice of method, and on strengths and weaknesses of the methodology applied in in their own research project 
  • describe the strategies used to obtain the knowledge required within the general subject and its methodology 
  • independently take responsibility for all the stages of the publication process 
  • reflect on their development of teaching skills and how they have used them to support the learning of others and adapted their teaching to different target groups, for example the wider society 
  • present and discuss research and research findings with collaborators and at conferences and seminars, and reflect on the quality and authority of the delivery 
  • reflect on the significance of collaboration, conferences and other research interactions for the quality of research and their own development of expertise 
  • reflect on the possible uses and routes for implementation of their own research results in wider society, and identify opportunities and risks associated with such use 
  • make research ethics assessments, assess the need for ethical review, and reflect on the meaning of academic integrity, providing examples from their own thesis project 
  • identify their own strengths and weaknesses, and reflect on different career paths and the knowledge and skills required for them 
  • reflect on their own development towards independence, particularly vis-à-vis their supervisors 
  • demonstrate understanding of and participation in administration, organisation and management of research and education


Olga [dot] goransson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Course Syllabus Generic Knowledge and skills doctoral degree

Course Syllabus Generic Knowledge and skills licentiate degree