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Half-time review

All students admitted to the doctoral programme must complete a review of the progression of their studies, approximately halfway through the programme, called the half-time review.


Once the supervisor and the doctoral student are in agreement that half the period of research studies has passed, the supervisor takes the initiative to implement a half-time review. The review takes the form of a public seminar, which is announced well in advance by the faculty office. The review must be carried out physically on site in the university's premises

In addition to information about where and when the seminar will take place, an abstract in English should be sent to the faculty office. The abstract should include a maximum of 350 words and preferably follow the template below:

Template abstract half-time review (1,23 mB, new tab)

Abstracts and information about where and when the half-time review will take place should be sent to: Madeleine [dot] nystrom [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se at least two weeks before the half-time review. Also state in the email which department you belong to.


Before the half-time review, the course requirements must be successfully completed according to the General study plan.

Appointing reviewers

The supervisors appoint two reviewers (outside their own research group) who have a doctoral degree and are not linked to the project. They should fulfil the following requirements:

  • The reviewers must not have co-published with the supervisor and/or doctoral student in the current project.
  • One of the reviewers should have a specialised competence in the subject of the dissertation, and one should have broader competence in the subject.
  • At least one of the reviewers should be an Associate Professor (docent).
  • FUN recommends that the reviewer with an associate professorship is also a member of the examination committee at the public defence seminar at the end of the doctoral programme. 


PhD students admitted before 1 January 2024

The PhD student writes a brief summary of their project. This summary is sent to the external reviewers no later than two weeks before the half-time review, and is to be distributed to those present at the half-time review.

If there is a completed manuscript/screen print, the report should include about 1-3 pages describing the project (both what has been done and what is planned) and the manuscript/screen print should be attached.

If there is no manuscript, the report should be more extensive, about 10-15 pages, and in manuscript format.

PhD students admitted from 1 January 2024

The PhD student writes a report of the thesis work, approximately 10-20 pages. This must contain started parts of the thesis summary/kappa such as introduction, background, aims and research questions. Current methods and results as well as planned studies/publications must be summarized under special headings. The text can also be used in the final version of the thesis summary. The report must also include a reflection on ethical considerations, where it is stated for each paper:

• existing ethical permits with registration number

• if ethical permission is planned to be applied for, or

• reasons why ethical approval is not required.

The report is sent to the external reviewers at least two weeks before the half-time review and is distributed to those present at the seminar.

Individual study plan

The PhD student must also send the original and at least one updated version of the individual study plan to the reviewers to check.

Generic Knowledge and Skills - portfolio

In addition, the portfolio must be sent to the half-time reviewers for assessment two weeks before the half-time review takes place. The portfolio is sent as a viewing page from Mahara (or for those not using Mahara, as a pdf file). 
The portfolio is assessed by the half-time reviewers using an assessment matrix. This then makes up part of the half-time review certificate, and includes feedback and suggestions for improvement. More information about the portfolio can be found on the Portfolio course page.

The document below is a supporting document for the reviewer:

Guide to your portfolio work in twelve categories (pdf 638 kB, new tab)

At the seminar, the doctoral student presents the work completed so far and the plans for further project work up to the public defence of the thesis. 

The presentation is followed by a question and answer session in which the external reviewers discuss the results and the further planned work up to the degree, as well as assessing the doctoral student’s expertise in the subject. 

The seminar concludes with a general discussion between the doctoral student, the audience, the supervisor and the external reviewers. A time limit should be set on the question and answer session. 

The main supervisor must attend and all co-supervisors should attend the half-time review.

After the seminar

After this, a private discussion takes place between the doctoral student, the supervisors and the external reviewers, addressing both the research work and the doctoral student’s portfolio and general development. The doctoral student also has the opportunity to discuss privately with the external reviewers. The external reviewers are responsible for completing the certificate and assessment matrix. The certificate, assessment matrix and portfolio are then sent to the Deputy head of research education at the PhD student’s department. 

If the half-time review review is not approved

In cases where the half-time review shows that the progress of the project is not satisfactory and/or that the individual study plan has not been followed, it is the responsibility of the department's Deputy head of research to discuss – in consultation with the doctoral student, the supervisor and the reviewers – the continued work up until the public defence seminar, as well as a possible revision of the individual study plan.

After the half-time review, the following needs to be done:

  • The individual study plan is followed up based on any feedback from the half-time review. This must be done within three months of the half-time review in order for the supervisor to receive full faculty funding. More information can be found here:
    Faculty funding of the doctoral programme after the half-time review.
  • The half-time reviewers' recommendations regarding updates of the portfolio must be taken into account, and then the portfolio (in the form of a viewing page from Mahara or as a PDF file) and the certificate of a completed half-time review must be sent to the Deputy Head of Department for doctoral studies. 
  • The signed certificate is then sent by the Deputy Head to the PhD Studies Office for registration in LADOK. The half-time review can be replaced by a licentiate degree. 
    Certificate half-time review (pdf 461 kB, new tab)
  • A copy of the certificate must be sent together with the form "Completed stage, doctoral student agreement" to the salary administrator at the PhD student's department for a new salary setting (applies from the 1st month after the half-time review). 
    Application for new salary level (pdf 1,01 MB, new tab)

The purpose of the half-time review is for the supervisor and doctoral student to determine whether the project is progressing in accordance with the individual study plan drawn up upon admission, in terms of the results achieved, as well as to follow up on the generic knowledge and skills that are learned within the Portfolio.


Contact details for Deputy heads of department for doctoral education:

Department of Experimental Medical Sciences

Olga Göransson
+46 46 222 95 52
Olga [dot] Goransson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (olga[dot]goransson[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se) 

Department of Health Sciences

Eva Ekvall Hansson

Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund

Stefan Hansson
+46 46 222 30 11
Stefan [dot] Hansson [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (stefan[dot]hansson[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö

Anette Agardh
+46 40 39 13 38
Anette [dot] Agardh [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (anette[dot]agardh[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund

Marcus Järås
+46 723 87 36 03
Marcus [dot] Jaras [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se (marcus[dot]jaras[at]med[dot]lu[dot]se)

Department of Translational Medicine

Christopher Rääf