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The admission process to the PhD programme

Before being admitted as a PhD student, your project and funding as well as your supervisor's qualifications need to be reviewed and approved by the deputy head of department and the Vice-dean responsible for PhD studies.

Review of funding, project design and supervisor assessment

An assessment of the proposed PhD project is the supervisor's first step in the admission process, taking into account the following aspects:

  • funding
  • project design
  • suitability of the supervisors and supervision plan

The assessment is made in order to ensure that all PhD students are provided the opportunities and resources needed to complete a high-quality PhD programme.

The main supervisor must be able to demonstrate sufficient resources to fund the PhD student's education throughout their PhD programme.

For admission to full-time doctoral studies, this means that there must be sufficient funds to finance the PhD student's salary for four years.

For admission to full-time doctoral studies with an external scholarship, the rules and requirements are outlined in the link below:

External scholarships (Faculty of Medicine's external website)

For admission to part-time doctoral studies in combination with employment at, for example, Region Skåne, the rules and requirements are as follows:

  • The principal supervisor must at the time of admission demonstrate sufficient own research funding (at the PhD student's salary level) to cover the time the PhD student needs to participate in all the compulsory courses that are part of the PhD programme.
  • The necessary funding must also be in place for the PhD student to be able to complete their project within the time period specified in the project plan. 
  • The employer (such as Region Skåne) must approve the funding and certify that enough time is allocated within the student's regular employment position for them to be able to work on their thesis and participate in PhD courses and other elements of the PhD programme. 
  • A maximum of three months per year of clinical service – of relevance to the doctoral education – may be credited as part of the PhD programme.

It is important that the PhD project is designed – in terms of content and time – in a way suitable for the doctoral programme. Therefore, the project plan is reviewed to ensure that it is reasonable in terms of content depth and breadth, thesis components and the timetable for the studies

The supervisors' qualifications, experience and suitability as supervisors must be assessed in order to initiatethe admission process of a PhD student. The constellation of supervisors and the role of each supervisor in the specific PhD project must be conducive to the programme. The review of the supervisors includes ensuring:

  • that the main supervisor fulfils the requirements, i.e. that they are an associate professor or the principal investigator of a minimum three-year project grant from a national or international funding agency,
  • that the supervisors have completed their supervisor training, and 
  • that an assessment of previous track-records and time spent supervising doctoral students proves them suitable. 

Proposed projects must be deemed suitable for PhD studies before a decision is made to admit a PhD student to work on it. All new PhD projects are entered into the database for PhD projects. An assistant supervisor is selected who also reviews the project and certifies that they are ready to take over supervisory responsibilities if the main supervisor is unable to fulfil their commitment.

The supervisor applies for approval of the PhD project via the link below. (Use your Lucat ID to log in.)

Database for PhD projects

The department's deputy head of the PhD programme reviews the project (if necessary in consultation with the head of department and administrative manager at the department), its funding, supervision and feasibility, and approves or rejects the project.

The vice-dean makes the official decision

If approved, the case is forwarded to the vice-dean responsible for PhD-studies, who makes a formal decision. The project is then ready to be advertised. Even in the case of a part-time project that is not to be advertised, the project must be entered into the database, approved and officially decided upon before a PhD student can be admitted. 

All full-time studies in the PhD programme that are funded through a doctoral employment must be advertised. Applications for the positions are made in open competition. Full-time positions are advertised via vacancies on Lund University's website.

Vacancies | Lund University

An appointed review panel proposes a suitable candidate and explains their choice in writing. After approval and eligibility assessment by the head of department with responsibility for PhD studies, the Vice-dean formally decides on the admission of the PhD student.

The details of the admission process of the PhD student are described on the Faculty of Medicine's external website:

PhD admission process | Faculty of Medicine, Lund University

A rejection decision must always be clearly explained.

There are three possible outcomes to an application. It may be:

  1. approved,
  2. approved with reservations, or
  3. rejected.

The right exists to reapply, if the grounds for the rejection have changed.

When assessing the project, its funding, and the suitability of the supervisor, the department and the vice dean may decide to reject an application.

The following are examples of grounds for rejection:

  • The project is not considered suitable as a PhD project.
  • The financial conditions for a PhD project are insufficient.
  • The supervisor will retire during the supervision period and there is no clear succession plan for the supervision of the PhD student.
  • The supervisor already has a large number of PhD students and is deemed to have neither time nor space for more.
  • The supervisor has been involved in conflicts with previous PhD students (or with others in the workplace).
  • The supervisor has been involved in inappropriate ethical assessments on several occasions.
  • The supervisor has shown a lack of accessibility and a lack of supporting the learning process with former PhD students.

Those whose applications are rejected have the right to reapply if the reasons for rejection have changed. When changing departments, any rejection decisions must be notified to the new department. However, the new department makes its own assessment.