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School of Medical Sciences

I am a doctoral student

This page provides you with information about your doctoral education, as well as with links to different forms that you will need.

According to the Higher Education Ordinance, every student admitted to doctoral education shall annually establish an individual study plan (ISP). The plan should be established together with your supervisor within two months after you have been admitted. The individual study plan can be seen as a contract between you and the university about how your doctoral education is implemented. It is also an important planning tool for you and your supervisor and a way for the university to follow up on your studies. Your research plan and the general syllabus (ASP) is the basis for the planning of the ISP. The individual study plan must be signed by the doctoral student and the supervisor. Use the link below to find more information about the ISP, as well as links to the ISP template and a guide with examples to help you to fill it out.

Change/addition of supervisor

If you want to change, remove or add a supervisor, your principal supervisor must fill out the form found below and send it to the study and research administration.

Change of specialisation

If you want to change your specialisation within the subject area Medical Science, please fill out the form below and send it to the study and research administration.

Change of general syllabus

You follow the general syllabus which was valid on the day you were admitted to doctoral education. Should the general syllabus change during your study period, you may apply for transfering your studies to the newer general syllabus. Please fill out the form below and send it to the study and research administration.

Change pace of study

Pace of study can mean either the planned or the actual level of activity, depending on the context. You cannot have a study activity lower than 50 per cent of full time. If you want to change your pace of study you need to fill out the application form below. Your supervisor shall submit the form to the study and research administration.

Extension of study period

If you want to request an extension of your study period, for example due to sick leave or parental leave, you need to fill out the form below and send it to the study and research administration. Please remember that you must also include a certificate from your employer or insurance office (not required if you are employed as a doctoral student at Örebro University). 


If you for some reason want to terminate your doctoral studies, you must report it in writing. Contact the study and research administration or the Director of studies for more information.

The general syllabus on which you were admitted states how many credits you need to take during your doctoral education to meet the degree requirements. Örebro University offers doctoral courses but you can also choose to attend courses at other universities or institutions. You will find the University's doctoral courses here.

When you attend and pass a course given by Örebro University, your credits will automatically be registered in the study documentation system Ladok. However, if you attend and pass a course given by the University Library, you must apply for credit transfer (more information about credit transfer follows below).

You may also attend courses at other universities or institutions, in Sweden or abroad.

Below you will find links to doctoral courses at faculties of medicine at other universities in Sweden.

Important to remember is that if you attend courses outside of Örebro University you need to apply for a credit transfer after you finished the course in order for it to count towards your future doctoral degree.

Along with a properly filled-out application you must also submit a certificate of your participation, as well as a course syllabus or similar. 

We recommend that you submit your application via e-mail to the study and research administration.  

Note that it is always individually assessed whether or not an application is approved (completely or partly).

See the links below for more information about credit transfer.

Mid-way review is a mandatory element in doctoral education. The mid-way review shall be held no later than when half of the doctoral study programme has been completed, i.e., after two years for full-time studies, or earlier if two papers have been accepted for publication in a refereed journal. The mid-way review is planned by the supervisor in consultation with the doctoral student and other supervisors, as well as with the specialisations coordinator.

Please note that Örebro University's PowerPoint templates and logos shall be used for your material presented at the mid-way review, they can be found here (ORU account log-in required).

A doctoral education of 240 credits (four years of full time studies) is concluded by you defending your thesis at a public defence.


It is your principal supervisor’s responsibility to plan your public defence together with you. Remember to start planning and preparing well in advance; there is much to be done. We recommend that you inform the study and research administration as soon as you have a preliminary date for your defence, so that the availability can be checked. It is also important that you contact the printing office Repro as soon as possible to establish a time plan for your thesis production.

Submission of proposal for public defence

The proposal for public defence, complete with all appendices, shall be submitted in original version to the study and research administration 13 weeks - at the latest! - before the proposed date of the public defence.

All appendices that are to be included are listed on the proposal form. Note that all the documents shall be printed single-sided.


After being signed by the Specialisation coordinator and the Head of School, the proposal is sent by the study and research administration to the Records Office and thereafter administered by the Office for Academic Policy. Decision on the public defence is taken by the chairman of each faculty board (dean) and expedited within the University as well as to the doctoral student and the principal supervisor.

After the decision

The study and research administration is responsible for all distribution to the faculty examiner, the examining committee incl. substitute, the chair of the defence and assistant supervisors.

The doctoral student sends the articles that are to be included in the thesis, along with the (if any) documentation regarding ethical vetting, i.e. applications (excl. appendices) and decisions, to the study and research administration. The administration in turn sends the documentation to the members of the examining committee that makes an external review.

The doctoral student sends the introductory chapter (kappa) to the study and research administration according to the time plan. The administration is responsible for sending the introductory chapter for a plagiarism check.

The study and research administration informs the doctoral student, the principal supervisor and the printing office Repro about the results of the review and plagiarism check.

Nailing ceremony (spikning)

The purpose of a spikning is to make your thesis available to the public, and to publicly announce the time and place for your defence.

A nailing ceremony is organised by the school and held at either Campus USÖ or Campus Örebro. The ceremony is to be held no later than three weeks prior to the planned defence. Usually the principal supervisor is speaker at the ceremony, which means introducing the doctoral student and their research to the auditorium. You have the chance to introduce your thesis, and then you perform the physical nailing.

The thesis is also made public digitally via the digital scientific archive DiVA.

A licentiate degree of 120 credits (two years of full time studies) can be an independent degree, or a step on the road towards a doctorate. The licentiate thesis shall be defended at a public seminar.

On the University's central pages you can find more information about thesis production. For licentiate thesis there is a special front page template to download.

Plagiarism check

Three weeks prior to the production deadline for the doctoral or licentiate thesis the doctoral student is responsible for sending the thesis for plagiarism check.

Reprint permission template

Reprint permission template for contacting journals prior to thesis production may be used by the doctoral student when asking for the relevant journals’ permission to reprint articles, including tables and figures as well as images, in their doctoral thesis.

Venues and refreshments

Degree certificate

A doctoral student who fulfils the requirements for a Doctoral degree or Licentiate degree shall, on request, receive certification of this from the University. More information and the form for requesting a degree certificate is available via this link.

If you have questions regarding the degree, please contact This is an email address


Here you can find contact information to persons involved in doctoral education at the School of Medical Sciences. If you have general questions or are unsure of whom to address, please contact the study and research administration.

Head of subject: Hans Hjelmqvist
Programme coordinator: Ignacio Rangel
Specialisations coordinator Biomedicine: Allan Sirsjö
Specialisations coordinator Medicine: Hans Hjelmqvist (acting 2020)
Specialisations coordinator Surgical sciences: Hans Hjelmqvist
Director of studies: Johnny Karlsson