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At least two supervisors shall be appointed for each doctoral student. One of them shall be nominated as the principal supervisor. Doctoral students are entitled to supervision during their studies unless the vice-chancellor has decided otherwise by virtue of Section 30. A doctoral student who so requests shall be allowed to change supervisor. Ordinance. Higher Education Ordinance 6:28 (2010:1064).

The Head of Department shall appoint at least two supervisors for each doctoral student, by delegation from the Vice-Chancellor. One of them shall be appointed as principal supervisor, the others as co-supervisors. An even gender distribution must be taken into account when appointing supervisors. The doctoral student’s individual study plan shall state what roles the principal supervisor and co-supervisors have and how responsibility is divided between them. The individual study plan is signed by the doctoral student and the supervisors to confirm agreement on the contents and execution of the doctoral student’s programme.

Employment and qualification of supervisors

The principal supervisor for newly admitted doctoral students must be permanently employed > 50 percent of full-time at LTU. If the principal supervisors employment at the University ends before the time the doctoral student graduates, he or she may, after a decision by the Head of Department, remain as the principal supervisor until the doctoral student has graduated.

The principal supervisor must be qualified as docent or professor.

Co-supervisors must hold at least doctoral degree/equivalent artistic qualifications.

Gender balance in the supervisor group must be taken into consideration.

If a change of supervisors take place during the doctoral student´s doctoral program, the above must be met. 

The Head of Department is responsible for ensuring that at least one of the doctoral student’s supervisors has completed supervisor training at LTU or equivalent training at another higher educationinstitution.

Supervisor's responsibilities

The principal supervisor is responsible for  

  • drawing up the doctoral student’s individual study plan and defining the doctoral student’s research project on admission and in consultation with the doctoral student,
  • supervising the doctoral student scientifically/artistically and educationally on the basis of an established general syllabus for the third-cycle subject area and the doctoral student’s individual study plan
  • reviewing the doctoral student’s individual study plan in consultation with the doctoral student at least once a year before establishment by the Head of Department,
  • coordinating interaction between the supervisors, the doctoral student and, where applicable, personnel manager for externally employed doctoral student,
  • reporting the doctoral student’s approved thesis credits,
  • ensure that level of activity and financial support are reported,
  • drawing up and revising the finance plan prior to establishment by the head of department,

The assistant supervisor is responsible for

  • supplementing the scientific/artistic and educational expertise in the project.

Scope of supervision

The doctoral student has the right to supervision during the education as long as the Vice-Chancellor does not decide otherwise on the basis of section 30. Higher Education Ordinance 6:28 

The extent of supervision shall be adapted to the student's needs and may vary over time, but a doctoral student in full-time studies shall be supervised for at least 10 hours per term in personal meetings. A doctoral student, principal supervisor and assistant supervisors should meet together for review and planning of the programme at least once each term.

Changing supervisors

A doctoral student who so requests has the right to change supervisors. Higher Education Ordinance 6:28 (2010:1064)

A doctoral student who so requests has the right to change supervisors. The Head of Department appoint supervisors by delegation from the Vice-Chancellor.
The individual study plan is updated and the change of supervisor is registered in Ladok.


Luleå University of Technology is an administrative authority. In an authority, all processing and all decision-making must be characterized by objectivity and impartiality

When it relates to third-cycle studies, the issue of disqualification is primarily in the context of the supervisor/doctoral student relationships, examinations and the appointment of members of the examining committee and the faculty examiner.

Withdrawal of supervision and other resources

If a doctoral student substantially neglects his or her undertakings in the individual study plan, the vice-chancellor shall decide that the doctoral student is no longer entitled to supervision and other study resources. Before such a decision is made, the doctoral student and the supervisors shall be given an opportunity to make representations. The case shall be considered on the basis of their reports and any other records available. The assessment shall take into account whether the higher education institution has fulfilled its own undertakings in the individual study plan. A written record of the decision shall be made, which is to include reasons for the decision. Resources may not be withdrawn for any period in which the third-cycle student has been appointed to a doctoral studentship or is receiving a doctoral grant. Higher Education Ordinace 6:30 (2010:1064).

If study resources have been withdrawn pursuant to Section 30, the doctoral student may, on application to the vice-chancellor, recover his or her entitlement to supervision and other resources. The doctoral student must then demonstrate convincingly, by presenting prospective study results of considerable quality and scope or in some other way, that he or she can fulfil his or her remaining undertakings in the individual study plan. Higher Education Ordinance 6:31 (2010:1064).

Further information on the method of examining a doctoral student’s neglect of undertakings may be obtained from the university lawyers. Contact the lawyers

The decision to withdraw resources for a doctoral student’s studies and the decision that a doctoral student may not have such resources restored may be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board.