13 Doctoral Degree

Published: 22 December 2009
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A Degree of Doctor comprises 240 higher education credits. The scope of the courses may vary between 60 and 120 higher education credits and the scientific work between 120 and 180 higher education credits. The proportion of courses to scientific work is stated in the general syllabus for the third-cycle subject area and each doctoral student’s individual study plan.

Qualitative targets are stipulated in the system of qualifications in the Higher Education Ordinance (appendix 2) and at Luleå University of Technology they are included in the general syllabus for third-cycle subject areas. For a Doctor of Philosophy, the doctoral student must have passed the examiniations in the course section, defended his thesis and passed a public defence of his thesis.

Public defence of a thesis takes place during term time at one of the university's campuses. The opponent and examining committee must attend the public defence in person. Exceptions can only be made for emergencies. The Vice-Chancellor has delegated the decision of an exception in an emergency situation (ref 1510-12) to the chair of a faculty board.

Term dates: 10 January – 20 June, 1 September – 20 December.

13.1 Doctoral thesis

Independent research work shall result in a scientific thesis. The thesis is structured either as a single coherent scientific paper (monograph thesis) or as a number of scientific articles (compilation thesis).  A summarising chapter integrates the different parts and clarifies the doctoral student’s work.  Previously published works may be attached to a monograph thesis.

 A doctoral thesis may be written in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or English (ref 2783-09). The chairman of the boards will decide if another language is permitted.

13.2 Application for defence of thesis

A doctoral student who wishes to make a public defence of a thesis must apply for this with the head of department, after consulting the supervisors. The principal supervisor will propose a time and place for the defence of thesis to the head of department together with proposals for a faculty examiner and members of the examining committee, including a deputy and chairman, for the public defence.

The head of department’s decision on the time and place and the proposal for faculty examiner, examining committee and chairman must be at the board concerned (chairman level) at the latest 8 term weeks before the date of the public defence. A presentation of those proposed, including their CVs and list of publications, are to be enclosed (see item 13.4 Examining committee). They must have been contacted and stated their willingness to accept their respective tasks. One replacement (reserve) must be proposed, also contacted and willing to take on the task.

A short summary of the contents of the thesis (abstract) and information on whether the scientific work is structured as a monograph or a compilation of articles is to be enclosed. When articles are compiled, they must be listed as in the template with titles, co-authors, journal/conference and dates of published/accepted/submitted.

At the latest 4 term weeks before the defence of the thesis the chairmen of the boards will appoint a faculty examiner, members of examining committee and a chairman. The decision will be communicated to the parties concerned.

Notification of the thesis defence and publication of the thesis must take place at the latest 3 term weeks before the public defence of the thesis.

If the doctoral student wishes the Doctor of Philosophy to have another designation than the title of qualification in the general syllabus for the third-cycle subject area, an application for this must be submitted to the faculty board (see item 10, Title of qualification).

13.3 Faculty examiner

 

The qualification descriptors for PhD´s and doctorates in the fine, applied and performing arts lay down that an approved doctoral thesis is required for the award of these degrees. The doctoral thesis shall be presented and defended orally in public. A faculty examiner (opponent) shall be appointed for this presentation. HEO6:3 (2010:1064).

The faculty examiner must be an internationally prominent researcher within the subject area, qualified as docent/professor (reg 1510-12) and may not be active at Luleå University of Technology. In his proposal to the board (chairman level), the head of department and the supervisors shall attest that there are no issues of challenge with respect to the doctoral student, supervisors and project.

If the appointed faculty examiner is unable to attend, the chairman will, time allowing, appoint a new faculty examiner according to a proposal by the head of department. If an emergency occurs at the time of the public defence, one of the members of the examination committee shall be appointed as the faculty examiner by the chairman of the faculty board concerned, or secondly, by the chairman of the public defence. The examination committee will be supplemented by an appointed back-up replacement. Replacements must meet the same rules and guidelines that apply to faculty examiner and members of the examination committee (ref. 1510-12).

13.4 Examining committee

At least one of those participating in the grading of a doctoral thesis shall be someone who does not have a post at the higher education institution awarding the degree. HEO 6:34(2010:1064).

The members of the examining committee shall be qualified as docent/professor and both sexes shall be represented. Special reasons must be given if any of the proposed members are not qualified as docent or if the proposed examining committee consists exclusively of members of the same sex.

The examining committee normally consists of three members. In cases where the thesis is of such a nature that three members cannot represent all reasonable perspectives, the chairman may decide that the examining committee shall have five members. It is recommended that all members of the examining committee are appointed from lecturers at other academic institutions. A substitute (reserve) shall also be appointed, preferably from an other department within LTU (ref 3033-06). The doctoral student’s supervisors may not be included on the examining committee.

The head of department and the supervisors must certify in the proposal to the board (chair person) that there are no challenge issues in relation to the PhD student, the supervisors or the project. 

If the public defence is for a degree which the doctoral student has been permitted another title of qualification than that in the general syllabus, at least one member of the examining committee must be from the disciplinary domain that has the normal prefix (see item 10, Title of qualification).

The examining committee shall appoint its own chairman.

If a member of the examination committee is unable to perform the mission, a substitute shall be appointed as one of three members of the examining committee. The chairman of the faculty board shall, time allowing, appoint a new alternate member in accordance with a proposal by the head of department. If an emergency occurs so that the examining committee at the time of the public defence consists of only two people, the chairman of the faculty board or, secondly, the chairman of the public defence, shall appoint a suitable, competent substitute. The same rules and guidelines apply as for the appointment of the members of the examination committee (ref. 1510-12).

13.5 Fees for faculty examiner and examining committee

Faculty examiners receive fees. Information on the current amount is obtained from Personnel. Subsistence allowance and travelling expenses are paid to faculty examiners and members of the examining committee. The department is responsible for these costs.

13.6 Printing, distribution and advertising

13.6.1 The doctoral student is responsible for

  • booking a time for printing at the latest 10 term weeks before the public defence so that the thesis is printed and published at the latest 3 term weeks before the public defence. Ordering takes place via the printers (info and ordering via Grafiska tjänsters' website),
  • registering the doctoral thesis with the LTU publication database,
  • submitting a proof-read and language-revised PDF file to the printers within the time agreed with the printers (info on Grafiska tjänsters' website)
  • contacting the library to decide on a date for notification of the defence,
  • having the thesis printed, hung for notification and published at least three weeks prior to its public defence,
  • distribution of thesis to appointed members of the examining committee, the appointed faculty examiner and the chairman at the public defence,
  • sending the web address of the electronic version of the thesis to those concerned, external and internal, and interested parties.

13.6.2 The printers are responsible for

  • setting the cover, printing, creating a PDF file and distribution of the doctoral thesis. The cover shall be printed in accordance with the university’s graphic profile and permanently attached to the thesis papers. The series Doctoral thesis is an unnumbered series. Every thesis is given a unique ISBN,
  • providing the library with two printed copies, of which one is perforated (for hanging up for notification) and sending a PDF file intended for electronic publication to the LTU publication database,
  • sending a printed copy of the thesis to the board concerned (secretary),
  • sending the ordered number of copies of the thesis to the department concerned, which are intended for own distribution,
  • sending archive copies to the Archive and the registrar.

13.6.3 The department is responsible for

  • paying costs for printing the thesis and creating a PDF file intended for electronic publication.

13.6.4 The board secretaries are responsible for

  • issuing a notification which includes the web address of the electronic version of the thesis. The original is put in the doctoral student’s file, which is submitted to the degree official at Student service.  Notification is put up in the library. The notification is sent electronically to the Communications office, the Library, the department concerned and the board concerned.

13.6.5 The library is responsible for

  • hanging the thesis for notification in the university library and electronically publishing the thesis in the LTU publication database.

13.6.6 The Communications office is responsible for

  • contacting the doctoral student for a possible press release
  • advertising the time and place of the public defence at the latest 3 term weeks before the public defence and stating the web address where the thesis is published.

13.7 Public defence of thesis

A doctoral thesis shall be publically defended in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian or English (ref 2387-09).

The public defence shall be held on one of the university’s campus areas during normal working hours between 10 January-20 June or 1 September-20 December.

Notification and publication must take place at least 3 term weeks before the public defence. Exceptions from the time frame of three weeks will be decided by the manager of the office of Education and research.

The public defence is lead by a chairman appointed by the faculty board’s chairman.

The chairman opens the defence proceedings and wishes all present welcome. The author of the thesis, the faculty examiner and members of examining committee are presented. The chairman explains the order of the public defence. The author of the thesis is given the opportunity of presenting a list of any corrections to the thesis.

The proceedings continue; either the author presents his doctoral thesis or the faculty examiner gives a short summary of the contents of the thesis. The faculty examiner then presents his viewpoints on the doctoral thesis and the author responds to questions.

Subsequently the examining committee and then others in the audience have the right to put questions and give viewpoints on the doctoral thesis, in the order determined by the chairman.  The author shall answer any questions.

The department will pay costs involved for the public defence of the thesis.

13.7.1 Setting grades

The examining committee shall be present at the public defence and will meet as soon as possible afterwards. When all members are present, the board has a quorum. The examining committee shall appoint its own chairman.

The faculty examiner and principal supervisor have the right to be present and give opinions at meetings of the examination board, but may not participate in decisions. The faculty examiner shall give a verbal statement on the thesis at the meeting. If the principal supervisor is not the subject representative, the latter should also be given the right to be present and give opinions at the examining committee meeting.

When setting a grade, the contents of the thesis and the defence of the thesis shall be assessed. A doctoral thesis is awarded the grade pass or fail. A decision of the board shall be the opinion held by the majority of members. A grade of fail for a public defence must be motivated. A grade of pass shall not be motivated, but individual members in this case own the right to have differing opinions noted in the minutes, without motivation.

The principal supervisor is responsible for the minutes of the examining committee being submitted to the person responsible at the department, where the grade is registered in Ladok. The original certificate is handed to the degree official at Student service.

13.7.2 Degree certificate 

Application is made via www.student.ladok.se after approved public defence of thesis. Courses passed and all thesis credits must have been reported to Ladok. In order to apply for the degree, you need to login with your staff user ID. You need to indicate yourself which courses are to be included in your degree. The courses you choose should be in accordance with the latest uppdated individual studyplan.

Our processing time is approxiamately 6-8 weeks. Your degree certificate will be sent to the address that is indicated in Ladok. You should, therefore, ensure that your contact information is correct. The degree certificate will be sent by registered post.

The degree certificate states the third-cycle subject area, the title of the scientific work, courses passed (examinations) and any credits transfered from previous education. The degree certificate is issued in Swedish and English. A Diploma Supplement is enclosed with the degree certificate. The enclosure facilitates the recognition of foreign and Swedish degrees.

13.8 Compulsory students’ union

The requirement of payment of union fees for obtaining diploma has been discontinued.

13.9 Promotion

Each year in November Luleå University of Technology arranges a ceremony of conferment of doctor's degrees and inauguration of new professors. New doctorates are conferred this day. All doctoral students who have obtained a degree certificate or have submitted a complete application for a degree certificate are invited to the ceremony to be conferred. The invitation is sent to the postal address given by the doctoral student in Ladok, therfore it is important that you enter a valid address in Ladok.

In the event of reasonable obstacles, newly graduated doctoral students who have obtained degree certificates have the right to promotion up to the two years following the graduation.

Checklist prior to public defence of thesis