9 Supervision

Published: 22 December 2009
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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. HEO 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 assistant supervisors. The doctoral student’s individual study plan shall state what roles the principal supervisor and assistant supervisors have and how responsibility is divided between them. The individual study plan is signed by the supervisors to confirm agreement on the contents and execution of the doctoral student’s programme.

At Luleå University of Technology, are local rules as stated in article 9.1-9.3 (ref no 2783-09).

9.1 Employment and qualification of supervisors

9.1.1 Employment

The principal supervisor shall have an appointment at Luleå University of Technology. Exceptions are permitted when the principal supervisor’s employment at the university ceases before the date when the doctoral student takes a degree. After a decision by the head of department, the principal supervisor may retain the role of principal supervisor until the doctoral student takes a degree. 

9.1.2 Qualification requirements for supervisors in technical areas 

The principal supervisor of a doctoral student admitted for a doctoral degree/later part of doctoral degree must be qualified as docent or professor from 2010 inclusive.  

The principal supervisor of a doctoral student admitted for a licentiate degree must hold at least a doctoral degree.

An assistant supervisor must hold at least a doctoral degree.  Transitional rules for supervising doctoral students admitted before 01/01/2010:  an appointed assistant supervisor will be allowed to supervise until a doctoral student takes a degree, even if the assistant supervisor does not hold a doctoral degree.

9.1.3 Qualification requirements for supervisors in humanities and social sciences 

The principal supervisor of a doctoral student admitted for a doctoral degree must be qualified as docent or professor. Until the stage of a licentiate degree, or 120 higher education credits achieved out of 240, the qualification requirements for a principal supervisor are at least a doctoral degree/equivalent artistic qualifications, provided that the doctoral student’s assistant supervisor is qualified as docent or professor.  The head of department is responsible for changing the principal supervisor so that the qualification requirement of docent/professor is fulfilled for admission to the later part of a doctoral degree, or when the doctoral student has attained 120 higher education credits in the programme.

The principal supervisor of a doctoral student admitted for a licentiate degree must hold at least a doctoral degree.

An assistant supervisor must hold at least a doctoral degree/equivalent artistic qualification.  In those cases where the principal supervisor up to a licentiate degree is not a docent or professor, the assistant supervisor must be a docent or professor.

Transitional rule for supervising doctoral students admitted before 15/03/2010:  an appointed assistant supervisor will be allowed to supervise until a doctoral student takes a degree, even if the assistant supervisor does not hold a doctoral degree.

9.1.4 Supervisor training

At least one of the doctoral student’s supervisors must have taken supervisor training. The head of department is responsible for ensuring that supervisors have takne supervisor training. The steering group for the training is the boards’ joint third-cycle studies group.

9.2 Supervisor's responsibilities

9.2.1 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 the end of each term before establishment by the head of department,
  • coordinating interaction between the supervisors, the doctoral student and in certain cases the doctoral student’s manager (externally employed doctoral student),
  • reporting the doctoral student’s approved thesis credits, level of activity and financial support to the department administrator so that information in the individual study plan and Ladok correspond,
  • drawing up and revising the finance plan prior to establishment by the head of department,
  • facilitating the doctoral student’s national and international contacts.

9.2.2 The assistant supervisor is responsible for

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

9.3 Scope of supervision

A doctoral student has the right to supervision during four years of full-time studies.  A part-time doctoral student has the right to the same amount of supervision up to a maximum of eight years.  If a doctoral student neglects his/her commitments under the individual study plan, the Vice-chancellor may decide that the student no longer has the right to supervision and other resources. In the assessment it shall be considered whether the head of department and supervisors have fulfilled their undertakings as stated in the individual study plan.

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 supervisor should meet together for review and planning of the programme at least once each term (FFN, TFN ref 2783-09, replaces ref 862-06).

9.4 Changing supervisors

A doctoral student who so requests has the right to change supervisors through decision by the head of department. The individual study plan is then updated and the change is registered in Ladok.

9.5 Challenge issues

The Vice-Chancellor has established guidelines for treating issues of challenge at LTU (ref 2381-2019). When it relates to third-cycle studies, the issue of challenge 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.

 

9.6 Equal opportunity

The Vice-Chancellor has established a Policy for equal treatment at LTU (ref 503-10).

9.7 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. HEO 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. HEO 6:31 (2010:1064).

Further information on the method of examining a doctoral student’s neglect of undertakings may be obtained from the LTU Legal Office.

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.