Those interested in doctoral studies can contact the head of department or a researcher at the department to learn about ongoing research projects. Admission to doctoral studies is decided by the faculty's director of studies.

Study plans at three levels

  1. The general study plan (see right-hand column) provides guidance regarding, inter alia, the purpose, objectives, eligibility and prerequisites, as well as the structure and content of the programme.
  2. The study plan for the medical science specialisation contains subject-specific information. To be requested at your department.
  3. An individual study plan (ISP) for you as a doctoral student is drawn up during your admissions seminar.

Rules for doctoral education at Umeå University

The form for applying for admission can be found on the page Forms/Application for admission to doctoral studies

Admission rules Umeå University

Application for admission to doctoral studies

When a higher education institution intends to admit one or several full time doctoral students, announcement of open recruitment for these positions shall be provided by the higher education institution through advertising or some equivalent method. Announcement for doctoral student recruitment is not required for the following situations:

  1. For admission of a third-cycle student who is to complete the course or study programme within the framework of employment by an employer other than the higher education institution,
  2. For admission of a third-cycle student who has previously begun third-cycle studies at another higher education institution, or
  3. If there are similar special grounds.

Chapter 7 Section 37 Higher Education Ordinance
The public announcement calling for applications is published on the University's website after a decision by the head of department (minimum). According to the Admission Regulations for Doctoral Education at Umeå University, the application period must be open at least three weeks. The applicant review process is first discussed by the department's doctoral studies group, or a recruiting group led by the department head, for assessment of eligibility, project plan and time and funding plan. The head of department then recommends admission for one applicant before the original documents are sent to the Medicine Faculty Office for review and decision.

The decision for offer of admission is made using the form Application for admission (PhD) Admission to doctoral studies by the faculty's director of research education studies. The department is responsible for registering admissions data in Ladok.

Admission requirements

In order to be admitted to doctoral studies, applicants must demonstrate both the general and specific entry requirements and be assessed as having the other skills needed to complete the studies (pursuant to the Higher Education Ordinance, HEO).

Those who have completed a degree at master's level, completed course requirements of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits at master's level, or who have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way within or outside Sweden are considered to have satisfied the general entry requirements (Chapter 7 Section 39 HEO). In the medical and dental programmes, eight semesters of study correspond to the general entry requirements.

If there are special reasons, the director of studies may grant an exemption from the general entry requirements. Requests for exemption from the general entry requirements are made on a separate form. The request is made by the prospective principal supervisor and a decision on this must be made by the faculty's director of studies before the application for admission is submitted.

Excerpt from the General study plan for doctoral studies in medical sciences:

3.2. Specific entry requirements
In order to meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, it is required that the applicant has the following:

  • Necessary knowledge from one or more higher education courses and study programmes or corresponding courses and study programmes assessed as relevant to the area of doctoral studies
  • Necessary language skills in English, both written and oral. Assessment of these skills is done by having the prospective doctoral student present his/her research plan in English to an assessment group appointed by the head of department.

The specific entry requirements must be met before admission. The department must check that the entry requirements of both the general study plan and the study plan for the relevant subject area are met.

For students with a foreign university degree, an individual assessment of eligibility is made at the department. The Swedish Council for Higher Education can help with the assessment of foreign degrees. The eligibility assessment must be approved by the head of department. Certificates confirming that the applicant has passed the eligibility test and certified copies of the applicant's grades must be enclosed with the application.

Those applicants to be granted a funded position as full time doctoral students will be given precedence. Applicants with other study funding may be admitted if the head of department and director of studies consider that funding is secured for the entire course of study and if the applicant with such funding can devote sufficient time to complete their studies within eight years.

A doctoral student who is admitted to Umeå University and conducts his/her doctoral studies at another university or within the framework of employment with another employer should stay at Umeå University for at least 30 weeks during the total period of doctoral studies to ensure that he/she takes part in and contributes to the academic environment of the University (decision of the Research Committee 19 May 2014, Section 46).


Upon admission to doctoral studies, at least two supervisors must be appointed for each student, one principal supervisor and at least one assistant supervisor. Sharing the role of principal supervisor is not permitted. Teachers/researchers at the Faculty of Medicine who are docents or who have been assessed by an external expert as having at least equivalent competence may be appointed as principal supervisors. Researchers lacking the qualifications required for appointment as a docent may be appointed as principal supervisors provided that an assistant supervisor with such qualifications is appointed.

The principal supervisor must be employed by or affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University. Employment within Region Jämtland Härjedalen, Region Norrbotten, Region Västerbotten or Region Västernorrland is considered affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University. (Decision FUT 20150421) If there are any questions concerning this, please contact the faculty's director of studies. University regulations require that at least one of the supervisors must have a permanent teaching position at the department where the doctoral student is admitted. A principal supervisor may have a maximum of five doctoral students at the same time (decision of the Research Committee 23 March 2016). Gender balance should be sought in the selection of supervisors.

The principal supervisor must have completed a department-approved supervisor course no more than five years before the admission of a new doctoral student. Principal supervisors who attended the course more than five years ago must attend the department's half-day training on the regulations for doctoral studies. This half-day training is also subject to the five-year rule. This applies to the admission of new doctoral students.

The assistant supervisor must have a doctorate degree and may be chosen from among the department's own researchers or from another department. It is an advantage if the assistant supervisor possesses qualifications that complement those of the principal supervisor.

Professors emerita/emeritus and post-retirement professors may be appointed as assistant supervisors but not as principal supervisors. In cases where a professor emerita/emeritus or post-retirement professor remains as principal supervisor, the head of department must assure that the assistant supervisor(s) have been informed that they may be asked to take over the role of principal supervisor if necessary.

If the principal supervisor is unavailable for a longer period of time, a new principal supervisor must be appointed after consultation with the doctoral student. The doctoral student also has the right to change supervisors. However, the doctoral student does not have the right to change subject/subject specialisation. Changes of supervisor are made in consultation with the head of department and decided upon by the faculty's director of studies. The application for change (form Change of information in application for admission (PhD)) is sent to the Faculty Office of Medicine. The doctoral studies administrator registers the decision in Ladok.

Teachers/researchers may not be appointed as supervisors to close relatives such as spouses/partners or children. Kinship conflict of interest may not exist between a supervisor and a doctoral student.

According to the admission regulations for doctoral education at Umeå University, a gender balance should be aimed for in the selection of supervisors and reference group.

Doctoral students affiliated with multiple departments

If a doctoral student is affiliated with multiple departments, this must be stated in the application for admission to doctoral studies. In such cases, the thesis may also be based in several departments. However, the doctoral student may only be registered at the principal department and the degree shall only be awarded in one doctoral subject/specialisation.



Coordinators, Faculty Office of Medicine
Anna Gåfvels Karlsson
090 - 786 53 37

Gunilla Mårald
090 - 786 71 78

Director of Doctoral Studies and Chair of the Council for Doctoral Education (RUF)
Ann Sörlin
090-786 92 38


Lena Åminne