Doctoral degree

The doctoral degree is attained after the doctoral student has completed a 240 credits education in a doctoral education subject. For the Degree of Doctor the doctoral student must have been awarded a pass grade for a research thesis (doctoral thesis) of at least 120 credits.

Most PhD theses at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are compilation theses based on a number of sub-projects. The sub-projects are accompanied by a framework report written in English, which together with the included sub-projects constitutes the thesis. It is also possible to defend your thesis as a monographic thesis. All PhD theses at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences must follow LiU’s graphic profile.

The thesis must include at least two sub-projects, usually more, but rarely more than four. The exact number required depends on the quality and scope of these and, not least, the role of the doctoral student in the creation of the respective sub-project. There is no limit to how many theses a specific publication can be used in – the decisive factor is whether the individual doctoral student has made a significant contribution to the work.

At least two sub-projects must be accepted/published in peer-reviewed journals with international distribution or be open access publications with a peer-review procedure. The doctoral student must be the first author of at least one of the accepted works.

A maximum of half of the sub-projects to be included in a thesis may have been published/accepted for publication before admission to doctoral studies. No sub-project may have been published more than five years before admission to doctoral studies.

The doctoral student must have participated in all parts of the publication process for scientific work.

The doctoral student must have completed at least 30 credits of doctoral courses and other modules:

  • 16 credits compulsory courses
  • 8 elective credits of which at least 6 credits are subject-specific
  • at least 6 credits of other modules such as participation in international conferences, seminar series/Journal Club and residence with another research group.

Licentiate degrees

The doctoral student must have completed at least 18 credits of doctoral courses:

  • 16 credits compulsory courses
  • 2 credits elective courses.

Submission times

Submit to department
no later than
To be raised at
FUN meeting
Thesis defence date
2024-04-15 2024-05-06 2024-08-26 – 2024-09-29
2024-05-13 2024-06-03 2024-09-30 – 2024-10-27
2024-08-05 2024-08-26 2024-10-28 – 2024-11-24
2024-09-09 2024-09-30 2024-11-25 – 2024-12-22
2024-10-07 2024-10-28 2024-12-23 – 2025-01-26
2024-11-04 2024-11-25 2025-01-26 – 2025-03-23
2024-12-16 2025-01-20 2025-03-24 – 2025-04-27
2025-02-03 2025-02-24 2025-04-28 – 2025-05-25
2025-03-03 2025-03-24 2025-05-26 – 2025-06-08
2025-04-14 2025-05-05 2025-08-25 – 2025-09-28
2025-05-12 2025-06-02 2025-09-29 – 2025-10-26
2025-08-04 2025-08-25 2025-10-27 – 2025-11-23
2025-09-01 2025-09-22 2025-11-24 – 2025-12-31
2025-09-29 2025-10-20 2026-01-01 – 2026-01-25
2025-11-03 2025-11-24 2026-01-26 – 2026-03-23

Thesis defence and licentiate seminar

Application for thesis defence

Notification of the public defence of a thesis is submitted to the doctoral studies coordinator at the respective department.

The notification must include proposals for faculty examiner and proposals for two members of the examining committee and a substitute. NB! The faculty examiner must not have participated in the half-time seminar.

You can get the form here - NB! The list of Appendices on page 1 which are to be included in the application.

Checklist

The checklist contains information about what must be done before the thesis defence.

Date and location of the public defence

A public defence can take place on weekdays except public holidays. There may be a maximum of two thesis defences per day at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), while several licentiate seminars can be conducted simultaneously. A licentiate seminar may also be conducted at the same time as another public defence at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (however, this is not suitable if it is within the same/bordering subject areas).

Normally, a public defence or licentiate seminar is held at Campus US, Campus Norrköping or Campus Valla.

The thesis defence and licentiate seminar can also be conducted at Ryhov County Hospital (Jönköping), Kalmar Hospital, and Örebro University Hospital for those doctoral students whose doctoral studies have had a clear connection to the respective location (region/county council).

Remember to contact LiU IT well in advance for technical support before and at your thesis defence.

Examining committee, chair at the public defence and faculty examiner

The grade for the doctoral thesis is to be determined by an examining committee consisting of three or five members. At least one of the members of the examining committee must be external, i.e. from a university other than LiU. The faculty examiner and all members of the examining committee must be at least a docent. The director of doctoral studies (FUS) proposes an internal examining committee member from the permanent grading council, who is to chair at the public defence ceremony. The FUS presents the public defence case at a Research Programmes Board (FUN) meeting where the faculty examiner, all members of the examining committee, the substitute and the chair for the public defence ceremony are appointed.

If possible, one of the members of the examining committee is to have been a member of the expert committee at the half-time review. One of the members of the examining committee, normally the one from the permanent grading council, is the convener of the examining committee for a preliminary review.

Preliminary review

After FUN has appointed the examining committee, the sub-projects are sent to the members of the examining committee for preliminary review. In the review, an assessment is to be made of whether the thesis work presented with the course module corresponds to a work effort of four years full-time study, and is of a good international standard. If this is the case, the notification of a public defence is to be endorsed. Advice against endorsement must be motivated in writing and the convener of the examining committee is to contact the chair of FUN for discussion on further processing.

Application for a licentiate seminar

Notification of a licentiate seminar is made on a pre-printed form and must include the following and Appendices:

  • Proposals for examiner and two experts: The supervisor, in consultation with the subject representative, proposes the examiner and two experts, of whom at least one shall be an external member, i.e. not employed at or affiliated to Linköping University.
  • The examiner and experts must be docents or professors, and have been approached and accepted the assignment at the time of notification of a licentiate seminar.
  • Proposals for hosting the seminar: The supervisor, in consultation with the subject representative, proposes a host for the seminar, which is usually the principal supervisor or the subject representative.
  • Brief description of included sub-projects and specification of all co-authors’ contributions and, in particular, the doctoral student’s contribution to the scientific work. In cases where a work is also used or is to be used in another licentiate thesis or doctoral thesis, a detailed description of the contributions of the various doctoral students must be made.
  • Registration and results from Ladok, where completed doctoral courses, activities and other modules are presented.
  • Copy of the approved electronic individual study plan.
  • Copy of a consent signed by the respondent for electronic publication.
  • The licentiate thesis sub-projects in electronic form, or the entire licentiate thesis in electronic form, if it consists of a monograph.
  • A conflict of interest statement signed by the subject representative, all supervisors, the doctoral student and the director of doctoral studies (FUS).

Form for notification of a licentiate seminar

Checklist

The checklist contains information about what must be done before the licentiate seminar.

Checklist for the licentiate seminar (Swedish)

Processing of the licentiate application

A licentiate notification is processed as follows:

  1. Notification of the licentiate seminar is submitted to the doctoral studies coordinator at the department. The time for submission is shown below.
  2. The FUS checks that the proposed examiner and the proposed experts have no conflict of interest and that the required number of credits in the doctoral education is fulfilled.
  3. The FUS presents the case to FUN, which determines the time and place of the seminar, and appoints the examiner and experts for the seminar.
  4. FUN is then responsible for sending the sub-projects and the licentiate notification to the examiner and experts for preliminary review.
  5. The chair of FUN decides on endorsement of the seminar notification.

Contact persons when planning a public defence/licentiate seminar

Please see the checklists for public defence/licentiate seminare respectively, for detailed information regarding each point below.

Book an appointment for your public defence/licentiate seminar

Annelie Munther
Email: annelie.munther@liu.se
Phone: 013-28 20 35

Book premises for your public defence/licentiate seminar

Room booking
Email: schemaochlokalbokning@liu.se
Phone: 013-28 13 30

Notification of thesis defence/licentiate seminar

To be provided to contact persons at the department.

Printing of thesis

LiU Printing Services (LiU-Tryck)
Email: liutryck@liu.se
Phone: 013-28 10 55

Linköping University library

ISSN and ISBN numbers, as well as numbers in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science thesis series.
Email: isbn@bibl.liu.se

Publishing electronically - LiU E-press

LiU Electronic Press

Popular science summary

A popular science summary is to be sent to the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and the Communications and Marketing Division at Linköping University.

Here you can find email addresses in Outlook to send the summary

“Nailing” (notification of the date) of the thesis defence

  1. Book an appointment with the Dean's secretary for the Dean's endorsement of two copies of the notification of the date of the defence of your thesis.
    Annelie Munther
    Email: annelie.munther@liu.se
    Phone: 013-28 20 35
  2. Contact the university registrar regarding nailing.
    Phone: 013-28 10 03

Technical equipment in the public defence room

The Digitalisation Division provides technical support for large events. Read more on the internal pages at Liunet (requires login).

Technical support for events (Liunet)

Getting your degree

Applications for a Degree certificate are submitted through Lisam.

Lisam - degree certificate

Application submission

Forms for thesis defence and licentiate applications must be submitted to the administrators at the respective departments.

Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (BKV)

  • Registrar Eva Zurawski, BKV, Building 511, floor 12, Campus US.
  • Director of Doctoral Studies Annelie Lindström, BKV, Building 511, floor 12, Campus US.
  • Associate Director of Doctoral Studies Giannis Spyrou, BKV, Building 420, entrance 68, Campus US.

Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences (HMV)

  • Registrar Kajsa Bendtsen, HMV, Building 511, floor 14, Campus US.
  • Director of Doctoral Studies Anita Kärner Köhler, HMV, Kåkenhus, 601 74 Norrköping.
  • Director of Doctoral Studies Lasse Jensen, HMV.
  • Director of Doctoral Studies Bijar Ghafouri, HMV.

NB! Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Minutes of licentiate seminars and thesis defences are to be sent to:

Annelie Munther
Dean’s Office, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Sandbäcksgatan 7, floor 1
581 83 Linköping.

Structure and scope of the doctoral thesis

The doctoral degree is attained after the doctoral student has completed a 240 credits education in a doctoral education subject. For the Degree of Doctor the doctoral student must have been awarded a pass grade for a research thesis (doctoral thesis) of at least 120 credits.

Most PhD theses at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are compilation theses based on a number of sub-projects. The sub-projects are accompanied by a framework report written in English, which together with the included sub-projects constitutes the thesis. It is also possible to defend your thesis as a monographic thesis. All PhD theses at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences must follow LiU’s graphic profile.

Recommendation for structure of framework report (Swedish)

For doctoral students admitted from 1 July 2007, the following applies to the structure and scope of the doctoral thesis:

  • the thesis must include at least two sub-projects, usually more, but rarely more than four. The exact number required depends on the quality and scope of these and, not least, the role of the doctoral student in the creation of the respective sub-project. There is no limit to how many theses a specific publication can be used in – the decisive factor is whether the individual doctoral student has made a significant contribution to the work
  • at least two sub-projects must be accepted/published in peer-reviewed journals with international distribution, or be open access publications with a peer-review procedure
  • the doctoral student must be the first author of at least one of the accepted works
  • a maximum of half of the sub-projects to be included in a thesis may have been published/accepted for publication before admission to doctoral studies. No sub-project may have been published more than five years before admission to doctoral studies
  • the doctoral student must have participated in all parts of the publication process for scientific work.

For doctoral students admitted before 1 July 2007, the following options are available:

  • Remain in previous doctoral studies subject with associated General study syllabus. Course and module requirements remain as before. The General study syllabus and requirements for examination remain, i.e. in the case of a compilation thesis, the doctoral student must have authored at least four scientific articles in which they have made an independent and prominent contribution. Otherwise, the same rules apply as above.
  • Change to the doctoral subject Medical Science with associated General study syllabus. Course and module requirements then follow what is stated in Courses and other modules in doctoral studies at the Health University. Requirements for examination, see For students admitted from 1 July 2007.

Degree of activity

Doctoral students admitted from 1 July 2007 must, at the latest in the semester in which their thesis defence takes place, have been a registered doctoral student with an activity rate equivalent to two years at 100 percent. Doctoral students admitted from 1 January 2009 must, at the latest in the semester in which their thesis defence takes place, have been a registered doctoral student with an activity level corresponding to three years at 100 percent.

Addresses for scientific publication

In order for the Faculty and medical research in Östergötland to receive the right level of government funding, a correct address is required for scientific publication.

Below are the correct addresses for respective affiliations.

Researchers who are solely affiliated with Linköping University

Department, University, City, Country

Example: Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Researchers affiliated with Region Östergötland

Clinic, Department, University, City, Country

Example: Department of Cardiology in Linköping, and Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Researchers outside Region Östergötland, but affiliated with LiU

Clinic, County council/Region, and Institution, University, City, Country

Example: Department of Cardiology in Västervik, Kalmar County Council, and Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Researchers affiliated to a competence centre in LiU

Two addresses should be provided. However, “Linköping University” must be included in both addresses.

Example 1: Department of Radiology in Linköping, and Department of Health, Medicine and Caring Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Example 2: Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization (CMIV), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

Publication list

List of full English publication addresses for researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences and Region Östergötland

Printing, summary and publication

Title and thesis cover

Template for thesis cover

NB! English title is written according to British conventions, i.e. capital letters for nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. Articles, prepositions and conjunctions are not capitalised.

See the LiU Language Guidelines (Liunet)

Assignment of thesis number and ISBN

Theses published at Linköping University are assigned an ISBN number and a number in the thesis series in which the thesis is included. The University Library assigns you the number in the series and the ISBN number of the thesis.

Printing

Contact LiU-Tryck, LiU’s printing service, as early as possible, preferably three months before your planned public defence. Plan for your thesis to be printed and ready in good time, about four weeks before the public defence.

General schedule for thesis printing by LiU-Tryck (Liunet)

Popular science summary in Swedish

The thesis must contain a popular scientific summary in Swedish (about one page). You must also write a Swedish title for the summary. It should not be translated literally from the English title.

This text is aimed at people who do not usually read scientific journals. It is important that the text describes what is unique, interesting, useful, revolutionary, etc., about your work. The popular science summary should therefore not be a translation of the abstract. In this text, you should avoid using specialised scientific language.

Send out the popular scientific summary

A popular scientific summary of the thesis is to be sent by e-mail to:

  • Dean’s Office, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
  • Communications and Marketing Division
  • Region Östergötland

Here you can find email addresses to send the summary

Publication via LiU E-press

The thesis must be published electronically via LiU E-Press. Written publication consent must be sent in its original form to LiU E-Press.

Publish your thesis via LiU E-Press

Publication agreement - form (pdf)

Notification of the date of the defence of a doctoral thesis (“Spikning”)

“Spikning” (nailing) is an academic ritual associated with the presentation of a doctoral thesis. The thesis must be published no later than three weeks before the public defence. This is done by the doctoral student nailing a copy of the thesis to the university's official “spikträd” (nail tree) located in Studenthuset, Campus Valla.

The intention is that the public should have a chance to read the thesis in advance and then be able to oppose the thesis at the public defence. The dean must approve the nailing of the printed thesis beforehand. Nailing can take place from the first Monday in August until the Friday before Midsummer’s Eve.

Below is a description of the things a doctoral student must do before, during and after the nailing:

1. Book an appointment for a nailing discussion with the dean

The nailing discussion is a short conversation about the thesis and can be conducted on site at the Dean’s Office at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences or digitally. In some cases, the conversation is conducted by a pro-dean. Before the conversation takes place, the comprehensive summary (‘kappan’) and library receipt are to be sent in electronic form to dekanus.medfak@liu.se.

2. Book an appointment for nailing in Studenthuset

When the doctoral student has been notified of the time for the nailing discussion, they contact the registrar (registrator@liu.se) to book an appointment for the nailing in Studenthuset.

The registrar informs the University Library (UB) that the doctoral student has been booked for nailing. UB will contact the doctoral student to offer them the opportunity to prepare a nail talk that will be held in connection with the nailing at Studenthuset.

3. Deliver copies of the thesis to the University Library

The doctoral student delivers ten reference copies of the thesis to the University Library.

4. Conduct the nailing discussion with the dean

The doctoral student takes the copy of the thesis to be nailed in Studenthuset to the nailing discussion. After the discussion, the dean, or pro-dean, writes on the thesis that it may be nailed.

5. Visit the registrar in D Building, Campus Valla

The doctoral student visits the registrar in D Building at the time agreed for the nailing. The registrar stamps the thesis on arrival and writes a reference number in it. The registrar then refers the doctoral student to Studenthuset for the actual nailing. The thesis is registered by the registrar.

6. Conduct the official nailing at Studenthuset, Campus Valla

The doctoral student nails the thesis to the nail tree in Studenthuset after the visit to the registrar. If they have prepared a nail talk, it will be held in connection with the nailing. Hammers and nails for use during nailing can be borrowed from the librarian at the information desk in Studenthuset, floor 3 (not Infocenter). They can also be borrowed from the Dean’s Office at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences - contact Marie Gärdeman, dekanus.medfak@liu.se.

7. Conduct nailing at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services, Campus US

One of the copies is also be nailed to the nailing log of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Services outside Berzelius lecture hall, entrance 65, floor 09, Campus US.

8. Publish the thesis via LiU E-press

When the nailing in Studenthuset and at the entrance to Cellskapet has taken place, the doctoral student publishes their thesis via LiU E-press. 

LiU E-press: Publishing thesis

What happens at the thesis defence?

At the public defence ceremony, there is a host and a chair. Usually, the subject representative is the host, or if they cannot be in attendance, the principal supervisor. Any conflict of interest does not need to be taken into consideration. The chair of the public defence ceremony is the person appointed by FUN to convene the examining committee at the preliminary examination.

The host welcomes the attendees to the public defence ceremony, presents the respondent, the title of the thesis, the faculty examiner, the members of the examining committee, and the principal and assistant supervisors. The host then gives the floor to the chair of the public defence ceremony.

  • The chair declares the public defence open and outlines the order of proceedings for the public defence.
  • The respondent reports any corrections in the thesis and can, if necessary, distribute errata lists.
  • The faculty examiner provides a short popular science introduction of the thesis and the research field that has been addressed.
  • The respondent or the faculty examiner presents the main results and conclusions of the thesis.
  • The faculty examiner discusses the thesis with the respondent, points out strengths and shortcomings and asks questions that the respondent must answer.
  • The chair allows the examining committee to ask questions.
  • The chair asks whether the audience wishes to ask questions.
  • The chair concludes the public defence and calls on the examining committee to convene for an immediate meeting for a decision on the grade. At its meeting, the examining committee appoints a chair from among its members.

What happens if a member of the examining committee or the faculty examiner cannot attend?

What happens if obstacles to attendance arise the day before the public defence?

If a valid excuse that prevents a member of the examining committee from serving at the public defence arises no later than the day before the public defence, this must be reported to the chair of FUN, or in the event that the chair is unable to attend, to the deputy chair. The chair/vice-chair of FUN may then decide that the substitute is to replace the ordinary member, or decide on another solution.

If the faculty examiner is prevented from carrying out their duties no later than the day before the public defence, the chair of FUN or, in the event of the latter being unable to attend, the vice-chair must be contacted immediately and is to decide how the situation is to be resolved.

What happens if obstacles to attendance arise on the day of the public defence?

If a member of the examining committee or faculty member on the day of the public defence gives notification that they are unable to carry out their duties, or is not in attendance at the beginning of the public defence, the person who is convening the examining committee and is also the chair of the public defence delegation has to appoint a replacement. If necessary, the public defence can be adjourned for a maximum of 2 hours.

To replace an absent member of the internal examining committee, an impartial docent may be appointed.

If the faculty examiner is absent, one of the members of the examining committee may be appointed to replace them. This member of the examining committee will then be replaced either by the substitute previously appointed by FUN, or if they cannot fulfil the assignment, by an impartial docent.

If an external member is unable to attend, a substitute from a faculty other than the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences is required.

After the public defence has been completed, FUN is to be notified of the circumstances.

Applying for a degree certificate for doctoral studies

After an approved public defence or approved licentiate seminar, the degree is to be awarded. All degree certificates are only issued digitally.

How to receive your degree and apply for a degree or course certificate (Liunet)

Conferment Ceremony

Since 1973, LiU has held conferment ceremonies where all new doctoral graduates are invited to mark the transition to life as a doctoral graduate in a traditional academic way. The Conferment Ceremony takes place in the spring. Conferment is a dignified and memorable way to end your postgraduate studies. The Conferment Ceremony consists of two parts, the conferment itself and subsequently the dinner. You can invite family and friends to your conferment. Admission is free of charge (tickets are required). For dinner, you and a guest are invited. You can also invite two additional paying guests.

The ceremony is based on traditions from the Middle Ages, and conferment is the act of giving something, such as a degree, to someone. There are three tokens of honour, known as doctoral insignia.

  • The head wear for medical, economic and technical degrees is a doctoral hat.
  • The ring is a symbol of faith. Just as the ring symbolises togetherness in a marriage, here it expresses the doctor’s covenant with/allegiance to science. It is traditionally worn on the left ring finger (outside the wedding/engagement ring). Rings are not given at the ceremony.
  • The diploma, which used to be the concrete proof that the conferred person had to present when, for example, they applied for a position. Today, the diploma has no formal significance but is merely proof that the holder has been conferred.

The person who performs the conferment is called the conferrer. The conferrer begins the ceremony by declaring that they are appointed by the faculty to carry out the conferment ceremony. The conferrer then crowns themselves with a laurel wreath. The conferrer stands by the podium at the Parnassus and welcomes the new doctors, the promovendi. The conferrer gives out the insignia to the promovendi and leads them one by one over the podium and the Parnassus to the other side. This movement symbolises the elevation from student to teacher.

Since Latin was the common language of the scientists of Europe during the Middle Ages, from which time the ceremony stems, it was always spoken in these ceremonial contexts. Today, the conferrer has the right to choose which language they want and often a mixture of Latin and Swedish is used.