Research education at the VH Faculty

Last changed: 05 April 2018

A doctoral education at the faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science aims at giving the doctoral student a scientific way of working, subject knowledge and training in pedagogics and leadership.

Even though courses and other educational activities are included, the doctoral education is similar to a project work where the largest part consists of research.

Current issues

Information from the FUN-meeting 2021-03-16

Annual summary 2020

Summary in pdf-format regarding applications to FUN and research education at the VH-faculty 2020: Annual summary 2020

Information from the FUN-meeting 2021-02-16

Form that accepts digital signatures for the examining committee’s minutes

It now exist a new form that can be signed digitally for the examining committee’s minutes. This replaces the previous version and can be found among the other forms and check-lists.

Registration of Covid-19 related delays

It is important that PhD-students and their supervisors ensure that Covid-19 related delays in the research education are registered in the individual study plan.

CV and list of publications when applying for dissertation

When applying for dissertation, it is required to attach a CV and list of publications for any examining committee member who is not a docent or professor at a Swedish higher education institution. All requirements and rules can be found in the guidelines

Information from the FUN-meeting 2021-01-19

Updates Coronavirus

  • It is still important to contact the chairman of FUN before each planned dissertation to discuss how it will be carried out during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Some supervisors have a difficulties with planning of dissertation webinars. Good support can usually be obtained from IT-support and it is advisable to book start-up help for the actual day.
  • Make sure that all delays or changes are updated in the individual study plan (ISP) and keep extra track of the research students' well-being (and their supervisors).

The quality dialogues 2021

Quality assurance work will also be carried out in 2021, but this will not be done by sending the same questionnaire as before to the departments. Instead, it will focus on following up on the shortcomings previously discovered. There will also be a review of the quality assurance work to make necessary improvements.

Introduction for new doctoral students 13 October 2020

Presentations (pdf-documents): 

Coronavirus and doctoral/licentiate defence 

A few pointers about PhD defenses at our faculty during the current Covid-19 outbreak.

NOTE: The information below may become outdated at any moment so the latest guidelines from SLU always take precedent over this messageCheck therefore carefully and regularly:

The Vice Chancellor has now decided that it is permissible to depart from some of the SLU regulation regarding the physical presence of all relevant participants in a PhD defense.

This means that in exceptional circumstances even one of the committee members could participate via a link.

This increases our ability to continue with PhD defenses as long as we are allowed to that …

We ask all supervisors to consider carefully, and in discussion with the candidate whether they want to go ahead with the PhD defense or postpone.

The relevant formal information around last minute changes in a PhD defense are online at:

It is important to discuss all last minute changes with DJ de Koning as responsible vice-dean. 

While we try to be flexible, we also need to guarantee the quality of the defense and it might be worthwhile to consider postponing the defense for PhD students where there is no urgency to graduate (job and/or living situation).

Every case will be considered on its own and given the extreme circumstances no current exception can be considered as a precedent for other defenses.

Like everybody else we try to keep ourselves updated all the time and we will take more complicated cases higher up in the hierarchy and discuss them with Ylva Hillbur (Deputy vice chancellor).

The examining committee's protocol

If the persons whose signatures are required for the examining committee's protocol can’t be physically present during the public thesis defence, it is possible to individually sign identical copies of the protocol and submit them separately to FUN. You can also send scanned copies via e-mail if you need to speed up the registration of an approved dissertation in Ladok.

Information from the FUN-meeting 2020-02-25

Changed routine for admission of postgraduate research students

Application form 1 has been abolished and completely replaced by the recruitment tool ReachMee. Note that this also applies f the admission of industrial doctoral students, i.e. doctoral students who are not employed at SLU, as well as other doctoral students who are accepted without announcing the position. The Division of Planning is working on instructions that will be published on the web. Eva Borgert at the Division of Human Resources can help with registering industrial doctoral students in ReachMee if needed.

Information from the FUN-meeting 2019-05-20

Follow-up of individual study plans for third-cycle (doctoral) education 2018 

  • According to SLU's guidelines for third-cycle (doctoral) education, the Faculty Board (in practice FUN) "must regularly follow up how follow-up and revision of the doctoral students’ individual study plans are carried out at the departments as well as which measures have been taken in cases where follow-ups indicate deficiencies in the programme". This is a compiled report (in Swedish) for 2018: [Link

Recruitment and admission

Recruitment and admission of doctoral students are conducted according to SLU's admission scheme for postgraduate education: Read more about the admission process

It is important during this process to avoid so-called shadow doctoral students: Information about shadow doctoral students

The vast majority of the open positions are advertised on SLU's website.

After advertising, the Department will prioritize among the applicants and send a recommendation for admission of the most suitable candidate to the Faculty:

It happens that a Department contributes funds to doctoral student projects, e.g. from Government subventions or remaining funds from previous projects. In such cases, FUN will need a certificate from the Head of Department which clearly states that Department funds can be used. This template can be used for this purpose if desired. It can also be used for a compilation of costs and revenues, i.e. the cost estimate and financing plan that is also required for admission. The template can be modified as needed: [Link]

The Research Education Board (FUN-VH) makes decisions on admission after examination of the application and the financial conditions.

Research education subjects

At the faculty, there are a number of research education subjects. Each doctoral student is admitted to a specific subject and follows the general study plan for this subject.

Doctoral students admitted BEFORE July 1 2015 Doctoral students admitted AFTER July 1 2015
Clinical Science Animal Science
Animal Science Bioinformatics
Pathobiology Biology
Medical Bioscience Biomedical Science
Bioinformatics Technology
  Veterinary Medicine
  Veterinary Nursing Science

Halftime follow-up

University-wide information on planning and follow-up of research education can be found here: 

At the VH-faculty, the Department's Director of research studies (studierektor för forskarutbildning) functions as the faculty board representative when signing the halftime follow-up form. If necessary, the Head of Department can appoint a replacement for the Director.

Thesis and defense

General information about dissertation and licentiate seminar at SLU is available here: Thesis and the public defence

Date of dissertation and application procedure

To book a date for dissertation, please contact the secretary of FUN-VH (

Please note that you need to book the lecture room separately: SLU's booking services

For dissertation and a licentiate seminar applications, please use the designated form:

Research school and courses


The Graduate School for Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences (GS-VMAS) is the research school for all those who are admitted to research education at the VH-faculty. 

Registering courses taken during doctoral studies


You must register all courses taken during your doctoral studies in Ladok, including the number of credits. It is best to do this continually during your studies or as soon as possible after each course is completed. When applying to Fun for permission to publically defend your doctoral thesis or for a licentiate seminar, you must include a Ladok extract containing information on your registered courses. It is therefore important to save course certificates, course syllabuses or equivalent, as well as copies of pre-approved courses and credit transfers during your study period as described below. Some courses are compulsory and are regulated by current guidelines for doctoral education or by the general syllabus for each subject.

Courses must be registered in Ladok by an authorised administrator. They need to have access to course certificates or equivalent. The principal supervisor suggests a reasonable amount of course credits and notifies the Ladok administrator if the credit amount deviates from the course certificate. The main rule is that 1 week of full-time study corresponds to 1.5 HECs, that is, 1 HEC corresponds to 27 hours of study time. When applying for permission to publically defend a doctoral thesis or for a licentiate seminar, Fun will decide if the proposed amount of course credits corresponds to the course’s time scope. If necessary, Fun will request supplementary information. If necessary, course credits may be adjusted. Just because a course is registered in Ladok this does not guarantee that Fun will approve the course and course credit amount.

Doctoral courses at the university

Doctoral courses at SLU with approved course syllabuses are normally approved without course certificates being required.

NOVA (Nordic Forestry, Veterinary and Agricultural University Network) courses must be assigned credits in a way acceptable to all universities within the NOVA cooperation, including SLU.

If you want to apply for permission to publically defend your doctoral thesis or for a licentiate seminar and have completed courses at other universities or higher education institutions (HEIs) outside of SLU and NOVA, you must supply course certificates, course syllabuses or equivalent documentation describing the entry requirements, scope, learning objectives, aim, content, type of education, time plan and what is required to pass the course. It is important to include the time scope of the course. Fun will decide if the proposed amount of course credits correspond to the course scope. If necessary, Fun will request supplementary information.

Other courses

Courses that have not been organised by universities or HEIs (but by for example companies or organisations) must be approved by Fun in order to be included in a qualification. When applying for permission to publically defend your doctoral thesis or for a licentiate seminar, you must include the course syllabus or equivalent documentation with the same requirements as listed above for university courses. You can also apply for pre-approval. See the information below.


If you are not certain whether a course should be included in your qualification, or of the amount of course credits, you can submit a pre-approval form to Fun. You must submit the form with your public defence of a doctoral thesis or licentiate seminar application at the latest, but preferably earlier.

You must always include previous decisions on pre-approval in your application for public defence of a doctoral thesis or licentiate seminar.

Credit transfer

If a doctoral student has taken a doctoral course before being admitted to doctoral studies, the credits can be transferred. To do this, you must submit an application to Fun. The requirement for a course syllabus or equivalent is the same for credit transfer as for actual doctoral studies. See the information above. Submit your application to Fun using the special form (not the same as the form for pre-approval), at the latest when you apply for public defence of your doctoral thesis or licentiate seminar, but preferably earlier. The requirement for a course syllabus or equivalent is the same for credit transfer as for actual doctoral studies.

University courses at lower levels (Master’s or Bachelor’s level) can sometimes be credited as part of your doctoral studies. First, you must submit an application to Fun. The application must include the number of credits that the course is deemed to correspond to doctoral level, as well as a justification. Considering that the education level is lower, the number of credited course credits may be justifiably lowered.

You must always include previous decisions on credit transfer in your application for public defence of a doctoral thesis or licentiate seminar.

Seminar series

It is compulsory for doctoral students who follow the VH Faculty’s guidelines (from 2011 or earlier) to participate in scientific seminar series. Seminar series can give a maximum of 4 HECs. The principal supervisor or the director of studies at the department must confirm that a doctoral student has participated in a seminar series by signing a certificate. However, doctoral students who follow the SLU guidelines from 2013 or later do not receive credits for seminar series. Despite this, doctoral students are still recommended to participate in seminar series.


Prolongation of study time

Different tasks (for example teaching or union work) will make the doctoral student entitled to prolongation of the doctoral study time. If you have any questions about these issues at departmental level, contact your contact person for doctoral education at your department or your head of department.

For information on prolongation at central SLU-level, please contact Lotta Hansson.

Responsible persons

The Doctoral Education Committee at the VH-Faculty

Chairperson: Professor Dirk-Jan De Koning, (Vice Dean for research education) Tel: 018-67 20 39.

Faculty director of research studies: Jan Hultgren, Tel: 0511-67103.

Faculty officer: Fredrik Granberg (, Box 7084, 750 07 Uppsala. Tel: 018-67 27 86. 

Ordinary members & substitutes 
Right to attend and express views

Contact persons at the departments

The research school GS-VMAS

Steering board

Who decides what?

Doctoral Education Committee
  • Admission
  • Change of supervisors
  • Crediting of courses 
  • Public defence
  • Request for change to new guidelines and/or new doctoral education subjects
  • Genereal syllabus for third-cycle programmes
  • Steering committees for the Research School
  • Coordinators for the Research School
  • Course syllabuses 
Chair of the Doctoral Education Committee
Head of Department
Faculty Board
  • Doctoral education subjects
  • Research School

For more detailed information, please see the Swedish version.


The doctoral education committee at the VH faculty (FUN-VH) handles matters related to research education and have regular meetings approximately once a month during the semesters. For more information on meeting dates please see VH's meetings overview.

All material must be sent to FUN at least 2 weeks before each meeting. Please observe that applications for dissertations planned to early autumn (Aug- Oct 25) need to be handled at the last spring meeting.

Applications should be sent to the secretary of FUN: FUN-VH, Att. Fredrik Granberg, Box 7084, or electronically by e-mail to

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