The research is carried out either as specialisation research within a faculty, or through interdisciplinary research across faculty boundaries. In many subjects, research is also carried out with a didactic or educational specialisation. Research training is offered within all faculties and leads to a licentiate or doctoral degree. Approximately 300 doctoral students are active in 32 different subjects, several of which have a didactic or educational science specialisation.
Linnaeus University provides research training characterised by good conditions, a committed supervisory team, and well-established national and international networks.
Holders of doctoral degrees from Linnaeus University have pursued research together with supervisors and other doctoral students in high-quality research environments, and are used to working in teams and to presenting their research in many different contexts.
Research training is the foundation for a career as a researcher and teacher at a university, or as a researcher in the industry. This type of training can also often lead to other exciting jobs.
Furong studies to become a paleoecologist
Her interest in paleoecology and the possibility to manage her own time made Furong Li choose PhD studies.
Read the whole interview with Furong
Why did you choose to study for a PhD?
In order to answer why I started studying for a PhD, I need to go back to the inspiration I felt when I started my master studies seven years ago. When I was doing my undergraduate studies in ecology, I was reading a book named Principle and application of ecology. In the book, I read that knowledge about vegetation in ancient times can be inferred from pollen in sediment, and that the time period for which this can be done can date as far back as millions of years. I was astonished by the power of small pollen grains in helping us understand the vegetation and landscape history. I became fascinated and wanted to learn how this works, so I decided to become a paleoecologist.
What is the best thing about studying on a PhD programme?
What appeals to me the most is that I can decide what field to do research in based on my interests, arrange my working time the way I want, plan all my experiments, and establish my reading and writing timetable myself. I also like to go to conferences and workshops to listen to presentations and have discussions with other people from my field of research.
What does a typical day look like on your PhD programme?
On days when I'm working in the lab, I usually first come to the department to check my emails and then go to the lab. In the lab, I usually sit in front of a microscope, identifying pollen grains by their morphological shape, size and the ornamentation on the outer surface of the pollen wall. I also perform counts of the number of pollen types in different samples from time periods in the past.
When working on my computer, my days are filled with reading papers from related research fields. I also have meetings with my supervisor and with my colleagues, make data analyses of both field work data and lab work data, and write research papers based on my study.
What are your plans for the future? What will you do once you have defended your doctoral thesis?
I will probably like to continue with research. I like to work in a simple and quiet environment. Maybe I will find a postdoctoral position at a research institute or university and continue with the work I still haven't finished after my PhD. After that, I will most likely try to find a research position within some other field to broaden my knowledge. I've heard that people who change from one research field to another usually get more inspiration and more ideas, as a result of their thoughts not being restricted to one field.
"The research facilities are great, and as a researcher you have access to all the resources you can dream of. For instance, I can buy whatever chemicals I need for my research as long as I can justify the purchase to my supervisor."
/Sarala Devi Muthusamy, India
Admittance to PhD studies
To be admitted to PhD studies in a third-cycle subject area there are some requirements which have to be fulfilled. These requirements concern the applicant as well as the faculty hosting the subject area.
These are the basic areas of requirements:
Basic entry requirements
Students at third-cycle level must have completed first and second-cycle degrees, either in Sweden or abroad, or have equivalent qualifications. To meet the basic entry requirements for PhD programmes, applicants must have a second-cycle degree or have completed studies comprising at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 credits were awarded at second-cycle level, or have completed a corresponding programme in another country or have equivalent qualifications.
Specific entry requirements
Specific entry requirements vary from subject to subject. These requirements must be considered essential for a student to be able to complete the programme. Often these requirements stipulate knowledge acquired in higher education but specific vocational experience may also be required. The specific entry requirements are listed in the general syllabus of the subject area.
Apart from fulfilling the general and specific entry requirements for admission to PhD programmes, the applicant is required to have the ability required to benefit from the study programme. This includes an evaluation of the applicant's ability to finish the programme within four years of full-time studies (or equivalent if the studies are not performed full-time) for a doctoral degree, or two years for a licentiate degree.
The ability is usually evaluated based on the essays/theses from first- and second-cycle studies, the proposed research plan, scientific publications, and the results of interviews. The combination of subjects taken during first- and second-cycle studies may be important and is sometimes taken into account. Assessment and selection criteria are stated in the general syllabus of the subject. Any additional requirements will be listed in the job advertisement.
Funding doctoral education
Third-cycle studies at Linnaeus University shall be funded primarily through doctoral studentships. Students with any other forms of funding may be admitted to third-cycle studies if the responsible body deems the financial means to be in place for the applicant. Such forms of funding include: funding from an employer other than Linnaeus University; research scholarships; funds especially allocated for lecturers; and self-funding.
If an applicant wishes to be admitted with another form of funding than an internally funded doctoral studentship, the feasibility of the funding plan must be assessed.
Below you will find more information about the process of applying for doctoral student positions or enquire about other forms of funding.
In order to admit a doctoral student, the faculty must provide the necessary resources. The faculty needs to provide supervisors, examiner, work space for the doctoral student, as well as other necessary resources. If these are not available, admission is not possible.
How to apply for a doctoral position
Most doctoral student positions (PhD's) at Linnaeus University are officially announced through the Linnaeus University job vacancy page. The application process differs depending on if the doctoral position is officially announced or not.
Applying for announced doctoral positions
If you are interested in PhD studies at Linnaeus University you should check out the vacant job listings. Available doctoral studentships (employment as a doctoral student) are posted at Work at the university.
Check for vacant jobs at the university
These studentships will finance your studies for an equivalent of four years full-time studies for a doctoral degree or two years full-time studies for a licentiate degree, and during this time you will be employed by the university. You are not allowed to be employed on a studentship for less than 50% of full-time studies.
When you apply for a doctoral studentship, you are also applying for admittance to PhD studies in a third-cycle subject area. There will be two decisions made in this process: one concerning admittance (which will take place first) and one concerning employment/doctoral studentship. In the job advertisement you will find information on what to include in your application, the application deadline, and whom to contact if you have questions. The applicants' eligibility and ability are assessed, and if there are more applicants than available positions, they will be placed in order of preference, according to an assessment of the applicants' qualifications and abilities. The decision making process follows the rules and regulations of the third-cycle education. After the decision on admission has been made, the decision-making process of the doctoral studentship is immediately initiated. All the applicants will receive information about the decisions as soon as the decision on the doctoral studentship has been taken.
Applying with another form of funding
If you have another form of funding for your PhD studies (for example scholarship, external funding from an institute that finances research and PhD studies, or another kind of funding) you should contact the faculty which is responsible for the subject area in which you are interested. They can give you an idea of whether your financial plan is acceptable or not. They can also inform you if they have other resources available that are fundamental for admission, and give you details about the admission process. Ask for the research officer of the faculty in charge.
Rights and obligations
The faculty in which the doctoral student is placed is responsible for providing the programme described in the general syllabus of the subject area and in the student's individual study plan. The doctoral student is obliged to follow the programme as described in the general syllabus and in the individual study plan. You can read more about rights and obligations in Linnaeus University's 'Local regulations for third-cycle courses and study programmes'.