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Public defence of doctoral thesis

This page contains information on how to apply for a thesis defence at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS).

Important to know

"All thesis defences and licentiate seminars on campus shall be made available to spectators digitally." This means that even defences and seminars where all participants are present should be streamed online. In such cases, the stream setup does not have to be as advanced as an online/hybrid defence/seminar. ( )

"Autumn semester 2021 and onwards: [...] The defense of doctoral theses/dissertations may be held on campus and digitally. Doctoral thesis and licentiate seminars are open to the public and are, where applicable, subject to the Government's restrictions on public gatherings. Digital defense of doctoral thesis/dissertation and licentiate seminars are encouraged partly for quality reasons (increased opportunities for international participation in the grading committee and as an opponent), and partly for sustainability reasons (reduced travel). All doctoral thesis/dissertations and licentiate seminars must be digitally accessible for spectators." ( Decision by the President of KTH, V-2021-0421 , in Swedish)

How to apply

It is important to keep the following schedule, otherwise the public defence may have to be postponed.​ A public defence of doctoral thesis may only take place between:

  • August 15 – December 20
  • January 7 – June 15

Dates within these periods are referred to as term weeks. When counting weeks to fulfill requirements only time within term time is counted. For example, if you plan on having the defence on August 15, count 10 weeks back from June 15. Feel free to contact us  if you need help. The doctoral student is responsible for the process unless otherwise noted.

The public defence must stay as close as possible to normal office hours at KTH  (CET).

10 weeks

☐ The principal supervisor checks availability of opponent and members of the grading committee.

Read about the requirements for the opponent, chairman of the public defence and grading committee and who proposes these in KTH's Guideline on third-cycle studies , 6.4.2. Additions and clarifications:

  • Added 2022-01-17: The grading committee members, including the substitute, may not come from the same division as the principal supervisor or the doctoral student unless under exceptional circumstances.
  • It should clearly state in the application for public defence of doctoral thesis who is/are planning to participate via video link.
  • At least one of each gender must be represented in the grading committee, unless special reasons prevent this and are presented in connection with the application.
  • "For a grading committee consisting of three members, at least two members must be collected outside of KTH (may not be employed at KTH)." Clarification: the opponent is not in the grading committee.
  • "A replacement must always be appointed." Clarification: From autumn 2021 onwards, only one substitute member of the grading committee will be required unless exceptional circumstances may cause more than one member to withdraw. Previously during the pandemic, the requirement has been that two substitute members (stand-ins) of the grading committee for public defences of doctoral theses must be appointed. If one of the ordinary members of the grading committee is already from KTH, there can only be one substitute from KTH.

"Compensation for the opponent at a public defence of doctoral thesis: SEK 9,000. [...] Compensation for each member of a grading committee: SEK 2,500." ( Guideline on compensation for committee members, specialists and opponents , in Swedish)

☐ Start a revision of the doctoral student's individual study plan.

☐ If anything other than physical presence is planned for the supervisor or doctoral student, this must be justified via email to the Director of Third-Cycle Education  (FA) in charge of the programme in question, cc , at the beginning of the entire application process. FA will then return with a prior notice.

☐ Submit the Advance reviewer for doctoral thesis  application form (only the signature of the principal supervisor is required) to .

"The advance reviewer must have been awarded the Degree of Doctor and be scientifically competent corresponding to the docent. ... Applicable rules on bias must be taken into consideration" ( Guideline on third-cycle studies , 6.2.6)

"The advance reviewer may be appointed as a substitute." ( Guideline on third-cycle studies , 6.4.2)

☐ Send a preliminary version of the thesis to the advance reviewer once he/she has been approved by the director of third-cycle education.

6 weeks

☐ The revised ISP should now at least have the status "Waiting for Administrator of third cycle education" (i.e. approved by doctoral student, principal supervisor and programme director).

Book a lecture hall  for the defence.

☐ Request printing information from the printing company US-AB .

Printing must be done by US-AB . The cover, title page and the following page with book information will be produced by the printing company US-AB. Read more about theses covers here . The principal supervisor's invoice reference are often used: EXAMPLE KTHEECS (replace EXAMPLE with his/her reference). Keep in mind that it may take a few days to receive a test print, and another few days to receive all printed copies, so maintain good communication with US-AB to meet the set deadline.

☐ Request a TRITA number via the web form TRITA number request for doctoral students at EECS .

☐ Request an ISBN number via the web form ISBN Request  (ISSN and ISRN numbers are no longer used).

☐ Submit to the doctoral education support:

  • The form Application thesis defence  (read about the requirements for the opponent, chairman of the public defence and grading committee under the subheading "10 weeks" on this page)
  • The form Distribution list, doctoral thesis  

    The distribution list must include a minimum of 7 external addresses. The recipients should be divisions, departments or equivalent, not persons. The thesis may be distributed in digital form, if so desired. No certain number of recipients must be Swedish.

  • The thesis as a preliminary PDF version, with a preliminary title page. The final cover, title page and the following page with book information will be produced by the printing company US-AB during the printing stage later
  • CV for the opponent or any member of the grading committee where it is not clearly seen whether they are "scientifically competent corresponding to docent" ( Guideline on third-cycle studies , 6.4.2)

☐ Send the thesis for proof printing when the advance review has been approved. Final printing is not allowed until you have received the decision on the defence.

Decision (approx. 4 weeks)

☐ Doctoral Education Support sends a copy of the decision to the doctoral student and principal supervisor.

☐ Service Center contacts the doctoral student and the principal supervisor regarding logistical and celebratory arrangements .

☐ Communication Support contacts the doctoral student regarding arrangements to record a short video presenting the research highlights after the defence.

☐ Send the thesis for final printing via US-AB.

☐ Create a video conference link, such as a Zoom meeting. KTH also offers Zoom Webinar, which works well for events like this. The meeting organizer (not the respondent) should contact  to schedule such a video link. Read more on the web page Zoom Webinar for defense at KTH .

The contact person for those in lack of a computer or computer skills should be the chair of the public defence, or someone delegated by him/her. The chair acts as a moderator and must be able to allow for audience participation (questions and comments) via Zoom, e.g. via the chat window.

☐ Upload the thesis to DiVA according to the instructions found on the web pages Posting a doctoral or licentiate thesis  and Posting step by step . Make sure to enter the metadata correctly and fill out all relevant fields to avoid unnecessary delay.

The link to the video conference must be published in DiVA well in advance. The doctoral student can do this either (1) by adding the link and passcode (if applicable) to DiVA when registering the DiVA record, or (2) by sending the link and passcode (if applicable) together with the link to the already created DiVA record to . The KTH Library will then be able to edit the information in DiVA, which will automatically update the KTH Calendar.

☐ The principal supervisor is responsible for informing the opponent and members of the grading committee about how the defence will be conducted.

KTH's Guideline on Third-Cycle Studies , 6.4.4, contains helpful information regarding descriptions of public theses defenses. The EECS guidelines under the subheading "References" on this page may also prove to be useful.

3 weeks

☐ Make sure that the thesis is already uploaded to DiVA (legal requirement).

☐ Send out the thesis (requirement). Contact  to receive help with this:

  • One copy to each recipient according to the distribution list, including the opponent and the members of the grading committee
  • One printed copy to the KTH Library , together with the form Agreement regarding publication  as signed original (legal requirement). The distribution list states that an electronic version should be sent to the KTH Library, this is done by uploading it to DiVA

After the defence

☐ Submit the protocol as signed original (this is normally handled by the chair of the public defence) to the doctoral education support.

☐ In collaboration with communication support, the doctoral student records a short video presenting the research highlights.

Applying for a degree of doctor

☐ When all courses are completed to reach the requirements specified by the doctoral programme, the principal supervisor notifies  in order to report it in Ladok.

☐ Make sure your contact information in Ladok  is up to date.

☐ Log in to , click Services in the menu bar, and then Degree Certificate. Fill out and send in the application for degree certificate by following the instructions. Compare with your individual study plan (ISP) as a reference, so that the application is filled in correctly.

☐ Send your degree application case number (starts with “EX” followed by numbers) in an email to  in order to speed up the application process.

☐ Fill out and send in the web form Mobility Questionnaire for Doctoral Students at EECS .


Find links to regulations and forms on the web page Links and resources .

Read about practical arrangements for public defence of doctoral thesis and licentiate seminar logistics .

EECS guidelines: Guidelines for the formal procedure at the public defence of doctoral theses at KTH (pdf 49 kB)