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Supervision and individual study plan

Doctoral students are entitled to supervision and an individual study plan.


All doctoral students are entitled to supervision by at least two supervisors, one of whom shall be the student’s main supervisor. At least one of the supervisors must have undergone KTH’s supervisor training or have equivalent competence.

It is the responsibility of the main supervisor to ensure that the student’s studies and thesis work are progressing at the appropriate pace. Together with the doctoral student, the main supervisor produces and updates an individual study plan (ISP) at least once per year. Further to this, the main supervisor proposes a reviewer for the licentiate seminar, and the external reviewer for the thesis defence. Decisions are made by the director for third-cycle education.

Doctoral students have the right to change supervisor. A request for a change must be made in writing and submitted to the school’s director of third-cycle education. If the director for third-cycle education is also the student’s supervisor, the request should instead be sent to the Head of School. A form to request a change of supervisor can be found in the forms archive .

Individual study plan (ISP)

According to the Higher Education Ordinance, all doctoral students must have an individual study plan (ISP). The ISP must be based upon the current subject-specific study plan and constitutes an adaptation of this for the doctoral student’s projects. The ISP shall be attached to the application for admission and constitutes the doctoral student’s most important document as it preserves the quality of the studies and contains the commitments of KTH and the student as well as a timetable for the studies. It must clarify the rights, obligations and the performance requirements of both the student and the school. The plan must be sufficiently concrete so as to constitute genuine support and a basis for discussion for both student and supervisors, and be designed in such a way that it facilitates the annual follow-up of the studies. The ISP must be detailed for the coming year but may be less concrete concerning the later part of the studies.

The ISP is a public authority requirement that must be followed-up at least once per year and shall be determined by the school’s director of doctoral studies. The doctoral student, supervisor or the director of doctoral studies has the right to, at any time during the year, initiate a review of the ISP. Adjustments are made to the extent that is necessary following consultation between the doctoral student and supervisor. The period of the studies may only be extended if there are special reasons for this.

KTH's steering document for third-cycle education

Guideline on third-cycle education

System support for the ISP – eISP

Since October 2016, individual study plans at KTH have been managed in the eISP system. eISP is a tool for the management of ISPs and is intended to facilitate communication, updates, determination and follow-ups. Supervisors, doctoral students and the director for third-cycle education have access to the eISP.

Access to the eISP

Once logged in to, persons employed by KTH will find "eISP - individual study plans" under "services" in their personal menu. If you cannot find the system there, enter via "select services" and check the box for eISP.

Persons who are not employed by KTH (e.g., prospective doctoral students, industry-employed doctoral students, scholarship holders, etc.) must contact the school’s research administration in order to obtain an account.

More information about eISP with user manual