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On the extension of doctoral studies and employment as a doctoral student as a result of COVID-19

As a starting point, KTH prioritises efforts to ensure that education at all levels can be carried out as planned. Under certain circumstances, adjustments may be necessary for individual doctoral students. This should be documented in the doctoral student's ISP. The changes made should primarily be alterations to the order of priorities. The extension of studies shall only occur if all other possibilities have been exhausted, and the need shall be examined on a case-by-case basis.

From the Higher Education Ordinance

Pursuant to Chapter 6, Section 29, Par. 3 of the Higher Education Ordinance, the period of study may only be extended if special grounds for doing so exist. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave.

Pursuant to Chapter 5, Section 7, Par. 4 of the Higher Education Ordinance, the total period of employment may exceed the time corresponding to full-time third-cycle study for four years, if special grounds exist. Such grounds may comprise leave of absence because of illness, leave of absence for service in the defence forces or an elected position in a trade union or student organisation, or parental leave (including care of sick child).

The handling of extension needs

Consequences of COVID-19 that result in the need for extension should be treated as special grounds, in line with that which is stated above.

If an extension is deemed necessary for the doctoral student as a result of COVID-19, this must be documented in the ISP where a new preliminary date for completion of the student’s studies must also be indicated. However, it is important that decisions regarding the extension of studies and employment not be taken before this measure becomes truly necessary – usually in connection with the last employment contract. The school must adopt a position on funding for the extension on a case-by-case basis. It is important to identify cases that risk needing an extension at the earliest possible stage, both in order to alter the order of priorities (if possible) and to clarify funding at an early stage in cases where extension becomes inevitable.

The documentation in the ISP shall be made under 2.4 Past and present leave/assignments that constitute grounds for an extension/special reasons.

Decisions are rendered by the Head of School (they may be redelegated), in consultation with the doctoral student, the student’s primary supervisor, the FA and the PA.

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Page responsible:Margareta Karlsson
Belongs to: KTH Intranet
Last changed: Jan 13, 2021