Your Rights

Justice Scale

There are several laws regulating your situation as doctoral student. Here we have gathered some of the rights that you have as a doctoral student.

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The Right to
A Good Research Education


Constructive Supervision

Third-cycle education includes courses, private study, research and writing a thesis. It is demanding and requires a great deal of autonomy and responsibility.

There is no guarantee that a student who is a brilliant undergraduate will be a successful doctoral student and it is thereforer the university's responsibility to help you in your struggle. Third-cycle studies require independence, responsibility, discipline and the ability to formulate and process scientific problems. A doctoral student has the right to at least two supervisors to provide the much needed support.

Bullet Journal

The Individual Study Plan

The Higher Education Ordinance states that an individual study plan must be drawn up for every doctoral student. This must be done jointly by the doctoral student and the supervisor. Third-cycle education is individual so the plan’s contents will be different for each doctoral student, even when they are studying the same subject.

The individual study plan must include:

  • the obligations of the higher education institution (HEI) and the doctoral student

  • a time plan for the doctoral student’s studies.

The individual study plan must be regularly followed up and revised by the HEI when necessary, after consultation with the doctoral student and supervisor. 

Public Defense

The formal requirement for being awarded a doctoral degree is called the public defence of the doctoral thesis. The doctoral student “defends” his or her thesis orally and in public. It is your right to, at any time, present your work for final assessment.

However, the supervisor should ensure that the thesis is of a high enough standard to pass before recommending that the doctoral student undertakes a public defence; for compilation theses, the articles have often already been published in peer-review journals. It is therefore unusual for a doctoral student to fail the public defence of his or her doctoral thesis.

Public Speaker

Haro de Grauw

2021 Haro.jpg
Meet the Doctoral Student Ombudsman!

Doctoral Student Ombudsman

The Doctoral Student Ombudsman (DOMB) is mandated to assist doctoral students at Lund University when they run into challenges concerning third cycle studies. No matter how small or how serious the problem is, you can get support from the DOMB at no additional cost. 

The DOMB is a service provided by Lund's Doctoral Student Union (LDK) in special agreement with TLTH



For emergency cases, call: (+46)72 251 11 86

What the DOMB Does

The role of the Doctoral Student Ombudsman (DOMB) is to support and guide the unions and students who feel that the University officials have acted in violation of doctoral students’ rights. The service offered by the DOMB can include everything from information and advice to investigations and to act as a representative or facilitator in contacts with the university. You choose if you just want to inform yourself of your rights or if you also want the DOMB’s help to place a formal complaint with the relevant authorities.

The DOMB is sworn to secrecy (You can read the DOMB's Confidentiality and Data Handling Policies here). Nothing will be conducted in your case without your consent. The concrete work of the DOMB is documented annually in the DOMB Case Report

How the DOMB is Organised

The Doctoral Student Ombudsman (DOMB) is a function within the Lund Doctoral Student Union (LDK). The DOMB has the responsibility to supervise doctoral students’ rights and the person who holds this office is appointed by the LDK assembly to a full time position for an indefinite period of time. The concrete tasks of the DOMB are defined in the DOMB's Activity Plan. The DOMB service is provided to all doctoral students at Lund University (irrespective of union membership). The concrete work of the DOMB is documented annually in the DOMB Case Report.

History of the DOMB

The office of the Doctoral Student Ombudsperson (DOMB) has a long and distinguished history at Lund University. As an example the former University Chancellor Lars Haikola has held the office. As an institution, it even predates the current organization of student unions at Lund University.

Current Staff

The current holder of the office of Doctoral Ombudsperson is Haro de Grauw.

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Relevant Organisations



The Swedish Association of University Teachers and Researchers, SULF, is the union for professionals within university and college education.



If you have worked for the government and fulfill certain requirements you are entitled to support from the Job Security Foundation (Trygghetsstiftelsen). This is a work benefit for those in government employment, through the collective agreement. It is Trygghetsstiftelsen's job to support you on your way to finding a new job.



Everyone working in Sweden with a general work permit is covered by unemployment insurance. However, A-kassa members have the opportunity to receive payments based on their income. Click on the link to learn more.


LU Services

You can turn to Lund University's Occupational Health Service for work-related medical, psychological and ergonomic advice. Its services are free of charge for any University employees.