Chair, examiner, and defense committee

Chair of public defense ceremony

Registration must also include a proposed chair of the public defense ceremony (not the candidate’s supervisor). The chair may be a member of the defense committee, but may also be appointed solely to chair the public defense ceremony. In the latter case the chair may not take part in the deliberations of the defense committee.

Examiner

The department’s registration must include a proposed department examiner, with an explanation. Before the final proposal is sent to the research committee, the department/supervisor must consult with a representative of the postgraduate programs committee. Honorarium: SEK 12.000. Payment is covered by the department.

Defense committee

The department must also submit proposals for members of the defense committee, with brief explanations. To avoid disqualification, before submitting the final proposal to the postgraduate programs committee, the department/supervisor must consult with a representative of the postgraduate programs committee regarding the composition of the defense committee. Defense committees for doctoral theses may consist of three or five members. If a committee of three members is chosen, no more than one may be from the candidate’s own department, and at least one external member must be from another scientific discipline, other university, or other external organization. If a committee of five members is chosen, no more than two may be from the candidate’s own department, and at least one from another scientific discipline, other university, or other external organization. In cases where the dissertation has been subjected to advance vetting at the behest of the postgraduate programs committee, the defense committee must consist of five members. All members must have no association with the thesis work. Defense committee members must have the academic rank of at least associate professor.

Disqualification rules

Read more about disqualification rules at Uppsala University on the university website on rules.

Guidelines for examiner and defense committee

Decision April 24, 2001, Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy, Uppsala University

The thesis may be the result of teamwork, but the personal contribution by the doctoral student must be clearly discernible. The thesis may be a monograph or consist of several subprojects. The quality of the doctoral thesis, in its entirety or in summary, must be of the standard required to fulfill reasonable requirements to be accepted for publication in an international refereed scientific journal. Consequently the postgraduate programs committee requests advance vetting of the dissertation if fewer than half of the subprojects are published/accepted, or in the case of a monograph thesis.
The examiner and the defense committee must set forth the material errors and merits of the dissertation at the public defense. At the dissertation the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Pharmacy would like particular attention paid to the following aspects:

  1. Subjects and problems
    • Is the choice of subject original? Why has it not been previously addressed (e.g., a new idea, premises were lacking in the past, the candidate had access to a unique material or an original technique, etc.)?
    • If the subject was investigated earlier, why did the author address it again? (Have developments in the field given reason to assume that previous results are no longer valid; have new technological methods made it probable that the problem could be examined in greater depth, etc.?)
  2. Literature
    • Is the selection of references adequate and do they give a correct picture of the research front within the field covered by the thesis?
    • Does the thesis contain a critical analysis of the referenced articles?
  3. Material
    • Are the experimental and control materials appropriately chosen and sufficiently large?
  4. Methods
    • Are the methods conventional, original, diverse, well-controlled regarding possible sources of error, and well-suited to the research subject?
  5. Results and conclusion
    • Are the results of interest and newsworthy?
    • Does the author draw logical conclusions?
    • Does the author draw neither too many nor too few conclusions that what the results permit?
    • Does the author demonstrate scientific stringency in the summary?
  6. Formal presentation
    • Is the thesis well-planned?
    • How is the linguistic element?
    • Are the experiments, analyses, studies and results lucidly presented?
    • Are the tables and figures well-organized and explained?
  7. General summary
    • Do the quantity and quality of the candidate's work meet the expectations of four years of doctoral studies?
    • If the thesis is based on teamwork, can the candidate's contribution be clearly distinguished?
    • What criticism does the thesis deserve?
    • What are the main merits of the thesis (originality, scientific imagination, new methodology, new scientific information, etc)?