Starting this year the PhD students are represented in the Research Education Committee (Forskarutbildningsutskottet, FU) and during the meeting in January all PADs were invited and we discussed the forms of their representation. It was decided that one PAD at a time participates. Last Monday we had the first FU-meeting with this setup.
We have for some time now had the idea to send out a survey to all PhD students at ITM and with the help of the PADs we are now getting closer to actually realizing it. We would like to know how the situation is for the PhD students at our five different doctoral programs. We want to know about working environment, courses, supervision etc to be able to learn from programs where it works well and to help correct things where there are problems. So look out for the survey that we hope will be sent out during March. It is important that as many as possible participate.
We have also started to plan the annual PhD students’ conference, also this with input from the PADs which is very valuable. The conference will be a lunch to lunch meeting May 9-10.
The last few weeks have been really intense with teaching, a workshop with lots of guests and much celebration. First there was the ceremony in the Concert Hall where 185 of the 308 doctors who graduated from KTH since the last time were promoted. It was striking how in the beginning it seemed like everyone at KTH were women: Vice Chairman (Helene Biström), the new president (Sigbritt Karlsson), Dean of the Faculty (Katja Tollmar Grillner), promoter (Margareta Norell Bergendahl), recipient of Janne Carlsson Scholarship for academic leadership (Cecilia Christersson), recipient of the KTH Grand prize (Helene Ehrensvärd) and the first two Deans (Muriel Bezer Hugosson and Amelie Eriksson Karlström). But then of course some schools had few or no female doctors and smashed the illusion. Of course I don’t mean that there should be only women at KTH only that it is desirable to have a mixture. It was great to see with what pride, yet timidness, all the new doctors received proof of what they had achieved. The atmosphere at the dinner in the City Hall was high, and it’s nice that supervisors get to enjoy it together with their former doctoral students.
Last Friday it was time to celebrate again when one of our doctoral students in a very commendable way defended her dissertation. It is fantastic to see how much joy radiates from a newly appointed doctor and to see their maturity and security. But of course it is also a little sad when one of the “kids” leave the nest.
Also the FA-business has taken its fair share of time – e-mails from both students and supervisors where there is a problem of some kind. Sometimes it is easy to help but sometimes, when the academic collides with the harsh economic reality, it is more difficult.
And of course I have to say something about the e-ISP. The system works well (even if it sometimes feels as if the ISPs goes in circles) and I think the time from when a graduate student presses the button to when the FA approves will be shortened considerably!
If you have questions regarding the web based ISP please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) has been assigned by the Government to develop and implement a new model for quality evaluation of higher education. The model will be applied starting 2017 and contains four different types of assessments, for more information see the home page of UKÄ under Quality Assurance.
A pilot round of evaluating the doctoral education was performed 2016 and in January 2017 the “real” assessment starts with a number of subjects being evaluated, four of which we have at KTH and one of those at ITM: Economics (Sw. Nationalekonomi).
All subjects with a research education will eventually be assessed and we can foresee that a lot of time and effort will have to be spent on these evaluations.
The e-ISP system is up and running but we are still waiting for an update that will make it possible to get all the information from Ladok into the ISP. This update will be in place any day now. If you have questions regarding the web based ISP please email email@example.com.
For me, the last week was devoted to the thesis defense of one of my PhD students, David Dilner, and I tried to spend as little time as possible as FA. However, there are always issues that are impossible to postpone and this week I was contacted by the PhD Candidate Advisor, Ingrid Iliou, about a student engaged in an exchange programme. Who is responsible when there are two universities involved? One should be extremely careful when entering into a dual or double degree programme – it is very important to discuss all responsibilities in detail.
The e-ISP will be launched October 1st. There was an information meeting in August and of course not everybody could attend – there will be another meeting later this fall. All students, except those that have set the date for their defense, will have to use the new e-ISP. If you have questions regarding the web based ISP please email firstname.lastname@example.org., or read more at the ITM Intranet.
Every month the PAs (persons responsible for the five doctoral programs at ITM) meet together with me and Gülten to discuss issues related to doctoral studies. We discuss new regulations, doctoral programs, courses, study plans, advance reviews, grants etc. Next meeting is scheduled to June 20 and to this meeting we have invited the responsible PhD students (PADs). I think that we should interact more with the PhD students in order to create an even better research study environment at ITM and this is a first step in that direction.
Some news and information regarding the administration of doctoral studies are
e-ISP will (most likely – awaiting decision) be implemented starting September 1st – so after the summer all* study plans should be submitted electronically
a new form must be handed in to DO with a suggestion who should be appointed advance reviewer for doctoral and licentiate theses. The decision is thereafter taken by FA. This means that an additional two weeks are needed to handle this new process which mean that the suggestion should be handed in 11 weeks before the defense.
To end with something a little bit more existing and positive I would like to point out that all (?) doctoral courses at KTH can be found on the web! Not all course syllabuses for the ITM courses have been translated into English but we are working on that.
*students that have less than 1 year to their defense will probably not need to change systems.