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General Curricula and Individual Study Plans

The general syllabus in biology describes the frames that apply to all doctoral students in biology and Lund University and contains information about the content and degree requirements of the education.

The individual study plan is the plan for the individual doctoral student’s research studies and it specifies the undertakings of the department and the doctoral student and includes a general time plan. The individual study plan can start from the preliminary plan that the supervisory committee made before admission.

The supervisor initiates the individual study plan and makes, together with the doctoral student, a suggestion, which is finalised together with the departmental representative. The Head of the department approves the study plan.

Information about the general syllabus and the individual study plan can be found on the faculty website, which also has a manual and a link to the system itself.

Example of a fictitious individual study plan

Doctoral student

Name: Daphnia Magna
Swedish civic registration number: XXXXXX-XXXX
Email address: daphnia [dot] magna [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se
Department: Biology
Admission date: 2018-05-02

Supervisory committee, director of studies and head of department

Main supervisor: NN
Supervisor: CC
Supervisor: -
Representative of the department: name of the examiner QQ
Scientific mentor: MM
Director of studies: Emma Kritzberg
Head of the department: Jessica Abbott

The third-cycle (doctoral) programme

Third-cycle programme subject: Biology (MNBIOL00)
Course requirements: 60 hp
Thesis requirements: 180 hp
Half-time evaluation or similar: Half-time seminar or similar

Mandatory courses or other activities eligible for credits

Introductory course, Faculty of Science (0.5 credits) Graduate studies in biology: the science and its philosophy (1.5 credits) Introduction to teaching methods (3 credits) Evolutionary processes (2 credits) Recommended: Statistics for Biologists (7.5 credits) Conferences (max 15 credits) Midway review (15 credits)


Funding of the position as doctoral student

State type of funding for the position (that is employment based on external grants; employment through faculty funding; industry funding; stipend) and the proportions in per cent if several sources of funding are used.
Year 1: VR Year 2: VR Year 3: Aquatic Ecology Year 4: Aquatic Ecology

Basic resources and project funding

List basic resources such as workplace, computer, telephone, and such. Specify the source of funding for research projects, conference participation and similar. Workplace, computer, telephone source of all funding: NN’s VR grant


Forms for supervision, from the main supervisor and other supervisors, and labour division: main supervision from NN, strong contribution of co-supervisor CC. Supervision consists of joint research group meetings one hour once a week. Individual meetings with NN every two weeks, 1-2 hours. Co-supervisor joins for discussions on experimental design and interpretation of data, approximately 2-3 times per semester.

Latest doctoral student progress meeting (minutes shall be kept separately)

Date: 2021-02-03
Participants: NN, CC, MM , examiner
Year/semester for the planned degree of doctor: 2023/VT


Workload: 100 %
Teaching/admin/other (portion in relation to full-time): 10%
Activity third-cycle programme (portion in relation to full-time): 90%

Activity third-cycle programme and departmental duties/student union commissions (% of full-time)

TermPostgrad studies plannedPostgrad studies actualDepartmental duties plannedDepartmental duties actual
VT 201860%60%0%0%
HT 201890%90%10%10%
VT 201985%85%15%15%
HT 201985%85%15%15%
VT 202085%85%15%15%
HT 202085%85%15%15%
VT 202185%85%15%15%
HT 202185%85%15%15%
VT 202285%0%15%0%
HT 20220%0%0%0%
VT 2023

Completed courses and other credit-awarding components

Credited courses (attended prior to admission)

Slutdatum: Antal hp: Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Slutdatum: Antal hp: Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Slutdatum: Antal hp: Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Total, credited courses: 0 hp

Courses and other credit-awarding components within the third-cycle programme

Name: Introductory Course
Slutdatum: 2019 Antal hp: 0.5 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: Evolutionary Processes
Slutdatum: 2019 Antal hp: 2 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: The science and its philosophy
Slutdatum: 2020 Antal hp: 1.5 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: Statistics for biologists
Slutdatum: 2020 Antal hp: 7.5 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes
Name: literature course: "Animal Eyes", MF Land & DE Nilsson, Oxford U
Slutdatum: 2019 Antal hp: 3 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: Pedagogic introduction
Slutdatum: 2020 Antal hp: 3 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: conferences
Slutdatum: 2020 Antal hp: 15 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: Halftime Seminar
Slutdatum: 2020 Antal hp: 15 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: Applied Project Management
Slutdatum: 2021 Antal hp: 2 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Name: Sensory Ecology
Slutdatum: 2020 Antal hp: 6 Registrerad i LADOK: Yes

Total, within the third-cycle programme: 55.5 hp
Total, all completed courses and credit-awarding components: 55.5 hp
Remaining, courses and other credit-awarding components: 4.5 hp

The doctoral thesis

Type of thesis: Collection of articles
Language of the thesis: English
Title of the thesis (preliminary): Adaptations for dim light vision in hawkmoths

Overview of the planned thesis work

The thesis investigates adaptations for underwater vision in aquatic insects. The main focus is neural adaptations which increase visual sensitivity, and in addition to this, optical adaptations, as well as the behavioural performance of aquatic insects are investigated, in order to obtain a comprehensive picture from neuron to behaviour of how these insects manage to see well in dim light.

Evaluation and planning

Evaluation and planning of research (sub-projects of the thesis work)

Sub-project 1

Title: Adaptations for nocturnal and diurnal vision in aquatic insects.
Author(s): Daphnia Magna, XX, ZZ, CC, NN
Data collection: 100 % Analyses: 100 % Writing: 100 %
Manuscript submitted: Yes Manuscript accepted: Yes

Sub-project 2

Title: Spatial and Temporal Summation boost sensitivity in aquatic insects
Author(s): Daphnia Magna, XX, NN
Data collection: 100 % Analyses: 100 % Writing: 100 %
Manuscript submitted: Yes Manuscript accepted: No

Sub-project 3

Title: A comparative analysis of neural adaptations for vision in different light environments.
Author(s): Daphnia Magna, NN
Data collection: 85 % Analyses: 85 % Writing: 50 %
Manuscript submitted: No Manuscript accepted: No
Finish data collection (if the supply of animals allows) by April, and submit manuscript latest in May (material & methods, introduction already written).

Sub-project 4

Title: Flight performance in damsel flies reveals adaptations for dim light vision.
Author(s): Daphnia Magna, SS, NN
Data collection: 100 % Analyses: 70 % Writing: 20 %
Manuscript submitted: No Manuscript accepted: No
Finish flight data analysis by end of February, SS will finalize the modelling part of the manuscript, NN will write a manuscript (material & methods written) by June (deadline for submission, as work is part of a special issue)and SS and NN will comment.

Sub-project 5

Title: Optical adaptations for vision in different lake environments in aquatic insects
Author(s): SS, Daphnia Magna, NN
Data collection: 50 % Analyses: 25 % Writing: %
Manuscript submitted: No Manuscript accepted: No
Both anatomical and physiological data collection necessary by SS and Daphnia Magna. This will be done during the spring of 2016. SS will analyse the data and present result in August.

Planned courses or other credit-awarding activities

Woods Hole summer school 2022

Planned participation at conferences

No more conferences planned, the maximum amount of credits obtained.

Planned departmental duties

Teaching in Aquatic Ecology VT 2022
Popular Science Communication Workshop VT 2022

Planning of other tasks

Activities (carried out or planned) to achieve the learning outcomes stated in the higher education ordinance

Knowledge and understanding

  • demonstrate a broad knowledge and systematic understanding of the research field, as well as advanced and up-to-date specialised knowledge in a limited area of this field
    Carried out: half-time essay (approved), 2 submitted & 2 published manuscripts
    Planned: dissertation
  • demonstrate familiarity with research methodology in general and the methods of the specific field of research in particular
    Carried out: half-time essay (approved), 2 submitted & 2 published manuscripts among those one 1 published methodology paper, course: Graduate studies in biology
    Planned: dissertation

Competence and skills

  • demonstrate the capacity for scholarly analysis and synthesis as well as to review and assess new and complex phenomena, issues and situations autonomously and critically
    Carried out: reviewed 1 paper, half-time essay
    Planned: more manuscript reviews, dissertation
  • demonstrate the ability to identify and formulate issues with scholarly precision critically, autonomously and creatively, and to plan and use appropriate methods to undertake research and other qualified tasks within predetermined time frames and to review and evaluate such work
    Carried out: 4 manuscripts published/submitted as the first and corresponding author
    Planned: more manuscripts and research projects to be conducted and finalised
  • demonstrate through a dissertation the ability to make a significant contribution to the formation of knowledge through his or her own research
    Carried out:
    Planned: dissertation planned
  • demonstrate the ability in both national and international contexts to present and discuss research and research findings authoritatively in speech and writing and in dialogue with the academic community and society in general
    Carried out: work presented at three national and two international conferences, popular scientific outreach (short video, science slams)
    Planned: dissertation
  • demonstrate the ability to identify the need for further knowledge
    Carried out: half-time essay completed, future and present projects approved in doktorandsamtals
  • demonstrate the capacity to contribute to social development and support the learning of others both through research and education and in some other qualified professional capacity
    Carried out: teaching as lab assistant and seminar teacher in a number of graduate and undergraduate courses, popular science outreach, supervision of project student
    Planned: supervision of master student

Judgement and approach

  • demonstrate intellectual autonomy and disciplinary rectitude as well as the ability to make assessments of research ethics carried out: introduction to research ethics as part of the course graduate studies in biology, collaboration and exchange with other researchers in related disciplines
    Planned: ethics workshop
  • demonstrate specialised insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used and carried out: popular science outreach, course: graduate studies in biology
    Planned: organization of "Science and Society" workshop within the annual biology PhD student conference in Lund in March 2022

Approximate time covered of the third-cycle programme (at the end of the latest completed semester) corresponding to 6.6 out of 8 semesters, or 82.5%.

Approximate remaining time of the third-cycle programme (at the end of the latest completed semester) corresponding to 1.4 out of 8 semesters, or 17.5%.

The PhD student, the main supervisor, other supervisors, the examiner, and the Head of the department all sign the individual study plan.

Directors of Postgraduate Studies

Emma Kritzberg

Telephone: +46 46 222 40 79
E-mail: Emma [dot] Kritzberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Klas Flärdh

Telephone: +46 46 222 85 84
E-mail: Klas [dot] Flardh [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Biology Doctoral Students Council

BDR – Biology Doctoral Students Council

Graduate research school

The graduate research school in integrative biology on our external website.