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Mid-Term Review

The Mid-Term Review provides the doctoral student with an overview of the literature within the subject and an opportunity to summarise preliminary research findings in a research report. In addition, it provides practise in holding a seminar and answering criticism and questions from a reviewer (opponent).

The Mid-Term Review consists of the Mid-Term Paper and a Departmental Seminar in which the Paper is presented to a reviewer from Lund University. The Paper is to contain both an introductory part and a research report with preliminary research findings. Discuss the structure and the format of the Paper with your supervisor and your departmental representative. The Paper and the Seminar should not exceed 10 weeks’ of work and the Mid-Term Review is worth 15 credits.

The Mid-Term Review is to take place two years after admission to postgraduate studies, give or take 3 months. All material you write for the midway review can be used in its entirety in your thesis, both the literature overview and the manuscript.

If you do not pass

If you fail and do not receive a pass grade on your Mid-Term Review, you get another chance to present a new Paper and to hold another Seminar. This must happen within 6 months of the first Seminar. If you do not receive a pass grade on the second occasion, the Director of Postgraduate Studies will investigate why this occurred and how the problem can be solved.

The Mid-Term Paper

The Paper consists of two parts:

  • introductory part with an overview of relevant literature in the research subject. The introductory part is to place the doctoral student’s research in perspective and in relation to the research subject as a whole and to define the central issues.
  • A research report with preliminary research findings.

Before the Mid-Term Review, the departmental representative and the Supervisor(s) conduct a quality review of the Mid-Term Paper. If they assess it as being up to standard and worth 15 credits, the doctoral student can present it for Mid-Term Review.

Overview of the literature

Understanding the literature within a research field is crucial for high quality and well-motivated research. Therefore, as a doctoral student, you should start work on acquiring an overview of the literature early on in your postgraduate studies.

At the end of the overview of the literature, you are to describe your research questions and why they are important within your research field. The overview of the literature is comparable to the introductory section of the thesis and you should consider it as such. This will significantly reduce the stress you face when writing your final thesis.

There are no particular rules for how long the overview of the literature should be, but a suitable length could be between 10 and 20 A4 pages.

The overview of the literature can be written just before the Mid-Term Review or divided into two parts. If you choose the latter option, you should write an introductory overview of the literature during the first year of postgraduate studies. This is worth 5 credits. When it is time for the Mid-Term Review, you then update the introductory overview, and together with the Research Report and the Seminar, you then earn a further 10 credits.

Research report

If you already have one or several manuscripts ready for publication, the second part of the Mid-Term Paper consists of this work. In order for the Mid-Term Paper not to be too long, you may only include two manuscripts.

If you do not have any manuscripts ready, describe your research findings so far, the methods used and how the preliminary results relate to the research questions described in the overview of the literature.

The Departmental Seminar

A reviewer (opponent) from within Lund University is to be appointed. They must receive the Paper at least one week before the Seminar. The reviewer should preferably be a Docent. The Seminar itself should not exceed 30 minutes. After the doctoral student’s presentation, the reviewer and the audience have the opportunity to ask questions.

At the end of the Seminar, the departmental representative, reviewer and the Supervisor(s) decide whether you have passed the Mid-Term Review. They then complete a Mid-Term Report Form (in Swedish, pdf, 149 kB, new tab) that is signed by the departmental representative and sent to Katarina Nygren for registration in LADOK. You will receive a copy of the report that you are to keep. Remember to ensure that LADOK is updated with your credits. You and your Supervisor are responsible for ensuring that this is done.

Charlotta Thomaeus will archive all documents relating to the postgraduate studies of doctoral students.

Directors of Postgraduate Studies

Per Lundberg
Evolutionary Ecology

Telephone: +46 46 222 37 67
E-mail: Per [dot] Lundberg [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Emma Kritzberg
Senior lecturer
Aquatic Ecology

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

Biology Doctoral Students Council

BDR – Biology Doctoral Students Council

Graduate School

Geneco graduate school on our external website –

Archiving PhD studies

Charlotta Thomaeus
Financial administrator
Department of Biology

Telephone:+46 46-222 45 98
E-mail:Charlotta [dot] Thomaeus [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se