Postgraduate studies at IEG

Building on the tradition of Linnaeus, the Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG) continues to contribute strongly to biology research and teaching at Uppsala University. Our postgraduate education attracts students from all over the world and provides a highly international environment for PhD students. The Faculty of Science and Technology offers two types of postgraduate degrees: Doctor of Philosophy, and a licentiate degree. The PhD program has an internationally high quality and our PhD graduates are well prepared and well qualified for appointments at the best universities within and outside the country, as well as in business, government, and society in general.

More information about Postgraduate studies within Science and Technology in general together with checklist before PhD defence and various rules and regulations can be found here. For more general information about PhD education at IEG, contact the Director of Studies, Peter Eklöv.

Courses for PhD students at IEG

For the PhD degree, the course component of the doctoral program is between 40 and 120 credits. The compulsory course for the PhD degree is the Research Ethics (2 hp). There are a number of recommended courses given at the Biology section, which you can find here.  You can also find a complete list of postgraduate-level courses at the faculty level here.

Within each subject there are specific courses (introductory essay, literature and seminars). As a PhD student you should discuss with your supervisor which courses to include in your individual study plan.

For PhD students at the department of Ecology and Genetics, subject specific courses consist of an introductory essay (6-10 hp) and an examination of literature (10 hp). The introductory essay is a short review over a PhD student’s subject-specific research field. The size of the essay should be discussed with your supervisor. The literature course can have different forms and may consist of group discussions of one or several books and/or a set of articles related to different subject-specific themes. The PhD student take turns in leading the literature group discussions with the supervision of a senior teacher who is the formal examiner of the literature course.

Other courses or related activities

SciLifeLab arranges courses for laboratory infrastructure users:

Conference with own presentation (2 hp), only participation (1 hp)

Workshops (credit points are individually decided by the subject responsible professor)

If you teach at basic and advanced level during your PhD studies, it is highly recommended to take a course in university education: Academic teacher training course (7.5hp)


Both PhD students and supervisors have access to Ladok's student user interface (UI) from where you are able to follow the progress of the studies, print out study certificates and apply for a degree at the end of the studies.


An Individual Study Plan (ISP) is formulated at the admission of a PhD education and revised annually in October/November. The ISP describes the student’s planned research activities, courses, financing and progress. The student, together with the supervisor/s and FUAP, are responsible for yearly revisions and updates of the plan. Major changes in the PhD-planning also require revising the ISP. In addition to the main supervisor, each PhD-student will have one or several additional supervisors within the program or external as part of an extended team. These extended teams preferably complement the main supervisor in subject competencies, seniority and gender. In connection to the yearly revisions of the ISP the student should gather their extended team for discussions and consultations. Thereafter, the ISP is discussed with the FUAP (signed by the PhD-student, supervisors, FUAP and archived at IEG). The ISP specifies, under the section Progression, the examination goals (according to Högskoleförordningen/The Qualifications Ordinance), to be considered at the yearly ISP-revision.

When revising your study activity, you can take part of information about your teaching in the system Bemanningsplaneraren. Log in with your password A.

IEG Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution seminar series

The department organizes a “Frontiers” seminar series. The “IEG frontiers” series is an open, common department seminar series, where everyone (including PhD students) can invite international speakers. Ideally one speaker per Program per term. The goal is to have one seminar each month, amounting to 4-6 seminars per term. A student can get credits according to attendance of seminars.

Half-time seminar

A half-time seminar should be carried out after approximately 24 months fulltime of the PhD studies as part of the assessment of the progression of the postgraduate studies. At the time of the seminar it is recommended that the PhD student has at least one well-developed first draft of a manuscript to be included in the thesis. Before the seminar (approximately 2 weeks), the PhD student write a brief report that should be handed in to the supervisors in the specific subject (Animal Ecology, Animal Conservation, Evolutionary Genetics, Ecological Botany, Evolutionary Functional Genomics, or Limnology). The supervisors are expected to provide feedback on the report and the presentation. The report of approximately 5 pages should include a background, major research questions, methods used, major results and a future plan with an outline of potential projects for the remaining studies. The seminar should be announced at the IEG-list, by the PhD student at least two weeks in advance. The seminar should not be more than 30 minutes plus time for questions. After the seminar the supervisors in the program meet with the student, discuss and give feedback on the status and progress of the student’s postgraduate education. The student should document the feedback and include it in the individual study plan.

Biology PhD school

Biology PhD students at Uppsala University, automatically join the Biology PhD School, a newly re-organized initiative that brings together all Biology PhD students across three research departments (IEG, IOB and ICM). The aims of the School are to connect and inspire PhD students in biology, and to foster interdisciplinary training. The School organizes an annual student symposium, workshops, and other activities for Biology PhD students. For more information check out Biology PhD School webpage or contact the School Director, Mario Vallejo-Marin.

Swedish courses

Each term Swedish courses are arranged jointly for IEG and IOB and are open for all employees including PhD students. In order to apply you should get approval from your supervisor. All students with first language other than Swedish can receive credits for the course (if approved by supervisor). For more information about the course, ask the HR administrator, Jenny Lundh.

Working environment

The work environment has to be designed so that employees are not exposed to illness or accident at work. Please contact your supervisor and/or your HR administrator if you experience any problem regarding this.

The Equal opportunity program states that the working place should be free of any sexual harassment and that one’s sex or gender, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age will not stand as a ground for discrimination. If you encounter any issues regarding this, you can contact the Equal Opportunities Officer, Dolly Kothawala, or a student representative. More information can be found here.

A list of all members of working group including safety officers, working environment committee members and Equal Opportunity Group members together with student representatives can be found on medarbetarportalen (note: log in required).

As a PhD student you are encouraged to participate as a representative at the Departmental board and various other committees. To name a few: Working environment committee, Equal Opportunity Group, Election committee. For more information, contact the HR administrator at the Department.

International courses and conferences

PhD students are encouraged to participate in international workshops, symposia and conferences, which are chosen in agreement with the main supervisor. Links to some popular international (and local) courses and conferences are available through the Biology PhD School website. According to EBC guidelines, the maximum total amount of credits for international symposia is 6 credits.

For attending international conferences and workshops, the university provides travel grants and scholarships. More information can be found here.

Last modified: 2024-01-02