LTH has introduced an element which means that a midway review is mandatory for PhD-students that are about half trough towards the doctoral degree. The midway review concerns doctoral students who have been admitted as of 1 January 2019 and who are to complete their education with a doctoral degree.
Midway review involves an assessment of the education in relation to the Higher Education Ordinance's degree objectives, and is based on the documentation in the individual study plan.
Guidelines for midway reviews of third-cycle studies
The purpose of the midway review is to make a review of your education at half-time, in order to be able to plan the remaining part until the public defence. The midway review covers the design and content of your education but is not an assessment of your achievements. The midway review is only mandatory for those doctoral students who complete their education with a doctoral degree. It is done by an external assessor who gives their views and recommendations from an outsider's perspective.
The assessment in the midway review is based on documentation in the individual study plan (ISP), where the assessor's comments must also be submitted after reviewing. In the spring of 2020, the template for the individual study plan was updated with tabs, and it is the two tabs "Progression and Learning Objectives" and "Third cycle programme" that are used to document the midway review (see details in the text below).
If a midway review is planned, this can be documented in the tab Third cycle programme. Information in the tab Progression and learning outcomes must be filled in and discussed at the annual ISP meetings. In this tab, it is documented how the doctoral student's programme meets the degree outcomes in the Higher Education Ordinance for a degree of doctor. It is important to reflect on the interpretation of the outcomes related to the individual doctoral student's programme and how completed activities contribute to the outcomes, as well as identifying remaining activities to meet the outcomes. All of the Higher Education Ordinance degree outcomes form part of the review, however, the doctoral student's programme does not need to have addressed all of the outcomes at the time of the review. There should, however, be a plan ahead.
The division of third cycle studies at the Centre for Engineering Education (CEE) offers support in the process of interpreting degree outcomes for third-cycle studies.
The reviewer should be informed that the review is based on the information in the individual study plan and the discussion at the review meeting. The reviewer is supposed to summarise an analysis how well the doctoral student's programme meets the degree outcomes in the Higher Education Ordinance currently and give recommendations for the rest of the programme.
The latest version of the individual study plan is sent to the reviewer, specifically the information in the tab Progression and learning outcomes. The degree outcomes for the degree of doctor, in the Higher Education Ordinance, are found in the individual study plan. If the department or division has made a subject-specific interpretation of the degree outcomes, this should be sent to the reviewer.
The reviewer will then write a short text with an analysis and recommendations for the remaining part of the education. This text is included in the individual study plan.
The midway review must include a meeting between the doctoral student, supervisors, the reviewer and other parties concerned at the department.
Example 1: Midway review at an ISP meeting
An external reviewer is invited to one of the ordinary ISP meetings half way through the education. The reviewer reads the latest version of the ISP and meeting will focus on how the doctoral student's education relates to the degree outcomes considering completed and planned activities.
Example 2: Midway review at a presentation of the research project
The doctoral student often presents his or her project to external parts during the education. It is possible to carry out the midway review on such an occasion. It is, however, important to consider that the midway review focus on the degree outcomes.
At or after the midway review, the reviewer sends conclusions and recommendations to the doctoral student and the supervisor.
In the tab Third cycle programme in the individual study plan, the midway review is marked as completed and the date for the review is added. The reviewer's name, title, higher education institution as well as the analysis and recommendations, are to be documented under the same headline.
If the assessment also results in agreements between the doctoral student and the supervisor these are documented in the ISP, which is signed and locked according to current guidelines for individual study plans.