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Independently-financed PhDs at LUCSUS

In principle, independently financed PhD candidates can carry out their doctoral studies at LUCSUS if the criteria and processes described below are fulfilled.

Independently financed PhD candidates can support LUCSUS’ efforts to foster transdisciplinarity, for instance by supporting its network and collaboration with organisations, institutions, and practitioners beyond academia. Moreover, such PhDs can contribute to a more stimulating and diverse research environment. At the same time, it is crucial to ensure an environment that supports co-learning and mutual engagement between all of LUCSUS’ PhD candidates, and between PhD candidates and other staff members.

For applications for independently financed PhD candidates to be considered at LUCSUS, the following criteria and processes must be fulfilled.


  1. Funding. Potential PhD candidates who inquire about conducting their doctoral studies at LUCSUS must provide proof of having secured the sufficient funds for the entire period of their doctoral studies, which in Sweden is 4 years of full-time research. The funding must cover the salary of the PhD candidate for 4 years, must cover the indirect / social costs, and must cover the overhead costs at LUCSUS. The yearly costs are approximately 700,000 SEK and the necessary funds for 4 years are approximately 2,800,000 SEK. This does not include the costs for supervision, research-related expenses, courses, printing of the PhD thesis, and the PhD defense. The payment for supervision time (minimum 5% of supervisor’s time) should generally also be covered by the financing agency or an existing project, and the research-related expenses should follow LUCSUS standards.
  2. Relevance of PhD topic for LUCSUS. In order to qualify as an independently financed PhD candidate, the proposed PhD topic must be relevant for LUCSUS.
  3. Supporting letter for PhD supervision. At least one of the Associate Professors (Docent) or Professors at LUCSUS must provide a statement of support that they are willing to supervise the PhD candidate and they endorse the proposed research.
  4. Interview. An interview has to be conducted with the potential independently financed PhD candidate and follow the LUCSUS standards for selecting PhD candidates. A selection committee will conduct the interview. The director of LUCSUS will appoint the committee members, which should include at least the Director of PhD studies, the Associate Professor or Professor who is willing to supervise the PhD candidate (taking the role as representative of the teaching staff), and a representative of LUCSUS PhD candidates.
  5. Final approval. For the final approval of admission of the PhD candidate to doctoral education at LUCSUS, the proposal (including a summary of the interview and the statement of support) will be presented to the LUCSUS Board.
  6. Contract with funding agency. A contract specifying the responsibilities of the PhD candidate, the organisation or institution that provides the financing, and LUCSUS has to be signed by all parties. The contract has to be developed in close cooperation with the legal department at Lund University.