Advisement of HMI Graduate Students

When graduate students are accepted to the program they are immediately assigned a temporary advisor, who will help students to set up a study plan for the first two years with a course schedule and also other activities for the Licentiat or Ph.D. degrees. For some students the research topic and the advisor may have been selected already when the student was recruited. If so, there is no need to identify a temporary advisor. The temporary advisor will continue until a permanent, major advisor is chosen. The major advisor has to be a docent (or full professor) and should be selected among the faculty of the department.

Courses should be scheduled so that those that are important for the research can be taken early in the program. In order to graduate in two years (for the licentiat degree), courses should ideally be completed after three semesters, so that the fourth semester can be exclusively devoted to research.

The advisor should inform him/herself of previous graduate courses that the student may have taken, so as to understand if any of them can be transferred for credit to the HMI program. Students should bring course documentation to show what they did in these courses.

Students are encouraged to set up appointments with faculty members in the department to inform themselves about the ongoing research and explore various research topics. The final choice of research topic is typically restricted to those where there is funding available and competence among faculty. Faculty members with funded research projects will also recruit students to work on their projects, so that there is a reciprocity in pairing up students and advisors.

For the licentiat degree there are two advisors (one major advisor) and for the Ph.D. there are three advisors (one major advisor).

Graduate students are expected to set up appointments to see their major advisor on a regular basis to discuss the research. Based on these discussions the graduate student will prepare a proposal for research in writing.

After the proposal has been finalized, copies are given to the advisors, and an appointment is set up with the advisors for a joint meeting. Advisors are expected to have commented in the written text - so that there can be a meaningful discussion of the proposal. The graduate student will then take the comments and revise the proposal and set up a new meeting, and so forth. The proposal will be formally approved after there are no more changes. A copy of the proposal and information about the date of approval should be deposited in the student's file.

Depending upon the outcome of the research there are usually modifications of the research plan in the proposal.

If the advisement and/or research topic area does not work out, graduate students can change their major advisor. A request for change may be discussed with either the Director of HMI, the Head of the Department or the Chair of the HMI Research Committee.