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The National Research School in General Practice offers a three-year programme. During this period, doctoral students take courses and attend workshops and residential activities. There is also the possibility of a predoctoral fellowship abroad.


Courses at the research school include residential meetings and online seminars.

The first-year course, which is for 3 credits, is titled Scientific Communication. During this course, doctoral students meet both national and international teachers such as Dr Stuart Spencer, senior executive editor of the Lancet, and Professor Simon Griffin of the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine.

Online seminars are an important part of the programme that require active participation by doctoral students. While online seminars address various themes, scientific communication is the common thread. Areas of study include:

  • how to write articles, including personal feedback;
  • how to read and assess scientific papers; and
  • national and international perspectives on general-practice research.

To a certain extent, the content of seminars is adapted to needs of the group of doctoral students in question.

As we engage the services of foreign teachers, the majority of seminars are held in English.


The National Research School in General Practice offers a unique opportunity for doctoral students to gain international experience during their studies by conducting research abroad.

The research school primarily offers grants to work at a foreign institution that has specialist competence in the doctoral student's research field. The goal is for the doctoral student to participate actively in the host institution’s third-cycle activities while working on their own research or collaborative projects with the institution.

The main purpose of such visits is to deepen the doctoral student’s knowledge of and broaden their perspective on their own field of research. Exchanges should also provide opportunities for the doctoral student to establish personal contacts within the field at an early stage of their career that may lead to future collaborations after they have defended their thesis. Doctoral students are urged to plan this in collaboration with their supervisors.

Each doctoral student is expected to present the fresh insights and experiences gained through international activities both in a brief written report and in conjunction with annual follow-up days.

How does it work?

Grants are primarily awarded for visits to foreign institutions. Every doctoral student enrolled in the research school is eligible to apply for a grant.   Applications are submitted jointly with your supervisor together with a plan detailing how the funds will be used.

Internationalisation grants may be used to meet fixed costs incurred by visiting a foreign institution, such as travel and accommodation. It is not permitted to use to grant to pay a salary. Ideally, the grant should be combined with other travel grants.

Requirements for applying for an internationalisation grant

If you wish to apply for an internationalisation grant, we require the following information:

  1. A brief project plan containing background, method and
    1. specifications, budget
    2. schedule
    3. anticipated results of the visit
  2. A brief description of the institution the doctoral student wishes to visit and justification of the choice of institution.
  3. A letter of invitation from the institution stating:
    1. that the host institution has read and approved the project plan; and
    2. the financial and administrative undertakings of the host institution.

The application is not to exceed two A4 pages and must be signed by both the applicant and their principal supervisor. The application will be assessed by the management of the research school.

You can find previous predoctoral exchange students here.

Pär-Daniel Sundvall, GU, (Southampton, UK)
Mikael Lilja, UmU, (Melbourne, Australia)
Bledar Daka, GU, (Nevada, USA)
Maria Landén Ludvigsson, LiU, (Brisbane, Australia), physiotherapist
Malin Sjöström, UmU, (Nijmegen, Holland)
Thorbjörn Lundberg, UmU, (Pretoria, South Africa)
Tijn Hendrikx, UmU, (Chicago, USA)
Karin Rådholm, LiU, (Sydney, Australia)
Carina Wennerholm, LiU, (Edinburgh, UK), specialized nurse
Margareta Leonardsson-Hellgren, GU,  (NIH, Phoenix, USA)
Anna-Karin Halldin, GU, (Auckland, NZ)
Moa Wolff, LU, (Sydney, Australia)
Maria Samefors, LiU, (Auckland, NZ)
Beata Borgström Bolmsjö, LU, (Sydney, Australia)
Cecilia Lenander, LU,  (Sydney, Australia), pharmacist
Mia Tyrstrup, LU,  (Bond University, QL, Australia)
Anne Björk, UU, (Auckland, NZ)
Miriam Pikkemaat, LU, (Sydney, Australia)
Emma Nyström, UmU, (Auckland, NZ)
Katarina Johansson, UmU, (Boston, USA)
Sabine Vesting, GU, (Brussels, Belgien)
Peder af Geijerstam, LU, (Sydney, Australia)

Some of those who made a predoctoral visit abroad later returned to conduct postdoctoral research.


Latest update: 2023-12-11