The tutor and the doctoral candidate usually assess the best procedures and what skills and knowledge the candidate must acquire in their first meetings. This includes which courses the candidate should attend. They, furthermore, make a draft of a research programme and set deadlines. The study plan must be submitted in writing and approved by both the tutor and the doctoral candidate.
Faculty regulations stipulate further on study plans, methodology and study progress and individual points may vary considerably between faculties. A full research programme describes the academic background of the research, its organisation and execution. The research programme must include a clear plan regarding the structure of the thesis; a detailed description on the object of the research; the academic foundation; the research questions; a well-founded description of methodology; data acquisition; budget (if applicable), and a timed work-plan (such as the writing of individual chapters). Even if the project is well established when the candidate applies, a research programme must be submitted to the doctoral committee.
The research programme should preferably, include plans regarding conferences and seminars the student intends to attend in Iceland and abroad as well as articles (s)he plans to write. Doctoral studies are often partially conducted in co-operation with foreign universities; and the candidate may do parts of his studies abroad, or a representative from the university in question may have a place on the doctoral committee.
Some faculties require both the supervisor and the candidate to submit an individual written report to the doctoral committee and the faculty’s permanent committee at the end of each academic year. Such reports include a summary of the academic year and certain practical issues: such as the number of credits; research progress; potential problems; the candidate’s workload, and other relevant issues. The reports on study progress are to be kept in the relevant school’s archives.
The supervisor must submit information on the study progress at the end of each semester to a faculty employee who e-mails a request to the Registration office regarding registration of progress and number of credits.
The doctoral candidate is responsible for her/his enrolment, as stated above, and the respective school ensures that the rules of registration are followed. Furthermore, the Graduate School verifies that doctoral students are at all times registered at the University of Iceland during their studies. The Graduate School also ratifies doctoral study plans.