REGULATIONS FOR THE PHILOSOPHIAE DOCTOR (PhD) DEGREE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BERGEN

Adopted by the Board of the University of Bergen on 20 June 2013 pursuant to Sections 3-3 and 3-9 of Act No. 15 of 1 April 2005 relating to Universities and University Colleges.

PART I INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Section 1 Scope of the regulations

The regulations apply to all education leading to the philosophiae doctor (PhD) degree, with the following specifications:

If the training component of a PhD candidate's programme includes courses that are normally offered at the master's level (300-level courses), the provisions stipulated for these levels apply, cf. the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges, the "forskrift om opptak, studier, vurdering og grader ved Universitetet i Bergen" ("Regulations regarding admissions, studies, assessments and degrees at the University of Bergen"), the Faculties' supplementary rules to the aforementioned regulations and the individual programme and course descriptions.

For PhD candidates who attend other institutions or places of work in connection with a joint degree and as part of their research training, the rules of the institution in question also apply.

For the training component, cf. Section 7, the disciplinary provisions of the Act relating to universities and university colleges apply in addition to these regulations, cf. Section 4-7 of the Act. The disciplinary provisions of these regulations also apply, cf. Section 5.5.2.

If the PhD candidate is employed at the University of Bergen or elsewhere, the laws and agreements that are stipulated for the employment also apply.

Section 2 Goals, scope and content of the PhD training

Section 2.1 Goals of the PhD training

The PhD training is to qualify the candidate for research at an international standard and for other work that requires advanced scientific insight and analytical thinking, in accordance with sound academic practice and established standards for research ethics.

The PhD training is to give the PhD candidate knowledge, skills and competence in keeping with the qualifications framework.

Section 2.2 Content of the PhD training

The training includes independent research which must be documented by an academic thesis of an international standard at a high academic level. Additionally, the PhD candidate must undergo a training component, providing training in the disciplinary context, methods and theories that provide a disciplinary breadth and depth in their field, and that also contextualises the discipline within a broader framework. The PhD training is to train PhD candidates in the dissemination of academic work to colleagues, students and the general public.

Section 2.3 Scope of the PhD training

The nominal length of study for the PhD training is three (3) years full time, and includes a training component of at least 30 credits.

The most important part of the PhD training is an independent research project completed under active supervision.

The PhD degree is awarded on the basis of:

  1. An approved academic thesis
  2. An approved completion of the training component, alternatively another approved disciplinary training or competence
  3. An approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
  4. An approved public defence of the thesis (disputation)

Section 3 Responsibility for the PhD training

The Board of the University of Bergen has overall responsibility for the PhD education offered at the institution. The responsibility for the implementation of the PhD education has been delegated to the Faculties for their respective disciplinary areas. Responsibility for the coordination of interdisciplinary and inter-Faculty PhD education must be assumed by a host Faculty.

Section 4 Quality Assurance of the training component

The Faculties must establish adequate quality assurance for the courses in the training component of the PhD education, in keeping with the guidelines for quality assurance of courses at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. See the Handbook for Quality Assurance of University Education.

PART II ADMISSIONS

Section 5 Admissions

Section 5.1 Admission requirements

For admission to the PhD education, the applicant must normally hold a five-year master's degree, in accordance with the descriptions in the qualifications framework about the second cycle. The Faculty may, following a separate assessment, approve another equivalent education as the basis for admission. The Faculty may stipulate further requirements to qualifications in supplementary regulations, following criteria that are publicly available and in line with the institution's recruitment policy and academic profile.

Application for admission to the PhD education: Application form Agreement about admission

The application should contain:

  1. Documentation of the education that is to form the basis for admission
  2. A project description that contains:

- an academic outline of the project
- schedule
- funding plan
- documentation of specific requirements regarding academic and material resources
- any plans for stays at another research institution (including abroad) or enterprise
- a plan for academic dissemination
- details of any intellectual property restrictions to protect the rights of others
- a plan for the training component, including training that will provide a general competence in keeping with the qualifications framework
- a proposal for at least one supervisor and an indication of affiliation with an active research community
- a description of any legal and ethical issues raised by the project and how these can be resolved. The application must state whether the project depends on permission from research ethics committees or other authorities or from private persons (such as informants, patients or parents). If possible, such permissions should be obtained and attached to the application.

The academic environment the PhD candidate is to be affiliated with should actively participate in developing the project description and in the programme for the actual PhD education.

As soon as possible, and at the latest within three (3) months of admission, the PhD candidate and the main supervisor should , review the project description together and assess the needs for adjustments. The project description should explicate the topic and questions to be researched as well as the choice of theories and methods.

The institution may require the candidate to be in residence.

Applications for admission to the PhD education must normally be submitted within three (3) months of the start of the research project that is to form the basis for the PhD degree. If less than one (1) year of full-time employment remains in the research project at the time of application, the applicant should be rejected, cf. Section 5.3.

If the applicant wishes to use a language in the thesis other than those approved in Section 10.4 of the Regulations, an application for such use must be submitted along with the plan for the studies.

The Faculty determines the content of the application form and may require further documentation.

The Faculty may stipulate further admission criteria in supplementary regulations.

Section 5.2 Admission process

Applications for admission are to be submitted to the relevant Faculty, and must be sent via the department with which the applicant wished to be affiliated. In supplementary rules, the Faculties may stipulate criteria for ranking qualified applicants if the number of applicants exceeds admission capacity.

If the applicant's project suggests that it might be appropriate for the applicant to be affiliated with multiple academic environments, comments must be obtained from these, and from their respective departments, before admission. A tentative division of labour (percentage) between the academic environments, as well as any external partners, must be made.

The admission decision must be based on a comprehensive evaluation of the project description, the applicant's formal qualifications, sufficient resources for the realization of the research project and the plan submitted for the research training, and is made on recommendation from the department in question. If the nature of the project gives grounds to do so, emphasis must be placed on the plan's account of the legal and ethical issues.

The PhD agreement must be signed no later than one month after the PhD candidate has been notified of admission.

Section 5.3 Admission decision

The Faculty makes the decision on admission. The decision must be based on a comprehensive evaluation of the application; see Section 5.2(3).

At least one supervisor must be named in the decision, responsibility for the handling of other needs outlined in the application must be allocated, and the agreement period/admission period must be set with a start and end date. The start date must correspond to the start date of the funding. Any extension of the agreement period must be related to the rights of employees, or be specially clarified in relation to the candidate's funding.

Admission should be refused if:
- agreements with an external third party impede publication and a public defence of the thesis
- the intellectual property agreements that have been entered into are so unreasonable that the institution should not participate in the project
- the applicant will be unable to fulfil the requirement that at least one year of the project must be completed after the applicant has been admitted to the PhD education, cf. Section 5.1.

Section 5.4 Admission period

The standard length of the PhD education is three (3) years of full-time studies. It is not acceptable to plan to complete the PhD education at a rate of progress that leads to a course of study that is longer than six (6) years. In supplementary regulations, the Faculty may impose stricter progress requirements for the course of study.

The maximum duration of a PhD programme is normally eight (8) years from the start date, not including statutory leave and required duties.

The agreement period may be extended by leaves of absence granted in accordance with the candidate's rights as an employee, or in accordance with rights granted by other funding sources.

In the event of statutory interruptions, the admission period is extended correspondingly.

On application, the admission period may also be extended on other grounds. The application must include an explanation of what has been accomplished/published and what remains of the work towards the PhD degree. Applications for an extension may be approved if the Faculty, following a comprehensive assessment, determines that completion of the project is feasible within the extended period. An affirmation from the supervisor and the basic academic unit about supervision during the period of extension must be presented.

In the event that an extension is granted, the Faculty may specify additional terms and conditions.

After the end of the period of admission, the parties' rights and duties stipulated in the PhD agreement terminate, which means that the PhD candidate can lose his/her right to supervision, course participation and access to university infrastructure. The PhD candidate may nevertheless apply to submit his or her thesis for assessment for the PhD degree.

Section 5.5 Termination before the agreed end date

Section 5.5.1 Voluntary termination

The PhD candidate, supervisor or Faculty may agree to terminate the PhD education before the stipulated date. In the event of a voluntary termination of the PhD education, a separate agreement shall stipulate how the parties handle questions regarding any employment, funding, equipment and rights to results (intellectual property rights and similar).

In the event of a voluntary termination resulting from the PhD candidate's wish to change projects or transfer to another Faculty, the PhD candidate must re-apply for admission based on the new project.

A thesis produce under organized supervision and as part of a doctoral programme, may not be submitted for assessment for a Dr. Philos. degree (for graduates who have qualified for the doctoral degree without formal research training).

Section 5.5.2 Enforced termination

The Faculty may decide an enforced termination before the end of the agreed upon duration of the PhD education. Such enforced termination can be decided if one or more of the following issues arise:
- Repeated and grave violations by the PhD candidate of their information, follow-up or reporting obligations.
- Significant delay in the progress of the research project that is of such a character that there are grounds for doubt as to whether the PhD candidate will be able to complete the project within the agreed-upon time. To form the basis for enforced termination, the significant delay must be caused by issues the PhD candidate has control over.
- Significant delay in the completion of the training component, for reasons the PhD candidate has control over.
- Violations of research ethics guidelines that apply to the subject area, such as cheating that comes under the provisions in Section 4-7 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges.
- Candidate behaviour that violates the trust that must be present between the university and the PhD candidate during the PhD education, including criminal offences related to the completion of the PhD education.

Decisions on enforced termination are made by the Faculty at which the PhD candidate is admitted, following a recommendation by the basic academic unit. The decision may be appealed to the University Appeals Committee.

If the PhD candidate is an employee of the university, the agreement can only be terminated if the requirements for termination or dismissal pursuant to the Civil Service Act have been fulfilled.

Section 5.6 The PhD agreement

Admission to the university's PhD programme must be formalized in a written agreement within the framework of the standard agreement for admission adopted by the University Board. The agreement is to be signed by the PhD candidate, supervisor(s), department and the Faculty the PhD candidate has been admitted to. The agreement governs the parties' rights and obligations during the period of admission and is intended to ensure that the PhD candidate regularly participates in an active research environment, and is to facilitate the completion of the PhD programme within the agreed-upon time. If a supervisor is appointed after the date of admission, this supervisor must sign the agreement immediately after their appointment as supervisor. At least one supervisor must be named at the time of admission, cf. Section 5.3.

PhD candidates appointed to positions at the University of Bergen must also sign a separate employment contract.

Applicants who receive funding from, is employed by, or receives a similar contribution from an external party, must formalize this in a separate agreement between the candidate, the university and the external party.

If the PhD candidate is affiliated with a different place of employment, an agreement must be entered into that regulates the terms of employment, including time for the doctoral work, operating funds and needs for scientific equipment. The agreement is to ensure that the PhD candidate regularly participates in an active research community and is to facilitate the completion of the PhD programme within the agreed-upon time.

In situations where the PhD candidate is to be affiliated with foreign institutions, the institutions' guidelines for such collaborations must be complied with, and separate agreements must be made on the stipulated forms. The agreement shall normally be attached to the admission agreement.

The agreement must state the date at which the PhD education starts.

Significant changes in the agreement that affect the completion of the research project or the training component must be presented to the Faculty for approval.

Section 5.7 Infrastructure

The necessary infrastructure for carrying out the research project is to be available for the candidate. The decision about what is considered necessary infrastructure for completion is to be made by the basic academic unit/Faculty. For PhD candidates with external funding and/or employment, an agreement must be made between the basic academic unit/Faculty and the external party in connection with the research project concerned. Such agreements must normally be presented at the time the admission decision is made for the PhD candidate in question, or shortly thereafter.

PART III COMPLETION

Section 6 Supervision

Section 6.1 Supervision

Work on the PhD thesis is to take place under individual supervision, and the PhD candidate must be in regular contact with the appointed supervisor(s) and must be part of an active research environment. The PhD candidate must be given the opportunity to have their thesis work discussed in a seminar.

When the work on a doctoral thesis involves multiple departments, the academic credit, as well as any financial benefits for each department, must be stipulated in a separate agreement (admission agreement part B). This also applies when the supervisors for a thesis are from different departments; see the separate section in the admission agreement about this.

As a rule, the PhD candidate should have two supervisors, one of whom should be appointed as the main supervisor. The supervisors are appointed by the Faculty and the main supervisor should be appointed at the time of admission. Additionally, one or more co-supervisors can be appointed. The supervisor(s) must have a doctoral degree or equivalent academic competence within the subject area, and be an active researcher. At least one of the appointed supervisors should have previous experience of supervision of candidates at the master's and/or PhD level.

The main supervisor has the primary academic and administrative responsibility for the candidate's PhD education, and is to be the PhD candidate's primary daily contact. The main supervisor should normally be employed at the Faculty to which the PhD candidate has been admitted, or at an institution approved by the Faculty. An external supervisor may be a main supervisor in accordance with agreements between the institution in which the external supervisor is employed and UiB. If the Faculty appoints an external main supervisor, a co-supervisor from the Faculty must be appointed.

Co-supervisors are other academics who provide guidance and who share the academic responsibility for the PhD candidate with the main supervisor.

An external supervisor is a supervisor from another Faculty than that which the PhD candidate is admitted to, or who is from an institution other than the University of Bergen.

The impartiality requirements in Section 6 and following of the Public Administration Act apply to supervisors.

Section 6.2 Content of the supervision

The PhD candidate and supervisors should be in regular contact. The supervisor is responsible for following up on the candidate's academic development. The frequency of contact should be stated in the annual progress report, cf. Section 9.

Supervisors are required to keep up-to-date on the progress of the candidate's work and assess it in relation to the schedule in the project proposal, cf. Section 5.1.

Supervisors are required to follow up on academic issues that may lead to a delay in the completion of the PhD programme, so as to ensure that it can be completed within the standard time.

Supervisors are to give advice on formulating and delimiting the research topic and research questions, discuss and assess hypotheses and methods, discuss results and their interpretation, discuss the structure and completion of the presentation (including outline, linguistic form, documentation), and provide guidance on the academic literature and data, including in relation to libraries and archives. Supervisors must give the PhD candidate guidance in research ethics questions related to the thesis.

Section 6.3 Midway assessment

Each PhD candidate must undergo a midway assessment. The Faculty determines the time and form of the assessment, and may issue general guidelines. As a main rule, the midway assessment will include academic input from researchers within the PhD candidate's field and/or related fields.

As with the regular reporting, the purpose of the midway assessment is to help the PhD candidate by identifying issues that entail a risk of delaying the project or bringing it to a halt, and to offer input that improves the quality of the work. The Faculty, supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate are required to follow up actively on issues that entail a risk of delays or of a failure to complete the PhD education, to ensure that the programme as far as possible can be completed within the nominal timeframe.

Section 6.4 Conclusion of supervision

Provided that they are in agreement, the PhD candidate and the supervisor may request that the Faculty appoints a new supervisor for the candidate. The supervisor may not withdraw until a new supervisor has been appointed.

If a PhD candidate or supervisor finds that the other party is not complying with their obligations as specified in these regulations and in associated agreements, the party that claims that a breach has occurred is required to take this up with the other party. In the event of a conflict between a candidate and his/her supervisor, the parties shall jointly seek to find a solution to the situation that has arisen.

If, following discussion, the parties cannot reach agreement about how to solve the situation, the PhD candidate or supervisor may ask to be released from the supervision agreement. A request to be released from the supervision agreement must be sent to the Faculty, which may decide to release the PhD candidate and supervisor from the agreement.

In connection with this decision, the Faculty must ensure that the candidate signs a supervision agreement with a new supervisor.

The supervisor/supervisors and Faculty must, to the greatest extent possible, ensure that conflicts over rights and any other issues that may lead to conflict are addressed early on, so that a risk of delays in the PhD candidate's project does not arise.

Conflicts regarding the supervisors and the PhD candidate's academic rights and obligations may be brought by the parties to the Faculty in question for discussion and a decision. The Faculty's decision may be appealed to the Central Appeals Committee.

Section 7 Training component

Section 7.1 Purpose of the training component

The PhD training shall be structured in such a way that it can be completed within the nominal period of study.

The institution is responsible for ensuring that the training component, in combination with the thesis, provides an education at a high academic level in accordance with international standards, including the completion of a scientific work, training in academic dissemination and introduction to research ethics, academic theories and methods. Together with the research, the training is to help achieve the expected learning outcome in accordance with the qualifications framework.

If the institution does not itself offer the entire training component, conditions shall be put in place to ensure that the PhD candidate receives equivalent training from other institutions.

Section 7.2 Scope of the training component

The training component must correspond to at least 30 credits, with at least 20 credits being taken after admission. Any elements that are part of the training component should not be more than five (5) years old at the time of admission.

The training component must be completed and approved before the thesis is submitted. All elements that are included in the training component must be documented.

Section 7.3 Content of the training component

The training component of the PhD education must contain academic and methodological training which is appropriate to the work on the thesis and that qualifies candidates for occupations requiring advanced scientific insight. Additionally, the training component is to provide training in the dissemination of academic work to colleagues, students and the general public. The training component must include science theory and ethics with a scope of at least five (5) credits.

The Faculty is responsible for offering all PhD candidates training at a high academic level. If the Faculty does not itself organise the entire training component, it must enable the PhD candidate to receive equivalent training in other units/Faculties, or at another institution that provides approved doctoral training. Academic networks and research schools may be involved.

The training may be given in part as regular lectures/seminars and in part as shorter, intensive sessions, or in another form approved by the Faculty. In subjects in which no appropriate courses are offered, individual reading lists may be approved as part of the training. The PhD candidate may give academic presentations, seminars or lectures as part of the training component, thus gaining practice in academic dissemination. Popular scientific work that requires work effort at an equivalent or near equivalent level, may be approved as equivalent training in academic dissemination.

Everyone admitted to the PhD programme must complete the training component. Documentation showing that the PhD candidate has gained the necessary disciplinary knowledge is required. Such documentation must be produced through compulsory practical assignments, written or oral exams, lectures, teaching seminars or in the form of academic and/or popular scientific articles or in another form approved by the Faculty.

The Faculty may nevertheless excuse a candidate from participation in parts of the training programme when equivalent requirements have been fulfilled in another unit/Faculty or at another institution providing approved training. A candidate may also be excused in part or in whole from such participation if they can document other training or research experience that provides equivalent competency, such as research stays at another research institution, through academic networks or participation in national or international research courses and schools.

Section 8 The PhD candidate's rights in the event of a leave of absence

PhD candidates who are on parental leave from the PhD programme may during their leave still attend teaching and sit exams in topics and courses that are to be part of the candidate's training component, in accordance with Chapter 14, Section 14-10(4) of the National Insurance Act.

Section 9 Reporting

During the agreement period, the PhD candidate and main supervisor are to submit annual separate written reports describing the progress of the candidate's PhD education. The reports must be submitted to and approved by the Faculty or by other units to which the Faculty has delegated this responsibility.

The Faculty, supervisor(s) and the PhD candidate are required to actively follow up on issues that may entail a risk of delay or of failure to complete the PhD education, so as to ensure as far as possible that the education is completed within the nominal period of study.

The PhD candidate and supervisor have equal responsibility for submitting the required reports. A lack of, or inadequate progress reports, may lead to enforced termination of the PhD education before the end of the agreement period. Supervisors who fail to comply with their reporting duty may be relieved of their supervisory duties.

Section 10 The doctoral thesis Section 10.1 Thesis requirements

The thesis must be an independent, academic work that meets internationals standards, and must be at an advanced academic level in respect of the formulation of the research topic, conceptual clarification and methodical, theoretical and empirical rationale, as well as in respect of the documentation of sources and formal presentation. The thesis must be able to contribute to the development of new knowledge in the chosen field and must be of such quality as to qualify for publication as a part of the academic literature in the field.

The thesis may be a free-standing work or a continuation of academic work completed at an earlier stage of the studies.

Several works may be approved as portions of a thesis if their content constitutes a whole. In addition to the individual parts, an abstract accounting for the thesis as a whole must then be prepared.

A work or parts of a work that the PhD candidate has previously had approved for a doctoral degree at a Norwegian or foreign university or university college may not be accepted for assessment even when the work is submitted in re-written form.

Section 10.2 Joint work

Joint work is accepted for assessment (including as one of several works, cf. Section 10.1), provided the PhD candidate's contribution represents an independent effort that can be identified to the extent necessary for the assessment. In such cases, statements must be obtained from the other authors, or their central representatives, and possibly from others involved in the work, in order to identify the contribution made by the doctoral candidate. Joint work should, as far as possible, be agreed upon in advance.

If a written work has been produced in collaboration with other authors, the PhD candidate must follow the norms for co-authorship that are generally accepted in their academic community and in accordance with international standards.

In theses that include work with multiple authors, a signed declaration that describes the PhD candidate's input in each work must be enclosed.

Section 10.3 Work not eligible for assessment

Work that has been approved as the basis for previously completed exams or degrees may not be accepted for assessment unless the work is included as a smaller section of a thesis that consists of multiple interrelated works. Data, analyses or methods from previous degrees may nevertheless be used as the basis for the work on the PhD project.

Published works may not be accepted as part of the thesis if they at the time of admission are older than five (5) years from the date of publishing. Dispensation from this requirement may be made in very extraordinary circumstances.

The thesis can only be submitted for assessment at one higher education institution, cf. Section 11.3.

Section 10.4 Language

The thesis must be written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish. If the PhD candidate wishes to use a language other than these, an application to this effect must have been submitted and approved at the time of admission, cf. Section 5.1.

Section 10.5 Intellectual Property Rights

The University's Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) regulations (see "Reglement om håndtering av ansattes rettigheter til forsknings- og arbeidsresultater ved Universitetet i Bergen" ['Regulations regarding the handling of employee rights to research and work results at the University of Bergen"]), adopted by the University Board in case 74/10 (01/12/2010) apply to everyone admitted as a PhD candidate to the PhD programme at the University of Bergen. If the PhD candidate is employed at an institution that has regulations that differ from those at UiB, then issues related to IPR and the regulation of rights between collaborating institutions must be formalized in an agreement.

As a starting point, whoever produces a research or work result has the rights to this unless otherwise stipulated in law, agreements or the "Regulations regarding the handling of employee rights to research and work results at the University of Bergen." The said Regulations include provisions on the statutory obligation to report research results that may commercial potential.

PART IV COMPLETION

Section 11 Assessment

Section 11.1 Basis for assessment

The PhD degree is awarded on the basis of:

a. Approved completion of the training programme, alternatively other approved academic training or competence

b. An approved academic thesis

c. An approved trial lecture on a given topic and a satisfactory defence in a public disputation

Section 11.2 Time from submission to public defence

The institution must strive to ensure that the time from submission of the thesis to the defence is as short as possible. Normally, no more than five (5) months shall pass between submission and disputation.

It is the responsibility of the main supervisor to alert the Faculty to an imminent thesis submission, in order that the necessary preparations can begin.

Section 11.3 Submission, withdrawal

Applications for the assessment of PhD theses must be directed to the Faculty with which the candidate is affiliated. The required number of copies of the thesis, as determined by the Faculty, must be enclosed with the application. Documentation that the training component has been completed and approved, cf. Section 7.2, must be enclosed with the application. If the thesis is approved fora public defence, the number of copies required by the Faculty in question must be submitted in addition. The thesis must be submitted in a standard format and in the form (paper/electronic copy) stipulated by the Faculty.

A submitted work cannot be withdrawn before a final decision has been made about whether it is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. The thesis will be evaluated as submitted.

The following must be enclosed with the application:
- The thesis in an approved format and in accordance with the institution's regulations, in the form and number of copies stipulated by the institution.
- Documentation of necessary permits, such as ethical clarifications, cf. Section 5.1(2).
- Declarations from co-authors where required pursuant to Section 10.2.
- Declaration that the PhD thesis is submitted for assessment for the first or second time
- Declaration that the PhD thesis has not been submitted for assessment at any other institution

The Faculty decides on applications for the assessment of the thesis. The Faculty may on an independent basis reject applications for the assessment of a thesis if it is evident that the thesis is not of a sufficiently high academic quality and will be rejected by a committee.

Applications that do not meet the requirements shall be refused.

Section 11.4 Appointment of the assessment committee

The Faculty is to appoint an expert assessment committee consisting of at least three members to assess the thesis and its defence. The department in question proposes committee members. The proposal should show how the committee as a whole covers the field(s) addressed in the thesis.

The Faculty appoints one of its representatives as chair of the committee. In special circumstances, the Faculty may appoint an administrative chair who does not participate in the academic assessment of the thesis. To the extent possible, two of the committee members should have no affiliation with UiB. At least one member should be from a foreign institution of higher education. The members must hold doctorates or equivalent academic competence. The gender of the PhD candidate should be represented on the committee. The committee shall normally be composed in such a manner that both genders are represented. The provisions on impartiality in Section 6 and following of the Public Administration Act apply to the members of the committee; see also Section 10 of the Act.

The appointed supervisor may not be a member of the committee, but may if necessary be called for discussions in the committee in order to account for the supervision and the work on the thesis. The appointed supervisor also may not be the administrator of the committee's work or chair the public defence. However, this must not prevent collaboration on degrees with institutions that use a different system. Normally, no more than one month shall pass from the submission of the thesis until PhD candidate is notified of the composition of the committee. The PhD candidate shall be given the opportunity to submit written comments on the composition of the committee, at the latest one week after receiving notification of the proposed composition.

If a thesis is submitted in a revised version for a new assessment (see Section 12.5), at least one member of the original assessment committee should participate in the work of the new committee. In the event that the thesis has been revised on the basis of preliminary remarks from the committee (see Section 11.5 regarding revisions), the entire original committee shall as a general rule participate in the assessment.

The recommendation of the committee should normally be provided within three months of the committee having received the thesis.

Section 12 The committee's recommendation and the Faculty’s procedures relating to the recommendation

Section 12.1 The committee's recommendation and the PhD candidate's remarks

The committee gives a substantiated recommendation by a deadline set by the Faculty (including any individual statements) on whether the thesis is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. Any dissenting opinions must be substantiated. The committee may require the PhD candidate to present his or her data, as well as supplementary or clarifying further information.

The recommendation of the assessment committee and any dissenting opinions and individual statements must be sent to the Faculty, and must be forwarded to the PhD candidate as soon as possible. The candidate is given a deadline of ten (10) working days to present written remarks to the recommendation.

If the PhD candidate's remarks may have an impact on whether or not the thesis can be approved, the remarks should be submitted to the assessment committee before the Faculty makes a final decision in the case.

The assessment committee's recommendation; along with any remarks; will be considered by the Faculty Board or the body authorised by the Faculty Board.

Section 12.2 Correction of formal errors in the thesis

After submission, the PhD candidate may apply for permission to correct formal errors in the thesis. The application must include a complete overview of the errors (errata) which the candidate wishes to correct. Applications to correct formal errors must be submitted no later than four (4) weeks before the committee's deadline for submitting its recommendation, and may only be done once.

Section 12.3 The Faculty's processing of a unanimous recommendation

When so authorised, the Dean can approve a committee recommendation when it has unanimously concluded that the thesis is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. If the Dean sees fit to present the recommendation to the Faculty Board, and if at least 2/3 or the Faculty Board members present find that there is reasonable doubt as to whether the thesis should be approved, the Faculty Board must obtain a clarification from the assessment committee. If such contact has not given or is not expected to give the desired explanation, the Faculty Board shall appoint two new experts who are to give individual statements about the thesis. The PhD candidate must be notified of this appointment. Such additional or individual statements must be presented to the PhD candidate, who must be given the opportunity to comment by a specific deadline.

If 2/3 of the Faculty Board members present vote against the original recommendation, the Faculty Board may decide to go against the original recommendation even if the conclusion in the original recommendation is supported by one or both of the two new experts.

Section 12.4 The Faculty's processing of a non-unanimous recommendation

If there is dissent within the committee, the Faculty Board may without further assessment make a decision in the case on the basis of a 2/3 majority. If a 2/3 majority is not achieved, the Faculty Board must seek further clarification from the assessment committee, or, if such contact has not given or is not expected to give the desired clarification, the Faculty Board must appoint two new experts who must give individual statements about the thesis. The PhD candidate must be notified of this appointment. Such additional or individual statements must be presented to the PhD candidate, who must be given the opportunity to comment by a specific deadline.

If both of the newly appointed experts concur with the majority conclusion in the original recommendation, this recommendation shall be followed. If the opinion of the minority receives the support of one or both of the new experts, the Faculty Board may make a decision by a 2/3 majority vote.

Section 12.5 Resubmission

A thesis which was not approved at a previous assessment may be submitted for reassessment in a revised form, either as the only work or as one of several related works.

A thesis which is not approved for public defence may be submitted in a revised form no earlier than six (6) months after the institution made this decision. A new assessment can only be made once.

In the event of resubmission, the PhD candidate must clearly state that the work has been assessed previously and not found worthy of a public defence.

Section 12.6 The outcome of the processing

The doctoral candidate must be informed of the outcome of the process.

Section 12.7 Public availability

The thesis must at the latest be publicly available two weeks before the public defence is held. The thesis must be made available in the form in which it was submitted for assessment, alternatively as revised on the basis of the committee's preliminary remarks, cf. Section 11.5.

No restrictions may be imposed on the public availability or publishing of a PhD thesis, except in the event of a previously arranged delay in the date of public access. Such a delay may be permitted when the PhD education is partly or fully funded by an external party and in order for the external party to be given the opportunity to relate to patenting/commercialisation, cf. part C of the admission agreement. The external party may not require that the thesis in whole or in part be withheld from the public domain.

When publishing the thesis, the PhD candidate must comply with applicable guidelines for crediting institutions. The general rule is that an institution must be listed as the address in a publication if it has provided a necessary and significant contribution to, or basis for, an author's contribution to the published work. The same author must also list other institutions as an address if these in each instance satisfy the requirements for having contributed.

Section 12.8 Thesis abstract, press release

An abstract of the thesis must be prepared in English (1-3 pages), with the aim of making the thesis and its results known to national and international research communities. The abstract must be attached to the thesis.

The candidate must prepare a press release well in advance of the disputation, and submit it to the Faculty for approval. The press release must be prepared in accordance with the adopted template. The Faculty is responsible for sending the press release to the Division of Communication no later htan two weeks before the public defence.

The Faculty is responsible for informing the PhD candidates about the procedures related to the publication of the PhD thesis. Guidelines and examples of press releases are sent to the PhD candidate once the thesis has been approved.

Section 13 Trial lecture and public defence

The PhD programme concludes with

a) An approved trial lecture on an assigned topic

b) A public defence of the thesis (Disputation)

Section 13.1 Trial lecture

After the Faculty has found the thesis worthy of being defended, cf. Section 12.1, the PhD candidate must give a trial lecture. The trial lecture is an independent part of the examination for the PhD degree. The purpose is to test the candidate's ability to acquire knowledge beyond the topic of the thesis, and the ability to communicate it in a lecture setting. The trial lecture must be on an assigned topic. The topic of the trial lecture is set by the Faculty and advised to the candidate ten (10) days before the lecture.

The trial lecture is generally held at the University of Bergen and in the language of the thesis, unless the assessment committee approves another language.

The trial lecture is normally given after the thesis has been submitted, but before the public defence, and must be approved by an assessment committee appointed by the Faculty.

After the trial lecture, the assessment committee submits a report to the Faculty, giving its assessment of the trial lecture. The report shall conclude with a statement as to whether the trial lecture is approved or not approved. A justification must be given if the committee recommends that the trial lecture not be approved.

If the Faculty does not approve the trial lecture, a new trial lecture must be held. The new trial lecture must be given on a new topic, and no later than six (6) months after the first attempt. A new trial lecture may only be held once. To the extent possible, the lecture should be assessed by the same committee that assessed the first lecture, unless the institution decides otherwise.

Section 13.2 Public defence (disputation)

The public defence shall normally take place after the trial lecture has been given and approved, and within two (2) months of the institution having found the thesis worthy of being defended.

The time and place of the public defence must be announced to the public at least ten (10) working days in advance.

The lecture and public defence shall normally be given in Norwegian, English, Danish or Swedish. If the thesis is written in another language in accordance with Sections 5.1 and 10.4, the Faculty may permit the defence to be held in the language in question.

The defence must be public. There are normally to be two opponents. The two opponents must be members of the assessment committee and be appointed by the Faculty. In special cases, opponents who have not been members of the committee may be appointed.

The public defence is chaired by the Dean, or the person authorised by the Dean. Whoever chairs the defence provides a brief account of the submission and assessment of the thesis, and about the trial lecture and its assessment. Thereafter, the PhD candidate explains the purpose and result of the scientific enquiry. The first opponent opens the discussion and the second opponent concludes the opposition. Each Faculty may nevertheless stipulate a different order and division of tasks between the PhD candidate and the opponents. Any other persons present who wish to act as an ex auditorio opponent must give notice of this to the chair of the defence of this within the time specified by the chair.

After the public defence is concluded, the assessment committee submits a report to the faculty in which the committee explains its assessment of the defence of the thesis. The report shall conclude with a statement as to whether the public defence is approved or not approved. If the committee recommends that the defence should not be approved, a justification must be provided.

If the public defence is not approved, a new defence may be held once. A new defence may at the earliest be held after six (6) months, and as far as possible it should be assessed by the original committee. The defence must be found satisfactory before a diploma may be awarded.

Section 14 Conferment and diploma

The University Board confers the philosophiae doctor degree on the PhD candidate on the basis of the report that the trial lecture and disputation have been approved.

The diploma is issued by the institution. The diploma must state the title of the thesis for which the PhD degree was awarded. Information about the academic training programme the PhD candidate has participated in must be enclosed with the diploma. Further rules regarding the design of the diploma and other information to be included in the document and its enclosures (Diploma Supplement) may be issued.

Section 15 Diploma Supplement

An enclosure to the diploma shall be issued in accordance with applicable guidelines for the Diploma Supplement.

Section 16 Appeal

Appeal against rejection of an application for admission, decision on the termination of the right to study, appeal against a rejection of an application for the approval of elements in the training component

Rejections of applications for admission, decisions on the termination of the right to study and rejections of applications for approval of elements of the training component may be appealed in accordance with Section 28 and following of the Public Administration Act. The appeal must be sent to the Faculty, and must detail the grounds on which the rejection or decision is being appealed. If the rejection is upheld, the appeal must be sent without undue delay to the Central Appeals Committee for a decision.

Section 17 Appeal against exams in the training component

Examinations taken during the training component may be appealed pursuant to Sections 5.3 "Complaints regarding marks awarded" and 5.2 "Complaints against procedural errors in connection with examinations" of the Act of 1 April 2005 relating to universities and university colleges.

Section 18 Appeals against rejection of an application for assessment, rejection of a thesis, trial lecture or defence

A rejection of a thesis, trial lecture or defence may be appealed in accordance with the provisions of Section 28 and following of the Public Administration Act. The appeal must be sent to the Faculty, and must detail the grounds on which the rejection is being appealed. After the case has been presented to the assessment committee, the Faculty may set aside or amend the decision if it finds the appeal to have been substantiated. If the Faculty does not allow the appeal, the appeal is sent on to the Central Appeals Committee for a decision. The Appeals Committee may test all aspects of the appealed decision.

If the subsidiary body or the appeals body finds reason to do so, a committee or a number of individuals may be appointed to evaluate the assessment that has been made and the criteria the assessment was based on, or to perform a new or supplementary expert assessment.

Section 19 Joint degrees and cotutelle agreements

Section 19.1 Joint degrees and cotutelle agreements

The institution may enter into a collaboration with one or more Norwegian or foreign institutions to collaborate on joint degrees or cotutelle agreements.

In joint degree and cotutelle agreements, exceptions from the provisions can be made if necessitated by the collaborating institutions' regulations. Such exceptions must, both individually and jointly, be fully justifiable; see also Section 19.4.

Section 19.2 Joint degrees and joint degree agreements

"Joint degree" is understood as a collaboration between multiple institutions in which they all have joint responsibility for admission, supervision and the awarding of degrees. The collaboration is normally organised in a consortium and regulated by an agreement between the consortium members. For completed joint degrees, a joint diploma is issued in the form of:

a) a diploma issued by all consortium members

b) a diploma from each consortium member, or a combination of a) and b).

Joint degree agreements shall normally only be entered into if there is an already established and stable academic collaboration between the university and at least one of the other consortium members. The Board adopts guidelines for joint degree collaborations, including templates for collaboration agreements, cf. the first paragraph.

Section 19.3 Cotutelle agreements

"Cotutelle agreement" is understood as a joint supervision of PhD candidates and collaboration on the training of PhD candidates. A cotutelle agreement is entered into for each PhD candidate and should be built on a stable, academic institutional collaboration.

Section 19.4 Joint degree and cotutelle requirements

No exemptions may be made from qualification requirements for admission, requirements that the thesis shall be publicly available, and requirements regarding a public defence with an impartial assessment committee.

Section 20 Delegation

Faculty authority pursuant to these Regulations cannot be delegated to the departmental level, unless explicitly stated in the Regulations.

Section 21 Entry into force

The Regulations enter into force immediately, and the Regulations for the philosophiae doctor (PhD) degree at the University of Bergen adopted by the University Board on 12/06/2003 are simultaneously repealed.

Section 22 Transitional provisions

Whosoever is admitted to the University of Bergen in accordance with the Regulations for the philosophiae doctor (PhD) degree at the University of Bergen adopted by the University Board on 12/06/2003 at the time these Regulations come into force, maintains the rights that follow from the previous Regulations when this is advantageous.

Show revision history
Date Comment Entered by
Monday 04 November 2013 11:00:56 am Mindre redaksjonell endring. Maud Hansen
Thursday 10 October 2013 2:54:59 pm Oversatt versjon av den nye forskriften lagt ut. Maud Hansen
Tuesday 09 July 2013 11:45:29 am Utdatert engelsk versjon fjernet. Bente Krossøy
Thursday 04 July 2013 2:25:53 pm 1 Mona Viksøy
Tuesday 02 July 2013 10:43:16 am 1 Mona Viksøy
Monday 20 August 2012 11:47:35 am 1 Bente Krossøy
Wednesday 02 March 2011 3:57:34 pm 1 Bente Krossøy
Wednesday 02 March 2011 3:33:53 pm 1 Bente Krossøy
Logo for Universitetet i Bergen

©2009 Universitetet i Bergen

Adresse: Postboks 7800 5020 Bergen

Besøksadresse: Nygårdsgaten 5

Telefon: (+47) 55584201 Faks: (+47) 55548299