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Supervision - PhD

The PhD is a supervised degree. As a PhD candidate or supervisor, you have some rights and obligations.

According to the central regulations, each candidate normally has two supervisors; a main supervisor and a co-supervisor. Supervisors are appointed by the Programme Committee for Research Training (in Norwegian), based on the topic of the project and academic supervisory capacity. The department you are affiliated with proposes supervisors to the committe.

The supervisor's obligations:

  • to ensure that the candidate participates in an active research environment and to introduce them to relevant academic environments

  • to provide advice on the wording and delimitation of the topic and issues

  • to discuss and assess hypotheses and methods

  • to help with a survey of the academic literature and data (library, archives, etc.)

  • to discuss the plan and execution of the presentation (outline, linguistic form, documentation, etc.)

  • to remain up-to-date on the progress of the candidate's work and assess it in relation to the progress plan

  • to discuss findings and their interpretation

  • to guide the candidate on issues of research ethics associated with the thesis

  • to take the initiative to discuss how the supervision works with the candidate and to comply with the Ethical guidelines for supervisors at the University of Oslo, adopted by the University Senate on 10.06.1997

The candidate's obligations:

  • to present reports or drafts of parts of the thesis to the supervisor in accordance with the PhD agreement

  • to follow research ethics principles for the subject area in his/her work

Obligations of the supervisor and the candidate:

  • to regularly inform each other about all matters of importance to the execution of the PhD programme

  • to actively follow up circumstances that may entail a risk of delayed completion or interruptions to the PhD education to write and submit an annual progress report detailing the progress of the work, changes to it, working conditions, funding, etc., and to inform the faculty about any problems

Changes to the supervisory relationship

If a doctoral candidate or supervisor believes that the other party is not fulfilling its obligations, the party claiming a breach must raise the matter with the other party. The candidate and the supervisor must jointly try to find a solution to the situation that has arisen.

The Programme Committee for Research Training (PFF) appoints supervisors, following a proposal from the department. Changes to the supervisory relationship must be reported to the PFF. The supervisor cannot withdraw from the position until a new supervisor has been appointed.

It is important not to let a poor supervisory relationship continue over a long period of time. A meeting between the supervisor and the candidate should address how the supervision should be and how it will work. If the supervision does not function satisfactorily, either for the supervisor or the candidate, the matter should be taken up directly with the other party. If circumstances makes this difficult, you should contact the Head of your department or the PhD Coordinator at the faculty. Performance reviews at the departments, meetings with the PhD Coordinator and annual reports from the candidate and the supervisor will help ensure a high standard of quality of supervision.

How much supervision am I entitled to?

You are entitled to up to 31 hours per semester for a maximum duration of 4 years. The hours are divided between the main supervisor and any co-supervisors. The supervision time will take place throughout your fellowship. Supervision time is defined as all work performed by the supervisor in connection with the thesis.

Who can perform supervision?

All supervisors must have a doctoral degree or equivalent competence within the field. The main supervisor is normally an employee of the faculty.

Published Apr. 22, 2015 8:22 AM - Last modified Sep. 6, 2022 2:52 PM