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Information for the evaluation committee

The evaluation committee recommends whether or not the thesis is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. The recommendation and any dissenting opinions must be substantiated when delivered to the faculty.  The faculty itself makes the decision in the case.

Below is important information for the committee, based on the Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo and the Guidelines for the evaluation of Norwegian doctoral degrees

Important dates

  • Make a recommendation: You have a three-month deadline to submit your recommendation. The appointment letter states the exact date.

  • Public defence: The public defence will take place about two months after the recommendation has been approved by the faculty.

  • Recommendation when adjudicating a revised thesis: You have two months to submit a final recommendation after the candidate has delivered a revised thesis.

Composition of the committee

The committee consists of three people: the first and the second opponents, and the committee chair, who performs the committee's administrative work.The composition of the adjudication committee must normally take the following factors into consideration:

  • both genders are represented

  • at least one of the members is not affiliated with the University of Oslo

  • at least one of the members is not affiliated with a Norwegian university

  • all members hold a doctoral degree or an equivalent academic qualification
  • all members outside Europe must participate on zoom
  • all members in Europe can choose to either participate physically or on zoom
  • all members from the Nordic countries should participate physically

The committee members must sign a declaration of impartiality: after the committee has been appointed, there must not be any contact between the supervisors and the committee about the candidate or the candidate's work until after the PhD examination.

The candidate and the committee must not have any contact until the trial lecture and the public defence.


During the defence, you will discuss general matters regarding the field of research, issues of a more special nature, form and methodological questions, and discuss the findings of the thesis.

The committee must agree amongst yourselves how to divide the tasks.
As the first opponent, you will present the thesis, unless the candidate wants to do this. You have a maximum of 15 minutes at your disposal.
As the first opponent, you have approximately 90 minutes (105 maximum) to question the candidate during the public defence.
As the second opponent, you have 60 minutes to question the candidate during the public defence.

Committee chair

The committee chair is usually an employee of the faculty. You are responsible for initiating the opponents’ adjudication work. The committee must submit a proposed date for the trial lecture and public defence as soon as possible after it has received the thesis. The proposal is not binding on the part of the faculty until the Dean has approved the date.

You will coordinate the work, liaise between the committee and the faculty, and assemble and submit the final recommendation.

Adjudication of the thesis

The recommendation is your written adjudication of the thesis. You have three months to submit a recommendation. The appointment letter states the deadline by which the faculty must receive the recommendation. The adjudication may have three recommendations: positive recommendation, revision or rejection.

  • Positive recommendation
    If the recommendation is positive, you must enclose the following information with the recommendation: the names of the first and the second opponents and the topic of the trial lecture.
    The recommendation must be signed by every member of the committee. The committee chair will send it to the Faculty Officer by e-mail. 
  • Revision
    The evaluation committee may recommend that the faculty permits a minor revision of the thesis. The committee shall specify which aspects of the thesis require such revision by the candidate. (see section 14.2 of the PhD Regulations).
    Revision cannot require more than six months' work. If you recommend revision, you must provide a detailed overview of the specific material the candidate must rework.
    When the candidate submits a revised thesis, you will have two months to submit a final recommendation.
  • Rejection
    If the committee finds that fundamental changes regarding the theories, hypotheses, material or methods employed in the thesis are necessary before the work can be recommended as meriting a public defence, it shall reject the thesis.
    A thesis that has not been found worthy of defence by the faculty itself, may be re-evaluated after extensive revision only six months after the faculty's decision. A thesis may only be re-evaluated once.

The trial lecture

When the faculty has found the thesis to be worthy of defence the PhD candidate shall deliver a trial lecture. The title of the trial lecture will be decided by the evaluation committee.

Duration of the trial lecture is 45 minutes and must be evaluated by the evaluation committee.

The trial lecture must be passed before the public defence may take place. 

Public defence (disputation)

The public defence of the thesis shall normally take place within two months of the faculty's decision to find the thesis worthy of defence. The evaluation committee delivers its recommendation to the faculty as to whether the defence should be approved. 
The defence must be approved before the degree can be conferred.

Travel and fees

The faculty can help book travel and hotel accommodation. Other expenses associated with the public defence will be refunded after it has been held. You will also receive your fee afterwards.


Published Apr. 22, 2015 8:22 AM - Last modified Sep. 20, 2022 3:10 PM