Department of Mathematics

Guidelines for seminar on a self-selected topic (MAT930) and trial lecture

Main content

Seminar on self-selected topic (MAT930)

The seminar over a self-chosen topic is an optional element in the dissemination part of the PhD study plan (part 2). It is rewarded 1 credit under the course code MAT930. The seminar will be evaluated by a committee of two members of the permanent scientific staff at the department. The seminar is graded by the scale passed/failed.

Candidates who want to give a seminar are welcome to submit the proposal for a topic three weeks in advance of the proposed date for the seminar. The candidate and his/her main supervisor must schedule the seminar and the main supervisor is responible for finding a committee. The seminar should be announced 2 weeks prior the seminar.

The candidate's talk should last 45 minutes. The committee will have the opportunity to ask questions afterwards.


Trial Lecture

The trial lecuture is held after the thesis has been submitted and at least three weeks before the defence. The topic will be published to the candidate 10 working days (two weeks) ahead of the lecture date.

The trial lecture is evaluated by a committee of three members of the department permanent scientific staff, where the comittee chair is the internal member of the PhD defence committee. The lecture has no course code, but will be evaluated passed or failed.


Guidelines for Trial lecture and seminar on self-selected topic:

The official regulations from the faculty:

The test lecture shall have a length of 45 minutes. The purpose of the trial lecture is to give the PhD candidate an opportunity to document their ability to disseminate research-based knowledge. The lecture should normally be structured so that it can be followed an audience with previous knowledge one could expect to find among master's students in the field of study. Both academic content and the ability to disseminate are emphasised in the assessment of the trial lecture.


If the committee does not approve the trial lecture, the candidate is given an opportunity to try again. The date of the new trial lecture and any new date for the public defence must be arranged as soon as possible and must take place within a timeframe of six (6) months. The new trial lecture will normally be held on a new topic and, to the extent possible, with the same committee. In cases where the committee does not approve the test lecture, the committee's report shall give the candidate clear instructions on the matters that must be corrected. An approved trial lecture must be held before the public defence can be held.

The research education committee at the Department of Mathematics has agreed upon these additional guidelines:The first part of the trial lecture should always consist of an introduction of the theme and it should be understandable for master students in the same area of research. The second part can me more specialized and technical. The research education committee would advise that the seminar in a self-chosen topic could be more technical compared with the trial lecture. The candidate should in the trial lecture focus more on passing on knowledge for a wider audience. The research education committee would like to emphasize that the main idea behind both lectures (seminar and trial lecture) are that the candidate take his/her responsibility as a knowledge transmitter seriously in light of their audience.