Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Thesis / PhD project

The research work constitutes the largest part of the doctoral training and is stipulated to take two and a half years of the PhD study period. The research work is documented in the form of a written thesis – as a monograph or a collection of articles including a summary article.

Main content

The thesis must be an independent, academic work that meets international standards and must be at an advanced academic level. 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 written as a monograph or consist of a collection of articles, as long as the content constitutes a whole. An article-based thesis must include a summary article accounting for the thesis as a whole. 

Joint work is accepted for assessment, normally in article-based theses, 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, in order to identify the contribution made by the doctoral candidate. 

The PhD candidate is expected to be the sole author of the thesis when it is written as a monograph, and of the summary article if it is an article-based thesis. Discuss the choice of thesis type with your supervisor.

The general requirements for a doctoral thesis are described in the document Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees from the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR).

Advice on format

UiB has made a template showing recommended format and content elements for the thesis. We advise the candidate to have a look at the template so that he/she can pick the best options for format early in the writing process. It is not obligatory to set up your thesis in this template. If you prefer, you can simply use the template as a guideline. For instance, the template will tell you that the use of font size 13 is advisable, as the final print of the thesis will be somewhat smaller than A4-format. A link to information on format and printing is found below.


An abstract of the thesis, one in English and one in Norwegian, must be included in the thesis.

Guidelines on article-based theses

Articles in the thesis must be of an academic standard required for publication in recognised peer-reviewed professional journals.

Number of articles

Requirements for the scope of the thesis must not be higher than that it is possible to submit the thesis and complete the coursework component with a research effort corresponding to three FTEs.

Compilation requirements

Article-based dissertations are to be linked together to form a whole, with an introduction to the work and asummary of the main findings and conclusions. The compilation shall not only summarise, but also bind theissues and conclusions presented in the individual works into an overall perspective, thereby documentingthe coherence of the thesis. The candidate shall be the sole author of the compilation.

Guidelines for monographs

A monograph should aim to have a distinct focus and be clearly delimited. It should provide a clear description of the research question, theory use, methods, and procedures for data collection and analysis. It must be evident how the thesis relates to and contributes to other research in the field of study. It must be stated if parts of the monograph have already been published as part of another work. If a dissertation in the form of a monograph is based on underlying publications with several co-authors, the dissertation shall be submitted with co-author declarations for all relevant publications.