Faculty of Medicine

Admission requirements at the Faculty of Medicine

Everyone who applies for admission to the PhD program at the Faculty of Medicine must meet the admission requirements. Note that the application with attachments must be sent to the department you are to be affiliated with. An application for admission to a PhD programme must normally be submitted within one (1) month after the start of the research project which leads to the PhD degree.

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Educational background

The PhD programme at the Faculty of Medicine is based on five-year Norwegian master’s education according to the Bologna process, Norwegian postgraduate programme of professional study, or equivalent education as approved by the faculty.The Faculty of Medicine also approves one-year master’s degrees as a basis for admission to the PhD programme if the relevant degree

  1. is part of an overall higher education that consists of at least four years that can be approved as university level in Norway, and also
  2. contains a master’s thesis which has a scope of minimum 30 credits. Applications from abroad are evaluated according to HK-dir’s criteria.

All applicants must submit diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements for all higher education which is part of the admissions criteria.

Applicants who were educated abroad must submit diplomas and transcript in the original language, as well as in English or a Scandinavian language. The faculty adheres to HK-dir's guidelines for the approval of foreign education. Applicants who were educated outside of the Nordic countries must attach a HK-dir evaluation or proof that they have submitted an application for such an evaluation. The HK-dir recognition is used to both assess the level and scope of the education and if it is equivalent to a Norwegian degree, and to verify that the education is genuine. Please note that the automatic recognition offered by HK-dir is not sufficient, and will not be accepted as basis for admission to the PhD programme.

Applicants with a medical degree from the EEA area and a license to practice medicine in Norway are exempt from the requirement for HK-dir assessment. Final notification of admission cannot be given until it is determined that the education meets the above criteria.

Applicants who were educated abroad must document their proficiency in English as reqired, see link below (bottom of the page).


It is nescessary that the financial frameworks are adequate for the completion of the project. The applicant must provide confirmation of satisfactory financing, both for living costs and costs relating to research for the entire doctoral training period. Candidates that have their own private funds, cannot be admitted to the programme.

It is assumed that at least 50% of working hours can be used for the PhD programme. For applicants employed at the university hospital or cooperating regional hospitals with active research environments, admission with 20% dedicated time for research may still be granted in some cases. Admission can only be granted if the following conditions are met:

  • the project is closely linked to the candidate’s clinical work (must be shown in the letter of intent and statement of purpose)
  • there is a clear letter of intent from the relevant hospital department that the candidate is granted time for research and the necessary facilitation for the completion of both the research project and the training component
  • a realistic schedule of a maximum of 6 years from the start of funding has been confirmed by the main supervisor and approved by the admissions committee
  • there is a statement of purpose from the candidate

Requirements for the project description

The project description is normally around six to eight pages and must describe the theme, the issue(s) being addressed and the choice of theory and method. The project description must present the academic background (‘state-of-the-art’). This includes the candidate’s knowledge status, as well as how the planned project will add new knowledge to the specified research field. In addition, the project description shall include a dated progress plan for the various parts of the research work, and, for an article-based thesis, a tentative publication plan can also be included.The project description must include a proposal for supervisors and the distribution of responsibilities between the supervisors must be presented.

The project description shall explicitly discuss relevant professional ethical issues related to (for example) privacy, obligation to notify, etc. If it is relevant to apply to the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REC)/Data Protection Officer, it must be stated that the application has been made.

 For applicants with funding from the Faculty of Medicine or the Liaison Committee (Samarbeidsorganet), the project description that formed the basis for the awarding of grant funds will also be used as a basis for admission to the PhD programme. As a general rule, these project descriptions will not be reassessed by the admissions committee, and the application will be assessed directly by the faculty. The faculty may still request a statement from the admissions committee if deemed necessary.

Click here for an overview of the research areas (disciplines).

Supervisor statement

The main supervisor must write a statement in which they both recommend the candidate for the project in question and confirm that they are willing to supervise the candidate. In addition, the supervisor's statement should describe the distribution of responsibilities between the various supervisors, and any other relevant information that does is not included in the project description or the application in general.

Division of labor between the supervisors, as well as a reasoned application for up to four supervisors can be submitted as part of the supervisor declaration if necessary.

 Attachments to applications for admission

  • The candidate’s CV
  • Documentation of higher education (diplomas and transcripts, as well as diploma supplements where available)
  • Documentation that the master’s thesis is of 30 credits if this is not clearly stated in the diploma/transcript
  • Documentation of English language proficiency (where required, see below)
  • Completed Affidavit of Financial Support
  • Supervisor statement
  • CV from supervisors not employed at the UiB
  • Project description (identical to the one used for application for funding)
  • Copy of passport (for applicants without a Norwegian national identity number)
  • NOKUT evaluation for applicants with education from outside of Scandinavia. Doctors with education from the EEA who have been licensed to work as a doctor in Norway do not need to submit a NOKUT evaluation.

If the candidate will not have their workplace at UiB, the application must include a plan for fulfilling the residency requirement as described in the Programme description.