Faculty of Medicine

The dissertation, submission and public defence

Information on the final stages of the PhD: Submission, printing, formalities, evaluation committee, trial lecture, public defence and the doctoral promotion

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The dissertation

The dissertation should be an independent scientific work of international standard and high professional level in terms of research questions, conceptual, methodological, theoretical and empirical basis, documentation and form. A dissertation can consist of a monograph or scholarly articles in peer international journals.

Any publication produced while affiliated with the PhD programme must have the UiB address on it. Please refer to the NVI reporting instructions for more information. More detailed explanation is available in separate UHR guidelines (in Norwegian only).  

Template for papers to be delivered at UiB can be found under printing and publishing.

The faculty has prepared a guide for what the synopsis should contain. This guide is located under the Regulations and guidelines.

Pre submission routine (Urkund check)

The introduction to all PhD dissertations are run through Urkund, a text recognition programme. The introduction includes everything the candidate has produced for his or her PhD, except the published articles. If a candidate writes a monograph, the whole thesis is checked. This can take between a few hours and up to a few days and is done before the formal submission of the thesis.

The programme is a help to find text that has been published elsewhere, and the aim is to make it easier to control that the work of others is quoted sufficiently. The report from Urkund must be approved by the main supervisor before the application to submit a doctoral thesis is sent to the Faculty. Please note that Urkund might not find all sources, and does not replace the candidate's own responsibility to comply with the University of Bergen's standards for the use of written sources, or the supervisor's responsibility to help the candidate to do so, or to read the work and look for possible plagiarism or poor use of sources. 

Submission and appointment of the assessment committee

The submission requires the submission of two forms: 

  • The candidate submits the dissertation to the Faculty, using an online form. The candidate submits the thesis as one pdf file. The candidate also uploads the main approval from REK (where applicable). 
  • The main supervisor submits a proposal for an assessment committee and the statement of co-authorship, also using an online form. This form is sent to the department, which checks all the formalities and formally proposes the committee to the faculty.  

Please note that members of the assessment committee should not have any publications or scientific collaboration during the last five years to be considered unbiased (legally competent with respect to the Public Administration Act sections 6-10). Also note that there should be one male and one female opponent. In the event that this is deemed impossible, exeptions can be made, but this requires an explanation and a list of three persons of the underrepresented sex who were unavailable should be submitted.

A co-authorship statement must be included where the candidate has collaborated with others on the individual papers. This statement should be clearly describe what the candidate has contributed themself and what others have done. The co-authorship statement should always be written in the same laguage as the thesis, and will follow the thesis. The statement should be signed by the main supervisor.  
Application forms are available here 


Appointment of the assessment committee

The Faculty appoints the scientific committee to assess the thesis and the public defence, upon the proposal from the department. the department must ensure that the proposed members are available. The Faculty sends the thesis to the assessment committee by email and the candidate and supervisors are copied on this email for their information.  

Within one month, the assessment committee should have submitted suggested dates for the trial lecture and public defence. The chair of the committee contats the Faculty, and a venue will be booked. Please note that the assessment committee has up to three months to assess the thesis and submit their report, but the date of the public defence can not be planned any earlier than 10 weeks after both the committee proposal and the thesis has been received at the faculty. The public defence should be planned within the academic year, and not during weeks 26-33 or from 20 December to 5 January or during Easter week. Also note that the suggested defence date might not be approved if there are many defences planned for the same day or if the department has other commitments making it impossible to run a defence.  


Assessment report, printing and press release

Evaluation report

Within three months, the committee must submit an evaluation report. In this report, the committee reccomends that the thesis is recommended accepted or rejected for public defence. The report is submitted to the faculty and forwarded to the candidate as soon as possible. 



Please refer to the UiB's information about printing and publishing of PhD theses.


Press release and announcement

The candidate must prepare a press release in Norwegian and send to the Faculty within two weeks before the public defence. Information about this is sent to the individual candidate once the thesis is approved. 


Correcting formal errors ("Errata")

  • Should the candidates need to make any corrections of formal errors ("errata"), an application must be made 
  • Information and application form can be found in avhandlingsportalen.  
  • Send the signed application to phd@med.uib.no with a statement that you consider the corrections to be formal errors, and that they do not represent any substantial changes to the thesis. Errata can only be submitted once
  • If the application is approved, the errors can be corrected in the thesis when it is printed for publication. A list of the corrections (Errata) shall be included in the printed version and can be printed in the back of the thesis or put into the thesis as a separate sheet of paper after printing, if nescessary.
  • Any substantial errors or errors that can be relevant to the approval of the thesis, may not be corrected. Formal errors include typing errors and linguistic errors, punctuation,correction of references, layout, text formatting etc. Formal corrections can make the meaning clearer or more correct, but not change the meaning of the text or make the content more precise. Changes in tables or figures is not considered a formal error and may not be corrected.
  • Note that errata cannot be used to change a manusript for the published version of the paper, but it is allowed to refer to the published version of a paper in the preface of the printed thesis. 


Trial lecture and public defence

The department is responsible for the practicalities concerning the trial lecture and public defence. There is also some technical assistance available. The prescribed topic for the public defence is suggested by the evaluation committee, and sent to the candidate by e-mail 10 working days before the trial lecture. The trial lecture lasts for 45 minutes, followed by a discussion and questions (15 minutes).

On the public defence, the candidate presents his/her work (up to 30 minutes). The first and second opponents have 1-2 hours and 45-60 minutes respectively. Opposition ex auditorio is possible, but should be well prepared.

Before the result of the trial lecture or defence is announced, the committee will withdraw briefly to make their decision. The audience is asked to stay and wait for the announcement. 


Awarding the degree

After the public defence, the faculty notifies the University board about whether the public defence has been approved or not. If the public defence is approved, the candidate will receive a letter confirming the result. Doctoral diplomas are handed out three times a year at the doctoral promotion in the University Aula. Invitations to this event will be sent to the candidates by the rector's office, and we therefore ask the candidates to update their address via the link provided to them by email if they move between the public defence and the doctoral promotion.