PhD education

Application for admission to doctoral education

The following is an overview of formal requirements and information regarding application for admission to doctoral education at UiB.

For admission to the PhD education, the applicant must normally hold a five-year master's degree. Additional criteria vary between the faculties, academic field and the specific PhD fellowship vacancy.

The faculties themselves make the decisions regarding admission to doctoral education.

As a rule, admission to doctoral education in Norway is contingent on your being awarded a PhD research fellowship. At most universities research fellowship vacancies are announced all through the year.

At some faculties at UiB employment as a research fellow and admission to doctoral education are completed in one process. The successful applicant for the position will simultaneously be admitted to the programme. A project description and official documentation of a five-year master's education are the key documents that are assessed for admission to the PhD education.

At other faculties, the process is done in two stages: first, you apply for a research fellowship at UiB and, if successful, you apply for admission to doctoral education in a second stage.

All applications to UiB for PhD research fellowships must be submitted via the JobbNorge website. In addition, most faculties demand submission of the UiB application form for admission to PhD education (see right column).

If you have funding and an employer external to UiB you have to apply for admission to the doctoral education in a separate process.

The posted vacancy, application form and faculty guidelines will give detailed requirements on the documentation needed for the various applications.

You will find further information about the faculties' specific guidelines on their respective websites.

Vacant research fellowships are announced on the UiB website.      


External employer: admission in a separate process

If you have funding and an employer external to UiB, you have to apply for admission to doctoral education in a separate process. For the latter type of applicants, the following pertains: the funding must cover both living costs and the costs related to the research project for the entire doctoral training period. Applications for admission to the doctoral education must normally be submitted within three months of the start of the funding period. 

At the time of application the applicant must arranged for supervision with a member of the scientific staff. The potential supervisor or head of department must indicate the specific research environment the applicant is to belong to. It is particular important that PhD candidates who have their place of employment outside UiB establish a good connection with a research group at an early stage. This helps to guarantee thorough development of the project description prior to submitting the application for admission.     

At the time of application, the applicant must have achieved the following:

  • a master's degree, normally of five year's length
  • sufficient funding for living costs and the research project
  • an arrangement with at least one supervisor. As a rule, at least one more supervisor must be appointed after admission
  • an acceptable project description
  • a plan for the training component, i.e. PhD courses, training in philosophy of science and ethics and training in transferrable skills

The application form for admission to doctoral training:

Application for admission to organised research programme (PhD degree) at the University of Bergen  


Project description

In the application for admission, you must attach a project description. The project description must clarify the research topic, hypotheses or objective and choice of theory and methods. The description must include a time schedule for the different activities in the project. The evaluation of the application will be based on the quality of the project and the feasibility of completing the project within the nominal timeframe. 

The following factors must be considered when preparing the project description:

  • Documentation of good knowledge of the relevant research, both nationally and internationally
  • Project hypotheses or research questions must be clearly presented. The description must include an indication of the project's contribution towards expanding current knowledge along with an assurance that the acquired knowledge will provide the foundation for further research in the field
  • It must be demonstrated that the methods and theories proposed are applicable in relation to answering the research questions or that good opportunities exist to develop suitable methodology and theories in the course of the research. Analytical methods must be described
  • A presentation must be made of ethical considerations related to the research project
  • Details of any intellectual property restrictions to protect the rights of others must be submitted
  • Documentation must be submitted showing any extraordinary requirements regarding academic and material resources
  • A progress plan for the various parts of the research project, including any planned stays abroad, must be submitted
  • It should be demonstrated that the project can be completed within the nominal timeframe. It is not acceptable to set up a timeframe for the doctoral education that is longer than six years
  • A plan for the completion of the training component must be submitted, included training in academic dissemination and transferrable skills
  • Affiliation with a research environment must be documented


The applicant must document sufficient funding for the entire doctoral training, for both living costs and research costs.

Funding through PhD research fellowships posted on the UiB website is most common among PhD candidates. Other ways to fund doctoral education include: research fellowships at other universities, university colleges or research institutes, funding from a private company or public institution, funding through the Research Council's schemes Industrial PhD or Public Sector PhD or education grant from a foreign institution. Regardless of the ways to secure funding, it is expected that all candidates admitted have been granted their funding through open competition.

At the time of admission there must be an understanding between the PhD candidate and the employer/source of funding that the planned costs must not exceed the available funds for the research project. 

Participation in research environment

The department must offer the PhD candidate participation in an active research environment, such as a research group, a research school or a research project. This environment will possess competence in the candidate's chosen research field. One or more of the candidate's supervisors will normally be a part of the research environment.