Work on the PhD thesis is to be conducted under individual supervision. The academic competence of the supervisors must cover the subject areas that the candidate deals with in the doctoral research project.
As a rule, the PhD candidate should have one main supervisor and at least one co-supervisor. The main supervisor should be appointed at the time of admission.
At some faculties, it is common for the candidate and supervisors to collaborate on developing the project description. At other faculties, it is expected that the candidate will develop a project description primarily on her/his own.
The PhD candidate and the supervisors should be in regular contact. It is the responsibility of the candidate to produce drafts for the thesis as agreed between the supervisor and the candidate, and following the progress schedule in the project description. The main supervisor has the primary academic and administrative responsibility for the candidate's PhD education, and is to be the PhD candidate's primary daily contact. The supervisor is responsible for following up on the candidate's academic development. The supervisors have a particular responsibility to advise the candidate on ethics-related issues associated with the thesis. The supervisors have to make sure that the candidate is integrated into a relevant academic environment, such as a research project or a research group.
A supervisor can be a co-researcher or a co-author, but may also be a project leader responsible for the research idea for a larger research project. The supervisors and the PhD candidate should be aware of these different roles so that all involved parties are aware of the appurtenant expectations.
The supervisor role is clearly defined in part B of the PhD contract, the part relating to the doctoral training programme, which is signed by both the PhD candidate and the supervisors.
The University of Bergen has adopted ethical guidelines for relations between supervisors and students or candidates.