Research School in Information and Communication Technology

ICT Research School Annual Meeting 2023

The ICT Research School's annual meeting is organised by and for PhD candidates enrolled in the PhD program at the Department of Informatics. The aim of this event is to give PhD candidates the opportunity to strengthen collaboration among the candidates, exchange research ideas and experiences, and to improve their presentation skills in a safe environment.


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Welcome the ICT Research School's annual meeting 2023! We will go to Flåm (Fretheim hotel) on Oct 11-13, and we are very excited to announce that this meeting includes a cruise on Norway's longest fjord, Sognefjord, on the way back to Bergen!

This year, the format of the event will be different compared to the previous years. It will be a 3 days event, with 3 types of presentation. One of them is still the "lecture on individually selected subject (ISS)", but in addition, the event is now open to "Own Research" presentations and "Tutorials". There will be invited speakers, social activities, and group discussions as well.

  • "Own Research" presentations: we highly encourage PhDs to present their research, no matter how far they are into their project(s). This is also a good opportunity to safely practice presentation skills. The duration (5 to 30min) is up to the presenter (within the limit of available time slots) but has to be specified upon registration. The presentation has to be understandable for PhDs in the department, including outside of your research group.
  • "Tutorials" The format, the level of interaction with the audience, the level of (in)formality are up to the presenter. The desired duration (15 to 60min) has to be specified upon registration and may be adjusted by the organising committee depending on available time slots. Examples of topics: "Julia tutorial", "Introduction to interactive visualization", "Use of machine learning tools in our daily work", "How to teach programming" etc. or anything the presenter is excited and knowledgeable about. The tutorial has to be understandable for PhDs of the department.
  • The "lecture on individually selected subject" (ISS) can give the presenter 1 of the 3 required ECTS in the dissemination part of the training component and follows strict rules. (see section below) If you wish to give a ISS seminar, indicate it upon registration and specify the title of your presentation as well as a short abstract. To make room for other activities, the (extended) organising committee will select a limited number of ISS presentations. The selection criteria include: relevance of the chosen topic for an ICT audience and time before the end of the contract of the presenter. See corresponding section below for alternatives to earn 1 ECTS in dissemination.

The aim of this new format is to refocus the ICT annual meeting on its original goals. All PhDs in the department are expected to attend.

The registration form has been sent by email to all PhDs candidates enrolled in the PhD program at the Department of Informatics. Registration deadline: June, 30.

Please find the list of accepted speakers here

This year's extended organizing committee is Natacha Galmiche, Victor Lacerda, David Grellscheid, Pål Grønås Drange, Stefanie Meyer, and Eirik R. Thorsheim. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments about the annual meeting 2023, please contact Natacha Galmiche and Victor Lacerda.

Lecture on individually selected subject (ISS) guidelines (1 ECTS)

The lecture on individually selected subject can be included in the formal training part of the examination for the PhD degree. The formal requirements for approval of a lecture on individually selected subject are identical to those for the trial lecture as described in the prevailing version of the regulations issued by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Summarized in the regulations for the MN faculty, the candidate is to demonstrate an ability to communicate research-based knowledge and insight.

The lecture is held in English. Please note that the time frame of 45 minutes for the lecture is an important parameter that will be measured and taken into account in the total evaluation. Accepted time flexibility is +/- 5 minutes. Too short or too long time will be a reason for failing the lecture.

1. What is a suitable topic
The topic is proposed by the PhD cand. and supervisor and approved by the department’s Board of Doctoral Education. The topic of the given subject must not be obtained from the key issues in the PhD thesis. The candidate is encouraged to choose a topic that s/he has gained insight to for other reasons, usually as a background for the thesis project. It is acceptable to include a limited number of examples from own research where this applies. However, the topic should be suitable and made available for a general audience of scientific and technical staff as well as master- and PhD cand. in the wider field of ICT-related research.

2. Expectations to the lecture
A lecture on individually selected subject at the Department of Informatics is expected to be at a high level both in terms of the scientific contents and the way the topic is presented. The purpose of the lecture is to give the PhD candidates an opportunity to document their ability to disseminate research-based knowledge. The lecture should normally be structured so that it can be followed by an audience with previous knowledge one could expect to find among master's students in the field of study. Both academic content and the ability to disseminate are emphasized in the assessment of the lecture.

3. Evaluation criteria
The lecture is evaluated both on contents and presentation, with possible conclusions Passed or Failed. When evaluating the quality of the lecture, the committee is asked to (as a minimum) pay attention to the following aspects:

  • The presentation should be faithful to the given topic. It should include sufficient background. The presentation should reflect the present status of knowledge on the topic. The amount of material should be suitable for the scheduled duration.
  • The presentation should be logically structured and with suitable organization of the information. It should contain a conclusion or summary that ties back to the aims of the lecture. Sources should be properly cited.
  • The candidate should place the given topic in a larger context, linking it to contemporary issues where natural. The candidate should demonstrate overview of the subject.
  • Visual aids should be legible and the figures clear and useful. The candidate should avoid too much jargon and excessive use of abbreviations. The pace should be suitable. The candidate should finish on time.
  • The time frame for the lecture is 45 minutes. The time will be measured and is taken into account in the total evaluation. Accepted time flexibility is +/- 5 minutes. Too short or too long presentations will be a reason for failing the lecture.
  • The overall quality of the lecture should be at a level that is acceptable for a newly educated researcher from the Department of Informatics, the highest ranked informatics department in Norway.

4. Procedures at the department
The topic is proposed by the PhD cand. and supervisor and approved by the department’s Board of Doctoral Education. To comply with the requirement of announcing the lecture 2 weeks in advance, the candidate must submit the proposed topic to the Board at least 3 weeks before the lecture is to be held.

The lecture will be evaluated by a committee of 2 members appointed by the department. At the Department of Informatics, an eligible committee member is a person with a doctoral degree, employed at the Department of Informatics. Researchers employed outside the Department of Informatics can be on the evaluation committee for a given candidate following special approval, and provided that the person has a doctoral degree AND that the second member of the committee is an eligible member from the Department of Informatics. A PhD candidate cannot be evaluated by his/her direct supervisor(s). A fair representation of the department’s research groups as well as gender balance among the committee members should be taken into account.

At the beginning of the lecture, the candidate welcomes the audience to the lecture and points out the role it holds as part of the formal training for the PhD degree.

After the lecture, or a session comprising several presentations, has finished, the committee withdraws. The committee should aim to reach a unanimous conclusion, and only thereafter inform the candidate about the outcome. Giving the candidate the benefit of doubt, a conclusion of Fail requires a unanimous committee.

Individual feedback sessions between the candidate and evaluation committee members after the conclusion of the evaluation are a good way to give constructive feedback and help the candidate improve her/his future presentation skills. Such feedback sessions, though, are optional and take place on a voluntary basis.

The evaluation committee needs to complete and sign the grading sheet they have received from the department’s PhD coordinator. The sheet should be returned to the PhD coordinator without undue delay.

5. What happens in the case of a failed lecture
The lecture is graded as passed/failed. If a candidate receives an evaluation of Failed in her/his first attempt, s/he may choose to give a new lecture. The new lecture must be given on a new topic.

Alternatives to get the dissemination ECTS

Note: This section in under construction. More information will be provided soon. If you have any questions, please contact Eirik Rekve Thorsheim.

All elements of the dissemination component (3-5 ECTS) shall normally be carried out after the application for admission to the PhD programme is submitted, or after the appointment to the PhD position has been made. (source: PhD Programme description for the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences)

Activities to be included:

  • Participation at international conferences with the presentation of results from own research (posters or lectures). International conferences do not include national meetings to which foreign speakers are invited. Two credits are awarded per conference. A maximum of one conference.

Other possible activities:

  • Dissemination of knowledge courses.
  • Popular science contributions in own field. Up to 2 credits per contribution are given. Max 2 credits. Reference to the articles shall be provided. Documentation confirming the scope, time and place of other popular science activities shall be enclosed.
  • Seminar / lecture on individually selected subject. 1 credit. Duration: 1 lecture hour. Max 1 credit. Presenting such a lecture is not restricted to the ICT annual meeting; the candidates can organize their lecture to be held at the department at another time. In that case, please contact the PhD coordinator for further instructions.