Action plan for PhD education

Doktorer i UiB-aulaen
Eivind Senneset

UiB will offer PhD education of high international quality in all academic and scientific environments. The PhD education will facilitate research of a high scientific and ethical standard.

UiB PhD candidates will be at the forefront of research in their field. UiB PhD candidates will successfully complete their PhD project in the stipulated time. UiB has as a goal, that 250 PhD candidates will defend their thesis annually by the end of the action plan period. PhD candidates will actively contribute to national and international research networks. UiB will facilitate international research stays for doctoral candidates. The PhD education will be closely linked to UiB’s excellent research environments and open to interdisciplinary projects. Through publication and dissemination, doctoral candidates’ research will contribute to society. UiB will facilitate PhD research at the interface between the university and society and promote innovation. By 2025, a total of 90 per cent of the candidates will have a relevant job two years after they complete their education.

The action plan will be revised in 2019.

FOCUS AREAS FOR UiB'S PhD eduacation 2016–2022
The PhD education at UiB will acheive its strategic objectives through the following focus areas:

A: Recruitment and academic development: The PhD education will continuously strive to ensure that our candidates have the best conditions for academic development.

B: Career development for doctoral candidates: Candidates shall be introduced to career development both within and outside academia and the labour market in general.

C: Doctorate supervision: New and experienced PhD supervisors will be offered opportunities to develop their expertise in doctoral supervision.

D: Internationalisation: The candidates will be given opportunities for international research stays and networking.

E: Innovation: The PhD education will contribute to increased innovation in the public and private sector.

Download the action plan (PDF)

Focus area A

Recruitment and academic development for doctoral candidates

Sub objective 1: UiB will recruit the best research talents to the PhD programme

  • Facilitate research programmes in professional studies.
    (Responsible: Faculties)
  • Work to ensure that the admission criteria for the PhD programme are appropriate.
    (Responsible: Faculties)
  • International marketing of research fellowships.
    (Responsible: DHR and CD)

Sub objectiv 2: At graduation UiB candidates will be at the forefront of their research fields

  • Candidates will be supervised by active researchers.
    (Responsible: Faculties)
  • UiB will further develop its quality assurance system for doctoral education.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)

Sub objectiv 3: UiB’s PhD candidates will have high competence on research ethics and be able to apply this knowledge in their own research and publishing

  • Further develop UiB’s ethics training for PhD candidates.
    (Responible: DRA, Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, Faculties)
  • Develop courses in academic writing based on the Vancouver Convention for scientific writing and publishing.
    (Responsible: Faculties)

Sub objectiv 4: UiB’s PhD candidates will be part of an active research environment

  • UiB will continue its focus on research schools and research groups in which PhD candidates participate.
    (Responsible: Faculties)

Focus area B

Career development for doctoral candidates

Sub objectiv 1: UiB doctoral candidates will have a good knowledge of the career opportunities that exist both within and outside academia as well as how their own careers can be developed

  • Alumni surveys will be conducted in order to chart candidates’ careers and their satisfaction with the PhD education.
    (Responsible: DRA)
  • UiB will produce a career development guide for use in the departments and research groups.
    (Responible: DHR)
  • Develop courses on how to write good applications for research funding. Develop courses in bibliometrics and publishing.
    (Responsible: DRA, UL, Faculties)
  • Establish a talent development program for doctoral candidates.
    (Responible: DRA, DHR)
  • Appraisal interview for all PhD research fellows at UiB.
    (Responsible: DHR, Faculties, Departments)

Sub objectiv 2: UiB’s PhD education will supply all sectors of the labour market with research and development expertise

  • Develop courses for candidates seeking a career outside academia: awareness of personal skills, transferable skills, industry needs and job searching.
    (Responsible: DRA, DHR)
  • Promote PhD education (also Industrial and Public Sector PhD schemes) to the labour market.
    (Responsible: CD, Faculties)
  • PhD candidates at UiB will be offered course in pedagogy.
    (Responsible: DE)

Focus area C

Doctoral supervision

Sub objective 1: UiB doctoral supervisors will have courses in doctoral supervision of a high quality and with sufficient capacity

  • Strengthen the Programme for university pedagogy’s courses in research supervision with regard to both capacity and educational content. Develop digital educational content.
    (Responsible: Faculties, DE)

Sub objective 2: Doctoral supervisors will have sufficient and updated knowledge of the rules, policies and procedures within the PhD education

  • Develop an e-course in rules, policies and procedures for the PhD education. The e-course will have common and faculty specific components.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)

Sub objective 3: UiB will have arenas where doctoral supervisors can exchange experiences and get professional input on supervision

  • The faculties, with assistance from u-ped, will develop discipline specific seminar programmes for the exchanging of experience and building of expertise within doctoral supervision.
    (Responsible: Faculties, DE)

Sub objective 4: UiB’s academic leadership will facilitate the further development of supervisory expertise

  • UiB will create a forum for doctoral supervision with the purpose of helping to guide UiB’s provision for supervisor training and experience exchange.
    (Responsible: Pro-Rector, The research committee)

Focus area D


Sub objective 1: At least 50% of the candidates will make international research stays of a duration longer than one month during their doctoral period

  • Prepare a guide on research stays abroad for PhD candidates.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • The university will consider to establish a scholarship for research stays abroad for PhD candidates.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • UiB will improve information on research stays abroad on the PhD education websites.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)

Sub objective 2: UiB will facilitate international joint supervision of doctoral candidates

  • The Professor II scheme will be actively used for doctoral supervision.
    (Ansvarlig: The Faculties)

Sub objective 3: UiB will advance the development of international doctoral degree cooperation

  • UiB will use national and international arrangements to develop international cooperation within PhD education.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • UiB will encourage candidates to participate in international conferences and will enter into joint degree agreements where appropriate.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • Improve information on international PhD courses.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • Improve information on courses for incoming PhD candidates.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)

Focus area E


Sub objective 1: PhD education will contribute to research-driven innovation

  • Promote the Industrial and Public sector PhD schemes to regional and national businesses.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties, Office of Community Relations, Faculties)
  • PhD education will be a key component of UiB’s Centre for Research-based Innovation.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • Evaluate a joint scheme with BTO for incubator spaces for completed PhD projects that have innovation and commercial potential.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)
  • Develop innovation courses for doctoral candidates.
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)

Sub objective 2: The PhD education will contribute to entrepreneurship

  • Establishment grant/programme for candidates who have a research-based idea with business potential (loosely based on the NRC FORNY programme).
    (Responsible: DRA, Faculties)