Faculty of Social Sciences
PhD - Supervision


Work on the PhD thesis is to take place under individual supervision. Here is information on rights and obligations for supervisors and PhD candidates.

Main content

The candidate should as a rule have two supervisors. Normally, one main supervisor and one or more co-supervisors are appointed at the time of admission. Appointment of more supervisors, change of supervisor, or other changes concerning supervision is decided by the faculty. The candidate, supervisors and Head of department must sign changes in the agreement, part B, in the Admission agreement.

The candidate and the main supervisor may individually ask the faculty to appoint a new main supervisor for the candidate. The main supervisor may not withdraw until a new supervisor has been appointed.

Rights and obligations, supervisor

The main supervisor is the main person the candidate will relate to during their PhD period. The main supervisor is the candidate’s contact person at the department. The co-supervisor share the academic responsibility with the main supervisor.

The supervisor must:

organizational duties

  • be the candidate's main contact and responsible for ensuring that he/she is integrated into research groups and communities (main supervisor)
  • contribute to regular contact (contact frequency should be stated in the annual progress reporting
  • supervise according to the ethical guidelines at the University of Bergen

in the work with the thesis

  • ensure that the research project is approved in accordance with ethical rules, and advise in questions concerning ethics in research
  • ensure that the candidate get familiar with that it is his/her responsibility to avoid all forms of fraudulence 
  • give advice on formulating and delimiting the research topic and research questions 
  • discuss and assess hypotheses and methods 
  • discuss results and their interpretation
  • discuss the structure and completion of the presentation (including outline, linguistic form, documentation)
  • provide guidance on the academic literature and data

related to the training component

  • pursue the candidate's academic development and give advice on the training component 
  • supervise in academic dissemination 

related to progress

  • participate in the candidate's Midway evaluation
  • agree, after the Midway evaluation, about a realistic plan for completion of the research and the thesis
  • submit an annual progress report within 1 November (main supervisor) 
  • keep informed on the progress in the candidate's work and assess this in relation to the project description's progress plan   
  • give advice and follow up on academic conditions that may incur delayed completion of the PhD education, so that it can be completed within the standard time

Rights and obligations, PhD candidate

The PhD candidate must: 

as a part of the organizational

  • fill in and sign the PhD agreement with supervisors and the head of department no later than 1 month after start-up
  • contribute to regular contact with supervisors*
  • handle a potential need to change supervisor in accordance with Section 6 (part B) of the PhD agreement
  • register all work related to the duty work in accordance with the Department's practice (in cases of at fourth year)
  • report and document any interruptions, statutory absences that may extend the contract period at the PhD programme 

in the work with the thesis

  • submit a draft of parts of the dissertation in agreement with the supervisor and in accordance with the project description. Parts of the dissertation can be submitted in connection with seminars
  • comply with research ethical principles that apply to the discipline
  • strive to submit a research project that will result in a dissertation of high standard and within the given time frame

related to the training component

  • carry out the training component in accordance with the requirements of the faculty
  • present your work or findings at at least one national or international conference
  • keep track of all documentation of courses, seminars and activities that you complete as part of the training component

related to progress

  • follow up conditions that may lead to the risk of delayed or non-completion of the PhD program, so that the program can, as far as possible, be completed within a standard timeframe
  • inform the main supervisor of matters that may be of significance to the supervision
  • register every semester
  • submit progress report by November 1st each year
  • undergo a midway evaluation according to the Faculty requirements

* Regular contact can be maintained through emails, meetings, or telephone contact, it is not necessary to submit written material before all tutoring hours.

Program for supervision competence 

The Faculty offers Program for Supervision Competence to all PhD supervisors.