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Faculty of Social Sciences

Submission, assessment and public defence

This document provides an overview of the routines and procedures from the point when the doctoral thesis is submitted and until the University’s doctoral award ceremony.

Main content

The following guidelines are intended for the doctoral candidate, the department, the faculty, the expert assessment committee and the leader of the public defence. It pertains to the evaluation and public defence of the PhD and Dr.Philos. degrees.  

The PhD candidate - submission

Prior to submission

The training component must be completed and approved before scheduled submission. As you approach the last stages of working on your thesis, you must inform your department of the forthcoming submission. This will help your department in finding an expert assessment committee in due time.

While working with the Dissertation, we recommend that you to look into the advice concerning format. It can be well worth making decisions early in the writing process. Please use the template for the front page

The dissertation cannot be submitted for assessment at any other institution

Apply for assessment, PhD candidates

When the thesis is compiled to one pdf file, you may apply for submission by using the form Application for assessment of PhD theses at Faculty of Social Sciences.

Please be aware that the following has to be uploaded in the application:  

  • Pdf file of the thesis
  • Two thesis’ abstracts in separate files. One abstract written in norwegian and one in english. Each abstract shall normally be of 1-3 pages. Please note that the abstracts must also be included in the thesis itself in addition. 
  • If the doctoral thesis contains joint work, a declaration from the co-authors that identifies the effort of the doctoral candidate must be enclosed. The declaration(s) must be signed by the co-author(s). The declaration(s) must be written in the language of the thesis. Use the form for Statement of co-authorship
  • Documentation of necessary permits, such as ethical clarifications etc.

You will be informed about the members of the assessment committee by e-mail before appointment. You will also receive a copy of the appointment. As soon as the reasoned recommendation is submitted by the committeel, and approved by the faculty, you will be informed. You are then allowed to present comments to the reasoned recommendation within a deadline specified. 

Submission of thesis after smaller revisions

When the thesis is compiled to one pdf file, you may submit the thesis by using the form Submission of the PhD thesis after smaller revisions. The committee will receive the revised thesis shortly afterwards and will be given a deadline of four (4) weeks to submit the evaluation report to the faculty.

The PhD candidate - from approved thesis to public defence

Errata

You can apply to correct formal errors up until one week after you have received the reasoned recommendation from the committee. Errata requirements.

Printing copies for the public defence

You need to order printing of the thesis directly after you received this information. You may wait 10 days from you order printing until the theses reach the department. The thesis must be publicly available no later than two weeks before the public defence. Go to Printing and public availability. Here you will find information on the submission portal Avhandlingsportalen, where you will find the order form, information on recommended format and detailed advice regarding the printing process.

Before you log in to start the order, we recommend that you read About printing an approved dissertation (menu on the right in Avhandlingsportalen). For physical public defences, you order a minimum of 24 printed copies of the thesis. 4 copies are sent by the printer to the University Library and the National Library. 20 copies are sent to the Department and will be available at the defence. The Department will cover the cost of 24 copies. The thesis will also be made digitally available on a limited scale in the National Library of Norway’s digital collection as Legal Deposit.  This access is founded on the Norwegian copyright law (Åndsverksloven) and concerns all published material in Norway. That means that if the thesis is made publicly available, it will be covered by this law. It is possible to order more copies than the minimum number for distribution to friends, family and professional networks. In that case, you must cover this expense yourself. After the defence, you agree with the department about what will happen to the remaining copies.

You must send the order confirmation from the printer to your department’s “bestiller”. Bestiller will then create an order number and send this to the printer. When you forward the order confirmation, please add information about Stedkode and Delprosjektnummer. The printer does not start production until they have received the order number from UiB.

Here is a list of the codes you need: 

Institutt

Stedkode

Delprosjektnummer

Geografi

15410000

100282100

Informasjons- og medievitenskap

15170000

100301102

Politikk og forvaltning

15120000

100317100

Sammenliknende politikk

15130000

100320105

Sosialantropologi

15340000

100295100

Sosiologi

15110000

100311100

Økonomi

15150000

100270100

BORA

BORA is UiB's official, open institutional archive. We recommend that you allow publication of the thesis here. The thesis is made available as soon as possible and before the defence if you allow it. Available in BORA does not mean that the entire thesis is posted, this is done according to any journals' guidelines and consider a (potentially) later publication by the candidate. BORA is open to everyone, without access control.

Press release

You need to submit a press release in Norwegian and we urge you to get assistance from a colleague or supervisor on the translation and the text itself. 

You need to send a draft of the press release, written according to certain specific criteria, to the Faculty contact, no later than three weeks ahead of the public defence. The faculty will provide feedback. When the press release is approved, you must submit it in Avhandlingsportalen and it will then be published at the University webpage over new doctorates. The press release should follow the recommendations and template: 

Aim of the press release
The press release is aimed at journalists, news desks and the general public. It is therefore important that both text and title are easy to understand. If the press release is to be read and attract media attention, you should write simply, avoid complicated terminology. Imagine that the reader is an informed, curious friend and write accordingly. Note that it must be written in Norwegian.

Title

•    Short and catchy.
•    Max 60 characters including space.

Ingress

(Automatically generated during submission in Avhandlingsportalen)
NN presents his/her dissertation on dd.mm.yyyy for PhD at the University of Bergen: “Title”

Body text 

•    Begin with the most important points: conclusions and research results.
•    Explain the results of the research and possible practical consequences.
•    Max 1500 characters including space

Personalia

•    Information about the candidate
•    Max 500 characters including spase.

Contact info

•    First name, surname, telephone number and email.

Photo

The candidate has to supply his own photograph; the minimum requirements are as follows:
301 (W) x 388 (H) pixels, resolution 170 dpi. The picture can either be in colour or black/white, and should be sent as a separate electronic attachment (not as part of a word doc).

Distribution

The Communication division sends the press release out on our press list approx. one week before the disputation. Larger local and international editorial offices are covered. The candidate can present his wishes concerning distribution to specific editorial offices and local newspapers.

Trial lecture

The title of the trial lecture on the assigned topic and the brief written reason for the choice of topic will be sent to you ten working days prior to the trial lecture. The trial lecture you prepare should have 45 minutes duration.

You need to bring your own lap-top to the trial lecture and public defence. We recommend that you save the presentations on your home directory instead of using a memory stick, as it can take some time to install the memory stick on the computer.

In due time, you should acknowledge yourself with the level requirements and procedures for the trial lecture in the evaluation guidelines.

Public defence

You will give a public defence of the scientific work in the thesis. In addition you will at the start of the defence provide an account of the purpose of your scientific research, explain the reason for the choice of research questions, and present an overview of the most important results/main findings in the thesis with a duration of 15 minutes.

In due time, you should acknowledge yourself in depht with the objective and procedures for the public defence in the evaluation guidelines.

The hosting of a doctoral dinner following the public defence is entirely a private matter. However, should the doctoral candidate wish to do so it is customary to invite the members of the evaluation committee, the supervisor(s), the leader of the public defence and the head of the department. Note that if if the dinner is covered privately, parts of it can be deducted from tax in the Norwegian tax system.

The department

Shortly after submission, the department will be asked to suggest the members of the evaluation committee to the faculty. The requirements for the composition of the committee can be found in the Regulations’ Section 11.2. Unless special conditions apply, the committee should be appointed no later than one month after the candidate has submitted the thesis.

The department announce the trial lecture and the public defence. 

It is the responsibility of the department to ensure that the premises for the trial lecture and public defence are tidy and in presentable order, and that lighting and technical equipment will be in working order. Please contact the auditorium support service well in advance if needed. Furthermore, it is the department’s responsibility to decorate the auditorium and to ensure that drinking water and glasses will be available to the opponents and the doctoral candidate. The sign to place at the pavement in front of Ulrike Phils Building can be found in the office of the faculty administration. The faculty administration also has a key available for storing of luggage and valuables in a designated room at Ulrike Phils Building. Moreover, it is the department’s responsibility that (at least) twenty copies of the doctoral thesis will be available for browsing during the public defence.

The department will make arrangements for a joint lunch for the committee, the doctoral candidate, the supervisor(s) and the leader of the public defence on the day of the public defence.

It is the responsibility of the department to inform opponents about how travel and hotel accommodation is booked, and how they ask for reimbursements of travel expenses. 

The faculty 

The evaluation committee will be appointed by the Dean no later than one month after the thesis has been submitted if possible. The faculty administration will send the letter of appointment to the committee members enclosed with the thesis and Guidelines for evaluation for the PhD degree at the Faculty of Social Sciences.

The faculty will order contract to the opponents. 

The faculty shall provide for the public defence to be held within five months after submission.

It is the responsibility of the faculty to book the auditorium in which the trial lecture and public defence will be held as soon as the leader of the evaluation committee has determined the dates and times, and when the leader of the public defence has been appointed.

These dates will be confirmed through e-mail to the members of the committee, the doctoral candidate, the department in question, the department’s financial officer, and to the head of the public defence.

The faculty will forward the committee’s reasoned recommendation upon receipt to the doctoral candidate for possible comments. A copy of the recommendation will be sent to the doctoral candidate when all committee members have duly signed.

The committee’s recommendation will be handled by the Dean if the conclusion is unanimous positive or if the committee recommends smaller revisions. In the event that the conclusion of the evaluation is not unanimous, or should the committee not find the thesis worthy of public defence, the matter must be handled by the Faculty Board. 

The faculty issues the manuscript for the leader of the public defence and the letter of approval of the trial lecture and the public defence for the committee members to sign. The faculty will forward the signed letters of approval to the University Board recommending that the doctoral degree be conferred upon the candidate in question.

The faculty buys a gift which the leader of the public defence will present to the candidate on behalf of the faculty, either during the doctoral dinner or at the close of the public defence.

The faculty issues the Doctoral Diploma that will be awarded during the University’s Doctoral Award Ceremony.

The Dr.Philos. candidate - submission

Have you worked with a thesis you want to submit for the doctoral degree, and without being admitted to a PhD programme? 

Prior to submission

While working with the Dissertation, we recommend that you to look into the advice concerning format. It can be well worth making decisions early in the writing process. Please use the template for the front page.

The dissertation cannot be submitted for assessment at any other institution. 

Before you can apply for evaluation, you need to contact the PhD coordinator, phd@svfa.uib.no, and ask for a guest account. 

Apply for assessment, Dr.Philos.

When the thesis is included in one pdf file, you may apply for assessment of a Dr.Philos thesis by using the form Application for submission of doctoral dissertation, Dr.Philos.

The following attachements must be included in the application:

  • Pdf file of the thesis
  • Thesis’ abstract in a separate file. The abstract shall normally be of 1-3 pages and written in English. Please note that the abstract must also be included in the thesis itself
  • A substantiated application in which s/he applies to defend the thesis for the Dr.Philos.-degree for non-nordic citizens 
  • Documentation of the applicant’s academic education
  • A signed declaration in case of co-author(s)
  • Documentation of necessary permits, such as ethical clarifications etc.
  • A declaration that the thesis or parts thereof is neither currently being evaluated nor has ever been submitted for evaluation towards a doctoral degree at any other academic institution in Norway or abroad

The doctoral candidate will be informed about the members of the doctoral evaluation committee through a copy of the letter of appointment to the committee members. The doctoral candidate will receive a copy of their evaluation report as soon as it is submitted, and the doctoral candidate is allowed to present comments to the evaluation report within a deadline duly specified.

Should the thesis be found worthy of public defence, please follow the instructions here: The PhD candidate - from approved thesis to public defence

But note two requirements for Dr.Philos. where you cannot follow the PhD instructions: 

  1. Dr.Philos. candidates must present two trial lectures. You must submit the title of the chosen topic for the trial lecture to the faculty one month ahead of the public defence.
  2. It is a separate guideline for the committee related to Dr.Philos. degrees at the faculty. In the guidelines objectives, level requirement and procedures are described. 

The leader of the public defence

The public defence will be headed by the Dean, Deputy Dean or whoever has been delegated such authority. It is the responsibility of the leader of the public defence to ensure that the public defence be conducted in a worthy manner, that the letters of approval be signed by the committee’s members, and that these letters be handed to the faculty. The order of the public defence is described in the section entitled Public Defence. The robe to be worn during the public defence shall be available in the faculty office. The leader of the public defence will present a gift to the candidate on behalf of the faculty, either during the doctoral dinner or at the close of the public defence.

The evaluation committee

The evaluation committee’s mandate is to assess the thesis and issue a written reasoned recommendation to the Faculty whether they find the thesis worthy of being defended for the doctoral degree at the University of Bergen. If the thesis is worthy of being defended in a public defence, the committee must evaluate and approve the trial lecture and the public defence before the doctoral candidate is awarded the PhD degree. Part 1 of the guidelines deals with the committee's assessment of the thesis. Part 2 deals with the committee's assessment of the trial lecture and public defence. Legislation and rules the guidance is authorized in, and impartiality requirements, are at the end of the guidelines.

The committee will communicate with the faculty through the leader of the committee. Practical matters such as booking of hotel accommodation, fees, etc. must be discussed directly with the doctoral candidate’s department.

The duties of the chairperson

The chairperson of the committee:

  • serves as a full member of the committee
  • coordinates the committee evaluation process and ensures that progress is made and deadlines met
  • coordinates the compilation of the committee's report on the thesis and distributes tasks among the committee members in connection with the public defence.
  • serves as a link between the committee and the faculty
  • clarifies a tentative date for public defence as early as possible and communicates this to the faculty officer
  • sends the title of the trial lecture on the assigned topic and a brief written reason for the choice of topic to the faculty contact person no later than 3 weeks before the date of the public defence.
  • is the department’s link with the external members and meet the opponents upon arrival in Bergen.

The trial lecture

For the PhD degree, the candidate will hold one trial lecture over a given topic. The trial lecture will last 45 minutes. Objective and level requirements, title and written argumentation and evaluation of the trial lecture is described in the Guidelines for evaluation for the PhD degree.

For the Dr.Philos. degree, the candidate will hold one trial lecture over a given topic and one lecture over a topic of the candidate’s choice. Both trial lectures will last 45 minutes. Objective and level requirements, title and written argumentation and evaluation of the trial lecture is described in the Guidelines for evaluation for the Dr.Philos. degree.

The Dean or his or her appointee will preside over the trial lecture(s) and introduce the trial lecture(s) using a manuscript provided by the faculty administration, and announce the time and venue of the public defence when the trial lecture(s) have been successfully completed.

All members of the evaluation committee will be present during the trial lecture(s). Immediately following the lecture(s), the committee will decide on the approval of the lecture(s). All committee members and the leader of decence will sign a written declaration of approval to be returned to the leader of the public defence. The trial lecture(s) must be approved prior to the public defence.

The public defence

The PhD candidate must give a public defence of the scientific work in the thesis.

PhD degree: Objective and procedures for the public defence is described in the Guidelines for evaluation for the PhD degree.

Dr.Philos. degree: Objective and procedures for the public defence is described in the Guidelines for evaluation for the Dr.Philos. degree.

Doctoral creation and ceremony

According to the recommendation of the committee, the faculty will confer the philosophiae doctor (PhD) or the doctor philosophiae (Dr.Philos.) degree upon the candidate.

The University of Bergen arranges doctoral ceremonies in the University Aula 3 times a year, in the end of January, then end of April and the end of August respectively. The Rector of the University will present a Diploma to all who have been conferred as doctors during the previous term. Family and friends may be invited to the ceremony.