Employee pages for the Faculty of Social Sciences
Assessment of applicants for the PhD program with an external employer

Assessment of applicants for the PhD program with an external employer

Main content

Applicants with an employer other than the Faculty of Social Sciences must apply for admission. Before applying, the applicant must contact the relevant Department to obtain an assessment from a potential main supervisor. Applications must normally apply for admission to the PhD programme within three (3) months after the start of the PhD project. If there is less than one (1) year of full-time work left on the research project at the time of application, the applicant should be rejected.

Application form

The application is sent to the Faculty of Social Sciences for registration. The Faculty ensures that the application is complete and contains all mandatory attachments before the application is forwarded to the relevant Department for assessment.

Assessment and recommendation

The application is assessed by the relevant Department, which submits a recommendation to the Faculty. It is the Head of Department or the body authorized by the Head of Department that makes the recommendation. The Departments are encouraged to include a group of professionals in the assessment of applicants to the PhD programme.

In the assessment of applicants, the Department shall evaluate:

Basic qualifications

Ensure that the requirements for educational background and grade requirements are met. If the requirement for educational background is not met, and the Department still recommends admission, this must be commented on separately and whether the candidate should be required to complete additional education before admission, or at the beginning of the research education.

Academic qualifications

The Department should comment any academic qualifications documented through written work in addition to the master's thesis. Publications, where the work of the applicant can be clearly identified, can be included in the assessment of basic qualifications

Project quality - assessment from supervisor

Ensure that there is an adequate assessment of the project description from the proposed internal main supervisor.

In the assessment of the project's quality, the main supervisor shall:

  1. Discuss the extent to which the work can lead to a dissertation of international standard and at a high academic level in terms of problem formulations, conceptual clarification, methodological, theoretical and empirical basis, documentation and presentation
  2. Discussion of the extent to which the research work represents an independent contribution to existing knowledge. Such contributions can be concept analysis, theory and method development and empirical contributions
  3. Discuss the realism of the research project
  4. Carefully assess whether the content and framework conditions for the project are of such a nature that it can in all probability be carried out within the framework of the scholarship period, i.e., three years

If there are deficiencies in the assessment from the main supervisor, the Department shall include this in its recommendation.

Funding and employment conditions

  • Ensure that the requirement for funding subsistence and research expenses for the entire research education period is met
  • Ensure that salary / scholarship satisfies the UDI's requirements for income if the applicant comes from a country outside Schengen (In 2021 at least NOK 123,519 per year)
  • Ensure that the source of funding can provide an extension of salary / scholarship in the event of leave (illness, children or welfare leave)
  • Ensure that the source of funding can contribute funds to cover expenses for office space and other necessary infrastructure
  • Ensure that at least 50% of the working time can be used for the researcher education. This means a total admission period of a maximum of 6 years
  • Ensure that the applicant has access to the necessary equipment
  • Decide whether the project can be carried out with the financial means available to the candidate

If the Department recommends the admission of candidates who have a financing plan that does not include research funds, a statement must be attached stating that the Department will provide the necessary funds for the candidate to complete his or her doctoral education in a responsible manner. The minimum amount is currently NOK 36,000, but the need must be considered in each individual case


On the basis of a comprehensive assessment of the applicant, a conclusion must be written in the recommendation - whether the Department recommends admission or not

Note that the candidate must be offered at least one co-supervisor, in addition to the main supervisor. The main supervisor is appointed upon admission. A co-supervisor should be appointed within one month after admission, when the "Agreement for admission to organized research education" is signed.


The Department submits its recommendation to the Faculty. The Faculty assesses whether formal qualification requirements have been met. Decisions are made by the Dean. Upon admission, a main supervisor and possibly co-supervisor (s) are appointed at the same time. All applicants receive written notification from the Faculty of the decision.