The PhD programmes at NMBU have a nominal duration of three years full-time study, and consists of the following:

An independent work of research conducted in collaboration with supervisors:

An independent work of research consists of collecting research results, analyses, and scientific publication. This is undertaken with close cooperation between the PhD candidate and the supervisor group. The supervisor group consists of a minimum of two supervisors, at least one of whom is employed at NMBU. The main supervisor holds the academic and administrative main responsibility for the candidate and will be the primary contact person for the candidate.

The supervisor group will:

  • Follow up the academic development of PhD candidate in relation to the project plan
  • Offer advice on formulation and help refining of the topic and issues
  • Discuss and evaluate hypothesis and methods
  • Discuss results and the interpretation of these
  • Discuss setup and implementation of the work, including disposition, written language, documentation etc.
  • Offer advice on the orientation of academic literature and source data in relation to the library, archive, data collection etc.
  • Offer guidance in research ethical questions connected to the thesis

If changes are to be made to the supervisory team, application must be made on FORM 2.3. The general rule is that the supervisor may not withdraw from the position until a new supervisor has been appointed.

Required coursework

The required coursework component is individual and is preferably planned at the time of the application for admission, and at the latest within six months after start-up of the PhD period. For more information please see Coursework.

Participation in active research environments, nationally and internationally

Essential for the research work is that the PhD candidate takes a part in active research environments with senior researchers and other PhD candidates and is involved in cooperation on a national and international level.

Elaboration of a PhD thesis based on the research work

The thesis must be an independent scientific work that fulfils international standards and is of high academic quality in terms of the formulation of research questions, the specification of concepts, the methodological, theoretical and empirical basis, documentation, the use of literature and the form of presentation. The thesis may consist of a monography or a compendium of several scientific works in article form. If the thesis consists of several shorter papers it must also contain an introductory chapter which summarises and compares the research questions and conclusions presented in the shorter works in an overall perspective, and which also documents the coherence of the thesis. The PhD candidate must be the sole author of the summary.

Progress assessment and compulsory seminars

Compulsory seminars

The quality assurance of the PhD education shall include a minimum of three fixed seminars during the period of instruction: an introductory seminar, a midway assessment seminar and a final seminar. The midway assessment shall be conducted when the candidate has completed a maximum of two years of the PhD study. The candidate must present his/her work and be evaluated by a group of at least two persons appointed by the faculty. The evaluation team must assess the academic status and progress of the work on the doctoral thesis, and must report its findings on a standard form (FORM 2.4)  to the candidate, the supervisory team and the faculty.

Progress report

The progress reports are to be written by the PhD candidate annually on a standard form (FORM 2.1.1).

Delay of the PhD education

In the event of any delay in the PhD programme, FORM 2.1.2, changes to the contract period must be completed. 

The faculties are responsible for the progress report and compulsory seminars and must have routines to follow up any deficiencies detected


Published 16. December 2014 - 14:31 - Updated 21. August 2018 - 12:24

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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