Information for the Evaluation Committee

Your role as committee coordinator (third opponent) is to coordinate the work related to the evaluation of the PhD thesis, and to ensure that the National Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees are followed. In addition, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine has developed specific guidelines for the opponent in the evaluation committee.

Upon determining a tentative date for the public defense, you shall communicate with the first and second opponents and suggest a timeline for the work required over the next few months. You shall also ensure that the committee agrees on how to divide the work between the opponents.

As the committee coordinator, you should:

  • Work with the PhD advisor and the other opponents to determine a tentative date for the public defense. The PhD advisors communicate with the PhD candidate and the main supervisor, and book a venue for the public defense.
  • Work with the opponents to compile a joint evaluation report of the PhD theis. Please submit NMBU 4.4 Assessment of the thesis at least 25 working days before the tentative date of public defense.
  • Inform the other opponents about the three possible outcomes: the PhD thesis can be approved, not approved, or sent back for revision. The candidate is not allowed to make changes to the thesis after receiving the evaluation report. Revision may be an option if there are material errors or shortcomings in the introductory chapter ('kappe') that should be corrected, or if it leaves an imbalanced impression or the structure lacks a clear thread. Even if the committee has suggestions and input on how the thesis could be improved, minor revisions shall not be requested if the thesis meets the requirements for a Norwegian doctoral degree. 
  • Work with the opponents to suggest a possible topic for the trial lecture (by sending an email to phd.radgiver@nmbu.no) at least 15 working days before the doctoral examination. The topic of the lecture should not be directly linked to the specific topic of the thesis. Please see §17-1 in the NMBU PhD regulations.
  • Inform the other opponents about the procedures of the public defense: The candidate presents her/his thesis (30 minutes), then the first opponent opposes the candidate, followed by the second opponent. Their focus should be on discussion and dialogue with the candidate. Each opponent is expected to use approximately one (1) hour for their opposition.
  • Inform the other opponents that it is recommended that they divide the work between them based on their competences and specialisations. This concerns the evaluation of both the PhD thesis and the public defense. Please note that all opponents are expected to read the entire PhD thesis.
  • Inform the opponents that they are expected to attend in a pre-defense dinner taking place the day before the public defense, together with the chair of defense or the main supervisor. The committee coordinator is responsible for checking whether the candidate plans to host a doctoral dinner after the public defense, and whether the committee will be invited (NB: not until the evaluation report has been sent by the faculty to the PhD candidate). The committee coordinator is expected to give a speech during the doctoral dinner. If no such dinner is planned, the commitee coordinator is expected to say a few words during the lunch hosted by the Department right after the public defense.
  • If the PhD candidate is employed by the Norwegian Veterinary Institute (VI), the committee coordinator should be aware that VI usually hosts the lunch after the public defense. The coordinator should check with VI whether this is the case.
  • The thesis is sent to the evaluation committee along with the NMBU PhD regulations, the National Guidelines for the Evaluation of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees as well as the faculty's own guidelines for the opponent in the evaluation committee. The coordinator should make herself/himself familiar with both of these documents, in particular §12 - §17 of the PhD regulations.
Published 4. August 2017 - 12:48 - Updated 2. February 2022 - 10:42