All PhD candidates must carry out a mid-term evaluation 15 to 18 months after admission to the PhD programme, calculated according to full-time PhD studies. It is the responsibility of the candidate's principal supervisor to arrange the mid-term evaluation.
The mid-term evaluation should help both candidate and supervisor to assess whether the candidate is on the way to achieving the PhD education’s expected learning outcomes and to gauge whether the project is en route according to the progress plan. The evaluation should also give the candidate feedback as regards achieved results, suggest further work and, if relevant, identify areas of research that require more work and attention.
The mid-term evaluation applies to all PhD candidates who have been admitted to the PhD programme as of 1.1.2015. Completed mid-term evaluation is a prerequisite for getting the compulsory course MF9030E – Introductory course to the medical PhD programme, INTRO II, approved.
The purpose of the mid-term evaluation
The purpose of the mid-term evaluation is to check whether the candidate is en route to achieving the PhD education’s expected learning outcomes as described in the Quality assurance system for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Medicine (pdf in Norwegian).
In addition, the committee should together with the principal supervisor and candidate assess the status of the project and educational component, the candidate's academic development, the scope and structure of supervision and should also consider whether the obtained ethical approvals cover the project.
The committee should, if necessary, also suggest possible changes to the candidate’s project and progress plan.
Appointment of the evaluation committee
The principal supervisor is responsible for appointing a mid-term evaluation committee. The committee should consist of minimum one person (internal or external). If the committee consists of more than one member, a leader of the committee must be appointed. The members of the committee should have a doctorate and be familiar with the candidate’s research field, but should not be involved in the candidate’s project and must be legally competent.
The committee members are obliged to familiarize themselves with the documentation sent to them prior to the mid-term evaluation.
The candidate’s duties
The self-report consists of the following:
- A progress report for the educational component
- A list of published PhD works
- An overview of obtained approvals
- A progress report of the PhD project up until the mid-term evaluation
- A plan for the remainder of the PhD project
- The candidate's reflections on the ethical aspects of the PhD project
The candidate should, in addition, prepare an oral presentation for the day of the evaluation (evaluation seminar). The presentation should provide a brief insight into the candidate's knowledge of the research field in general and the PhD project in particular (achieved results, any challenges to the project, any deviation from the original progress plan, which competences the candidate feels he/she has acquired so far on the PhD programme).
The presentation should last approximately 15 minutes.
Documents to the evaluation committee
The candidate must make sure that the committee receives the following documents at the latest 3 weeks before the mid-term evaluation (evaluation seminar).
The documents should also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org :
- The candidate’s self-report (doc) (pdf)
- Maximum 20 pages of selected manuscripts under preparation (if relevant, excerpts of published works)
- The original description of the PhD project along with the progress plan
- A progress report (2-4 pages) of the PhD project up until the mid-term evaluation
- A plan for the remainder of the PhD project (up to 2 pages)
- The candidate's reflections on the ethical aspects of the PhD project (up to 1 page)
- Copy of obtained approvals
Mid-term evaluation - evaluation seminar
The evaluation seminar is open to all interested parties, but it is up to the supervisor/department whether it should be published in the academic community. The candidate’s co-supervisors should, as far as possible, be present at the seminar.
The seminar starts off with the candidate's presentation which lasts approximately 15 minutes followed by a discussion between the candidate, supervisors and committee.
Topics for discussion are:
- Progress according to progress plan, evaluation of hypothesis, chosen methods, preliminary results, presentation of results, the candidate's academic competence, context between completed works, ethical assessments of the project, the scope and structure of supervision and any suggestions for improvements/changes to the project.
This discussion has a timeframe of 45 minutes.
The seminar is concluded with a closed discussion between the committee and candidate without the supervisor present, where problematic aspects of the project, supervision or academic environment can be addressed.
The overall timeframe for the evaluation seminar is between 75 to 90 minutes.
The evaluation committee's duties
Based on the progress plan and project description (protocol), the committee should evaluate the following:
- Are courses and any other elements of the educational component in line with the progress plan?
- Is the candidate’s progress in line with the expected learning outcomes of the PhD education and his/her individual progress plan?
- Does the candidate show a good knowledge of the research field of the PhD project in particular and a broader knowledge of the research field in general?
- The candidate’s knowledge of research methods in general and research methods used in the PhD project in particular
- Approvals/permits from REC and other bodies. Are the right approvals for the research project procured? Does the content of the application correspond to the research that is or will be carried out?
Based on written works and talks with the candidate and supervisor, the committee should evaluate:
- The candidate’s knowledge of the methods which are relevant to the PhD project
- The candidate’s ability to present, analyse and assess research findings
- The candidate’s understanding of scientific thinking
- The candidate’s academic independence
Together with the candidate and supervisors, the committee should discuss:
- Future plans for the PhD education
- The structure of the supervision
- Ethical questions
Together with the candidate, the committee should discuss:
Any problems associated with the project, supervision, academic environment or other issues affecting the PhD project's implementation.
Handing in the evaluation protocol
When the mid-term evaluation has been completed, the mid-term evaluation protocol should be filled out by the committee members and submitted to the Faculty administration for registration and filing. The Faculty forwards the protocol to the institute for approval and, if necessary, follow-up.
- Submit the protocol to Research Support, The Faculty of Medicine, P.O.Box 1078 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo.