Supervision - PhD
What can you expect from your supervisors? Who can you have as your supervisors? What do you have to do if you want to change your supervisors?
Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO
Are you a supervisor?
Information for supervisors about academic supervision is found on a separate website.
Principal supervisor and co-supervisor
You must have one principal supervisor and one or more co-supervisors. The principal supervisor should as a general rule be employed at the faculty.
If you want to have a principal supervisor who is not employed at the faculty, you must apply for approval by submitting a short summary giving your reasons for choosing an external principal supervisor. Your application should be submitted with your application for admission.
At least one of your co-supervisors must be employed at the faculty if your principal supervisor is not employed at the faculty.
All supervisors must sign the application form for admission to the PhD programme before the application is submitted.
You and your supervisors have a duty to inform each other of conditions regarding your PhD training. In the event of conditions arising which may cause delay or interruption in your research training, you and your supervisors must attempt to find a solution to the situation.
- make a plan for completing the PhD project within the prescribed admission period,
- make reports or drafts to your supervisor of the thesis or parts of the thesis,
- comply with research ethical principles applicable to your research area,
- meet deadlines or at least adjust your plans in consultation with your supervisor.
Your supervisor should help you to:
- develop a plan for completing your PhD project within the prescribed admission period,
- formulate and restrict research topics and questions,
- discuss and assess hypotheses and research methods,
- become familiar with the research literature and databases,
- get in touch with relevant scientific communities,
- follow the plan for completion of the PhD project,
- get supervision as regards research ethical questions,
- discuss how the supervision is working,
- solve any challenges related to the learning environment,
- implement the obligatory mid-term evaluation.
Changing your supervisors
Sometimes situations arise when a supervisory relationship should come to an end. A supervisor’s resignation or appointment, however, must be approved by the faculty.
If you do wish to change supervisors, you must fill out the contract for the change of supervisors (docx) (pdf) . Both you and your supervisors must sign the contract before you submit it to the faculty.
Your supervisor cannot resign before a new supervisor has been appointed if
- you only have two supervisors,
- your principal supervisor is going to resign
Please note that changes in the supervisory team will not be backdated and that the changes only take effect from the Faculty's filing date.
Problems with supervision
You should talk to your supervisor about the academic supervision and how it is working. It is important that you should not let a bad supervisory relationship continue. If problems do arise, you should address them as quickly as possible.
In certain cases this may be difficult. Please get in touch with the coordinator for the PhD-programme at your institute who can follow up the problem in order to find the best possible solution.