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How to apply for admission to the PhD programme

Please make sure that all necessary information is enclosed with your application before you submit it to the faculty. There are no application deadlines.

Before you apply

  1. Check whether you meet all necessary requirements for admission.
  2. Make sure you know what has to be enclosed with the application.
  3. Find out if you are employed at the University of Oslo or not.

Admission period

The PhD education has a stipulated length of 3 years’ full-time study.You cannot propose a schedule of more than 6 years on the PhD programme (i.e less than 50 %).

The PhD agreement

Admission to one of the university's PhD programmes will be formalised in a written agreement signed by the PhD candidate, supervisors, the basic unit and the faculty. The agreement governs the parties' rights and obligations during the admission period.

As a PhD candidate you are obliged to give a report on your progress (semester report) and to keep your contact information updated by registering in Studentweb every spring and autumn within set deadlines. Failure to submit the semester report and complete the semester registration in Studentweb may result in termination of the PhD agreement.

Admission requirements

Make sure you are familiar with the regulations for the degree of PhD before you apply for admission.

1. Agreement with an external party

PhD candidates who receive support from an external party in the form of funding, employment or other contributions must fill out an agreement with an external party.

Candidates not employed by the University of Oslo

  • If you are not employed by the University of Oslo, you must fill out agreement with an external party (docx) (pdf).
  • The contact person who signs on behalf of the external party must have authority to commit the external party.Your supervisor should as a general rule not commit the external party.
  • The agreement must be entered into with the unit at the institution you receive resources from.
  • Being employed by a university hospital is not the same as being employed by UiO.

Candidates employed by the University of Oslo

  • You should not enclose an agreement with an external party if you are employed by the University of Oslo as a doctoral research fellow. PhD candidates employed by UiO sign an employment contract with the university.

2. Agreement concerning institute affiliation

All candidates admitted to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Medicine are affiliated to the programme either through a doctoral research fellowship or a supervisor at the faculty.

Affiliation criteria for PhD candidates at the faculty, in order of priority:

If you are employed by the faculty:

1. Your workplace at the University of Oslo (as stated in your employment contract)

If you are not employed by the faculty:

2. Your principal supervisor's workplace, if he/she is employed by the faculty

3. Your internal co-supervisor’s workplace if your principal supervisor is not employed by the faculty

4. If your internal co-supervisors are employed by different institutes, they should upon application for admission agree among themselves which workplace the candidate should be affiliated by filling out the Agreement concerning institute affiliation (docx) (pdf). Information about institute affiliation (Org. Unit ID - 6 digits) can be found on the faculty’s website under departments and other units.

3. Education

  • To be admitted to the PhD programme you must have completed at least five years of higher education, i.e. a master's degree or equivalent studies. In exceptional cases the faculty can give admission to the programme on the basis of a one-year master's degree after having evaluated the scope and quality of the degree, as well as any other relevant documentation, e.g. research practice.

4. Grade requirements

  • The average grade given at bachelor's level should be no less than grade C
  • Subjects at master's level should have an average grade of no less than grade B
  • Master thesis should have grade B or better
  • Five-year degrees must have average grade B or better

For degrees with few or no grades, an overall assessment will be made of the applicant’s competence and planned PhD project.

5. Documentation of English language skills

International students must document their English language skills by taking one of the following tests:

6. Funding

  • The PhD education has a stipulated length of 3 years’ full-time study. As a rule, you must be able to document funding for the entire admission period.
  • Minimum one year continuing funding (or two years with 50% continuing funding) earmarked the PhD education must be in place upon admission. A realistic and binding plan for funding of the remaining admission period must also be provided. As a rule, self-funding (salary to yourself, own company etc.) will not be approved.

7. Project description

You must submit a project description that only applies to your specific PhD project. The project description can be up to 10 pages, including a reference list, and must follow the template for project description (docx) (pdf).

All PhD project descriptions must be peer reviewed in connection with admission. In some cases the project description will have been peer reviewed together with application for project funding. In such cases you must make a note in the project description when the project was peer reviewed and by whom.

If the funder has not assessed your specific project and the project is part of a larger research project or the project is prepared by you and/or your research group/supervisor, you must get it peer reviewed in connection with your application for admission. It is the principal supervisor who suggests two people who can peer review the project. The faculty will obtain the peer review when handling the application for admission.

The peer review will be based on the following points:

  • Relevance: A clear target audience for the research, community benefit, compliance with strategic documents, user involvement
  • Background, status of knowledge and originality: Scientific background for the project, overview of the research front, up to date reference literature, academic news values and originality, degree of innovation
  • Approaches, hypotheses and choice of method: The project’s primary and secondary objectives, presentation of hypotheses, description of theoretical framework and choice of method
  • Feasibility: A realistic and appropriate plan, implementation (milestones), identify risk with possible alternative strategies for implementation, available data for pilot projects, other preliminary data where relevant, possible stay abroad
  • Research environment: Description of positions and roles, infrastructure, access to equipment and resources, academic networks, relevant partners, learning environment, supervisory capacity and competence
  • Ethical perspectives: An account of any ethical issues related to the implementation of the project and the handling of these, obtained ethical approvals
  • Dissemination: Publication plan (academic – journals and popular scientific – which channels), any user-group-oriented dissemination (to whom and how)

8. Requirement of residency at UiO

Candidates with external funding or an external workplace must reside at the Faculty of Medicine for at least 6 months of their PhD training. The residence duty can be divided into as many as 3 periods. The residence duty can be completed at OUS, AHUS and other cooperating institutions in Norway that have active research environments/research groups where the candidate can participate and of which the faculty approves. See § 5.1 of the Supplementary rules for more information about residency.

9. Approvals

10. Supervisors

  • You must have one principal supervisor and up to two co-supervisors. You can submit a well-founded application to the faculty for an additional co-supervisor. A candidate cannot have more than 3 co-supervisors appointed at the same time. You must have a minimum of two supervisors. One of them must be employed by the faculty.
  • The principal supervisor must be employed at a Norwegian institution.
  • The principal supervisor should as a general rule be internal and employed by the faculty. When relevant for the project, a candidate can submit a short application giving his/her reasons for choosing an external principal supervisor. The proposed external principal supervisor must sign the application. He/she must in addition attach an abridged CV listing his/her degree, position and experience as supervisor at PhD level.
  • If the principal supervisor is external, at least one co-supervisor must be internal, i.e. employed by the faculty.
  • The principal supervisor must, as a rule, have documented supervisory experience from master's level or from specialist training. At least one member of the supervisory team must have supervised a PhD candidate until public defence of the thesis.  
  • All supervisors must hold a doctoral degree or equivalent qualifications.
  • Appointed supervisors cannot be related to each other or have other close relationships, neither to each other or to the candidate.
  • Your application for admission must be signed by all supervisors before it is submitted. See Supplementary rules for the degree of PhD for information about how many principal and co-supervisors you can have (§ 7).

Checklist for the application

You are responsible for documenting that you meet the requirements for admission to the PhD programme. Below you will find an overview of all the documents you must enclose with the application.

  • All forms must be filled out electronically. Handwritten and/or incomplete forms are not accepted.

Forms for admission to the PhD programme

Type of document

Description

Application form and contract for admission to the PhD programme

 

Agreement with an external party (if relevant)

 

  • If you are not employed by UiO, you must enclose agreement with an external party. The agreement must be signed by someone with budget authority to commit the external party.
  • This also applies to applicants who are employed by one of the university hospitals.
  • Two completed copies of the agreement should be enclosed with the application.

Agreement for Industrial PhD / Public Sector PhD (if relevant)

 

Agreement concerning institute affiliation (if relevant)

  • If you have an external principal supervisor and more than one internal co-supervisors employed at different institutes, you must enclose agreement concerning institute affiliation.
  • The agreement must be signed by all the supervisors and institute leaders who are parties to the agreement.

Academic entry requirements

Type of document Description
Diploma
  • Enclose copy of your original diploma. Note that a diploma is a document certifying which degree you have achieved and is not the same as a transcript of records. An authorization letter or a certificate of competency cannot be used as diploma.
Transcript of records
  • Enclose copies of all relevant transcripts of records.You are responsible for documenting that you meet the grade requirements for admission.
  • If you do not meet the grade requirements, you must enclose an explanation as to why you should be exempt from the requirements (see below).
Translations of documentation from abroad (if relevant)
  • If the diploma and transcripts of records are not in English or a Scandinavian language, you must enclose an official translation from a state-authorized translator.

  • Note that you still have to enclose copies of the diploma and transcript of records.
Statement concerning exemption from grade requirements (if relevant)
  • If you do not meet the grade requirements for admission, you must enclose a statement from your principal supervisor/research environment as to why you should be exempted from the requirements.
Statement concerning admission based on a one year master's degree (if relevant)
  • If you apply for admission on the basis of a one year master's degree, you must enclose a statement from your principal supervisor/research environment explaining why you should get admission on an exceptional basis.
Documentation of English language skills (if relevant)

Conditions of employment and funding

Type of document Description
Employment contract
  • Enclose employment contract for the position concerning the PhD project. You do not need to enclose contracts of employment that do not concern the PhD projects.
  • If the position is not earmarked for the PhD, you must enclose a confirmation stating that you have an allocated amount of time to work on the PhD (see below).
Confirmation of funding/project funding
  • In addition to the employment contract, you must enclose confirmation of funding and/or project funding from the institution financing the project (e.g. The Research Council of Norway, Southern and Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, etc.).
  • If you do not have said confirmation available, the project manager or principal supervisor can confirm the funding source.
Plan for further funding (if relevant)
  • If you cannot document funding for the entire admission period (3 years' full-time study or equivalent), you must provide a realistic plan for further funding, including documentation of submitted applications for funding. The plan must be prepared in cooperation with your principal supervisor.

Confirmation regarding allocated time to work on the PhD(if relevant)

 

  • If you are not employed in a position earmarked for a PhD, you must enclose a confirmation from your employer in addition to the employment contract.
  • The confirmation must be dated and signed by a person who has budget authority to commit the employer. The confirmation must indicate both the percentage of employment time allocated to the PhD project (minimum 50%) and the time period (minimum one year full-time or equivalent).

The project

Type of document Description

Project description

  • Enclose project description (doc) (pdf) of your specific PhD project.

Plan for completing the project

  • Enclose plan for completing the PhD project within the prescribed admission period.
Plan for completing the educational component
  • Enclose plan for completing the educational component of the PhD programme.
Ethical approvals
  • Enclose all ethical approvals procured regarding your PhD project. Both application and answer to application for approval(s), including case numbers at REC and other bodies, must be enclosed.
  • If the project does not require approval(s), you must enclose an explanation concerning this matter from your principal supervisor.
  • Any changes to the PhD project must also be enclosed.

Supervision

Type of document Description

Explanation of exemption from the requirement of internal principal supervisor (if relevant)

  • If you have an external prinicipal supervisor, you must enclose a short explanation of why this is appropriate for the PhD project. The principal supervisor must be employed by a Norwegian institution.
A CV from your principal supervisor confirming supervisory skills (if relevant)
  • If you have an external principal supervisor, he/she must enclose a CV confirming his/her supervisory skills at PhD level.

What happens to incomplete applications?

  1. You will get an email if your application is incomplete.
  2. You must forward incomplete documentation within six weeks.
  3. Your application will be regarded as withdrawn if the incomplete documentation is not submitted within six weeks.

Handing in your application

The application for admission can be sent by post or handed in at the faculty's reception desk. Applications sent by e-mail will not be accepted.

Visiting address:

Sogn Arena, 2nd floor

Klaus Torgårdsvei 3, 0372 Oslo

Reception opening hours 08.15 - 15.45 (08.15 - 15.00 from 15 May to 15 September).

Postal address:

Research Support
The Faculty of Medicine
P.O.Box 1078 Blindern
NO-0316 Oslo, Norway

You will receive a confirmation after your application has been registered in the faculty's archive system.

After the faculty has reviewed your application, it will be sent to the institute for academic assessment. The academic assessment is done by the Head of Postgraduate Studies (PhD coordinator) at the institute where you are applying for admission. Only complete applications will be forwarded to the Heads of Postgraduate Studies for academic assessment.

Industrial PhD and Public Sector PhD

Do you want to take a doctorate while you are working?

See guidelines for cooperation agreements concerning Industrial PhD and Public Sector PhD.

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Published Feb. 13, 2018 10:42 AM - Last modified Dec. 6, 2019 1:35 AM