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Coronavirus: Information to PhD candidates at the Faculty of Medicine

UiO's buildings were temporarily closed on Thursday 12 March 2020 at 6pm. Buildings are being reopened. Please check this website regularly for updated information

Information updated Wednesday 20 May

Limited access to UiO's buildings

All UiO employees now work from home, including PhD candidates who have their workplace at UiO.

PhD candidates with a workplace other than UiO must adhere to the guidelines at their workplace.

The advice from the health authorities is that in general employees should work from their home office. While following this advice, the University of Oslo must also ensure that research dependent on laboratory facilities, technical infrastructure or archives should as far as possible be continued. 

See UiO’s criteria for limited access to university buildings. 

For employees at the Faculty of Medicine the following regulations apply:

  1. We will open up for restricted access to university buildings in order to resume necessary research as defined in UiO’s criteria provided that appropriate application (including risk assessment) is granted and that necessary infection control measures are taken.
  2. Applications should be directed to heads of institute (at IMB and HELSAM), heads of division (at Klinmed) or centre director (NCMM).
  3. The Faculty of Medicine aims at obtaining common practice as that of the OUS and Ahus concerning access to laboratory facilities.

Guidelines for extension 

Internal doctoral research fellows

UiO guidelines for extension for doctoral research fellows due to closure of the university and the corona situation

Extension of admission on the PhD programme

As regards delays due to the coronavirus, a right for extension of the admission period will be given beyond the ordinary 3 years of extension in accordance with the faculty’s supplementary rules, if necessary. The faculty will take the coronavirus situation into account when processing applications for extension. All candidates with active admission on the PhD programme 15 March 2020 will be covered by this in the event of any future application for extension.

Candidates who planned to submit their thesis and who have an end date on the PhD programme within the next 3 to 4 months can apply for corona extension until the end of 2020.

  • Please send an e-mail to NB Write Corona extension in the subject line (information about the corona extension period will be updated in the autumn).

Printing of theses

Like the rest of the university, Reprosentralen is closed, so there are no possibilities to print the theses. The thesis must, however, be publicly available before the public defense. The candidates are therefore requested to send their file with the printable thesis in both word format and PDF format to the faculty. Due to the file size, candidates are asked to create a zip file of the two files before sending them by e-mail to  with a copy to the administrative officer.

The PDF format will be distributed to those who wish to receive the thesis electronically in advance of the defence.

The word file will be sent from the faculty to Reprosentralen when the university opens again and they resume printing services. The number of printed copies will be reduced from the ordinary 60 to 40.

Public defence/PhD examination

As long as the university is closed, all candidates ready to defend their thesis will be offered the opportunity to hold a trial lecture and public defence digitally by using the Zoom tool. The digital defences will meet the requirement for transparency and the possibility for the public to ask questions.

The faculty will contact each individual PhD candidate about this, and is already in the process of contacting candidates who had set a date for the public defence (disputation) in the period 13 March until Easter. Candidates are contacted in chronological order according to scheduled date of public defence. Candidates who have not received their given topic for the trial lecture, or who will be given a new given topic, can hold their public defence at the earliest after Easter. There will be a limit to the number of public defences that can be held each day due to the necessary preparation of the trial lecture and the defence. If you want to read more about digital public defence, you can find information here:

NOTE! The Faculty of Medicine requires that the trial lectures are also conducted by using Zoom and does therefore not allow pre-recorded trial lectures.

Digital public defence/PhD examiation

Here you can find questions and answers about digital public defene

PhD courses

The faculty is in the process of digitizing the teaching and making good arrangements for the examinations. As digital courses are in place, an overview of these will be found on this page.

The faculty encourages candidates to investigate which digital courses are offered at the other universities in Norway and to consider taking these courses. Digital PhD topics from other institutions can also be approved in the educational component after an overall assessment. If you are in doubt as to whether a subject can be approved, please contact:

Digital PhD courses spring 2020

Here you can find an overview of digital courses.

Approval of conference contributions

Candidates who had planned to attend a national or international conference with presentation, where the conference has been cancelled due to the corona epidemic can still apply for approval of the activity in his/her educational component if the following documentation is submitted:

  • Abstract
  • A zoom recording of the presentation or an image of the poster to be presented
  • Documentation that the candidate was registered to attend the conference, preferably in the form of a conference programme in which the candidate's participation appears, alternatively a confirmation of registration with a presentationl from the organizer
  • The candidate must also state the name, place and original time of the conference, unless stated in the programme or the confirmation of participation.

The number of credits earned will be as before: 2 credits per international conference. A maximum of 4 credits can be obtained in this way. 1 credit per national conference, a maximum of 3 credits can be obtained in this way. The presentations must be on different individual projects if several conferences are sought to be approved.

Case processing

Although UiO is closed, applications for admission, extensions, change of supervisors, submissions etc. that the faculty receives electronically or by mail will still be processed as normal. The case processing time may however be longer than normal due to the extraordinary circumstances.

Candidates who wish to apply for admission to the PhD programme or wish to submit their thesis for evaluation, must create a zip file (in Norwegian) of all the documents required to process the application and send the zip file by e-mail to The faculty, unfortunately, does not have the possibility to open regular post while the university is closed. NB! You do not need to enter your personal identification number, only your date of birth in application for admission/submission of thesis for evaluation. If we cannot identify you in our systems, we will contact you.

Candidates who have already received approved recommendation or who get their thesis approved for public defence during the period UiO is closed, must wait until further notice as regards when the PhD examination can be held. Candidates who had their PhD examination cancelled, will be contacted for a flexible solution for the trial lecture.

Mid-term evaluation

The faculty encourages mid-term evaluations to be held by using digital aids, e.g. Zoom.


The faculty encourages supervision to be provided via Zoom or other digital aids, as long as the authorities’ measures to prevent infection are applicable.

Traveling/studying abroad

The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all travels abroad that are not strictly necessary and also asks all Norwegians traveling to consider returning home to Norway safely in consultation with their travel agency or airline.

All persons who have traveled abroad must stay at home in quarantine for 14 days from the date of return. For more updated information, please visit 

Contact information

If you are a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Medicine and have questions about how the Coronavirus affects your PhD admission, please call: 22 84 50 40 (open 09.00-10.30 Monday to Friday). You can also contact us by e-mail:

What do I do if I think I am infected?

  • If you are ill, stay at home.
  • If you are ill and need medical attention, or need individual health advice, contact your GP by phone or electronically (e-consultation).
  • If you need emergency health care and cannot get in contact with your GP, call 116 117.
  • For life-threatening illness or injury – call 113.

More about UiO and Coronavirus

Information about Coronavirus gives you updated information on infection control measures and other information related to the Coronavirus. Please note that the recommendations can change quickly.

Contact telephones:

  • Information for the general public: 815 55 015
  • Information for health professionals: 21 07 70 00 (daytime). Outside office hours: 21 07 63 48
Published Mar. 16, 2020 7:16 PM - Last modified June 16, 2020 11:21 AM