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Thesis requirements

The thesis must be an independent, scientific work that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic standards and methodology.

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Thesis requirements

The thesis must contribute to the development of new scientific knowledge and must be of sufficiently high quality to merit publication as part of the scientific literature in the field.

  • If your thesis includes works by several authors you must enclose a signed declaration describing the contributions made to each work by you and each individual co-author. Co-author declaration form.
  • All parts of the thesis including the overall presentation of the thesis must be written in the same language. Normally, the thesis must be written in English, but Norwegian may, with a well-founded application to the faculty, also be approved. It is not allowed to use other languages ​​or a mixture of languages ​​in a thesis.   
  • The thesis requirements are laid down in § 10.1 of the Regulations for the degree of PhD and the Supplementary rules pertaining to the regulations.
  • Work not eligible for evaluation, see § 10.2 of the Regulations and Supplementary rules.


  • All PhD theses must have two scientific summaries: a Norwegian and an English (it can be the same text). Each summary should be up to 2 pages (800 - 1200 words) and both must be included in the thesis at the time of submission

Papers (articles/manuscripts):

  • At least one paper in the thesis must be published or accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal
  • Up to two papers (articles/manuscripts) can be joint works that are also part of another doctoral thesis
  • Normally you should be first author of at least two papers. If you are not first author, you must have contributed significantly to the data collection/processing, interpretation of results and article writing.

If your thesis does not meet one or more of the above requirements, an account as to why must be enclosed. You should prepare the account together with your principal supervisor.

If your thesis contains work that is also part of another doctoral thesis, the principal supervisor must enclose an account of your independent contribution in each of the joint works. The account must be in English.

Article-based theses

A compilation of several shorter papers may be approved as a thesis provided that the papers are related and the relationship between them is clearly explained.

Published papers cannot be accepted as part of a doctoral thesis if the publication date precedes the candidate's date of admission by more than 5 years.

A work or a part of a work that has been approved as the basis for previous examinations or degrees is not eligible for evaluation, see § 10.2 of the Regulations and Supplementary rules.


The overall presentation of scientific results must be an independent scientific document in which the candidate has the opportunity to elaborate and if necessary correct aspects of the articles. It must show a thorough grasp of scientific perspectives and maturity as well as the ability to investigate specialised scientific issues, see § 10.1 of the Supplementary rules pertaining to the Regulations.

According to the Guidelines for doctoral theses consisting of several shorter works (in Norwegian), the presentation of the scientific results should not only summarize but also compare the research questions and conclusions presented in the articles in a holistic perspective, and in that way document the thesis’ interrelationship. This includes a presentation of the thesis’ contribution to the research field.

If the thesis contains previously published articles, the presentation should also contain academic updates to ensure that the thesis as a whole appears academically updated. Alternatively, updates can be done for each article.


Unpublished monographs can also be approved as theses for the PhD degree.

Unpublished monographs are assessed according to the same criteria as those used when assessing a collection of published articles with presentation, i.e. the minimum standards of scientific quality are the same.

Thesis template

  • The Faculty does not provide a thesis template. We recommend that you look at earlier doctoral theses in Duo for information about layout.

Choice of reference style

Publicising the thesis

  • The thesis must be made publicly available no later than two weeks before the date set for the public defence.

Guidelines for the evaluation of Norwegian doctoral degrees

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Published Apr. 22, 2015 8:22 AM - Last modified May 6, 2022 9:08 AM