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Guidelines for Public Defence

The main rule for public defences at the faculty is physical attendance. It is, however, possible to hold a hybrid (partially digital) defence if needed. Digital defences may, in special cases, be held after agreement with the faculty. 

Defences with physical attendance

The opponents, committee chair, candidate and chair of defence must all have the opportunity and be willing to travel to Oslo and be present at the defence location. The candidate books a venue among the approved auditoriums or rooms at the faculty. Remember to book a meeting room for the committee close to the defence location.

In the case of a defence with physical attendance, it is usual for the trial lecture to start at 10.15 and the defence at 13.15. Based on experience, a two-hour break is required between the trial lecture and the defence.

The institutes have their own routines for carrying out defences with physical attendance. See your institute for details. At defences with physical attendance, the green ceremonial tablecloth and academic robe are used (a robe is used only by the chair of defence). The institute that organizes the defence arranges this. It is also the institute that pays fees and reimbursements for travel and accommodation, for more information please see this web page.

Need for training in the use of IT/AV equipment, testing of the equipment ahead of the defence as well as support in connection with the completion of the defence is provided by AV (AV = audiovisual technical support) at the institute. See your institute's information page for more information on what is offered.

The institutes' pages on arranging defences

Institute of Basic Medical Sciences

Institute of Health and Society

Institute of Clinical Medicine

Hybrid (partially digital) defences

Hybrid defences can be held if one or both of the opponents cannot come to Oslo to participate in a physical defence. The candidate, the other committee members and chair of defence must be able to be physically present.

In the case of a hybrid defence, it is usual for the trial lecture to start at 10.15 and the defence at 13.15. Based on experience, a two-hour break is required between the trial lecture and the defence.

In connection with the hybrid defence, the candidate is required to take greater responsibility for the technical implementation. The committee is also responsible for some additional tasks in connection with a hybrid defence. Below is a description of the distribution of responsibilities and roles:

  • When the evaluation report has been formally approved by the faculty, the committee chair informs the faculty that a hybrid defence is desirable. The faculty passes it on to the candidate and makes a reservation of the hybrid defence with AV.
  • The candidate books an auditorium that is suitable for the hybrid defence. Contact room booking according to the routine and remember to inform them that it concerns a hybrid defence. The candidate must also book a meeting room for the committee, close to the defence location. Here, the committee can withdraw after the trial lecture. Ask room booking about which rooms are appropriate to use for this purpose. Please note that it is not possible for the faculty's candidates to hold a hybrid defence in Gamle festsal.
  • The candidate must have a technical test prior to the defence at the venue together with the AV officer. The candidate makes this appointment directly with the AV officer. The opponent who will participate digitally must also participate in the technical test. The AV officer informs the faculty when the test can be carried out and the faculty coordinates this with the opponent who will participate digitally. It is recommended that the entire committee attend the technical test.
  • The AV officer generates and distributes Zoom invitations to the test.
  • The committee chair is responsible for informing the opponents about the routines for the defence (order, time frame, etc.).
  • It is important that the candidate faces the camera when she/he speaks.
  • The opponent who will participate physically must bring any powerpoint presentations on a memory stick.
  • The committee chair must bring a laptop that can be used to communicate with the opponent who is participating digitally when the committee withdraws to discuss whether the trial lecture and defence should be approved or not.
  • AV has made a list of the candidate's tasks in connection with a hybrid defence: The candidate's tasks connected to a partially digital defence (pdf)


Hybrid defences are normally streamed. Streaming of hybrid defences means that the digital audience can watch the trial lecture and defence, but not participate actively with questions and ex auditorium during the defence. Any questions must be sent to the chair of defence by e-mail in advance of the defence.

Defences with physical attendance are not normally streamed. The candidate can apply for streaming of a physical defence. AV can facilitate streaming if the venue has the necessary equipment and there is available capacity. Streaming of physical defences entails that the digital audience can watch the trial lecture and defence, but not participate actively with questions and opposition ex auditorium.

The stream link is posted on the announcement web page. The candidate must register their wish for streaming to the faculty no later than 4 weeks before the defence date. The faculty forwards the request to AV, who are technically responsible for the streaming.

Change of defence format

If a planned defence is going to be changed, the faculty must be notified no later than three weeks prior to the defence date. Note! There is a risk that the original defence date cannot be kept and the defence must be moved to a later date.

In cases where there is acute illness or the like, which means that the public defence format must be changed, an assessment will be made as to whether the defence format can be changed. Public defences with physical attendance can be held as hybrid defences. Hybrid defences and physical defences may alternatively be held as fully digital defences.

The faculty decides whether hybrid public defences can be offered in such cases. If the faculty grants a hybrid defence, you will receive further information on how this will take place and which prerequisites apply.

Digital defence

In the text below, you will find a description of the guidelines for digital defences.

  • In the case of digital defences, it is common to start the trial lecture at 9.15/10.15 followed by the defence at 11.15/12.15. Based on experience it is sufficient with a one-hour break between the trial lecture and the defence.
  • Opponents, committee chair, candidate and chair of the defence must participate digitally from their own PC via Zoom
  • Opponents, committee chair, candidate and chair of the defence must all sit separately, e.g. in their own office or at home. It is not possible to sit together during the doctoral examination.
  • No later than two days prior to the public defence, you must complete a test (rehearsal) with technical staff via Zoom. This test is mandatory for the opponents, the committee chair, the candidate and the chair of the defence to ensure that the technical quality is satisfactory and to go through all the procedures. The technical support staff will generate and distribute the Zoom link for the test.
  • When the defence is digital, travel and hotel expenses are not covered for the opponents.
  • The public defence is a digital event where the audience can participate via a published Zoom link found in the announcement.
  • Opponents, committee chair, candidate and chair of the defence must make sure that they sit in suitable rooms and that they have all the equipment they need to complete a digital defence.
  • Zoom works on all platforms, operating systems and browsers. More information about Zoom. 
  • When testing in Zoom (rehearsing), the opponents, committee chair, candidate and chair of the defence must sit in the same room and use the same equipment as they will be using during the doctoral examination (trial lecture and public defence).
  • If the candidate or opponents need to use a board, iPad/tablet is recommended to enable screen sharing in Zoom. This must be tested during the rehearsal before the trial lecture and public defence.
  • The green ceremonial tablecloth and graduation robe are not used during digital public defences.
  • IT-technical support will be available during the digital doctoral examination via Zoom. Note: There is no available capacity to give technical support in an auditorium with an audience if you should choose this. 
  • The faculty’s administration will be available on telephone/e-mail until and during the public defence, but will not normally participate in an auditorium or Zoom during the test (rehearsal) or during the doctoral examination.
  • Be aware of your Zoom background. You should consider adding a fixed background, IT can help you with this during the rehearsal.


Defences at the Faculty of Medicine are announced 14 days before the date of the defence. If a defence is digital this will be stated in the announcement and you can find a link to the Zoom room.

If a candidate has ordered live streaming of a defence with physical attendance, a link will be given in the announcement.

Making the thesis publicly available

It will be possible to order a digital copy of the thesis up to 2 days before the public defence. A link for ordering a copy will be available in the announcement. The thesis will be sent electronically by e-mail at the latest the day before the defence given that the faculty has received it from the printing house (Graphic center) in time.

After the public defence, copies of the thesis (both digital and printed) must be ordered directly from the candidate.

The faculty prints 40 copies of the thesis. The candidate can expect to receive approximately 30 copies of these. The other copies are sent to libraries, including a legal deposit to the National Library in Mo i Rana. 

The candidate will be notified when the printed theses can be picked up at Sogn Arena.

In the case of defences that take place at a venue, the candidate is responsible for bringing the printed theses to the venue.

If the candidate wants more than 30 copies, he/she must order and pay for these at Graphic center at UiO.

Doctoral Dinner

A doctoral dinner is optional. It is a private event after the public defence and the candidate’s own responsibility. The faculty has no expectations as to whether a doctoral dinner is held or not, or whether opponents, committee chair or chair of the defence participate in this dinner.

Published Aug. 26, 2020 11:09 AM - Last modified Oct. 12, 2022 2:28 PM