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About the PhD examination

When the dean has approved a positive recommendation from the evaluation committee, you will be formally ready for the PhD examination.

The PhD examination consists of a trial lecture and a public defence. A trial lecture on a set topic must be held before the public defence.

Trial lecture

When the dean has approved the thesis for public defence, you must deliver a trial lecture on a given topic set by the evaluation committee.

  • You will be notified of the title of the lecture by email 10 working days prior to the trial lecture.
  • The trial lecture is led by the chair of the defence and lasts 45 minutes. Up to 15 minutes can be allocated questions and comments after the trial lecture.
  • During the trial lecture you have to show that you are able to convey knowledge. The target group for the trial lecture is students, colleagues without specialist knowledge, and the informed public.
  • The trial lecture should adress topics outside your PhD thesis, hence you are not supposed to refer to your own PhD-work during the trial lecture.

Public defence

The disputation is the public defence of the thesis. It lasts between two to three hours, and is led by the chair of the defence.

  • The chair of the defence opens the public defence by making a brief presentation of the candidate and committee.
  • After the public defence is opened you deliver a 20 minute popular scientific summary of your research.
  • The first opponent is then given 75 minutes for his/her discussion, and the second opponent up to 60 minutes.
  • You finish the public defence by briefly thanking the university and the committee, whereupon the chair of the defence declares the event over.

The public defence must be held in premises belonging to the University of Oslo or one of the university hospitals.


The trial lecture shall as a rule be delivered in the same language as the thesis, normally English. The trial lecture can be held in Norwegian if the candidate and committee members all master the Scandinavian languages and the committee itself makes a request regarding this matter.

The public defence of the thesis must be held in the same language as that of the thesis.

Public defence at the institutes

The institutes at the Faculty have their own routines for implementing public defences (information in Norwegian).

Using logos

If you choose to use logos from funding source and/or hospital you must remember to include the Faculty’s logo.

More about using logos.

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Published May 28, 2015 2:44 PM - Last modified Nov. 8, 2019 10:43 AM