Information for the supervisor
As supervisor you must follow up and ensure the quality of your candidate’s research while on the PhD programme. A summary of what this entails can be found here.
This is a practical guide for you as a supervisor. The guide is based on the rules and regulations for the degree of PhD. A supervisor must have a doctoral degree or equivalent academic competence. The faculty must approve supervisors who do not have a PhD.
Principal supervisor and co-supervisor
A PhD candidate must have at least two supervisors. You are either appointed as a principal supervisor or as a co-supervisor. Only one of you can be the candidate's principal supervisor. You have different duties and responsibilities according to your role as supervisor.
You and your PhD candidate must keep each other informed regularly of any events that may be of importance for the completion of the doctoral education.
You commit yourself to being a supervisor by signing the candidate’s application for admission before it is submitted to the faculty.
Are you an internal or an external principal supervisor?
- An internal principal supervisor is employed at the faculty.
- An external supervisor is employed at another institution.
As a general rule the principal supervisor should be employed at the Faculty of Dentistry.
Your role as principal supervisor
Prepare the candidate’s application for admission
You should help the candidate with his or her application for admission, and you should both ensure that the application includes all the documents that are required.
- approve the plan for the elective component of the PhD training component, also known as educational component,
- write a project description with the candidate,
- take academic responsibility for the content of the project.
Your must document that the candidate has a master's degree or equivalent studies in accordance with the Norwegian criteria for higher university education.
The principal supervisor has the primary responsibility for following up the candidate academically.
You should among other things help the candidate to:
- develop a plan for completing the PhD project within the prescribed admission period
- formulate and restrict research themes and questions
- discuss and evaluate hypotheses and methods
- be familiar with the research literature and databases
- get in touch with relevant scientific communities
- follow the plan for completion of the PhD projec
- get guidance as regards research ethical questions
- discuss how the supervision is working
- solve any challenges related to the learning environment
- implement the obligatory halfway evaluation
The candidate should among other things:
- make a plan for completing the PhD project within the prescribed admission period
- make reports or drafts to his or her supervisors of the thesis or parts of the thesis
- comply with research ethical principles applicable to his or her research area
- meet deadlines or at least adjust his or her plans in consultation with you as supervisor
Propose evaluation committee
As a principal supervisor it is your responsibility to propose members of the evaluation committee. The committee evaluates the candidate’s thesis. The candidate must not be involved in this work.
The composition of the adjudication committee should be as follows:
- both genders should be represented
- two of the members should have no association with the University of Oslo
- at least one of the members should have no association with Norwegian institutions
- all members must have a doctoral degree or equivalent academic qualifications, and must also have research based knowledge relevant to the research area of the thesis
You must make sure that the proposed committee members are prepared to sit on the committee.
From the time the committee is appointed until the candidate has taken the PhD examination there should be no contact between the supervisor and committee members regarding the candidate or the candidate's work.
Dates for the PhD examination cannot be set before the thesis is found worthy of public defence.
Impartiality requirements and academic motivations
The rules on impartiality contained in § 6 of the Public Administration Act (pdf) apply to the members of the committee. A signed declaration of impartiality from each proposed committee member should be enclosed with your proposed evaluation committee.
The faculty requires academically well-founded reasons as to why the members should sit on the committee.
Submitting proposed evaluation committee
The thesis should not be sent to the evaluation committee before the dean has officially approved and appointed the proposed committee.
It is important that the information regarding each committee member’s title, postal address, email address and phone number is correctly filled out.
Important time frames
- Recommendation: The evaluation committee has three months to submit a recommendation.
- Public defence: A public defence can take place at the earliest six weeks after the Faculty has found a thesis worthy of defence.
- Revision of a submitted thesis: The evaluation committee must present its final recommendation within two months after a candidate has handed in a revision of a submitted thesis.
Your role as co-supervisor
As co-supervisor you give academic supervision, and share academic responsibility for the PhD candidate with the principal supervisor.
Changes to the supervisory relationship
Any change of supervision must be approved by the faculty. If you wish to resign or change your role from being a principal supervisor to becoming a co-supervisor this must be approved by the faculty.
What do you have to do?
- You must sign the contract for the change of supervisors (doc). The agreement is not valid before all the involved parties have signed.
- Send the contract to firstname.lastname@example.org
- A candidate must have a minimum of two supervisors. You cannot resign before a new supervisor has been appointed if the candidate only has two supervisors.
Problems between you and your candidate?
You and your PhD candidate should agree on how the supervision should work and how it is working. If any problems in the supervisory relationship should arise, the problems should be addressed as quickly as possible. It is important that you do not let a bad supervisory relationship persist.
In certain cases this may be difficult. Please get in touch with the research advisor, who can follow up the case in order to find the best possible solution to the problem.