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Trial lecture and disputation

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

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

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 adjudication 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 must be delivered in Norwegian or English, depending on the opponents' language skills.


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 disputation by making a brief presentation of the candidate and committee.
  • After the disputation is opened you deliver a 30 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 disputation by briefly thanking the university and the committee, whereupon the chair of the defence declares the event over.

The disputation must be held in premises belonging to the University of Oslo.


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Published July 21, 2015 7:20 PM - Last modified Feb. 18, 2021 3:03 PM