Doctoral Awards Ceremony

The Doctoral Awards Ceremony 10 March 2017 in the Aula was for PhDs who have completed their degrees between 1 July and 31 December 2016.

Group photo, Doctoral Awards Ceremony 10 March 2017, outside the Main Administration Building

Doctorates, Honorary Doctors, Rector, Pro-Rectors and Deans outside the Main Administration Building.

Recording and photos

YouTube: Watch a recording of the The Doctoral Awards Ceremony (starts at 1:23).

Flickr: Photos from the Doctoral Awards Ceremony.

Rector's speech

Rector Gunnar Bovim's speech at the Doctoral Awards Ceremony 10 March 2017, The Aula of the Main Administration Building

Dear new doctors and honorary doctors, dear guests, dear colleagues and friends.

Congratulations! Today we celebrate the 181 new PhDs who will receive their degrees from NTNU.

You will soon be awarded your doctoral diploma, as tangible proof of what you have achieved. There are no shortcuts to a doctorate. It is about ambition, it is about hard work, it is about having a goal and never losing sight of that goal.

This has been common knowledge in these halls for more than a century.
If you look over the entrance to the library, you’ll see this wisdom from 1910, etched in stone: Per aspera ad astra - through adversity to the stars.

It is also about striving for quality.

Quality is essential in all research, whether it is basic or applied, whatever the area and no matter who does it. The demand for quality must and should be absolute.

The Government has recently conducted a review of the Research Council of Norway. The expert committee that did the review said that high scientific quality is the most important foundation for making research relevant to politics, business and research.

The committee proposed several measures to improve quality. From our perspective, the committee’s proposals —support for more research centers, more world-class long-term projects and a commitment to young talent — are all very positive. We ourselves have had excellent experience with the Outstanding Academic Fellows Programme.

Long-term basic research that is driven, not primarily by its benefits, but out of curiosity, is the mainstay in developing new knowledge. We know much of the research that today is the basis for applied technologies and commercialization has its roots in basic research that started decades ago.

At the same time, the world around us has specific and pressing needs. The major social challenges we face are both complex and interdisciplinary. NTNU has addressed this challenge by putting a greater emphasis on key areas, through our thematic initiatives on oceans, health, energy and sustainability.

With our profile, NTNU has a specific responsibility to help society make the transition from an economy and society that are largely petroleum based, to a more sustainable society—what we like to call the green energy transition.

Last week I was in China. For me, the visit underscored the urgent need for better energy solutions. We must work together to find these solutions, to meet the global challenges of climate change.

We have a special responsibility to ensure that our grandchildren and their children will be able to grow up on a planet that is livable for everyone. With a climate that does not threaten the world's food supply. With rich biodiversity. With seasons where the winter’s snow comes from the clouds, not from snow cannons.

This requires both business development and consumption patterns that are sustainable. It challenges us as a research institution, as an educational institution and as individuals. This is also about values.

Some people make a difference.

Isabel Richter is a PhD candidate at the Department of Psychology, who studies consumer behaviour. She supervised an Experts in Teamwork group that focused on plastics. Together this team created five specific ideas that can help us all limit our plastic consumption.

Tuesday this week, NTNU and Statoil arranged a symposium entitled Energy Transition - Strategies for a sustainable energy future. Technologists, social scientists and humanists met to discuss how best to facilitate the realization of the Paris Agreement goals.

We need more Isabels. We need more meetings of the mind like the Energy Transition symposium. We need more action that builds on excellent research.

And we need scientists - humanists, social scientists, natural scientists, medical scientists and engineers - who understand the important relationship between knowledge development and the development of our society.

Allow me to quote Svein Richard Brandtzæg, the chairman of NTNU’s Board and CEO of one of Norway’s largest industrial and technology companies, Hydro: Technology itself is neutral in value. But it will be used in a world that is not. For myself I would add that this also applies to research more generally: Research in itself is value neutral, but it will be applied in a society that is not.

The knowledge you have acquired and have shared with society, can make a difference. You all, each and every one of you, are stewards of knowledge that will determine what tomorrow's society looks like.

A doctoral degree gives more weight and authority to your opinions. Be conscious of that authority, and use it wisely. 

It gives you a solemn and important responsibility to ensure it reflects NTNU’s vision: Knowledge for a better world.

Rector Gunnar Bovim's speech can be downloaded (pdf)

Frequently Asked Questions from Doctors

Who is the Doctoral Awards Ceremony for?

The Doctoral Awards Ceremony at NTNU takes place in March and November each year.

The Doctoral Awards Ceremony in March:
For PhDs who have completed their degrees between 1 July and 30 December last year.

The Doctoral Awards Ceremony in November:
For PhDs who have completed their degrees between 1 January and 30 June this year.

Other PhDs who for some reason have not previously taken part in the ceremony may ask to be included, and will be placed on a waiting list.

Where and when is the Doctoral Awards Ceremony?

The Doctoral Awards Ceremonye takes place in the Aula of NTNU's Main Administrative Building, Gløshaugen campus. Street address: Høgskoleringen 1, 7034 Trondheim.

  • Time: 12:00 noon
  • Participants in the ceremony must be present no later than 11:15 am
  • The doors are opened to guests at 11:00 am.
  • The earlier you arrive, the better seats you will get.
  • We anticipate that the ceremony will be over around 1:45 pm, at which time there will be food and an opportunity to mingle.
  • The party will be over at approx. 4:00 pm.

Is there a fee for participation?

  • No, participation in the Doctoral Awards Ceremony and the party afterwards is free of charge.
  • It is NTNU's way of thanking those of you who have completed the university's highest education.
  • It is also free for your guests.

Why should I participate in the rehearsal the evening before?

  • The ceremony is a complicated procedure with a coordinated entry procession, dedicated seating and a specific system for distributing of diplomas and photography.
  • Our experience is that those who have participated in the rehearsal are more able to enjoy the ceremony.
  • Those who have participated in the rehearsal experience less stress during the ceremony, because they know what is happening.

Can I bring my family and other guests?

  • You will receive invitation and online registration where you can register as many as three guests.

One of my guests uses a wheelchair, what do we do?

  • Let us know about this when you register, you will find a dedicated field for additional comments.
  • We will help your guest and reserve a place in the aula for him/her.

My partner and my two children of 1 and 2 years of age would like to attend the ceremony, is that okay?

  • All your guests are welcome, and we appreciate that the youngest children and a parent is seated close to an exit. This will allow you to take them outside if they become tired or start crying during the ceremony.
  • We have a dedicated room on the second floor where one of our employees is ready to help you. Here you can change nappies or breastfeed, or relax on the sofa if you need to take a break from the ceremony.
  • It is assumed that children are attended to by an adult throughout the Doctoral Awards Ceremony. We cannot be responsible for looking after children.

Can my guests take photographs during the ceremony?

  • Yes. However, we discourage flash photography, and you are not allowed to move around in the Aula during the ceremony.
  • NTNU's own photographers will take great photos from the ceremony and of each group that receives their diplomas.
  • A picture will be taken of all participants in the procession after the ceremony, and all pictures will be available online, free of charge. See elsewhere on this web page for link.

I cannot attend the Doctoral Awards Ceremony, how do I get my diploma?

  • Your diploma will be sent to you after the Doctoral Awards Ceremony, from the faculty you belonged to when you defended your thesis.
  • Make sure that your faculty has your current address, to so that your diploma reaches your letterbox.

I have registered, but I will unfortunately be unable to attend. What do I do?

  • You can unregister until the deadline expires. Go online and delete your own registration.
  • After the deadline has expired, you have to email your contact at the faculty to have you deleted from the attendant list.
  • Important: In case of illness or withdrawal the day before or on the day of the ceremony, please notify us by sending an SMS to 0047 915 66 365 / 0047 918 97 186

My supervisor wants to attend. Are supervisors guaranteed a seat?

  • Supervisors are regular guests, and are invited by the faculties via a dedicated registration link.
  • There are no reserved seats; they have to find a place in the seating area for all guests.

Does NTNU have visitors' parking?

  • Public parking, administered by Trondheim Parkering, is available in the area.
  • NTNU has no special parking available for Doctoral Awards Ceremony guests.
  • We recommend taking a taxi. Buses 5, 22 and 63 might also be suitable as alternative transportation from the city centre. The buses stop right next to NTNU's Main Administration Building, which is where the Aula is located.

Previous Doctoral Awards Ceremonies

Honorary Doctors

Photos and recordings:

Photos may be used free of charge for personal purposes. Please credit the photographer for print and online use.

Next Doctoral Awards Ceremonies

At 12:00 noon in the Aula of the Main Administration Building on the Gløshaugen campus.

For PhDs who have completed their degrees between 1 January and 30 June 2017: 17 November 2017

For PhDs who have completed their degrees between 1 July and 31 December 2017: 16 March 2018

For PhDs who have completed their degrees between 1 January and 30 June 2018: 16 November 2018


Gunnar Kåre Hansen
Communication Division
Office: +47 73 59 53 14
Mobile +47 915 66 365

PhD ring

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About the Doctoral Awards Ceremony

– There's no other Norwegian university that offers such a classy celebration as they do here in Trondheim: wonderful music, a stately procession with gowns and hats, speeches and celebrations!
Guri Hjeltnes, Doctoral Award Ceremony speaker

NTNU often names and honours one or more Honorary Doctors at the Awards Ceremony.

NTNU's Doctoral Awards Ceremony is held twice a year in the University's magnificent and traditional-rich Aula. The Doctoral Awards Ceremony is for everyone who has received his or her doctorate (PhD) after completing their doctoral education at the university.

NTNU Doctoral Awards Ceremony musicians.

PhD education at NTNU

PhD Programmes and information