International PhD-programme in palliative care

The European Palliative Care Research Centre (PRC) aims to increase the knowledge about palliative care among all health professionals.

To increase the scientific competence, a biomedical focused international PhD programme in palliative care has been established by the PRC. The programme is formally established at NTNU and all core collaborating institutions will contribute into the programme.

Enrolment to the programme is continuous. All candidates must be enrolled at NTNU, but can reside at any of the core collaborating institutions.

PhD-candidates admitted to this programme will be:

  • provided with updated knowledge within the field of both palliative care and palliative research
  • offered courses at collaborating institutions in different countries
  • encouraged to spend at least six months at two different institutions in different countries

This PhD-programme will strengthen already existing international collaborations between research institutions and trigger the establishment of new ones. It will also help students to establish a professional network for their future career in palliative care research.

More information about how to enroll and to read the study  programme.

More information regarding the general PhD education at NTNU.

Compulsory course: PALC8001 Palliatice Care Research - Theoretical, Practical, Ethical and Methodological Aspects.

In 2015, Module 1 of the the course is held in week 41, 5-9 October (in Trondheim) and Module 2 in week 46, 9-13 November (in Edinburgh).

Sign up for the course within 15 September! Please contact Trude Rakel Balstad at NTNU if you have any questions about the course. 


Since the establishment of the programme, 15 candidates have been enrolled. Three of them have defended their theses as the first PhDs in palliative care: 

Anne Kari Knudsen, 20 April 2012: Cancer pain classification.

Kari Sand, 16 November 2012: Informed consent documents. Textual and contextual factors of relevance for understanding.

Tora S. Solheim, 28 February 2014: Classification, pathophysiology and treatment in Cancer Cachexia.

Katrin Ruth Sigurdardottir, 12 December 2014: Clinical research in end-of-life cancer care - Current status, barriers, priorities, and a framework for reporting a sample in clinical trails.