Phd programme (doctoral education)

PhD programme in Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture

Admission and financing

In order to be admitted to a PhD-programme you must have a complete funding plan and have completed at least five years of higher education including a master’s degree.

Admission requirements and application process


Five years of higher education including a master’s degree. You must have a strong academic record from your previous studies with a weighted average for the last two years of your master’s of B or higher in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Your degree should normally be within a field related to the PhD-programme in question. Candidates with a different academic background may be accepted after a complete evaluation of their project and qualifications, including topic, project description and research questions.

For more information, see the study plan and Section 5.1 of the PhD-regulations.


A complete funding plan is an absolute requirement. Unlike most other countries, PhD-candidates in Norway are not considered students and PhD-candidates are usually employees of the institution from which they receive their funding. The Faculty of Humanities does not accept applicants to its PhD-programmes without a proper funding plan. The funding should cover the entire period of study.

Generally, the Faculty announces PhD-positions openly once a year where applicants from all fields of study at the Faculty may apply. In addition, project related PhD-positions are announced throughout the year as they are made available. All announcements are posted at NTNU's web pages and Applications should be sent through jobbnorge.

Another way of funding may be PhD-positions at a university college that does not offer PhD-education themselves within the field. Employees at university colleges may also gain admission with a funding plan through their employer. The Research Council of Norway also has funding schemes, such as the Industrial PhD scheme and the Public Sector PhD scheme.

If you have a source of funding from abroad it is a requirement that the funding source is predictable, that funding is covered for the entire period of study and that the funding is sufficient to cover all necessary expenses related to the PhD-programme including housing and living expenses.


It is important that you get in touch with the research group and find a potential supervisor as early as possible in the process. The main supervisor should be ready when you apply for the programme, and you should have at least two academic supervisors. By contacting the department or browsing their web pages you should be able to find information on the academic staff, their field of research and who might be of interest to you and your project. If you are employed as part of a larger research project, your main supervisor will usually be part of the project group. At least one of your supervisors, usually your main supervisor, must be employed at NTNU. This also applies for externally funded PhD-candidates.

Supervisors at the Faculty of Humanities must have completed a doctoral degree themselves and/or be appointed full professors. You are entitled to 210 hours of supervision in total throughout the PhD-period, 70 hours a year for three years. The number of hours is set regardless of the length of your period of study.

Project description

The project description is crucial. You will not be admitted to a PhD-programme at the Faculty of Humanities without a thorough evaluation of the academic quality of your project. This means that you will have to hand in a complete project description when you apply for the PhD-programme. Your main supervisor, the department and the head of the PhD-programme must recommend the application. The project description should be about 5-10 pages long.

The faculty has created a check list to assist you in writing your project description.

How to apply

Your application should be sent via the Department to the Faculty. The application must be signed by your supervisor, the Department and the Head of the PhD-programme. In addition to the application form you must enclose:

  • A complete project proposal
  • Certified copies of master’s degree, including transcript of marks
  • Documentation of financing (if you are employed as a PhD-fellow at the Faculty of Humanities this will not necessary)
  • Description of any legal or ethical issues raised by the project and how these can be resolved. The application must state whether the project is dependent on permission granted by committees on research ethics or other authorities or by individuals (research subjects, patients, parents, etc.) and such permissions should be enclosed if they are available.

Admittance to the PhD-programme is completed continuously throughout the academic year and is not restricted to the beginning of term. The start-up date on the programme will equal the start of funding. If everything is in order with your application and attachments, you will receive your response within a few weeks at most.