Completion phase - PhD in Medicine (PHMED)
PhD Programme in Medicine and Health Sciences
PhD Programme in Medicine and Health Sciences
Approaching the end of your PhD?
Rules and procedures - from submitting your thesis to the Doctoral Award Ceremony
Completion phase - MH-faculty
A doctoral thesis should be submitted 4 months prior to the tentative date for defence. Theses can be submitted at any time, however please note the following:
Theses submitted between 20 June - 1 August will probably not be forwarded to the committee before August.
Theses submitted after 1 December may not be forwarded to the committee before January.
Submitting your thesis
The thesis is to be submitted digitally (no printed versions/hard copies required).
All components of the thesis must be merged into one pdf-file, including summaries, index, compilation, papers and references.
The file will be forwarded to the committee, so make sure that you submit a complete and final version of your thesis.
The "application for assessment of PhD thesis" and all attachemts should be submitted as separate files.
Where to submit your thesis
- The doctoral thesis, the application form and all its attachments should be submitted by email to the PhD contact person in your department
- Send an addititonal copy of the doctoral thesis to email@example.com
Application and attachments
The form Application for assessment of PhD Thesis should be submitted to your department, and must include the follwing attachments:
- A statement from the Faculty that confirms the approved academic training. The confirmation is available on request by contacting the Section of Student and Academic Affairs at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences: firstname.lastname@example.org
- A digital copy of the thesis (complete with summaries, index, compilation, papers and references). A doctoral thesis from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences should usually consist of minimum 3 scientific papers/manuscripts. The candidate should be first author of at least 2 papers, and at least 1 paper should be published or accepted for publication. Detailed thesis requirements can be found in the PhD Regulations.
A standard layout should be used from the beginning, to avoid discrepancies in page numbers, margins etc. later on.
- Co-author declarations (docx) must be attached for papers/manuscripts that have been produced in collaboration with others. The declaration should identify the candidate's independent contribution to each paper and include a consent from co-authors to include the paper in your doctoral thesis.
- A complete publication list from the candidate (not just work included in the thesis).
- Declaration from the supervisor, confirming the thesis as an independent academic work that meets international standards (with regard to ethical requirements, academic standards and method in the subject area). The supervisor should also emphasise the candidate's dissemination experience. The statement should preferably be issued in English, unless all committee members are able to read Norwegian.
- Declarations from the candidate: Has the work, or individual parts of the work, been approved as the basis for previous examinations or degrees? Have elements been part of another doctoral thesis?
- A proposal from the supervisor for the composition of the evaluation committee (word).
The Head of Department will review the application and attachments. When endorsed, all documents will be forwarded to the Faculty, who will make a formal appointment of the assessment committee, and notify the candidate and supervisor.
Questions? Contact the Student and Academic Section
A form for the Proposal for the assessment committee (word) should be prepared by the candidate’s main supervisor. The form is to be endorsed and signed by the Head of Department, and attached to the candidate’s application.
The suggested committee members must have accepted the task before the proposal is submitted to the Faculty. A tentative date for the doctoral examiniation should be included in the proposal, if not the process might be delayed.
The composition of the committee:
Both genders must be represented in the committee, preferably as 1st or 2nd opponent.
Two members must be from outside NTNU and the main position of at least one member is at an institution outside Norway.
One of the committee members must be employed by NTNU. The local member will usually be be appointed administrator of the committee.
All members must hold doctoral degrees or equivalent qualifications.
A supervisor can nominate the same opponent no more than two times within a five year period.
Only one opponent can travel long distance (outside Europe). Exceptions must be justified and clarified with the Faculty in advance.
Travel expenses for opponents
The Faculty will cover ordinary tickets, not business class.
Travel expenses above NOK 30 000 must be covered by the candidate's department.
Two extra nights in a hotel can be provided for opponents adjusting to the time zone.
According to NTNU's international development plan, one should always consider whether digital solutions can be used to reduce the climate footprint.
The administrator's responsibilities:
- to contact members of the committee and to initiate the assessment as early as possible.
- to organise the committee and the division of work between the opponents
- if relevant, to find a tentative date for the doctoral examination and to inform the faculty’s contact person of the date.
- to ensure progress according to the deadline for the committee’s work
- to coordinate the compilation of the committee’s evaluation report on the thesis
Based on the department's recommendation the faculty will appoint the committee and send the thesis to its members.
The candidate will be notified of the composition of the committee. There should be no communication between supervisor/candidate and committee members after this point. All communication to and from the assessment committee must go through the Faculty's contact person.
The committee will get a standard timeframe of 2 months to complete the assessment, unless other arrangements have been made.
The evaluation committee will base the evaluation solely on the submitted work. Manuscripts that have been accepted for publication after the thesis was submitted, will not be taken into consideration.
The evaluation committee may require additional information for the purpose of supplementation or clarification.
Based on the submitted thesis and any additional material, the evaluation committee may recommend the candidate to make minor revisions before the committee submits its final report.
The evaluation report
The committee's report should conclude whether the doctoral work is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree or not.
The evaluation committee submits the report to the Faculty. The Faculty will forward the report to the candidate by e-mail as soon as possible.
Guidelines for evaluation
Guidelines for the Assessment of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees (docx)
When your thesis has been approved by the committee, you can start planning the printing process.
Corrections to the thesis
You will have to apply to the Faculty before making any changes to the thesis.
You may correct formal errors to the thesis (grammar, language etc.), while more extensive changes will not be approved.
The application to the Faculty should describe the corrections in detail - with a clear reference to page numbers and a display of the original text versus new text.
The same rules apply for papers that have been accepted or published after the thesis was submitted.
You may apply for corrections only once.
Corrections that have not been approved might be included in an Errata List.
Before printing, you will need a ISBN number. The number should have a series number from the year as your defense. ISBN-provider
The printing costs should normally be covered by the candidate's project funds. Questions regarding printing costs should to be addressed to your Department.
Printing your thesis
NTNU has a standard, grey layout for doctoral theses. All orders should be placed with NTNU's print shop, NTNU Grafisk senter. Read more here: Printing your thesis
7 printed copies of the doctoral thesis must be sent to the Faculty. These copies are reserved for Legal Depositing with the National Library of Norway.
It will be up to the candidate to calculate the need for additional printed copies.
The thesis must be made available to the public no later than three (3) weeks prior to the date of the public defence.
The printed version of your thesis should include a Popular Science Summary in Norwegian of approx. 1 page (A4). It should be placed after the title page. The summary should mainly present the results of the research work followed by a short description of the background, structure and methodology of the research project.
The headline must indicate the Norwegian title of the thesis and the end must indicate time and place for public defence, degree, Department, supervisor(s) and financing.
Electronic publishing at NTNU
All doctoral dissertations should be archived in NTNU Open. You will be able to opt out of electronic publishing, but the dissertation itself must still be filed. See more information on Publishing for employees
The library receives a digital file of your thesis directly from the printing office.
No more than meta data and the abstract will be publishedunless you submit the Author's agreement. For more detailed information; see Publish doctoral theses in NTNU Open
Trial lecture for PhD (one lecture)
The candidate will be informed of the given the topic for lecture 10 work days before lecture will take place. The lecture and the public defence will normally take place on the same day. The lecture is set for 45 minutes, inclusive of 5 minutes questioning and discussion, re. PhD regulations § 19.
Trial lectures for Dr Philos (two lectures)
The candidate must inform the Faculty of a chosen topic for trial lecture one month before lectures take place.
The candidate will be informed of the given topic from the Faculty 10 work days before lectures take place. The candidate can choose in which order to conduct the chosen and given topics. The lectures will normally take place the day before the public defence within business hours, but can also if possible be conducted the same day as the public defence. The lectures are set for 45 minutes, inclusive of 5 minutes questioning and discussion, re. dr. philos. -regulations § 8.
A doctoral examination marks the conclusion of a candidate's training and fronts the University as a research institution at the same time. For the institution, it is important that the ceremony is conducted in a dignified manner.
The lectures and the public defence will be conducted in the language decided by the committee's administrator, preferably in English or Norwegian.
Practical matters for the public defence
The Section of Student and Academic Affairs will administer practical matters for the public defence (booking of auditorium, flowers, accommodation and meals for the committee members, announcements etc.) The candidate's Department is responsible host for the committee members during their stay and will invite for dinner the evening prior to the public defence. The Department is also responsible for any event after completed public defence. The doctoral dinner is the responsibility of the candidate and neither the Department nor the Faculty offers financial support.
Formal attire is expected to be worn by the doctoral candidate and members of the assessment committee. The chairperson - the Dean or Deputy Dean - willl wear an academic robe during the thesis defence.
The trial lecture and thesis defence will open as the chairperson, committee members and the doctoral candidate go in procession into the auditorium. The audience should rise during the procession.
On entry to the trial lecture, the order of the procession should be as follows: The chairperson, the first, second and third opponent and the doctoral candidate. The exit is carried out in the reverse order, though the chairperson will always head the procession.
When entering for the thesis defence: The chairperson, the doctoral candidate, the third, second and first opponent (the opposite order on exit).
The chairperson walks straight to the rostrum, while the others take their seats.
The Acting Dean's duties during the trial lecture
The Acting Dean introduces the trial lecture based on a manuscript prepared by the Faculty administration. After the trial lecture(s), the dean announces the time and place for the thesis defence (information will be provided in the manuscript). The trial lecture lasts 45 minutes.
All members of the assessment committee must attend the trial lecture(s). If one of the experts should be unable to attend due to unexpected and unforeseen reasons, the chairperson/acting dean has the authority to designate a deputy for the trial lecture.
After the trial lecture(s), the committee will discuss the result. The trial lecture(s) must be approved before the thesis defence can take place. The chairperson will announce the result in the introduction of the thesis defence.
The chairperson's duties during the thesis defence
The chairperson must wear an academic robe during the defence. The robe will be provided by the Faculty administration.
The general progress of the defence is as follows:
- Introduction by the chairperson.
- Presentation of the thesis by the candidate (20-30 minutes): A brief summary of the most important research contributions.
- The first opponent opens the proceedings. This sequence should normally take around 45 minutes, but preferably not more than an hour.
- Before the break, the chairperson announces that anyone wishing to speak ex auditorio as an opponent must register with the chairman during the break.
- Any opponents ex auditorio are heard to a reasonable extent, but only brief addresses or questions are allowed.
- The second opponent is heard. This sequence should not extend beyond 45 minutes.
- When the second opponent signals that she or he has finished, the chairperson will declare the defence to be concluded. The committee's conclusion will be reported to the Dean.
- The candidate is allowed to make some concluding remarks, which is an opportunity to express gratitude to the Faculty, supervisors, the committee and the academic community.
The department will invite to a small reception, as soon as the defence has been completed.
One tradition is that the doctoral candidate invites the dissertation chairman, the assessment committee and supervisors to a celebratory dinner.
This is an old tradition, where the doctoral candidate invites the dissertation chairman, members of the assessment committee and supervisors to share a good meal. This meal is normally called the doctoral dinner, but is not necessarily a dinner. It may also be a lunch or an informal social occasion immediately after the defence. Previously arranged in accordance with a strict framework, the doctoral candidate now is free to decide how this is to be arranged. The doctoral candidate also decides who is to be invited in addition to the dissertation chairman, the assessment committee and the supervisors.
Speeches given during the dinner
The doctoral dinner is given as a token of appreciation to the committee and the supervisors and their efforts. This should be reflected in the speeches.
After the host, i.e. the doctoral candidate, has wished everybody welcome, she or he should give a speech thanking NTNU and the Faculty of Medicine, the assessment committee, the supervisors and the academic community.
The next speech should be given by the dissertation chairman, who wishes the doctoral candidate welcome to the rank of doctor with the rights this confers to teach at the Faculty. Congratulations are also in order for completing the organized doctoral degree training programme. As a representative of the University, the dissertation chairman should also offer thanks to the assessment committee for its efforts. This speech should be formal and follow a formal style.
The following speeches may be of a less formal nature if so desired. The third member of the assessment committee, i.e. the member who has not been a opponent at the defence, normally gives a speech, to be followed by the supervisors and perhaps the head of the academic community. It may be a good idea to mix speeches given by representatives of the academic community and family/friends for greater variation.
Stipulations concerning tax deductions for the doctoral dinner
You may be entitled to a deduction for your expenses in connection with your doctoral dinner. You will only be entitled to a deduction for the dinner for supervisors, opponents, etc. No deduction will be given for food expenses relating to family and friends. Deductions for PhD expenses are in addition to the minimum standard deduction.
Conferment of the doctoral degree
The assessment committee informs the Faculty of their evaluation of the trial lecture(s) and the public defence. The Dean will, based on the assessment, consider whether the degree can be awarded. The candidate will be informed about the decision in a letter.
Certificate, Transcript of Records with Diploma Supplement
When the doctoral degree has been conferred, the Faculty will send a PhD certificate by registered mail (post). All candidates are encouraged to check their postal addresses in Studentweb.
NTNU's Doctoral Awards Ceremony
NTNU's doctoral degree awards ceremony takes place twice a year. Candidates awarded their doctoral degrees in spring, will be invited for the ceremony in November. Candidates awarded their doctoral degrees during the fall, will be invited to the ceremony in March the following year.
Regulations regarding doctoral education at NTNU
Regulations regarding doctoral education at NTNU can be found here:
Doctoral education (PhD) - Regulations