The research part of the programme leads to an academic thesis, which at the end of the period of study must be publicly defended, and consequently approved by an assessment committee appointed by NTNU.
The thesis is intended to be an independent, academic work of international standard, and at a high level of academic accomplishment. The thesis should contribute to the development of understanding and knowledge in its field, and be of sufficient quality for it to be considered publishable within the field's academic literature.
The application for assessment of the thesis is to be submitted to the Faculty, and to be sent via the Department the candidate is affiliated. Five bound copies of the thesis, a proclamation stating that the thesis has not previously been assessed for a Doctoral Degree at any other Norwegian or foreign universities or university colleges, as well as proof of completed organized academic training, are to be submitted with the application for assessment. If joint publications constitute part of the thesis, a statement from the co-author must be submitted with the application.
If the thesis is approved for trial lecture and public defence, the candidate is to submit a completed manuscript (preferably in PDF file) which is printed in the number of copies decided by the Faculty. The University imposes a standard design and binding as well as the marking of an ISBN number on whole, or parts of the edition, which identifies the book as a doctoral thesis submitted at NTNU. The assignment of ISBN numbers is automatic, which means the candidate receives a number on the following web site: http://sats.itea.ntnu.no/isbnprovider/start.do
All PhD graduates from NTNU must send in an electronic version of their complete PhD-thesis to The NTNU library (UBiT). The thesis is published in pdf and made available through Bibsys. It will be possible to guard against electronic publishing of PhD-thesis on the web. Detailed information about publishing your thesis in NTNU Open.
Appointment of an adjudication committee
The Faculty is to appoint the adjudication committee on recommendation from Department. The committee is to consist of at least three members, based on the proposals submitted by relevant academic staff/research group. The proposal is to show how the committee jointly covers the disciplinary area of the thesis. The proposal is to be completed at the time the thesis is delivered. Co-authors may not be members of adjudication committees. The recommendation must include the suggestion of a committee administrator. The administrator must normally be affiliated to NTNU. The candidate's supervisor may not be the committee's administrator (Norwegian Public Administration Act, chapter II on disqualification). The doctoral candidate is notified on the composition of the committee, and may make written comments of this within one week.
Committee report and follow up
The administrator of the committee
As soon as possible after the appointment of the adjudication committee, and in consultation with the committee members, the administrator is to determine a preliminary date for a potential public defence. This also implies setting a deadline for when the committee report is to be available. The Faculty administrative executive is to be notified of the preliminary date for the public defence and submission of committee report. It is the responsibility of the committee administrator to ensure that the report deadline is kept. If the deadline is not kept, the candidate is to be notified of this, as well as the reason (s) for the report deadline being not being kept. Notification of when the report is expected to be delivered must be provided at the same time.
The committee administrator is to send the signed committee report to the Faculty. The committee report is forwarded to the candidate, who may submit written comments to the Faculty no later than 14 days after receiving the report.
The administrator is responsible for forwarding to the Faculty the committee report, as well as the title of the trial lecture and information about who are to be the 1st and 2nd opponent. The Faculty forwards the given topic for the trial lecture to the candidate 14 days before the trial lecture is to be presented.
The committee report is to be received by the Faculty at the latest 6 weeks before the date of the public defence.
Consultations in committee and with other parties
The report must substantiate the extent and content of consultations between the committee and supervisors or other parties, and which additional information and basis material is collected from the candidate. If these have been decisive for the committee conclusion, this must be referred to specifically in the report and a possible statement from the supervisor must be included.
No direct communication between the candidate and committee is to take place. Such communication is to take place via the Faculty.
Consideration of unanimous committee reports
The Faculty cannot oppose a unanimous committee report.
Consideration of committee dissent
As a norm, the Faculty is to follow the majority findings in the committee. If the Faculty feels there is reason to doubt whether a thesis should be accepted or not, the Faculty is to appoint two new experts who are to submit independent reports. If both experts follow the ruling of the majority in the original committee, this ruling is to be followed. In other cases, the Faculty determines which ruling is to be followed.
Revision of a submitted thesis, see section 15.2
The assessment committee may recommend a minor revision before the committee submits its final report. If the Faculty allows such a minor revision to the thesis, the deadline normally not exceed three months for completing the revisions.
Resubmission, see section 17
If a thesis cannot be accepted for public defence, a recommendation can be made that it is to be submitted in a revised form for a new assessment if the adjudication committee feels that this would produce a satisfactory result within a minimum of six months. In these cases, the adjudication committee should provide guidance to how the thesis needs revising (for example use of methodology, the relationship between material and conclusion, concept usage, clarification of approaches to problems) without making the recommendation sound like reassurance of acceptance at a prospective new evaluation.
Trial lecture and public defence
The Doctoral Programme is completed with one trial lecture over a given topic and one public defence. The Faculty appoints opponents on recommendation from the adjudication committee.
The prescribed subject of the trial lecture is determined by the adjudication committee and is announced two weeks before the trial lecture. A trial lecture is to be given preferably on the same day as the public defence. The trial lecture is to be assessed by the adjudication committee and is to be found satisfactory. The prescribed subject of the trial lecture is determined by the adjudication committee and the candidate must receive notification of the subject two weeks prior to the lecture.
The proceedings in the public defence are chaired by the Dean or by the person to whom this task has been delegated. The appointed supervisor cannot chair the public defence. The chairperson is to give a brief account of the submitted thesis and the trial lecture as well as the assessments these received. Then the doctoral candidate is to review the purpose and results of the academic work in the thesis. The first opponent introduces the discussion which is concluded by the second opponent. Other persons present who wish to participate in the discussion must give notice of this to the Dean/chairperson before the expiry of the determined time limit that is announced at the start of the proceedings.
After the defence, the adjudication committee submits a report to the Faculty, in which it gives an account of its evaluation of the trial lecture, the thesis and the public defence of the thesis.
If the public defence is found to be unsatisfactory, a new public defence may be held no earlier than four months after the original defence. In these cases, as far as is possible, the trial lecture and public defence should be assessed by the original adjudication committee. The public defence - settings.
Conferment of the PhD degree
On recommendation of the adjudication committee the Faculty decides whether the philosophiae doctor degree (PhD) may be conferred on the candidate, and the candidate if informed of this decision in writing.
Certificates and diploma
As soon as possible after the awarding of the Degree, a certificate is to be composed, in accordance with § 53 of the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges. The certificate is to contain information about the title of the thesis, the subjects in the organized academic training, and is to be signed by the Dean. Doctoral candidates receive their diplomas at the annual Doctoral Ceremony.
In case of appeals relating to the refusal to assess the thesis, or that the thesis, trial lecture, or public defence cannot be approved, the applicable law is §§ 28 and following sections of the Norwegian Public Administration Act. A detailed account of the grounds for such an appeal must be sent to the Faculty. The Faculty may change or reverse the decision if it finds grounds to substantiate the appeal. If the Faculty does not reverse its decision, the appeal can be forwarded to the Board of NTNU for a ruling. The body handling the appeal is to thoroughly investigate all aspects.
Should the Faculty or the body dealing with the appeal see fit, it may appoint individuals or a committee to undertake an evaluation of the decision made and the criteria underlying it, they may also decide whether a new or supplementary expert evaluation should be undertaken.