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Organisation at ILOS

General information

  • ILOS offers thesis seminars, methodology seminars and courses in academic English, international publishing and career building. 
  • 23 PhD Research Fellows work in the department (March 2021). About half are recruited from foreign countries such as Sweden, Bulgaria, Italy, Great Britain, USA and Colombia.
  • Candidates are expected to find an external co-supervisor at a foreign university. Countries currently represented with co-supervisors include, among others, Switzerland, Austria, France, Sweden, Great Britain and the USA.
  • All candidates are encouraged to apply for funding to spend 1-3 months or more at a foreign university.

Educational component

The doctoral education at the Faculty of Humanities (HF) consists of 30 credits (ECTS), five of which will be earned from the compulsory courses held by HF (Introductory seminar, Theory of knowledge, Ethics). As indicated in the programme structure, other compulsory activities rendering credits include giving papers at international conferences and dissemination in the form of feature articles, open lectures etc. The thesis seminar is also a compulsory component of the PhD programme. The remaining credits will be earned from various coursework at UiO and external institutions. It is recommended that one completes the main part of the doctoral education in the course of the first two years. In addition to the credit-giving activities, there is an obligatory midway assessment.

At ILOS the following rules apply:

In addition to the 5 credits that are granted from the Faculty of Humanities’ general initial courses, you need to collect at least 4 credits from presentations held at international conferences. During your period of appointment you must also earn 2 credits from various dissemination activities, one of which should take the form of public outreach. Out of the 30 ECTS that make up the educational component, a minimum of 6/maximum of 8 credits should be earned from participation at the thesis seminar, as described below. In addition, there is a requirement of minimum 8/maximum 12 credits earned from participation at various elective courses and seminars at ILOS or an outside department or institution. Please note that whichever additional activities you participate in may have a positive impact on your doctoral project and future career. The 30 credits are just the minimum requirement and therefore do not represent a complete measure of your competencies.

Assessment of credits


Should amount to at least 4 credits (out of the total 30 ECTS). Credits are earned from participating with a paper or poster at an international conference, ie. a conference involving participants from several countries. You should prioritise finding a conference at a foreign university.

  • Paper/presentation (with submission of abstract and peer review): 4 credits

  • Paper/presentation (without peer review): 2 credits

  • Poster: 2 credits


Should amount to at least 2 credits, out of which at least 1 must be earned from activities involving the general public. The dissemination must be research-based, that is, related to your own research or discipline.

  • Public outreach: 1–2 credits (for example newspaper article; encyclopedia entry; or a talk that is open to the public: 2 credits. Blog posting: 1 credit.) If you give a talk at your department, it will have to be announced as open to anyone interested eg. on Facebook or UiO events pages in order for it to qualify as an outreach activity.

  • Lecture or seminar at a college, university, institute etc. outside of UiO: 2 credits

  • Certain PhD courses in popular communication held at UiO may also render credit points (as specified in the course description).

Thesis seminar

ILOS offers subject-specific thesis seminars and research training in two of the department’s disciplines: literature and area studies. The department’s PhD leader has the primary responsibility for organizing thesis seminars and courses in literary study, with Professor Ljiljana Šarić holding the same responsibility in area studies. Candidates in language studies receive their basic training from the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies (ILN), but there may also be relevant courses in linguistics held at ILOS. Candidates in literary studies at ILN correspondingly receive their basic training from ILOS.

Both at ILOS and ILN you are required to present material from your dissertation at least 2 times, and serve as commentator on someone else’s writing at least 2 times. (Note: This requirement is for those starting their program 1.1.2018). You are also most welcome to participate without presenting or commenting. We will circulate the texts in advance to make sure that everyone gets a chance to read them. If you find that you would like to play an active role in the general discussion of these texts, there is a possibility for registering as an active participant (1 ECTS). You should then notify the seminar leader by email on beforehand (or just ask before the seminar starts), so that she can consider awarding your participation in class with one credit point.

It is generally recommended that you participate in these seminars more often than the program strictly requires, both as a presenter, commentator, and participant.

PhD candidates are generally welcome to attend any thesis seminar or course that may be of interest to them, regardless of their field. If your work intersects with a specific field (eg. anthropology, philosophy, political science), it is recommended that you attend relevant thesis seminars not only at ILOS, but also at other HF departments, or at another faculty.

  • Text presentation: 2 credits

  • Commentator: 1 credit

  • Other active and well-prepared participation: 1 credit

Note: At ILOS there may be sporadic opportunities for getting credits for presenting or commenting on dissertation material in other contexts besides the designated thesis seminars. This will have to go through the PhD leader.

Elective courses and seminars

This part of the 30 ECTS educational component should make up a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 12 credits. Although there will be various courses and seminars offered at ILOS, you are encouraged to look for relevant opportunities at other UiO departments and faculties, and at external institutions in Norway and abroad. A few suggestions are listed below. There may also be information and announcements sent out by email.

Courses held at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki and the Faculty of Humanities in Stockholm and Copenhagen are generally free of charge for ILOS/HF PhD candidates. You may use your yearly allocation to cover travel expenses.

ILOS’ PhD candidates are also given the opportunity and financial support to organize their own PhD workshops and guest lectures. In this context, it is important to cooperate with other PhD candidates and identify a target group of a few persons interested. In order for such PhD-initiated activities to render credits, they must be approved by the PhD leader. Organizing an event might also in itself render credits, given that the candidate can document that the organizing includes academically relevant work, and not only administrative tasks (as of 1.1.2021).

Planned participation in external courses and seminars must be registered with the PhD leader for prior approval (see below). In cases where the amount of ECTS has not been stipulated by the organizers, the following standard norms apply:

1 ECTS corresponds to 25 to 30 hours of work. The amount of preparation required may therefore be of more importance than the duration of the course or seminar in question. For example, a two-day seminar or course demanding that you read a long list of material in advance may give 2 credits. If, in addition, you are to give a paper, the course may render 3 credits. This will have to be assessed on a case-to-case basis by the one responsible for approving of your doctoral education (see below). When attending a course or seminar abroad it is important that you provide sufficient documentation detailing the extent of your participation.

Courses and seminars at ILOS

See all courses and seminars 

Courses and seminars at the Faculty of Humanities


During your PhD programme

As a rule, all planned activities and participations need to be approved in advance in order for them to be registered as part of your educational component. This also goes for any activities recommended by your supervisor(s). In practice, this means that PhD candidates who primarily attend the thesis seminar in literature or area studies at ILOS should consult with the PhD leader at ILOS, whereas candidates who attend the thesis course in linguistics at ILN should consult with the PhD leader in this neighboring department. The respective PhD leaders will also award ECTS credit points for the various activities in your education program.

You should then send confirmations of your activities and participations by email to the PhD consultant in the same department, so that he or she can enter the credits into Studentweb as your program progresses, semester by semester. You should also keep copies of your various documentations just in case.

When handing in your final dissertation

At the end of your program you will need to fill out a form that indicates your completion of the educational component. This will have to be signed by the PhD leader in your home department. This is the case regardless of whether you have primarily attended the thesis course in another department. In practice, this means that candidates employed by ILOS should contact the PhD leader at ILOS, whereas candidates employed by another department will get the final signature from them.

Note that your main supervisor will have to approve of the dissertation and notify the PhD consultant about it before you can submit. In addition, we recommend that you keep your co-supervisor informed about the submission process. 

Useful information


ILOS PhD Leader Atle Wold

ILOS Research Officer Sarah Salameh


Published Mar. 9, 2021 8:33 AM - Last modified Mar. 7, 2022 11:55 AM