Instructions for the administrator
The committee administrator organizes the work of the committee according to the Regulations for the degree of PhD / Dr. Philos, and is responsible for a number of administrative tasks before and during the doctoral degree examination.
- Planning of dates for the doctoral degree examinations
- Meetings in the committee
- Submission of the committee report
- Airline tickets and hotel accommodation for the external members
- Determination of roles as first and second opponent during disputation
- Topic(s) for trial lecture
- Information to the external members concerning the course of the disputation
- Technical equipment for use during the examinations
- During trial lecture(s) and disputation
- Dinner after the trial lecture(s) and the doctoral lunch
- Payment and contract
Below is a list of the administrator's tasks. The faculty urges the administrator to read the list carefully and note the deadlines. The reminder for the administrator (pdf) works both as a short version of the Instructions for the administrator and as a tool to remember important tasks and deadlines.
When the committee has been appointed by the faculty, it is the administrator’s responsibility to find a suitable date for the doctoral degree examinations. The date should be decided as soon as possible after the appointment of the committee. The administrator sets the date for the doctoral defence after conferring with the other committee members, the doctoral candidate and the candidate’s supervisor. Note that the doctoral defence should be held on a weekday, not on a Saturday, and that there must be at least seven weeks between the deadline for the committee’s report and the date for the doctoral defence.
When the date for the defence is set, the administrator notifies the faculty’s officer in charge and the department’s research coordinator. The Department books the rooms for the trial lecture and the doctoral defence. Note that at UiO many auditoriums are booked months in advance, and there may be difficulties accommodating requests for certain auditoriums.
The Faculty does not cover expenses connected with committee meetings prior to the doctoral defence. If a telephone conference is deemed necessary, and leeds to expenses, the Faculty will cover it.
The administrator shall see to that the final version of the committee report is presented as a joint statement that contains the necessary information as presented in the Guidelines for the evaluation of Norwegian doctoral degrees. The committee's mandate is to evaluate if the dissertation is worthy of public defence or not.
The report should make clear how the committee has evaluated the following questions:
- Are the research questions and the hypotheses clear and have they been formulated precisely enough? Are they fruitful?
- To what extent are the materials referred to and the methods used suited to the purpose?
- Have the conclusions that the material allows been drawn, and are they tenable?
- Is the handling of relevant literature satisfactory?
The report should give a short overall impression of the work.
Deadline and delays: The administrators shall see to that the report is ready on the date set by the Faculty in the letter of appointment. If a delay should occur the Department and the Faculty must be informed prior to the deadline for the report.
Signatures: The administrator shall also see to that the report is signed by all the committee members. Individual e-mail confirmations from each committee member may be used instead of signatures.
Conclusion of the report: The report should end with a clear recommendation to the Faculty; whether the dissertation is worthy of public defence or not. If the committee concludes that the dissertation should not be approved for disputation, the report can make two alternative conclusions: not worthy of public defence, or recommending certain revisions in the dissertation. The conclusion can therefore end in three possible conclusions:
- Worthy of public defence: In the presentation the positive aspects of the dissertation should also be mentioned so that one also gains an impression of them.
- Not worthy of public defence
- Recommending minor revisions: If the dissertation only has minor weaknesses, the committee can recommend the candidate to make a revision of the dissertation before reaching a final conclusion. The committee should only recommend a revision if committee believes that a revision could give satisfactory results within a timeframe equal to 6 months of work. In such cases, the committee should provide clear guidelines regarding those areas in which the dissertation should be strengthened (i.e. use of methodology, relationship between the material and conclusion, use of concepts, clarity of research question). The same committee will evaluate the revised dissertation when it is resubmitted, and deliver a final report within a deadline of one month.
The report is to be sent to the Department's research coordinator, who forwards the documents to the Faculty.
Airline tickets and hotel accommodation for the external members should be booked as soon as the report is approved by the Faculty and the dates for the doctoral degree examinations are set.
It is the administrator’s task to obtain information about the external members' needs in connection with their stay, and to communicate this information to the Department's research coordinator who books hotel rooms. The Faculty covers the expenses for two nights with breakfast included for committee members living in Europe and three to five nights for committee members living on other continents. The Faculty might cover expenses for extra nights (after agreement), if the sum total of the travel expenses is lowered by an extended stay. The Faculty does not cover the expenses for the committee member’s spouses.
The administrator shall see to that the external members are aided with the booking of airline tickets if they require it. On such occasions the Department's research coordinator books the airline tickets on behalf of the external members. Usually, however, the committee members book their own Airline tickets and have their expenses reimbursed after the doctoral degree examinations. The Faculty covers all travel expenses for the external members. See: Guidelines for fee and travel expenses.
The administrator shall, in consultation with the other committee members, decide who shall assume the role of first and second opponent during disputation and notify the Faculty’s officer in charge four weeks prior to the disputation at the latest (see Procedure for trial lecture and disputation - PhD / Procedure for trial lectures and disputation - Dr. Philos).
If the doctoral candidate is to give two trial lectures (this only applies for Dr. Philos.), the candidate must send the topic of his/her own choice to the administrator and the Faculty’s officer in charge four weeks prior to the disputation at the latest. The trial lecture with a topic of the candidate's own choice should not be a summary of the dissertation, it should be a comprehensive lecture in its own right. The Faculty notifies the doctoral candidate of the deadline.
The administrator shall, in consultation with the other committee members, decide on the given topic for the trial lecture, and e-mail this to the Faculty’s officer in charge four weeks prior to the disputation at the latest. The topic should normally not be among the central research questions discussed in the dissertation. The Faculty forwards the given topic to the candidate ten working days prior to the trial lecture.
The administrator shall notify the opponents in advance of the arrangement for oppositions at Norwegian disputations. Prior to the disputation the opponents should get in touch with each other and divide between themselves the different topics for the disputation, regarding the formulation of research questions, methodology, empirical and theoretical foundation, documentation and form of presentation.
Special emphasis should be put on verifying the tenability of important conclusions that the doctoral candidate has reached in his/her work. The research questions that the opponents choose to pursue need not be limited to those mentioned in the committee’s recommendation. The opponents should strive – as much as possible – to guide the discussion so that those who have not read the dissertation or do not have in-depth knowledge of the field are also able to follow the discussion (See Guidelines for the evaluation of Norwegian doctoral degrees).
The administrator shall notify the committee members, especially the foreign ones, of the customs and traditions connected with the Norwegian disputation, and of the doctoral dinner that usually follow the doctoral trials. The candidate must pass both the trial lecture and the disputation before being created doctor.
The administrator shall examine if the opponents and the doctoral candidate need technical equipment during the trial lecture(s) and defence. If this is the case the administrator must notify the Department’s research coordinator at least a week in advance.
The administrator shall see to that the external members locate the premises were the trial lecture(s) and defence are being held.
It is the administrator's responsibility to make sure that the doctoral candidate is introduced at the trial lecture(s). The administrator or the head of the Department introduces the doctoral candidate, and the responsibility for delivering the presentation must be agreed upon prior to the event.
It is custom that the administrator takes the committee members out to dinner after the trial lecture(s). The administrator decides, in consultation with the Department, where the dinner takes place. The Department covers the expenses.
The administrator shall invite the committee members, the chair of the disputation, the doctoral candidate and the candidate’s supervisor to lunch, before, after or during the break in the doctoral trials. The department’s research coordinator books the lunch and notifies the administrator of time and place. The Faculty covers the expenses.
The payment to the external members will be disbursed after the doctoral trials. An electronic contract for each external committee member will be made when a date has been set for the defence, or, if the thesis is rejected, when the committee concludes its work. You will receive an e-mail from the University of Oslo with information on how to proceed.