The purpose of the midway evaluation is to assess the progress of the PhD project at a point when it is still possible to make small or substantial changes. In general, we want to know how the candidate is doing, how much work is done, and what is left, and which problems might arise, if they haven't already. At the same time, we want to give attention to the great important scholarly work performed by junior scholars at the department. Following the assessment, specific scientific and practical suggestions will be given on how to proceed towards completion of the dissertation.
The midway assessment consists of three parts:
- An open seminar led by the Head of Research Training (‘PhD Leader’). The seminar is quite informal, with participants from the Department, the Head of Research Training, the supervisor, colleagues, other PhD-candidates, and an external expert. This seminar is based on opposition from the external expert and will take the form of a discussion of the presented chapters/articles. The candidate will give a 15-20 minute presentation of the project at the start of the seminar. The commentator is then invitated to spend about an hour discussing the text with the candidate. The format can be more or less dialogical, depending on what seems most useful.
- A subsequent closed meeting where the candidate, external expert, principal supervisor and the Head of Research Training (‘The Evaluation Committee’) are present. The closed meeting might be very short, but is meant to give candidate, opponent, supervisor, and Head of Research Training the possibility to address issues that didn't come up in the public seminar. The meeting will address practical and specific academic issues and possibilities for the dissertation. The meeting will conclude with recommendations with a view to completion.
- The external expert will prior to the meeting write a short assessment of the PhD candidate’s progression, the state of the dissertation project and what kind of measures the external expert recommends moving forward.
Process prior to the seminar: The PhD candidate and the supervisor together decide on which parts of the thesis to submit for assessment. This may be, for example, a draft of the main introduction plus one or two chapters or articles. The texts should be submitted, together with a list of contents and a progress plan, to the evaluation committee at least three weeks before the actual midway assessment is to take place in Oslo.