PhD supervision at UiS

Here you will find useful information aimed at those who are or plan to become PhD supervisors at the University of Stavanger.

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PhD supervisor's responsibilities

  • advise the candidate on the formulation and refining of the subject and its challenges, as well as discuss and evaluate hypotheses and methods
  • discuss the programme and the implementation of the project description (outline, language, documentation, etc.)
  • discuss results and the interpretation thereof
  • stay up to date on the candidate’s progress and assess it in relation to the planned progress
  • assist in the candidate’s integration into a relevant academic community, including facilitating research stays abroad during the course of the PhD
  • provide guidance regarding academic dissemination
  • provide the candidate with guidance on issues of research ethics related to the thesis
  • Supervisors should be involved in the selection of PhD courses, by suggesting topics and discussing what is useful and feasible.

Start up phase

What happens before, during and after the start up phase?

The faculty decides if a candidate can be admitted to a PhD programme. In the letter of admission at least one supervisor must be appointed (the main supervisor).

If the application process results in admission, this is formalised through a written document, “Agreement on Admission to the PhD Programme”. The agreement regulates the rights and duties of the candidate, supervisor and institusion.

The candidate and the supervisor will work together to complete the final PhD project plan. This has to be approved by the doctoral committee.

As a PhD supervisor you are expected to ensure that the candidate, as early as possible, are involved in relevant, active scientific communities both at UiS and in external networks.

Hånd med blyant, papirer og datamaskin

Main supervisor and co-supervisors

A PhD candidate at the University of Stavanger must have at least two supervisors, one main supervisor and co-supervisor(s). All academic supervisors must have a doctoral degree or equivalent academic competence within the subject area, and be an active researcher. Usually, the mail supervisor is employed at UiS. If the faculty appoints an external main supervisor, a co-supervisor from the University of Stavanger must be appointed.

The main supervisor has the primary academic responsibility for the candidate. The co-supervisor  provide guidance and who share the academic responsibility for the PhD candidate with the main supervisor.

PhD supervisors have a certain amount of working hours set aside for supervision. The number of hours and how these are split between the main- and co-supervisor varies from faculty to faculty,

Main elements in the PhD education

Progress report

Once every year, both the main supervisor and the PhD candidate each submits a progress report to the faculty. The report must be based on the approved work plan for the PhD programme, and should give an update on the scientific progress of the candidate. In the progress report you should also inform about changes in the project plan and how the supervisor-candidate relationship is.

The deadline for reporting is 31 January each year. The first progress report is to be submitted at least three months after the candidate has been admitted to the PhD programme.

Mid-term evaluation and final seminar / 50%-seminar and 90%-seminar

A mid-term evaluation will be conducted either in the third or fourth semester. At some faculties this is called a 50%-seminar. At the seminar the candidate will present their work for assessment by an evaluation team appointed by the faculty.

The faculties has different guidelines for mid-term evaluations. Therefore it is important that the candidate and the supervisors familiarize themselves with the local guidelines.

At some faculties a final seminar / 90%-seminar will be held towards the end of the PhD course.

Submission and doctoral defence

It is the responsibility of the main supervisor to alert the faculty to an imminent thesis submission, in order that the neccecary preparations can begin.

Rules and regulations

Here is an overview of the most important regulations, forms and rules that PhD supervisors should know about.

Regulations for the Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) degree at the University of Stavanger

All doctoral level activity at the University of Stavanger is subject to these regulations

Ethical guidelines for supervisors/employees at the University of Stavanger

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to manage and carry out the supervision of PhD candidates in accordance with these guidelines.

Retningslinjer for medforfatterskap

Supervisors often publish together with their PhD candidate. The UiS "Retningslinjer for medforfatterskap" (Norwegian) builds on the Vancouver reccomendations.

Agreement on admission to the PhD programme

The agreement is signed by the candidate, supervisor(s), Head of department and any external employers.

PhD guide for the University of Stavanger (2022)

The PhD guide contains useful information about the PhD education at UiS. The guide is mainly for PhD candidates, but contains information that is useful also for PhD supervisors.

Short checklist for supervisors at UiS

This is a summary of the most important tasks for a PhD supervisor at UiS.


Here you will find resources that might be of help in the supervision:

- Taylor et al (2018), A handbook for doctoral supervision, 2nd edtition, Routledge ISBN 978-1-138-19479-3

- Anne Lee (2012), Successful research supervision: Advising students doing research, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-66353-3

Supervisory Qualification Programme (SQP)

UiS has a supervisory qualification programme for PhD supervisors.

Registration: In november each year, the heads of departments and centers are asked to submit a list of potential participants from their unit. At the moment there are 36 spots available at the course.

SQP is module based, and held during the spring semester. Participants are expected to spend a total of 100 hours on preparations, assignments and participation in the modules.


PhD coordinators at the faculties

PhD Programme in Arts and Education

Jeanette Rollheim
Astrid Tofte Aasmundtveit

PhD Programme in Social Sciences

Nadya Sandsmark

PhD Programme in Science and Technology

Nina Ingrid Horve Stava
Maija Skadmane
Cathrine Reilstad

PhD Programme in Health and Medicine

Knut Sommerseth Lie
Åse Karina Danielsen Tallman

Faculty of Performing Arts

Elina Borg Björnström

Advisors in the central research administration