Are you a new PhD candidate? Here you will find an overview of the course of study. The overview applies to all candidates who are admitted to the PhD programme in Social Sciences.
Congratulations on your admission to the PhD programme in Social Sciences! You have already received both an
employment contract* for your PhD position (from the HR Department) and a letter about your preliminary admission to the PhD programme from the PhD Administration (at the faculty), with various information. This introductory guide will address the main topics in connection with getting started on your doctoral education.
*Externally funded PhD candidates will not receive a contract of employment from the University of Stavanger
As a PhD research fellow, you are employed (by the University of Stavanger or another employer) for either three or four years (with 25% required duties). The head of your department or centre is your leader and responsible for welcoming you and getting you settled at start-up. If you have questions regarding your employee status, contact either your leader or the HR Department. As a PhD research fellow, you are also a student, i.e. a PhD candidate, at the University of Stavanger throughout the period of your employment.
On your first day, you should meet with the Office Manager at your department. They will show you around and introduce you to the department and faculty. The HRdepartment will register you in the SAP system. This registration generates an employee number that you will need in order to obtain an employee ID card. The employee ID card gives access to card-controlled areas in the university, keys, printing/scanning and parking permits. Employee cards can be collected at the reception desk on the ground floor in Arne Rettedals Hus (abbreviated AR).
Together with the letter confirming your admission to the PhD programme, you also have received an Agreement on Admission to a PhD Programme at the University of Stavanger (consisting of parts A, B and possibly C). These agreement documents formalise your admission to the PhD programme.
All PhD candidates are to deliver part A and B. External candidates must also submit part C.
The three parts consist of the following:
Part A. General part. This part is to be completed for all candidates admitted to a PhD programme. The parties to the agreement in Part A are the doctoral candidate and the University of Stavanger, specifically the faculty and the department/unit with which the candidate is affiliated.
Part B. Agreement on academic supervision in PhD programmes. This part is to be completed for all candidates admitted to a PhD programme. The parties to the agreement in Part B are the doctoral candidate, his or her supervisor and the relevant unit/department. Part B of this agreement is required for all candidate-supervisor relationships.
Part C. Agreement between an external party and the University of Stavanger on the candidate’s execution of the PhD training programme. Part C is to be completed for candidates with external employer and funding and/or an external workplace. This part of the agreement may also be used for candidates who are employed at a department/faculty/centre at the institution other than the one with which the candidate is affiliated in Part A of the agreement. For candidates participating in the Industrial PhD or the Public Sector PhD scheme the Research Council of Norway requires a separate cooperation agreement. The agreement in Part C is regarded to meet this requirement, cf. the guidelines from the Research Council of Norway. If the candidate is affiliated with two or more institution, an agreement must be signed with each of the external parties.
Please note that the Agreement on Admission to the PhD programme, part A and B has to be completed, signed and sent to the Section for Information Management, e-mail: Informasjonsforvaltning@uis.no as soon as possible,
no later than 1 month after their start-up date.
Your employee number (or the student number, if you are externally funded/employed) is your personal IT username.
Activate your user account
To get a username and password for the IT services that UiS offers, you must activate your IT user.
To activate your employee number for UiS IT-services follow the link https://konto.uis.no/en/ (Norwegian: https://konto.uis.no/). The activation requires setting up a password. It is important that you activate your student account in addition to your employee user account.
If you have any problems activating your IT account, please contact the IT Department on tel.: (+47) 51 83 30 00 or by email: email@example.com.
The IT department is located in the basement in Kitty Kiellands Hus (“the building with the bookshop”, abbreviated KK). Learn more about IT Service Desk
Canvas is our learning platform (Learning Management System) which is used for communication between students and teachers.
Link to login: https://stavanger.instructure.com/
Inspera is our digital exam system that can be used for school exams, submissions for home exams and assignments, oral examination and practice.
Link for students: uis.inspera.no
Within three months of starting in your PhD fellow position, you must submit a PhD plan (comprising your project outline and individual education plan) to the PhD Administration, represented by the PhD coordinator. The plan should be written by you, but your academic supervisors are expected to be involved in the planning and formulation of it. Both supervisors and the head of research school must sign/approve the plan that is submitted. The project description will be assessed before it is presented to the Faculty’s Doctoral Committee for approval and final admission to the PhD program. Both supervisors and the head of the research school need time to read your project plan and provide feedback on points that need to be improved. You must therefore clarify with the head of the research school when you must submit your PhD project plan.
The plan should contain the following in order to be approved:
- A cover page indicating the title of the project, the candidate’s full name, the name of the academic supervisors and the funding period
- The main topic, background, theory, methods, ethical conciderations, expected results and a preliminary literature list for the project
- Information about which PhD courses (if applicable, external PhD courses) you have planned or would like to take
- Your plan for dissemination activities (publications, conferences) and, if applicable, international mobility/research stay abroad
- The timing of the midterm seminar (normally in the third or fourth semester)
- The schedule and progress plan for the various activities and milestones
- PhD candidate’s, supervisors’ and head of research school's signatures
Project descriptions that are not approved by the PhD board are sent back to the candidate and supervisors for revision and re-submission within a new given deadline. Once the revised plan has been approved, it is regarded as the final plan for your project. Its function is to be a key tool to ensuring the completion of your PhD within the prescribed timeframe. In collaboration with your supervisor(s), you must ensure that the plan is kept up to date.
Project Proposal Template:
Length: Maximum 10 pages including bibliography and appendixes (if any).
All PhD candidates should be registered in FS. FS registration is required for Studentweb and Canvas access (the LMS system used at UiS) as well as any course and exam enrolments. In order to be added to FS you need to have a Norwegian national ID number, as this is what FS uses as its primary key. Unfortunately, temporary D-numbers are not accepted.
Twice a year, the Research Department (FA) organises an all-day seminar for new PhD candidates.
The goal of the seminar is to familiarise PhD candidates with the organisational structure of doctoral
education at UiS, support services and candidates’ rights and duties in the PhD programme.
Academic and administrative staff from the different faculties, as well as representatives of PhD
candidates, will be on hand to answer questions from the new PhD candidates. You will get an invitation in good time prior to the event.
Studentweb is the study administration portal used at most higher education institutes in Norway. It allows users to register for courses and exams, view their grades, order grade transcripts and answer questionnaires. It also shows users what information UiS has registered about them in FS and allows them to update this information. Results from courses taken at other higher education institutes in Norway are also visible in Studentweb. PhD candidates do not pay the semester fee.
Candidates admitted to the PhD Programmes at the University of Stavanger should apply for PhD courses through Studentweb
Each year the PhD candidate and the main supervisor each reports to the doctoral committee at the faculty on the progress of the PhD project. The report must be based on the approved work plan for the PhD programme, and will state any deviations from the plan, including changes in funding, coursework, publication plans, study abroad, possible delays and other factors that might affect the progress of the project.
The PhD candidate reports in a form found in Studentweb. The main supervisor reports in a form submitted to the PhD coordinator. The faculty's PhD coordinator sends out a reminder and link well before the reporting deadline.
The deadline for completing the progress report is 31 January. The first report is to be submitted, at the earliest, three months after admission.
The committee will review the submitted reports and enquire about missing or inadequate reports. In those cases where the progress is too slow in relation to the approved work plan, and this is not due to a legitimate leave of absence from the programme, the doctoral committee, in cooperation with the Head of Department, will seek to identify measures to improve progress. The PhD candidate, the Head of Department and/or supervisor will actively participate in this process.
The candidate and the supervisor are equally responsible for submitting the reports. A lack of, or inadequate, progress reports from the candidate can result in involuntary termination of the candidate’s participation in the doctoral programme, prior to expiry of the period of admission (PhD Regulations § 2-7). Supervisors who fail to comply with the reporting requirements may be relieved of their supervisory duties.
Like all employees at UiS, PhD candidates will also receive a formal appraisal. The Head of Department carries out the appraisal interviews for candidates employed at UiS. The progress report can be a natural basis for these conversations.
PhD programme in Social Sciences consists of an educational (coursework) component (30 ECTS credits) and a research component comprising the doctoral thesis (150 ECTS credits).
All PhD candidates must complete a training component, comprising the academic and methodological training needed to be able to complete your thesis. We therefore encourage candidates to complete the required coursework as early as possible. It must comprise 30 credits distributed as follows:
10 ECTS within Philosophy of Science and Research ethics
10 ECTS within Methods and/or Research design
10 ECTS Thematic courses
Course registration is done online in the portal Studentweb – www.fsweb.no/studentweb. To log in on Studentweb you should use your UiS IT-username and password (Feide). You can also find your completed courses in Studentweb.
You can find an overview of all PhD courses offered at the University of Stavanger on the external website (uis.no). You register for courses via Studentweb*, and all relevant information about the courses will be posted on the platform Canvas when the course is being held.
Your supervisor must be involved in the selection of PhD courses and can help you work out which courses will be most useful for your project. If you wish to take external courses, this should be clarified with your academic supervisors and the head of the research school before the start of the course. Once you have completed all the courses you need and you also have the necessary research dissemination experience, you can apply for approval of the completed training component (using a separate application form).
We recommend that PhD candidates complete philosophy of science / research ethics courses during their 1st year of studies.
One of the main elements of doctoral education is the dissemination of scientific knowledge. During their course of study, all PhD candidates must make at least one contribution to research dissemination. The form of dissemination will be evaluated and chosen in cooperation with the supervisors. The contribution can take various forms, such as:
• A contribution at a conference or research seminar
• A lecture or poster presentation
• Teaching at bachelor’s or master’s degree level (relevant to the PhD work)
• Articles or other popular science works
Documentation of this kind of dissemination experience must be submitted in connection with the application for approval of the completed required coursework. It is therefore important that you keep relevant conference brochure(s), programme(s), and information about your contribution(s). The faculty has a special communications advisor who can advise you on how to popularize scientific research dissemination. For more information, please visit the the website: https://www.uis.no/en/contacts-media
Academic presentations are obligatory and have to include these elements:
- Minimum one annual presentation of progress to the research environment at the University of Stavanger.
- At least one presentation at an international scientific conference during the research training period.
- At least one popular science contribution during the research training period. (e.g. feature articles, popularized articles, lectures, etc.)
- 50%- seminar according to the procedures for 50%- seminars.
PhD candidates are expected to travel to academically relevant, supervisor recommended conferences during their study period. Conference expenses are covered by your annual personal budget. Prior to travelling, you should fill out a preapproval for travels form in SAP, and send it your head of department for approval. In order to complete the form your will need the budget unit code and project number.
Once the form is approved, you can book you conference and travels. (Remember to use the service portal for travels). PS: Keep hold of all your travel receipts and the conference agenda. Upon returning to UiS, you should complete a travel and expenses claim in SAP. Upload the travel receipts and conference agenda as an attachment in this claim.
All PhD candidates are required by the Regulations for the Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) degree at the University of Stavanger to have a midterm evaluation during their course of study. The evaluation is conducted either in the third or fourth semester of study and is based on the approved PhD project description.
The candidate then provides a brief summary and description of the project.
After this, the commentator discusses the project with the candidate. The commentator assesses the project's strengths, possible misunderstandings and weaknesses and provides constructive input on how the project can be improved.
This evaluation is completed in the following way:
Step 1: The PhD candidates presents the status of the PhD project according to their agreed study plan, along with their plans for delivery of the PhD thesis (including deviations to the plan) – maximum 25 minutes
Step 2: The supervisors presents their status and progress of the project – 10 minutes Step 3: Summary of the meeting – 10 minutes
The seminar is public and announced at the department/the research school where the candidate belongs. The main supervisor takes the initiative for the seminar and announces it at the department.
The 90% ‐ seminar will be conducted when the dissertation is approximately 90 percent completed. The seminar is public and announced at the department where the candidate belongs.
Prior to the 90% seminar, the candidate’s manuscript (The introductory chapter of a compilation thesis (Norwegian: kappen) and articles) should have been evaluated by an experienced commentator (senior researcher). The text must be available to the commentator three weeks before the seminar.
As with the 50% seminar, the candidate gives a presentation of the work before the commentator(s) discusses the submitted manuscript with the candidate.
The purpose of the 90% seminar is to evaluate the project in its final stage and provide feedback for a nearly finished manuscript. The seminar gives the candidate the opportunity to discuss the research project in detail and prepare for the eventual defence of the dissertation.
The main supervisor takes the initiative for the seminar and announces it at the department/the research school. You will receive a meeting request and more detailed information from the main supervisor when it is time for your 50%/90% seminar.
All PhD candidates are assigned an annual personal budget (in Norwegian, driftsmidler) which amounts to NOK 90 000 for the entire periode of employment.
The personal budget can be used to cover expenses in connection with the PhD training, e.g. trips, courses and conferences, books, equipment, copy-editing, software etc.
The use of the funds must be clarified with the PhD supervisor in advance. The funds are administered by the faculty and can only be used during the period of employment. For external PhD candidates, the amount should be detailed in their PhD agreement. Candidates involved in larger projects usually have to go through the project manager to access the funds.
Contact the Economy Department to get the project number related to your PhD position. You will need this number when placing orders and making purchases in connection with your PhD project. The Economy Department also answers questions about the rules regarding the use of these funds or how much you have left/available during your PhD period. Candidates should be aware that there are rules and regulations governing the use of public funds. Practically this means that purchases are not your personal property (this is particularly important to be aware when it comes to larger purchases).
The funds can be transferred from one year to another to save up for longer research stays abroad and field work. Any unused funds accrue to the institute.
All work and study-related purchases and orders, such as IT equipment, books, travels, etc.,must be made through the University’s service portal. Log in via Feide (using your employee number and password) to place orders. When placing an order, you must apply for preliminary approval from your leader via the SAP portal. Once you have been granted the procurement, you will be allocated a budget code. If you are going to travel, a travel and subsistence claim form and relevant documentation of your expenses must be uploaded in the SAP portal on return.
Service portal: https://uis.service-now.com/tp/
UiS employee website: https://intra.uis.no
The candidate should normally spend three months of study time at a recognised foreign education or research institution where it is possible to work with the research question in the thesis. A stay at an equivalent Norwegian educational or research institution may replace studying abroad if this is deemed to be academically relevant.
The host institution should be found together with the supervisor.
The faculty covers mobility funding for PhD candidates financed by KD (internal candidates employed at UiS). In order to apply for this funding, you should send an application to the PhD coordinator. The application should contain the following:
- Application form – Mobility scholarship
- Invitation letter from host institution
- Recommendation from your supervisor
- Completed budget form
The relevant application forms are found here (intranet).
PhD candidates financed by NFR apply for mobility funding directly from NFR.
Mobility grants paid to KD financed candidates are following NFR's rate ( NOK 22 000 per month).
This rate applies for 2023 and until further notice.
Industrial and public sector PhDs apply for mobility funding through their employers.
Erasmus+ employee mobility
The main objective of ERASMUS+ employee mobility is to support competence development for employees at higher education institutions and strengthen the capacity of the individual employee to work in an international knowledge company. All employees can apply, both scientific-, technical- and administrative staff. Read more about Erasmus plus.
About the scholarship
- The grant/scholarship can be used for training, courses and training activities, either at partner institution or other organization / company abroad.
- Conferences or research programs are not eligible for Erasmus+ employee mobility.
The duration of the program can vary from 2 days to 2 months. UiS has not made its own maximum lengths for study abroad, but it is desirable that as many employees as possible participate in the scheme. For this reason, a program of 1-2 weeks will be granted first.
Minimum days of stay are 2 days at the same university + 1-2 travel days (t / r). Travel expenses/support are given or paid when travel days are done a day before or a day after the event starts and ends.
See if you can apply for a scholarship
If any questions, please contact:
EMC - Euraxess Mobility Centre UiS
Practicalities relating to mobility
It is advisable to hold on to receipts for expenses related to overseas stays, as the Norwegian Tax Administration can demand documentation of the expenses after the stay (audits). All PhD candidates are responsible for following up obligations to employers and tax authorities in connection with the stay abroad.
PhD candidates travelling to the US can apply for a tax deduction card with a lower tax rate. Please visit: https://www.skatteetaten.no
If a candidate qualifies as a commuter, they may be entitled to further tax reductions. For more information on qualifying for commuter status, please contact the UiS Accounts and Finance Department.
National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden)
Membership in the National Insurance Scheme is required in order to be eligible for services from NAV (e.g. healthcare, unemployment and child benefits).
You should check if the country you are travelling to have a social security agreement with Norway or if you are entitled to a voluntary membership in the National Insurance Scheme: https://www.nav.no
Working or long-term stays abroad can end your membership in the National Insurance Scheme. It is therefore important to be aware of how your stay abroad can affect you.
Health and travel insurance
It is highly recommended that you have private health and travel insurance covering your entire mobility stay. UiS does not provide such insurance.
If you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme and a national of either Norway or another EEA country, you are entitled to a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC officially documents that you are entitled to coverage of medically necessary healthcare in another EEA country under the same conditions as that country's own nationals. However, in many countries, the state will not cover medical expenses or hospital stays in full, and the EHIC does not cover expenses on travelling home if you become ill or have been injured in an accident. It is therefore recommended that you have private health insurance in addition to an EHIC. To read more about or order an EHIC please visit: https://helsenorge.no
There is an agreement between Norway and the US that can provide you with immediate private health insurance. For more information, please visit: https://helsenorge.no
Some countries may require visas for entry/stay. Visa processing may take some time, so do start the visa application process as soon as you have your invitation letter from the host institution and confirmation of funding from UiS. For details see the embassy of the country you are travelling to. If you are required to visit an embassy in person, you will most likely have to travel to Oslo. Visa expenses can be include in the mobility budget form.
Note: this section applies to PhD candidates with an employee contract at UiS only.
As a PhD candidate, you are both an employee and a student.
In addition to your leader (head of unit), the HR Department is responsible for aspects related to your employment, such as salary, holidays, sick leave, leaves of absence, terms and conditions of employment, and, where relevant,
termination of contract.
Typically, PhD candidates at some point have questions relating to their salary, tax, leave, and employee benefits. These questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes candidates need to apply for an extension of their contract. This should be done together with the supervisor and Head of Department. The department head will convey the extension with HR. If you require an extension, please contact your supervisor about this as soon as possible. By delaying the application for extension until the end of your contract, you risk the deactivation of your UiS IT-user and email, and losing access to information you have saved on UiS databases.
The University Library is situated in the Kjølv Egelands Hus (KE-building). It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but outside normal office hours you will need to use your employee card to get in. If you want to read articles or publications that require payment or special access, contact the library for assistance, e-mail: email@example.com.
You should apply for approval of the educational component at least 6 months before you hand in your thesis for evaluation. All courses taken outside the University of Stavanger must be documented in the form of a certified copy of the course certificate. The Doctoral Committee undertakes the final approval of the educational/ training component. The application should be sent by e-mail to PhD coordinator.
As you are nearing completion of the thesis it is time to start planning submission and defence. The supervisory team and the research school are responsible for appointing a thesis evaluation committee.
The submission requires the submission of two forms:
The candidate submits the dissertation to the Faculty. Thesis submission is done electronically to the PhD administration at the faculty. The candidate submits the thesis as one pdf file.
The research school leader submits a proposal for an assessment committee using an online form. This form is sent to the Doctoral Committee, which checks all the formalities and formally proposes the committee to the faculty.
Please note that members of the assessment committee should not have any publications or scientific collaboration during the last five years to be considered unbiased (legally competent with respect to the Public Administration Act sections 6-10). Also note that there should be one male and one female opponent. In the event that this is deemed impossible, exeptions can be made, but this requires an explanation.
A co-authorship statement must be included where the candidate has collaborated with others on the individual papers. This statement should be clearly describe what the candidate has contributed themself and what others have done. The co-authorship statement should always be written in the same laguage as the thesis, and will follow the thesis. The statement should be signed by the main supervisor.
Contact PhD administration for more information and for thesis support documentation. The thesis submission should include the following:
- Digital copy of the thesis (PDF)
- Application for assessment of the doctoral dissertation
- Co-author statement(s)
- Confirmation of the completed 90% ‐ seminar
The faculty will send the thesis to the evaluation committee.
The thesis evaluation committee can spend up to 3 months assessing the thesis. Learn more about the adjudication of the thesis.
If you have received a recommendation to submit a revised version of the thesis within a specific deadline, you must submit it to the PhD administration in the same way as described above. Submission of a revised thesis will be considered to be part of the first submission. Include a cover letter to the adjudication committee marked ‘Submission of revised thesis’, giving a brief account of the changes.
The defence is a presentation of the PhD thesis. The faculty is responsible for organising the public defence of the candidate's thesis. The defence consists of a trial lecture (45 minutes) of a given topic and a presentation of the thesis (20 minutes).
For more information about the defence, see the Information about how to prepare for and conduct a public defence
Vice Dean of Research SV:
Kristiane Marie Fjær Lindland
Telephone: +47 51833704
Vice Dean of Research HHUIS:
Telephone: +47 51831640
Telephone: +47 51832787