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PhD course of study (PhD Programme in Social Sciences)

Are you a new PhD candidate? Here you will find an overview of the course of study.

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doctoral education

Course of study from start-up to completion

An overview of important elements in the PhD study programme:

The overview is split into three parts: start-up, implementation and completion. The overview applies to all candidates who are admitted to the PhD programme in Social Sciences.



All candidates admitted to the PhD programme in Social Sciences are to complete and submit the ABC-agreements and a project description, and to be registered as in the student database Felles Studentsystem (FS).

The Agreement on admission to the PhD programme at the University of Stavanger (UiS), shortened as ABC-agreements, are to be submitted prior to starting the PhD studies. All PhD candidates are to deliver part A and B. External candidates must also submit part C. The ABC agreements are submitted to the PhD coordinator at the faculty.

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.

All candidates admitted to the PhD programme in Social Sciences should within 3 months of starting their studies submit a detailed project description to the PhD board for the PhD programme in social sciences (DUSV). The project plan is to be reviewed and approved by DUSV.

The plan should contain the following in order to be approved:

  • Project title (i.e. working title)
  • Candidate name
  • Main supervisor
  • Co-supervisor(s)
  • PhD period (+ funding if external)
  • Project background and methods
  • Upcoming publications/ presentations
  • Courses to be completed/ study plan/ mobility
  • Progress plan
  • References
  • PhD candidate’s and supervisors’ 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.

Project Proposal Template:

The formal requirements are:

Font: Times

Font size: 12 (10 for block quotes, footnotes, figures and references)

Space section: 1,5

Bibliography: Standard from your research tradition

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.

Candidates admitted to the PhD Programmes at the University of Stavanger should apply for PhD courses through Studentweb

PhD candidates do not pay the semester fee.


Canvas is the official learning management system of the UIS. Course instructors will be using Canvas to communicate with course participants.

PhD candidates can use Canvas to access course content, submit assignments anytime, anywhere, collaborate with other PHD candidates and course instructors, and find deadlines and messages from the course instructors. The Canvas learning management system has powerful tools that facilitate teaching and learning. Therefore, it is important that you activate your student account at UIS and log in to Canvas:

How to activate your student account

Here you will find information about Canvas and Inspera

Please follow this link to sign into Canvas:

You should use student log-in when you log in to the Canvas, but not your employer ID number. If you have any questions about how to activate your student account at UIS or how to log in to Canvas, please contact the IT Service Desk or e-mail at



Studentweb, progress reporting, midterm evaluation and mobility are all important elements in the course of study.

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.

The PhD candidate and the supervisor report annually to the doctoral committee on the progress of the PhD project. The doctoral candidate and main supervisor must submit separate written reports annually outlining the progress of doctoral education.

The report must be based on the approved work plan for the PhD programm, and will state any deviations from the plan, including changes in funding, coursework, publication plans, study abroad plans and academic progress of the project in general.

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 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, c.f.§5.5 Supervisors who fail to comply with the reporting requirements may be relieved of their supervisory duties.

Like all emloyees at UiS, PhD candidates will also receive a formal appraisal. The head of the department carries out the appraisal interviews for candidates employed at UiS. The progress report can be a natural basis for these conversations.

The reporting is done through a form in Studentweb. The report asks questions about deviations from the project plan, coursework, publication plans, study abroad, possible delays and other factors that might affect the progress of the project. All reporting candidates will receive an email from the administration when the report is ready for access in Studentweb.

The committee will review the submitted reports and inquire about lacking 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.

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, c.f. § 2-7.

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 will present their work for assessment by an evaluation team, consisting of at least two persons appointed by the department. The Department sends out the invite to the midterm evaluation.

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 21 000 per month).

This rate applies for 2022 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:

Kathrine Lima Molde

Kjetil Kiil Halvorsen

EMC - Euraxess Mobility Centre UiS



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 PhD Board 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 PhD Board, 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.

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


Contact details

Vice Dean of Research SV:

Kristiane Marie Fjær Lindland


Telephone: +47 51833704

Vice Dean of Research HHUIS:

Ragnar Tveterås


Telephone: +47 51831640

PhD coordinator:

Nadya Sandsmark


Telephone: +47 51832787