The PhD degree is supervised doctoral education. The candidate is therefore required to have regular contact with his/her supervisor(s) and must also participate in an active research community.

The PhD candidate normally has at least two supervisors, one of whom is appointed as the main supervisor. The main supervisor has the primary academic responsibility for the candidate. At least one of the supervisors must be employed at the University of Stavanger.

All academic supervisors must hold a doctoral degree or an equivalent qualification in the relevant research field and be working actively as researchers. At least one of the appointed supervisors should have previous experience or training in serving as a supervisor for PhD candidates.

All academic supervisors must hold a doctoral degree or an equivalent qualification in the relevant research field and be active researchers. At least one of the appointed supervisors must have successfully guided at least one candidate through a PhD, from start to public defence. If this requirement cannot be met, supervisors are required to undergo training as PhD supervisors during the first two years of supervision (cf. PhD Regulations § 7-1). Information about the research supervisor development programme at UiS can be found at

In Part B of the PhD Agreement, drafted upon admission to the University of Stavanger, it is stated that the supervisor shall:

  • advise 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
  • keep abreast of the candidate’s progress and assess it in relation to the planned progress
  • assist in the candidate’s integration into relevant academic communities, 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 dissertation

The supervisor has the overall responsibility for ensuring the highest quality of academic work within the timeframe for the PhD programme. In addition, the supervisor must keep the candidate informed about matters of importance regarding the implementation of the programme, and also help to facilitate a study abroad opportunity at an institution that can contribute academically to the PhD project.

Ethical guidelines for supervisors

Both the supervisor and the candidate shall submit an annual progress report on a stipulated form.

In the event of a supervisor’s long-term illness, the head of department and the academic head of the PhD programme are responsible for finding a temporary supervisor for the candidate.

If either the candidate or the supervisor feel that the other party fails to comply with obligations, this should be discussed with the other party. The parties shall jointly endeavor to find a solution to the situation that has arisen. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement on the situation, the candidate and/or the supervisor may request a release from the agreement. This request is submitted to the doctoral committee for a final decision. The PhD candidate and the supervisor can, by mutual agreement, ask the doctoral committee to appoint a new supervisor for the candidate. The supervisor cannot withdraw until a new supervisor is appointed.

Conditions governing changes in supervision are described in Part B of the PhD Agreement, issued upon admission to the Ph.D. programme at the University of Stavanger.