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Public defence

The faculty is responsible for organizing the public defense of the candidate's thesis.

Prior to the defence, the Chair of the Evaluation Committee and the faculty's PhD coordinator must agree upon their responsibilities and division of tasks. The Chair of the evaluation committee appoints a time and date for the public defense, together with the rest of the committee. He/she is responsible for contacting committee members, while the PhD coordinator is usually responsible for coordinating the date for the defence with the PhD candidate, supervisors, dean and head of department as well as for the practical arrangements related to the implementation of the public defence. In the checklist for the Chair of the evaluation committee, a list of tasks connected to the public defence, the monitoring of the evaluation committee and the sharing of tasks between the evaluation committee and the PhD coordinator, have been drawn up. Usually, the PhD administration works closely together with the evualuation committee’s administrator.

The time and place of the public defence will be publicized a minimum of ten working days before the defence, together with the subject of the trial lecture and information about the publication of the thesis.

The public defence will be chaired by the Dean of the faculty or a person authorised by the Dean. First, the Chair of the defence will give a brief explanation of the procedures relating to the submission and evaluation of the doctoral thesis and the trial lecture. The PhD candidate will then explain the purpose and findings of the doctoral research project. The first opponent begins the questioning of the PhD candidate and the second opponent concludes the same. Each faculty can decide upon a different order or division of tasks between the candidate and the opponents. Those members of the audience who wish to participate in the deliberations ex auditorio must give notice to the Chair within the timeframe determined and announced at the start of the public defence.

If the committee deems the thesis and the defence satisfactory, this is announced immediately at the venue, upon conclusion of the defence. The committee then submits a report to the PhD coordinator, on a stipulated form, where it evaluates the dissertation, the trial lecture and the defence, and concludes whether the defense has been approved or not.

For further information about the public defence, see Procedures for the Public Defence on the UiS website. The trial lecture and public defence are referred to in Regulation § 8.

The faculty covers the external committee members’ fees, travel expenses and accommodation. For the PhD candidate, expenses incurred for printing, travel, and organizing a celebratory event on the day of the public defence are tax deductible. See the section on the Norwegian Tax Administration website regarding the deduction of costs relating to a doctorate.

If the faculty does not approve the trial lecture(s) or the public defence, the PhD candidate will be given another chance to defend his thesis after 6 months. Upon approval of the thesis, the PhD coordinator prepares a case presentation for the rector, how awards the doctoral degree. As soon as the rector has signed the decision letter, it is sent to the PhD graduate the degree was awared to. A PhD diploma is awarded to the candidate during the university's annual celebration  in October.