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Kvalitetssystem - Regulations for the Philosophiae Doctor Degree (PhD) at Molde University College – Specialized University in Logistics

Adopted by the Board of Molde University College on 25 April 2013 under the provisions of the Act of 1 April 2005 Number 15 concerning universities and university colleges Section 3. Revised 20 April 2016.

PART I INTRODUCTORY PROVISIONS

Section 1 Applicability of these regulations

These regulations apply to all education culminating in the Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD). The regulations stipulate the rules for admission to, participation in and completion of doctoral training, including joint degrees and cotutelle (joint supervision) agreements.

Section 2 Scope, content and objectives of PhD education

The objective of PhD education is to qualify candidates to conduct research of international quality and to perform other types of work requiring a high level of scientific expertise and analytical thinking in accordance with sound scientific practice and established standards on research ethics. The PhD education is intended to provide the candidate with knowledge, skills and expertise in keeping with the national qualifications framework. The objective is to contribute to the internationalization of research, the academic community and the candidate.

PhD education normally consists of three years of full‐time study, and includes required coursework comprising a minimum of 30 credits. The most important component of PhD education is an independent piece of research carried out under close academic supervision.

The PhD degree is conferred on the basis of:

  • an approved academic thesis
  • approved completion of the required coursework
  • an approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
  • an approved public defence of the PhD thesis

Section 3 Responsibility for the PhD education

The board of Molde University College has the overall responsibility for the PhD education.

The education is organized as programmes of study managed by the Faculty.

Each PhD programme shall be subordinated to a Doctoral Degree Committee that is responsible for the admission of candidates, execution of the programme, approval of the programme curriculum and course descriptions and prepare detailed guidelines for the programme.

Section 4 Quality assurance

The PhD education is included under Molde University College's quality assurance system.

 

PART II ADMISSION

Section 5 Admission

Section 5-1 Conditions of admission

In order to be admitted to PhD education, applicants must normally have a master’s degree (120 ECTS), c.f. the descriptions in the second cycle of the National Qualifications Framework, or the equivalent education within a relevant field of study. Applicants must have a strong academic record from their previous studies. 

Each program may establish minimum requirements regarding weighted average grade for the education that provides the basis for admission. Molde University College may require that applicants complete specific subject courses prior to granting admission.

Section 5-2 Admission application

The application should contain:

  • documentation of the educational qualifications to serve as the basis of admission
  • a short project description that includes scientific description of the project
  • progress plan, including plan for the required coursework
  • funding plan
  • proposal for at least one academic supervisor
  • any plans for a stay at another institution
  • plans for research dissemination
  • information about any restrictions on intellectual property rights that are intended to protect the rights of others
  • a description of any legal or ethical issues raised by the project and how these can be addressed. The application must state whether the project is dependent on permission granted by committees on research ethics and other authorities or private individuals (research subjects, patients, parents, etc.). If possible, such permission should be obtained in writing and attached to the application.

Plan for the required coursework, including coursework targeted towards general competency in accordance with the qualifications framework

The candidate and the main academic supervisor should, as quickly as possible and within three (3) months of admission, review the project description and assess the need for any adjustments. The project description should provide an explanation of the thematic area,

research questions, and the choice of theory and methodology.

For appointment of research fellows see the regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for research fellows, FOR 2006-01-31-102, section 1-3, paragraph 8, issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, and our own supplementary guidelines.

If the applicant considers using a language different from that which is approved according to regulation, section 10-1, an application for approval must be submitted with the project study plan.

Section 5-3 Infrastructure

The infrastructure needed to implement the research project must be placed at the disposal of the candidate. It is the responsibility of the faculty to decide what infrastructure is necessary for implementing the project. For candidates with external funding or an external workplace, an agreement must be entered into between Molde University College and the external party in connection with the research project concerned. As a general rule, the agreement must be signed prior to the formal admission of the candidate or immediately thereafter.

Section 5-4 Admission decision

The decision to grant admission is made by the Doctoral Degree Committee, and is based on an overall assessment of the application. The university college specifies criteria for use in ranking qualified applicants when the number of applicants exceeds the admission capacity.

Approval of the required course work within the study will be according to the guidelines for the specific PhD programme.

The formal admission letter will appoint at least one academic supervisor, and establish the start and end dates of the agreement period. The start date will be the same as the date when the candidate’s funding begins. Any extension of the agreement period must be related to the rights of employees pursuant to Norwegian law, or be the subject of a separate agreement on the candidate’s funding base.

Admission can be denied if:

  • agreements with external third parties prevent the PhD thesis from being made available to the public or from being defended in a public forum
  • the agreements on intellectual property rights that have been entered into are so unreasonable that the university college should not be involved in the project

Section 5-5 Agreement period

PhD education normally consists of three (3) years of full‐time study. Maximum time allowed to complete the PhD programme is six (6) years from the starting date to the date on which the thesis is submitted. Any leaves of absence, lengthy periods of absence due to illness, required duties and approved part-time study are not to be included in the 6-year period.

If the candidate’s training is interrupted for legally established reasons, the agreement period will be extended correspondingly.

If the maximum period of study is exceeded, the candidate loses the right to defend the thesis. The doctoral degree committee is to decide whether or not the maximum period of study has been exceeded. The doctoral degree committee may, upon application, extend the agreement period. If an extension of the agreement period is approved, the doctoral degree committee may stipulate additional terms and conditions.

When the period of admission expires, the rights and obligations of the parties in connection with the PhD agreement terminate. This means that the PhD candidate may lose the right to receive academic supervision, participate in courses and have access to the university college’s infrastructure. However, the candidate may apply for permission to submit the doctoral thesis for evaluation to the PhD degree. Each application is to be decided by the doctoral degree committee.  

Section 5-6 Voluntary termination prior to expiry of the agreement period

The candidate and the university college may agree that the candidate’s participation in the PhD programme will be terminated prior to expiry of the agreement period. In the event of voluntary termination, all questions regarding the terms and conditions of employment, funding, rights to the use of the research results, etc. must be settled in a termination agreement.

If voluntary termination is due to the candidate’s desire to change projects or transfer to a different PhD programme, the candidate must reapply for admission on the basis of the new project. The change of project must be approved by all external sources of funding. 

Section 5-7 Involuntary termination in the event of delay or lack of progress

The faculty may decide to terminate a candidate’s participation in the PhD programme prior to expiry of the agreement period.

Involuntary termination may be imposed if one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • Serious delays in the completion of the required coursework due to factors over which the candidate has control
  • Repeated or serious violations of the candidate’s obligations to provide information, meet commitments, and report on the project, including a failure to submit a progress report, c.f. section 9
  • A delay in the progress of the research project that is of such a nature as to raise doubts about the candidate’s ability to complete the project within the stipulated time period. Involuntary termination may be imposed only if lack of progress or delay is  due to circumstances which the PhD candidate has control.

The university college´s appeals committee will handle complaints regarding involuntary termination in the event of delay or lack of progress.

Section 5-8 Involuntary termination in the event of cheating on examinations or tests during the PhD programme

If it is found that a PhD candidate has cheated on examinations or tests during the PhD programme, the university college’s appeals committee may decide to annul such examinations and tests, cf. section 4.7 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges. If the circumstance(s) are so serious as to constitute scientific misconduct, cf. section 4.13, first paragraph, of the same Act, cf. section 5 of the Act on ethics and integrity in research, second paragraph, the faculty may decide to impose involuntary termination, cf. section 5.9 below.

Complaints are to be handled by the joint appeals committee for student cases, cf. section 5-1 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges and regulations in accordance with this.

Section 5-9 Involuntary termination in the event of scientific misconduct

If it is found that a PhD candidate is guilty of scientific misconduct, cf. Section 4.13, first paragraph, of the Act relating to universities and university colleges, cf. section 5, second paragraph, of the Act on ethics and integrity in research, the faculty may decide to impose involuntary termination.

Complaints regarding such decisions will be handled by the ministry or a special appeals committee appointed by the ministry.

Section 5-10 Termination and dismissal

A PhD candidate, who is employed, may be dismissed from his or her position when there are proper grounds related to the university college or PhD candidate’s circumstances, c.f. sections 9 and 10 of the Civil Servants Act or section 15 of the Act regarding summary discharge.

Section 6 The PhD agreement

Admission to PhD training must be formalized in a written agreement.

The agreement must be signed by the PhD candidate, the academic supervisor(s), Molde University College and any external parties. The agreement regulates the rights and obligations of the parties during the period of admission and is intended to ensure that the candidate participates on a regular basis in an active research group and that he/she is able to complete the training within the stipulated time period. The university college is responsible for creating a standardized form for this purpose.

As a general rule, the agreement should be signed within three (3) months from the admission.

Any changes to the conditions mentioned in the agreement must be approved by the university college.

 

PART III IMPLEMENTATION

Section 7 Academic supervision

The work involved in the PhD thesis must be carried out under individualized academic supervision. The faculty and the supervisors are to work together to ensure that the PhD candidate participates in an active research group.

Section 7-1 Appointment of academic supervisors

As a general rule, the PhD candidate will have two academic supervisors, of which one will be designated as the main supervisor. The main supervisor should be appointed at the time of admission.

The main supervisor has the primary academic‐related responsibility for the candidate. If an external main supervisor is appointed, a co‐supervisor from the university college must also be appointed.

Cosupervisors are experts in the field who provide supervision and share the academic related responsibility for the candidate with the main supervisor.

Provisions on impartiality in sections 6‐10 of the Public Administration Act regarding disqualification apply to the academic supervisors. Comprehensive guidelines for each specific programme will provide more details.

All academic supervisors must hold a doctoral degree or 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.

The PhD candidate and academic supervisor may ask the doctoral degree committee to appoint a new supervisor for the candidate. The supervisor may not withdraw before a new supervisor has been appointed. The parties may bring any disputes regarding the academic‐related rights and obligations of the supervisor and candidate to the university college for review and a final decision.

Section 7-2 Duties of the academic supervisors

The candidate and academic supervisors should have regular contact. The supervisor is responsible for following up the candidate’s academic development. The frequency of contact between the parties should be stated in the annual progress report, c.f. section 9.

The supervisors are required to stay informed of the progress of the candidate’s work and to assess it in relation to the progress plan in the project description, c.f. section 5.1.

The supervisors are required to follow up academic‐related factors that may cause a delay in the candidate’s progress so that the candidate can complete the training within the stipulated time period.

The supervisors are to give advice on formulating and delimiting the thematic area and research questions, discuss and assess hypotheses and methodology, discuss the results and the interpretation of these, discuss the structure and implementation of the thesis, including the outline, choice of language, documentation, etc., and provide guidance on the academic literature and data available in libraries, archives, etc. The supervisors must also advise the candidate on the issue of research ethics related to the thesis.

Section 8 Required coursework

Section 8-1 Purpose, content and scope

PhD education must be organized such that candidates are able to complete their training within the stipulated time frame.

The doctoral degree committee is responsible for ensuring that the required coursework and the work involved in the PhD thesis constitute an education at a high academic level in accordance with international standards. PhD training must include the completion of an independent piece of scientific research, training in research dissemination and an introduction to research ethics, the philosophy of science and scientific methods. The coursework, together with the research project, must be designed to achieve the anticipated learning outcome in accordance with the national qualifications framework.

The coursework must consist of at least 30 credits. The guidelines for each PhD programme may determine a higher extent than the minimum requirement. Requirements for compulsory subjects as part of the coursework may also be determined.

Credits approved as part of the required coursework should not have been completed more than two (2) years prior to the date of admission.

The university college is responsible for offering all PhD students education at a high scientific level. The guidelines for each PhD programme describe the educational component  and criteria for passing the examination.

If the university college itself does not provide all of the required courses, it must facilitate the candidate’s participation in comparable courses at other institutions.

Doctoral‐level courses completed at another institution must be approved in accordance with the provisions of section 3‐4, first paragraph, of the Act relating to universities and university colleges.

Section 8-2 The Candidate’s rights in the event of leave of absence

PhD candidates on maternity/paternity leave from the PhD programme may attend classes and sit for examinations in courses that will be included as part of the candidate’s required coursework during the leave period, pursuant to section 14‐10, fourth paragraph, of the National Insurance Act and the circular from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration regarding section 14‐10, fourth paragraph, of 18 December 2006, last amended on 30 June 2009.

Section 9 Reporting and midt term evaluation

Section 9.1 Reporting

The university college’s system for the quality assurance of doctoral education must include measures to uncover insufficient progress on the doctoral thesis and coursework, inadequacies in supervision, and routines for handling any such deficiencies that might arise.

During the agreement period, the PhD candidate is to submit reports in writing to the doctoral degree committee every year describing the progress in the PhD education. Every year, the supervisors submit a separate report. The reports must be written using a prescribed form.

PhD seminars are arranged at least once a year, where PhD students must present their work.

The candidate and the supervisor are equally responsible for submitting the required reports. A lack of, or inadequate, progress reports from the candidate may result in involuntary termination of the candidate’s participation in the PhD programme prior to expiry of the period of admission, c.f. section 5-5. Supervisors who fail to comply with the reporting requirements may be relieved of their supervisory duties.

The faculty may establish special reporting requirements, if needed. 

Section 9.2 Midterm evaluation

A midterm evaluation of the research project should normally be carried out within 2/3 of the stipulated time period according to the PhD agreement, and related to agreed leaves. The candidate must present his/her work and will be evaluated by a group of at least two persons appointed by the Doctoral Degree Committee. The evaluation group must give its opinion of the academic status and progress of the research project and provide feedback to the candidate, supervisor and institution.

If the evaluation group finds major weaknesses in the research project, measures to rectify the situation must be implemented.

Section 10 The PhD thesis

Section 10-1 Thesis requirements

The thesis must be an independent piece of scientific research that meets international standards with regards to ethical requirements, academic level and methodology used in the research field.

The thesis must contribute to the development of new knowledge and achieve a level meriting publication in the literature in the field.

The thesis may consist of a monograph or a compendium of several shorter manuscripts. If the thesis consists of several shorter manuscripts, an explanation of how these are interrelated must be included.

If a research paper has been produced in cooperation with other authors, the PhD candidate must follow the norms for co‐authorship that are generally accepted within the academic community and in accordance with international standards. If the thesis consists mainly of papers, the candidate must normally be listed as the main or first author on at least half of the papers.

A thesis containing papers written by more than one author must include a signed declaration that describes the candidate’s contribution to each of the papers. It must be possible to identify the candidate's independent contribution in the work.  

The thesis must be written either in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If the candidate wishes to use a different language, the candidate must apply for special permission at the time of admission, c.f. section 5-2.

Section 10-2 Work that may not be submitted

Work or parts of work that have been approved as the basis for previous examinations or degrees may not be submitted for evaluation. However, data, analyses and methodologies from previous degrees may be used as the basis for work in the PhD thesis.

A thesis may not be handed in for evaluation by a group of candidates. It is normally not allowed to let one or several articles constitute a part of several theses.

Published articles cannot be approved as part of the PhD thesis if more than three (3) years has passed from the date of publication to the date of admission. The Faculty may allow an exception to this rule in extraordinary cases.

The PhD thesis may be submitted for evaluation to only one educational institution, c.f. section 13-1.

Section11 Obligation to report on research results with commercial potential

The rights between cooperating institutions must be regulated in a written agreement.

When a PhD candidate is employed at the university college, the university college’s regulations relevant at the time must form the basis of the PhD candidate’s obligation to report on the research results with commercial potential that he/she produced during the employment relationship.

For PhD candidates with an external employer, the corresponding obligation to report must be stipulated in a written agreement between the university college, the PhD candidate and the external employer.

For PhD candidates without an employer, the corresponding obligation to report must be stipulated in the admission agreement between the university college and the PhD candidate.

 

PART IV COMPLETION

Section 12 Evaluation

Section 12-1 Basis for the evaluation

The PhD degree is conferred on the basis of:

  • an approved and published academic thesis
  • approved completion of the required coursework
  • an approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
  • an approved public defence of the PhD thesis (disputation)

Section 12-2 Time from submission to public defence

Normally, the time between submission of the doctoral thesis for evaluation and the public defence of the thesis should not exceed five (5) months.

Section 13 Submission

Section 13-1 Submission of the PhD thesis

The application for evaluation of the PhD thesis may only be submitted after the required coursework has been approved.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • the thesis prepared in the approved format and in accordance with the university college’s rules regarding the form
  • documentation of completed coursework
  • documentation of required written permission, c.f. section 5-2
  • declarations from co‐authors when this is required pursuant to section 10-1
  • statement regarding whether the doctoral work is being submitted for evaluation for the first or second time
  • statement that the doctoral work has not been submitted for evaluation at another institution.

The PhD thesis must be made available to the public no later than two weeks prior to the public defence, c.f. section 18-2.

Section 13-2 Evaluation of the application

The Faculty assesses the application for evaluation of a PhD thesis. Applications that do not fulfill the requirements stated in section 13-1 will be rejected.

The Faculty may, based on an independent decision, reject an application concerning evaluation of a PhD thesis if it is obvious that the thesis does not meet (with) the required scientific quality and will be rejected by a committee.

Section 14 Appointment of the evaluation committee

Appointment of the evaluation committees takes place in accordance with the comprehensive  guidelines for each PhD programme.

When the requirements for appointment of evaluation committee for the specific programme are met, the doctoral degree committee will, based on recommendations from the main supervisor, appoint a competent committee of at least three members that shall evaluate the thesis, the defence and the trial lecture.

The composition of the committee should normally be decided at the time of submission on the doctoral thesis. The evaluation committee will normally be comprised so that:

  • both genders are represented
  • at least two of the members are not affiliated with the university college
  • at least one of the members is employed in his/her main position at an institution outside Norway
  • all the members hold a doctoral degree or equivalent expertise

Committee members are subject to the provisions in section 6 of the Public Administration Act regarding impartiality.

If these criteria are not met, an explanation must be provided.

The proposal for the composition of the committee must explain the reasoning behind the selection of the members and how the committee as a whole covers the field(s) addressed in the doctoral thesis. The doctoral degree committee must appoint either one of the committee members or another person to serve as the committee’s chairperson.

The appointed supervisor(s) may not be a member of the evaluation committee or administer its activities.

When required, the doctoral degree committee may appoint an alternate to sit on the evaluation committee.

The candidate will be notified of the proposal for the composition of the committee, and he/she may submit written comments no later than one week after the proposal has been made known to the candidate.

Section 15 Activities of the evaluation committee

Section 15-1 Gathering of supplementary information

The evaluation committee may ask to review the PhD candidate’s basic data and any additional or clarifying information.

The evaluation committee may ask the academic supervisor to provide information about the supervision carried out and the work involved in the doctoral thesis.

Section 15-2 Reworking of a submitted thesis

The evaluation committee may, on the basis of the submitted thesis and any additional material, c.f. section 14-1, recommend that the candidate is permitted to make minor revisions to the thesis before the committee submits its final report. The committee must provide a written list of the specific items that the candidate must rework.

If the faculty allows minor revisions to the thesis, a deadline normally not exceeding three (3) months will be set for completing such revisions. A new deadline for submission of the committee’s final report will also be set. The faculty's decision pursuant to this paragraph may not be appealed by the PhD candidate.

If the committee finds that extensive changes related to the theory, hypothesis, material or methods used in the thesis are needed in order deem the thesis worthy of a public defence, the committee must reject the thesis.

Section 15-3 Report of the evaluation committee

The evaluation committee determines whether the thesis is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. The decision presented in the report and any dissenting views must be explained.

The committee’s report must be submitted no later than three (3) months from the date when the committee received the thesis. If the committee recommends reworking of the thesis, and the faculty allows this, a new time limit runs from the date on which the thesis was resubmitted.

The committee’s report is submitted to the faculty, which forwards the report to the PhD candidate. The candidate is given ten (10) working days in which to submit written comments to the report. If the candidate does not wish to submit comments, he/she must notify the faculty of this in writing as soon as possible.

Any written comments by the PhD candidate must be sent to the faculty. The faculty is responsible for taking the final decision on the matter in accordance with section 16.

Section 15-4 Correction of formal errors in the thesis

A thesis which has been submitted may not be withdrawn before the evaluation committee has determined whether it is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree.

The PhD candidate has the opportunity to correct formal errors in the thesis after submission. The candidate must then prepare a complete list of errors (errata) that he/she wishes to correct and submit this at latest four (4) weeks before the committee's deadline for submission of its report. Correction of formal errors may take place only once.

Section 16 The Faculty's procedures related to the evaluation committee’s report

On the basis of the report by the evaluation committee, the faculty determines whether the PhD thesis is worthy of a public defence.

Unanimous committee decision

If the committee’s decision is unanimous and the faculty finds that the committee’s report should be used as the basis for its final decision, the faculty will take the final decision in accordance with the committee’s report.

If the faculty finds that there are grounds to doubt whether the committee’s unanimous decision should be used as the basis for its final decision, the faculty must request further clarification from the evaluation committee and/or appoint two new reviewers who will submit individual evaluations of the thesis. Such additional clarification or individual evaluations must be presented to the PhD candidate, who will be given the opportunity to make comments.

The faculty takes the final decision on the matter on the basis of the committee’s report and the subsequent reviews.

Non‐unanimous committee decision

If the committee’s decision is not unanimous and the faculty finds that there are grounds to use the majority’s opinion as the basis for its final decision, the faculty will take the final decision in accordance with the majority’s view. If the committee’s decision is not unanimous and the faculty finds there are grounds to consider using the minority’s opinion as the basis for its final decision, the faculty may request further clarification from the evaluation committee and/or appoint two new reviewers who will submit individual evaluations of the thesis. Such additional clarification or individual evaluations must be presented to the PhD candidate, who will be given the opportunity to make comments. If both of the new reviewers agree with the majority’s opinion in the original report by the committee, the majority’s opinion must be followed.

The candidate will be informed of the outcome after procedures related to the statements by the new reviewers have been completed.

Section 17 Resubmission and evaluation

A PhD thesis that has not been found worthy of public defence may be resubmitted for evaluation in revised form no earlier than six (6) months after the faculty has made its decision. A PhD thesis may be reevaluated only once.

In the event of resubmission, the PhD candidate must clearly state that the thesis was evaluated previously and was not found to be worthy of a public defence.

Section 18 Public availability of the thesis

Section 18-1 Requirements related to the printed thesis

When the thesis is found worthy of a public defence, the PhD candidate must submit the thesis to the faculty in the approved format and in accordance with the rules of the university college, c.f. section 13-1.

The PhD candidate must submit a brief summary of the thesis. If the thesis is not written in English or Norwegian, the candidate must also submit a summary in the language in which the thesis is written. Like the thesis itself, the summary must be made available to the public.

Section18-2 Public availability

The thesis must be made available to the public no later than two (2) weeks prior to the date of the public defence. The thesis should be made available in the form in which it was submitted for evaluation, or following revisions made on the basis of the committee’s preliminary comments, c.f. section 15-2.

There can be no restrictions placed on a PhD thesis being made publicly available, except in the event that a prior agreement has been reached concerning a delay in public access at an agreed upon date. Such a delay may be allowed so that the university college and any external parties which have partially or wholly funded the candidate’s PhD studies can determine their interests in potential patents. An external party may not require that all or part of a PhD thesis be withheld from the public domain, c.f. section 5-4.

When publishing the thesis, the candidate must follow the applicable guidelines on the crediting of the university college. As a general rule, an institution must be listed as the author’s address in the publication if the institution has made a necessary and substantial contribution or laid a foundation so that the author could produce the published work. The same author must also list other institutions if these in each case fulfill the requirement related to the institution’s contribution.

Section 19 Doctoral examination

If the work is found worthy of defence, the PhD education is concluded with

  1. a public trial lecture on an assigned topic and
  2. a public defence

Section 19-1 Trial lecture

The trial lecture is an independent part of the examination for the PhD degree and is held on an assigned topic. The purpose is to test the candidate’s ability to acquire knowledge beyond the topic of the thesis and to convey this knowledge in a lecture situation.

The evaluation committee will assign the topic of the lecture and conducts the evaluation.

The title of the trial lecture must be announced to the PhD candidate ten (10) working days prior to the lecture. The topic of the lecture must not have a direct connection to the topic of the thesis.

The trial lecture must be held in the language in which the doctoral thesis is written, unless the university college approves the use of another language.

The evaluation committee is responsible for determining whether the trial lecture is approved or not approved. If the trial lecture is not approved, the reason for this must be explained.

The trial lecture must be approved before the public defence can be held.

Section 19-2 Public defence of the thesis (disputation)

The public defence of the thesis must take place after the trial lecture has been held and approved, and no later than two (2) months after the thesis has been found worthy of a public defence.

The time and location of the public defence must be announced at least ten (10) working days prior to the scheduled date.

The defence must be held in public. The evaluation committee will act as opponents.  The distribution of work between the members is agreed upon internally within the committee. In special cases, opponents that are not members of the committee may be appointed.

The public defence will be chaired by the leader of the doctoral degree committee, or whomever the leader authorizes. The chair of the defence gives a brief account of the procedures relating to the submission and evaluation of the thesis, and of the trial lecture.

Thereafter the PhD candidate explains the purpose and findings of the scientific investigation.

The evaluation committee will decide the order of the opponents.

After all opposing speakers have concluded their questioning, members of the audience will have the opportunity to comment (ex auditorio).

The evaluation committee submits its report to the university college in which it explains how it has evaluated the trial lecture and the public defence of the thesis. The report must conclude whether the doctoral examination should be approved or not approved. (c.f. recommended provisions for evaluation of Norwegian doctoral degrees by Norwegian Council for Higher Education). If the defence is not approved, the report must provide an explanation for this.

Section 20 Approval of the doctoral examination

The university college takes the decision on approval of the doctoral examination on the basis of the evaluation committee’s report.

If the evaluation committee does not approve the trial lecture, a new trial lecture must be held on a new topic no later than six (6) months following the first lecture. A new trial lecture may only be held once. The lecture must be evaluated to the extent possible by the same committee that evaluated the first lecture, unless the faculty has stipulated otherwise.

If the evaluation committee does not approve the public defence, the PhD candidate may defend the thesis only once more. A new defence can be held after six (6) months and must be evaluated to the extent possible by the same committee that evaluated the first defence.

Section 21 Conferral of the degree and diploma

On the basis of the approved required coursework, the academic thesis and the doctoral examination, the university college confers the degree of Philosophiae Doctor on the candidate, and issues the diploma.

Section 22 Diploma supplement

The university college will issue a diploma supplement in accordance with the guidelines in force.

 

 

PART V APPEALS AND ENTRY INTO FORCE AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Section 23 Appeals

Section 23-1 Appeal of a rejection of an application for admission, appeal of a decision to terminate a student’s admission rights, and appeal of rejection of an application for recognition of parts of the required coursework

Rejection of an application for admission, a decision to terminate a student’s admission rights, and rejection of an application for recognition of parts of the required coursework may be appealed pursuant to the provisions of sections 28 and following of the Public Administration Act. Details of the grounds for such an appeal must be sent to the university college. If the rejection is upheld, the appeal is to be forwarded to the university college appeals committee for a final ruling. 

Section 23-2 Appeal of an examination as part of the required coursework

Examinations taken as part of the required coursework may be appealed under the provisions of the Act of 1 April 2005 relating to universities and university colleges pursuant to section 5‐3 concerning appeals over grades and section 5-2 concerning appeals relating to procedural errors in examinations.

Suspicion of cheating or an attempt to cheat must be handled in accordance with the university college’s established routines for this.

Section 23-3 Appeal of a rejection of an application for evaluation, and rejection of a PhD thesis, trial lecture or public defence

Rejection of an application for evaluation of a PhD thesis and a decision of non‐approval of a PhD thesis, trial lecture or public defence may be appealed pursuant to section 28 and following of the Public Administration Act.

Details of the grounds for such an appeal must be sent to the university college. The university college may annul or amend the decision if it finds that the appeal is justified.  If the university college dismisses the appeal, the appeal is to be forwarded to the university college appeals committee for a ruling.  The body handling the appeal is to investigate all aspects of the appealed decision.  

Should the university college or the body handling the appeal  find grounds to do so, individual experts or a committee may be appointed to conduct an assessment of the evaluation that was carried out and the criteria on which the evaluation was based, or to conduct a new or supplementary expert evaluation.

Section 24 Joint degrees and cotutelle agreements

Section 24-1 Joint degrees and cotutelle agreements

The university college may enter into an agreement with one or more Norwegian or foreign institutions to cooperate on joint degrees or cotutelle agreements.

With regards to cooperation on joint degrees and cotutelle agreements, an exception may be made to the other provisions in these recommended guidelines if it is necessary due to the regulations of the cooperating institution.

Section 24-2 Joint Degrees

The term “joint degree” is defined as a collaboration between two or more institutions in which the cooperating institutions as a group are responsible for admission, academic supervision, the conferral of the degree and other elements as described in these regulations. The collaboration is normally organized in the form of a consortium and is regulated by an agreement between the consortium members. For a completed joint degree, a joint diploma is issued in the form of: a) a diploma issued by the consortium members as a group, b) a diploma issued by each of the consortium members, or a combination of a) and b).

Section 24-3 Cotutelle agreements

The term “cotutelle agreement” is defined as the joint academic supervision of PhD candidates and cooperation on doctoral training for PhD candidates.

A cotutelle agreement must be entered into by the institutions for each candidate.

Section 24-4 Requirements related to joint degrees and cotutelle agreements

Admission requirements, the requirement that the PhD thesis must be made available to the public, and the requirement that the public defence must be evaluated by an impartial committee cannot be waived.

With regard to cooperation on joint degrees and cotutelle agreements, the Rector may grant an exemption from these regulations if this is necessary due to the regulations at the cooperating institutions. Such exemptions, both individually and as a whole, must be clearly justifiable on the basis of the requirements for academic quality that apply to an equivalent PhD degree at the university college.

As a minimum, cooperation on joint degrees and cotutelle agreements must cover admission, funding, required coursework, supervision, residency requirements at the institutions, reporting requirements, the language and structure of the thesis, its assessment, the award of the degree, the issue of the certificate and the intellectual property right to the results. The agreement is to be signed by the Rector. The PhD education at the cooperating institutions must have a nominal duration of three years. The candidate must be admitted to both institutions.

Section 25 Entry into force

These regulations enter into force on 1 May 2013.

At the same time, the regulations "FOR 2006-03-01-4884 Regulation concerning the philosophiae doctor degree (PhD) at Molde University College" are revoked.