The implementation and completion of the doctoral training is described in § 8 of UiAs PhD regulations.
Agder University Library is a regional academic library supporting research and studies. The University Library offers a large collection of printed and electronic books and journals. All new PhD students are encouraged to acquaint themselves with the library and library services.
Each faculty has at least one dedicated academic librarian who renders professional assistance when needed. The University library offers services such as:
(For SPSS: software for advanced analysis of datasets, contact IT-department)
All candidates admitted to a doctoral degree programme must follow the prescribed organised academic training. The coursework component normally comprises 30 credits (ECTS) and includes training in ethics and the philosophy of science. The course in ethics and philosophy of science cannot make up more than 10 credits. Faculties offer their own courses in ethics and philosophy of science, but there is also a joint course of 5 credits which is open for PhD candidates from all faculties.
The volume of the coursework component may vary between the programmes. The PhD candidate normally discusses the contents of the coursework component with the supervisor(s). No bachelor level courses may be included in the training. Organised training must be completed at the latest before submission of the dissertation, but it is recommended that the coursework component is carried out during the first half of the doctoral programme. It is also recommended that the PhD candidate gets his/her organised training approved as soon as it is finished, and does not wait until submission of the dissertation.
The faculty is responsible for offering all PhD candidates training at a high academic level. If the unit responsible for the doctoral degree programme is unable to provide the whole training, the faculty must arrange for the candidate’s participation in equivalent training at another unit or institution that provides approved doctoral degree training. The organised training may be provided partly as regular lectures/seminars, partly as shorter, intensive gatherings or in another form approved by the faculty. In subjects where no relevant courses are available, individual syllabuses may be approved as part of the programme.
The dissertation must be an independent piece of scientific work that meets international standards within the relevant subject area. The dissertation must contribute to the development of new knowledge within the subject area and represent such an academic level that it can be published as part of the academic literature in the subject area.
Parts of collaboration projects may be approved as a dissertation, provided that the PhD candidate’s own independent contribution can be identified and documented. Collections of several minor works, e.g. articles, may be approved as a dissertation when they in content constitute a totality. A summary must then be prepared to give an overall perspective.
The doctoral degree programme must be organised so that it can be completed within a three-year period. Sometimes a PhD candidate may have a fellowship for four years including 25% duty work. PhD handbook of UiA Updated Dec 7, 2010 12
Duty work may include various tasks such as teaching, research assistance, administrative work related to projects etc. Tasks and the workload should be agreed upon in cooperation with the supervisor(s) and the employer.
It is very important that the PhD student complies with good ethical research principles. There are certain regulations and guidelines which need to be followed.
Ethical Guidelines for the Public Service, offers national guidelines for all employees of the Norwegian State (e.g. UiA). UiA has their own ethical guidelines, and there are also guidelines specifically for research ethics at UiA. Links to these documents are available under point 4.13.
According to the Regulations for the PhD degree at UiA, the coursework component must include training in ethics and the philosophy of science (see chapter 4.2). Also, the supervisor is responsible for giving the PhD student guidance with respect to ethical research principles relevant to the dissertation.
PhD candidates are offered an office space with necessary equipment such as computer and access to UiAs network. It is very important that the PhD candidate is integrated into the academic environment from the very beginning. Supervisors, specialisation coordinators and heads of department are responsible for integration of the PhD candidate into the academic environment.
PhD students have to report any longer period of absence from the PhD studies, for instance parental or other leave, longer periods of sick leave or reduced workload because of other projects. It is very important that all longer periods of absence are reported in order to register the correct time that has been used for completion of the PhD degree. This concerns all students who are admitted to a PhD programme at UiA, regardless of their source of funding.
In case of a longer period of absence, the student must also contact the source of funding in order to apply for prolongation of the funding period. In order to qualify for a prolongation, absence must amount to at least two continuous weeks.
For more information about leave of absence and prolongation of the period of appointment, please see § 2-3 of the Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the posts of post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident (link available on 3.8 Resources).
Centre for Educational Research and Development (PULS) at UiA offers a variety of courses for PhD students and other employees at UiA. These courses are not compulsory, but can be very useful for PhD students at UiA.
PULS offers courses in various other subjects such as academic English, university pedagogics, ICT-supported teaching, e-teaching, elocution and use of body language. They also have ”Pulsebua” which is a place where you can learn more about technical skills, for instance use of the electronic whiteboard. PULS also offers online courses in subjects like study technique, essay writing and presentation techniques. Please consult PULS for more information about the courses available.
International PhD students are encouraged to participate in Norwegian courses, especially if they plan to stay in Norway for a longer period of time. The courses are arranged by Kristiansand and Grimstad municipalities, but PULS at UiA will cover the costs of participating in these courses.
After admission, an updated progress plan for the completion of the PhD programme has to be prepared.
The plan must be endorsed by the principal supervisor who thereby confirms that he/she considers the plan to be feasible. The plan must also be approved by the PhD committee of the faculty within three months. The progress plan must include a detailed outline of the planned course of study, where the normal time for completion is taken into account and concrete milestones for each semester up to the submission of the dissertation. In addition, the plan must indicate the anticipated dates for when data collection, processing, analysis, etc, and writing of the dissertation will be completed.
Planned training, periods abroad (of shorter or longer duration) and periods at other Norwegian institutions of higher education must also be included. If supplementary funding or particularly expensive equipment is required, details must be provided. The PhD candidate must update the plan by providing annual progress reports on a separate report form. Also the supervisor(s) must report the candidate’s progress annually. In some doctoral programmes the candidate and the supervisor(s) are expected to report twice a year.
Preparing and updating of the progress plan is an essential part of UiAs quality assurance system. According to the quality assurance system for UiA, both the PhD candidate and the principal supervisor are asked to evaluate the PhD programme at the same time as submitting the annual progress report. Single PhD courses are normally not evaluated. If the PhD candidate fails to meet his/her obligations, the faculty may decide that the PhD candidate must terminate his/her doctoral training prior to completion.
Agder University Research Archive - AURA
AURA is UiAs open archive containing scientific works in full text. AURA contains masters and doctoral theses and scientific articles. Open archives such as AURA are an important way of providing access to scientific research for the general public and researchers without institutional access (Open Access).
PhD students at the University of Agder should, if possible, publish their work in peer reviewed scientific publishing channels that accept parallel publishing in open archives. If possible, articles must be deposited in AURA.
Open Access publishing
The university covers publication fees for articles published in open access journals. For more information please contact the University Library, or check the details on their website.
Documentation of research publications (ForskDok)
All research publications published by researchers at the University of Agder must be registered in the research documentation system ForskDok, a system administered by The University Library. A part of the funding of the Norwegian universities and university colleges is based on the reported amount of publications in approved publication channels.
To get approval, the publication channels must fulfil the definition of a scientific publication given by The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR). The main criterias are scientific quality, and a proper peer review system. Doctoral dissertations do not meet these requirements unless they are revised and published in an approved channel. The dissertation must nevertheless be registered in ForskDok.
A research documentation system called Cristin will replace ForskDok from Feb 1, 2011.
PhD students are encouraged to include a study period abroad in their doctoral training. Studies abroad can give great academic benefits and an opportunity to get international contacts as well as language skills, cultural competence and new experiences. Normally a PhD student will spend such a period abroad at a university where his/her supervisor has contacts and/or research cooperation.
The Research Council of Norway grants scholarships for this purpose, and their website provides more information about possibilities for studying abroad. Other sources of information are Euraxess and UiAs websites for research mobility. Links are available under Resources, chapter 4.13.
Organising a period of study abroad might be time-consuming and the deadlines for funding early, so the student should make sure he/she starts planning early enough. Such plans should preferably be included in the plan made at the beginning of the doctoral training.
When travelling to certain countries, for example to the USA, the PhD student might get exempted from some taxes. For more information see the tax convention between Norway and USA, or contact the Norwegian Tax Administration.
The work on the doctoral dissertation must be carried out under individual supervision by one or several persons. Normally, one of the supervisors holds a position at the faculty to which the PhD candidate has been admitted. If an external supervisor has been appointed, an internal supervisor is also appointed. In cases where the candidate has several supervisors, one of them will be appointed principal supervisor.
The principal supervisor should be appointed prior to appointment of the PhD candidate. The PhD candidate and the supervisor(s) are expected to maintain regular contact during the doctoral degree programme. Normally, the candidate should be given the opportunity to discuss his/her dissertation work during seminars.
The agreement concerning supervision, specifies that the supervisor(s) must:
The PhD candidate must:
PhD handbook of UiA Updated Dec 7, 2010 13
Sometimes there may arise problems related to cooperation or relations between the PhD candidate and the supervisor.
If this is the case, the PhD candidate and the supervisor should first try to settle the matter between them. If the attempt fails, however, it is possible for any of the two to request to be released from the supervision agreement. The faculty is then requested to appoint a new supervisor for the candidate. For more information, please see point 5 in the agreement on supervision (part B of the Agreement concerning admission to doctoral degree programme).
Some PhD candidates are employed at UiA but graduate from another institution. These candidates must be integrated into active research environments, preferably in cooperation between the institution where they are employed and the institution where they take their doctoral training. The candidate must have an academic contact person at his/her faculty, and this person can also function as co-supervisor.
Gender-based or sexual harassment are not tolerated at UiA. Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual attention, and it must be taken seriously if it occurs. If a PhD candidate is harassed, he/she should first confront the person exercising harassment, informing him/her that they find this kind of behaviour unpleasant. If the problem persists, or if it becomes very difficult to discuss the matter with the person in question, the PhD candidate should contact the head of the program, the dean or the faculty director. More information can be found in UiA’s action plan for prevention of sexual harassment.
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