The School offers a vibrant and very research-oriented PhD programme with around 40-50 PhD candidates from across the world. The main specialisation is in International Business but also Innovation, Economics and other business school topics can be studied at the programme.
Our PhD programme is AACSB-accredited, with generous funding and an excellent study environment. Nearly all of our graduated candidates find relevant jobs, and publish their research in high quality international journals.
Description of the programme
A thesis consists of coursework and writing of a dissertation. The coursework consists of mandatory and elective courses making up a minimum of 30 ECTS credits (students often end up taking more courses). The course-package for each student is defined in coordination between the student, the supervisor and the programme director and is approved by the PhD committee.
Students involved in research in Innovation are normally enrolled at the Norwegian Research School in Innovation (www.norsi.no) where The School of Business and Law is a member. Most coursework should be finished by the end of the first year of studies. Courses can be taken at UiA as well as at other recognized institutions offering PhD education. Directed reading courses may also be offered to some students. The courses enable students to write the thesis, as well as develop strong research skills. Approvals of PhD courses are normally Pass/Fail on course papers where Pass must be equivalent to the letter grade B or better. Some PhD courses are assessed with written exams.
The coursework is divided into two main areas; theory courses and methods courses:
Theory courses are intended to give the students a thorough grounding in the main literature of his/her research area and to get an overview of major theories applied in the field. At the School of Business and Law we also offer a unique course titled “Theory of Knowledge and Core theories in Management” which covers theory of science, research ethics and a dive into some of the main theories typically applied in management research.
The purpose of the methods courses is to provide students with a solid methodological foundation and an insight into what constitutes science. All candidates should take at least 10 ECTS of method courses covering quantitative methods and qualitative methods. It is often needed that students take additional method courses covering the specific methods applied in their dissertations.
Throughout the coursework it is emphasized to provide the students with knowledge on how to publish academic research in their fields. The PhD programme also offer a specific course in “Writing and Publishing Business Research” where the aim is to guide participants through all steps when writing up one of their first papers.
The dissertation The aim is to finish the dissertation within three years. Students start working on their dissertations immediately after admission. Collaboration between the student and the supervisor(s) is close and normally most of the research is co-authored with the supervisor(s) or other researchers. Nevertheless, the main key for a completed dissertation is the student’s own efforts and dedication. The dissertation is primarily the project of the student himself/herself and ability to work independently is required.
A dissertation normally consists of three to four papers whereof at least one is authored by the student alone. The importance of publishing in high ranked International peer-reviewed journals is stressed and students are encouraged to get their papers published even though the review process can be time consuming. All papers need to be of publishable quality to be included in the thesis.
During the dissertation process students are encouraged to build their own research networks, to have longer stays with other academic institutions and to participate at international research conferences. To enable this, and to learn about accessing research funding, students are expected to apply for funding from external and internal parties.
Students are expected to take active part in daily life at the School of Business and Law and are responsible for documenting that progress is being made according to expectations. By the end of year one students should have finished all coursework as well as their first paper. Completion of set milestones is monitored constantly and students not making sufficient and steady progress may at any time be screened out from the program by the PhD committee, in accordance with the PhD regulations for the School of Business and Law. In case the dissertation cannot be finished within 36 months the student have to apply to the PhD committee at the School of Business and Law to remain in the programme.
Defense of thesis
When finishing the dissertation the thesis is evaluated by a committee consisting of two external and one internal members. If the evaluation committee find the thesis worthy to be defended, the School of Business and Law organizes a public defense where the candidate is examined by the external evaluators. The public defense of the dissertation, if accepted by the evaluation committee, will normally take place approximately 6 months after the submission of the thesis.
After completing the PhD program candidates should have the knowledge, skills and the general competence needed to be at the research frontier of their field. Some of these elements are described below.
being able to evaluate how new ideas, concepts or products emerge within relevant fields and being able to contribute to innovation processes and research
being able to contribute to ethical reasoning in research processes and identify how organizations can act responsibly
being able to think independently and critically
being able to communicate research in written texts and oral presentations
being able to solve research problems
having the knowledge needed to be at the research frontier of his/her field and should master the theories and methods of the field
being able to contribute to developing new knowledge, theory, methods, interpretations and forms of documentation within his/her research field
being able to evaluate the expediency and application of different research methods
being able to list relevant outlets to publish his/her research
being able to formulate research questions, plan and conduct research
being able to write academically according to the norms in their field of research, and reflect on the research and writing process
being able to critically evaluate and pass constructive judgment on scholarly work within their field of research
To qualify for the programme candidates should normally:
have a master’s degree, including a master thesis, from an academic institution with good reputation, preferably in Economics, Finance, Business Administration, Innovation Studies, Management, Marketing, Development Management, International Business or a related business or management discipline (300 ECTS credits), obtained at least with honours (B or better). Generally, at least 90 ECTS credits must be core subjects from business studies.
Be fluent in written and oral English
have strong qualifications in applied research methods, and preferably have experience from studying abroad.
Applicants should include a letter of motivation including suggested supervisor, a CV and transcripts of grades (the transcripts should be translated if not in English, and include conversions to Norwegian grading scale and ECTS system), an approx. four-page research project proposal, list of relevant scientific publications including a resume of the master thesis, academic references as well as results from tests like GMAT/GRE/TOEFL etc. with their applications.
Admission to the program is normally biannual in cohorts, but fully funded students may be accepted outside cohorts.
The next biannual cohort is planned to start up in the autumn 2020.
The School of Business and Law has a strong focus on Internationalization and an increasing number of PhD-candidates are organized as cotutelles, i.e. joint supervision, in partnership with international Business Schools and Universities. Cotutelle-candidates are appointed supervisor, take courses and spend at least one year at each institution. The candidates receive their PhD titles and diplomas from each of the institutions.
Candidates and universities interested in organizing cotutelle agreements with us are welcome to get in touch with the Director of the PhD programme, Professor Roy Mersland - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding of studies
Some candidates are offered PhD-fellow positions to finance their studies while others obtain scholarships or other types of external funding, including funding by cotutelle partner universities. PhD-fellow positions at the School of Business and Law are announced here: http://www.uia.no/en/vacancies3.
A fully funded project is a requirement for acceptance to a PhD-programme at UiA. Get in touch with the Director of the PhD programme, professor Roy Mersland, if you have access to a scholarship and would like to do your PhD at the School of Business and Law.
Why take a PhD at the School of Business and Law?
High quality education
Norwegian education is of high quality and controlled by Norwegian authorities
School of Business and Law is AACSB accredited
PhD program is member of EDAMBA and generally recognized for its high quality
Supervisors are motivated and internationally recognized scholars
Free education and supervision
Full salaries (Norwegian level) or scholarships to selected candidates
Fully covered travels to international conferences, courses etc.
Additional scholarships for research stays abroud
Our candidates find relevant jobs
Nearly all graduated candidates find relevant jobs, most in academia but also in the private or public sector
Several candidates become recognized international academic researchers
Excellent study environment
Candidates work closely with their supervisors and are integrated in research groups
All candidates belong to cohorts of students
Most candidates finish their PhD within 3 or 4 years
Candidates publish their research in high quality international journals
Specialisation in International Business
International Business, broadly defined, is the largest research area at the School of Business and Law and constitutes a separate specialization within the PhD programme. Candidates following the Specialization are required to do coursework as outlined in the following table:
In addition to courses mentioned in the table the School of Business and Law frequently organizes other PhD courses fitting the needs of enrolled candidates. The candidates should also take a minimum of 2,5 ECTS credits in an elective course from UiA or another recognized institution within their field.