Adopted by the Central Research Education Committee at the University of Agder 27 November 2012 with a statutory basis in the PhD regulations at the University of Agder. The numbering refers to the corresponding sections in the University of Agder PhD regulations. The PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science comprises four Specializations:
In order to be admitted to PhD programme the applicant must have a postgraduate degree in one of the subject areas required by the current Specialization. If the academic environment in question finds that the applicant lacks necessary prerequisites within the current subject area, the faculty may impose additional requirements beyond the compulsory course and training component of the PhD programme (conditional offer of admission):
Renewable energy: a master’s degree in the field of Renewable Energy, or an education considered as equivalent by the faculty.
ICT: a master’s degree in the field of ICT, or an education considered as equivalent by the faculty.
Mathematics Education: requires knowledge of both Mathematics and Mathematics Education. The requirements are met by one of the following alternatives or by educations considered as equivalent by the faculty:
Mechatronics: a master’s degree in Mechatronics or an education considered as equivalent by the faculty.
As a general rule, the following apply:
In cases where the applicant’s grades are lower than required, the hosting research group must be able to document the applicant’s ability to complete the PhD programme. In such cases the department may recommend additional requirements to be included in the basis for admission.
Competence in English is a requirement for all applicants to the PhD programme. International applicants who are not exempt from English language requirements pursuant to NOKUT’s guidelines must document competence in English through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:
TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 600 for the paper-based test (PBT) or 92 for the Internet – based test (iBT).
IELTS – International English Language Testing System with the result 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
When announcing PhD vacancies the current Specialization may require that a project description is included in the application.
All PhD candidates must submit a project description within 3 months after admission. The description should be written by using a special template. The project description should not exceed 10 pages, references included. The description must be signed by the applicant and all proposed supervisors and should normally include the following elements:
Candidates who are not employed in a PhD position should also submit an application for admission to the PhD programme. The application must be written on a separate form.
The PhD programme is an organised research education which normally involves a duty to reside at the University of Agder except in periods where the candidate decides to stay for a period at a university abroad. The faculty may enter into agreements which deviate from this rule, for instance if the candidate is employed at another university.
The contract should clarify how the candidate is to comply with the residential requirements. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure that the candidate is in compliance with the rules of residence.
A PhD education must not be planned with a progression that leads to completion after more than 6 years. The maximum duration of the programme is 8 years from the date of admission. For candidates employed as PhD Research Fellows the date of admission to the programme is identical to the job starting date.
For candidates who are not employed by the University of Agder, the date of admission is identical to date of the admission letter.
Candidates may apply to the faculty on a separate form for an extension of the contract period.
An account both of work done so far (incl. publications) and work still to be done must be enclosed with the application. The application may be approved if the faculty after a comprehensive assessment concludes that the project may be completed within the extension period.
The contract period can also be extended for PhD candidates who accept other academic tasks or duties from the faculty in addition to their research education. These extensions are not to be linked to the extensions presented above. The candidate’s assignments must be clarified in advance by the student, the supervisor and the department. The faculty should be notified about academic tasks that may entail an extension of the contract period.
Scholarly adjustments that may influence the completion of the project in relation the signed contract must be submitted to the department for assessment and recommendation before the case is submitted to the faculty for (final) approval.
The principal supervisor should be employed by the University of Agder. At least one supervisor must normally have professorial competence.
A supervisor should normally not take on principal responsibility for more than six candidates. If there is a wish to increase the number of candidates, reasons must be given.
The candidate is obligated to conform to the residential requirements, to keep up an on-going dialogue with all the supervisors about progression and to submit preliminary written work to the supervisors for discussion (and feedback).
If there is conflict or disagreement between the candidate and the supervisor(s), the issue should first be dealt with by those directly involved. If an agreement cannot be reached, the issue must be submitted to the department. In the event that a solution cannot be found at department level, a request for termination of the candidate-supervisor relationship should be submitted to the faculty.
The final decision on termination is taken by the faculty which subsequently appoints a new supervisor based on a proposal from the department.
The programme description for the PhD programme states which elements may be included in the course and training component. Descriptions of PhD courses must be approved by the faculty itself.
The contents of the course and training component should, in combination with the thesis work, provide both scholarly breadth and in-depth knowledge.
The course and training component must include at least five ECTS credits in Theory of Science and Ethics.
The courses included in the course and training component should normally be advanced courses at the University of Agder or other universities. Courses completed at the Faculty of Engineering and Science should normally be ordinary PhD courses. It is the responsibility of the PhD candidate to ensure that documentation of external courses is submitted to the faculty.
All courses that are to be included in the course and training component must have a final examination, a paper at a seminar or a written report/essay with grading (passed/ not passed).
If a master’s degree course is to be approved as part of the course and training component, the grade must be B or above. In addition to the completed examination, the candidate must submit a written report/essay which is graded as passed/not passed.
Up to a maximum of 10 ECTS may be completed as national or international research courses or as special syllabi in literature or studies of method relevant to the thesis.
For a research course to be recognised, the candidate needs to write an essay or conduct a seminar after the course is completed. The seminar or essay must be evaluated by an examiner appointed by the faculty. The only exceptions to this rule are regular research courses at other universities with a final examination.
Courses completed as special syllabi must be described on a separate form where contents, level and scope are given in a similar manner to other course descriptions on the faculty web pages. The description of the syllabus must be approved by the PhD committee before the examination.
It is the task of the PhD committee for the current Specialization to decide on the assessment method. The faculty assigns ECTS credits to research courses and special syllabi (whole credits only).
The PhD candidate and the supervisor(s) are required to submit 1-2 annual reports on progression by using the proper form. Overall responsibility for the reporting process lies with the current department.
PhD candidates who are not employed should be offered an annual consultation with the Head of Department or one deputized by the Head of Department (not the supervisor).
If relevant, the current department may require additional reports.
The department should normally receive the PhD candidate’s application for assessment of the thesis no later than 4-5 months prior to the planned public debate. An electronic (pdf) copy and five hard copies of the thesis as well as the principal supervisor’s proposal for assessment committee must be enclosed with the application. If the thesis is found worthy of a public defence, an additional 30 hard copies must be printed. After the department has given its approval, both the proposal for assessment committee and the application are sent to the faculty. Relevant information which should be enclosed with the application include: statement from joint authors (if applicable), an account of the course and training component and documentation concerning courses completed at external institutions and/or special syllabi.
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