From 'Regulations for the PhD programme in Teaching and Teacher Education'

 

II Thesis requirements

The thesis requirements are stipulated in §8.1 of the university college’s Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor. In addition the following provisions apply:

1. The thesis may take the form of a monograph or an article-based thesis.

2. The thesis is to be written in Norwegian, English, Danish or Swedish. All theses must contain an abstract in Norwegian (Swedish, Danish) and in English.

3. Work on the thesis must be carried out in line with the national research-ethical requirements in the areas of social sciences, law and the humanities and in accordance with the university college’s own research-ethical policies. Theses which involve the electronic manipulation of personal data and/or the manual examination of sensitive personal data must be reported to the university college’s Data Protection Official for Research and to the Norwegian Social Science Data Services. All data shall be collected, treated and stored in accordance with the directions of the The Data Protection Official for Research and The Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

4. A monograph should normally be between 200 and 250 pages long.

In addition the following provisions apply in the case of article-based theses:

5. An article-based thesis should normally consist of three articles and a summary. The summary should normally be between 50 and 70 pages long.

6. The articles should be of the standard to merit publication in peer-reviewed scholarly publications.

7. At least one of the articles must have been published or accepted for publication before submission of the thesis.

8. If one or more of the articles submitted is co-authored, the independent contribution of the PhD candidate must be attested in the form of a written declaration by the co-author(s). In such cases the candidate should consult with his or her supervisor(s) as to whether the number of articles submitted should be increased.

9. The PhD candidate must be the sole author of the summary.

10. The summary must clarify the relationship between the individual articles and ensure that the thesis coheres as a unit. It is therefore imperative that the various research questions and results are presented and compared in such a way as to elucidate their mutual coherence as well as the contribution of the thesis to the research area in question. 

III Submission of the thesis

The university colleges procedures for submitting the thesis are described in §13 of the university college’s Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor. In addition the following provisions apply:

1. Five printed copies of the thesis must be submitted, together with

   a. An application to have the thesis evaluated

   b. Documentation that the educational component has been approved

   c. A short summary suitable for a press release

   d. If applicable: a declaration of co-authorship, in accordance with point 8 of the Thesis requirements

2. Once a thesis has been submitted for evaluation, it cannot thereafter be withdrawn. The candidate may nevertheless correct formal errors in the form of a list of errata which must be submitted no later than four weeks before the date set for the public defence. This errata list is to be printed with the copies of the dissertation provided for the defence. Apart from this, the candidate is not permitted to change in any way the work which has been submitted for evaluation.

3. The PhD candidate is to give the programme committee two months’ notice of the likely date for submission of the thesis. This allows the committee, in collaboration with the supervisor(s) to begin the work of appointing an adjudication committee.

4. If the thesis is found worthy of defence, 50 copies of the completed thesis are to be delivered to the PhD office. The thesis must also be delivered in electronic form for inclusion in the Brage archive.

5. The programme committee may permit the candidate to revise the thesis in line with the provisional comments of the adjudication committee according to the provisions of §15.1 of the university college’s Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor.   

6. If the thesis is not found worthy of defence, it may first be resubmitted after a delay of six months.

IV Appointment of the adjudication committee

The university colleges procedures for appointing the adjudication committee are described in §14 of the university college’s Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor. In addition the following provisions apply:

1. Prior to the submission of the thesis the principle supervisor should prepare a substantiated proposal for the composition of the adjudication committee and submit this to the programme committee. The proposal should indicate the relevant competence of the individual members and show how the committee as a whole covers the subject area(s) dealt with in the thesis. Potential committee members should have indicated their willingness to take part before the item is tabled for the programme committee.

2. The candidate shall be informed of the proposed composition of the committee before the programme committee has appointed it, so that he or she can submit comments on possible conflicts of interest or other important factors.

3. It is the responsibility of the programme committee to ensure that there is no risk of a conflict of interest on the part of the members of the adjudication committee, and that none of them stand in too close a relationship to any of the parties to the doctoral thesis.  It is the duty of all involved parties to reveal any relationships to the proposed committee members which may prove of importance in evaluating any possible conflicts of interest. This is the responsibility of the supervisor(s) as much as the candidate and potential members of the adjudication committee.

4. The adjudication committee shall be appointed at the latest fourteen days after submission of the thesis.

5. A transcript of the competed and approved PhD educational component and information about the candidate’s supervisor(s) is to be sent to the members of the adjudication committee together with the thesis. If part of the thesis is co-authored, the independent contribution of the PhD candidate must be attested in the form of a written declaration by the co-author(s), in accordance with in accordance with point 8 of the Thesis requirements.

6. In cases where a candidate submits a revised version of a thesis for re-evaluation, at least one member of the original adjudication committee should be reappointed.

7. In cases where a candidate whose thesis has not been found worthy of defence submits a new piece of work, a new committee may be appointed. 

V Deadline for holding the public defence

1. The programme committee stipulates deadlines for the work of the adjudication committee in connection with the appointment of the latter. The deadlines should ensure that the public defence can take place no later than three months from the date of the appointment of the adjudication committee.

2. The chair of the adjudication committee is responsible for fixing a date for a possible defence as soon as the committee has commenced its work.

VI The adjudication committee’s report

1. The chair of the adjudication committee is responsible for organising the work of the committee. He or she should ensure that this work starts without delay and that all deadlines are met. The chair shall contribute to coordinating the committee’s report and to deciding upon the division of tasks between the committee’s members at the public defence. The chair is to ensure that the committee’s deliberations are in accordance with Hedmark University College’s Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor, the additional provisions in the present document and the national Guidelines for the Assessment of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees

2. Five weeks before the planned date for the defence the adjudication committee is to submit a substantiated judgement as to whether the thesis is or is not worthy to be defended. The judgement is to be addressed to the university college in the person of the programme committee.

3. The committee is to base its deliberations on the national Guidelines for the Assessment of Candidates for Norwegian Doctoral Degrees, adopted by Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions on 22 March 2007. The following points in particular are relevant for the committee’s evaluation and adjudication.

Description of the thesis

The committee's report must contain a short description of the format of the thesis (monograph/ collection of papers), the type of work involved (i.e. theoretical/empirical) and the length of the thesis. The report must also include a discussion of the academic significance of the thesis and central factors concerning its theoretical framework, hypotheses, material, methodology and findings.

Assessment of the thesis

A Norwegian doctoral degree is awarded as proof that the candidate's research qualifications are of a certain standard. Degrees with a specified schedule and an organized research training programme (PhD) and degrees without such requirements (Dr. philos.) are regarded as being of an equal standard. This principle of equivalence refers to the academic standard and quality of the work submitted, not merely its scope. In the organized research training programmes, qualifications may be documented through tests and participation in various activities within the educational component. Since the degree of Dr. philos. does not include an organized research training programme, the preparatory work (e.g. the collection of data) and the thesis itself are expected to be more extensive than that required in degrees with an organized research training programme. Irrespective of the kind of degree, the candidate must satisfy the minimum requirements to qualify as a researcher – demonstrated through requirements related to the formulation of research questions, precision and logical stringency, originality, a good command of current methods of analysis and be able to reflect on their possibilities and limitations. He or she must also demonstrate knowledge of, understanding of and a reflective attitude towards other research in the field.

When assessing a doctoral thesis, special consideration should be given to whether the thesis is an independent and comprehensive piece of work of high academic standard with regard to the formulation of research questions. The assessment should also consider the methodological, theoretical and empirical bases, documentation, treatment of the literature and form of presentation in the thesis. It is especially important to consider whether the material and methods applied are relevant to the issues raised in the thesis, and whether the arguments and conclusions posited are tenable.

The thesis must contribute new knowledge to the discipline and be of an academic standard appropriate for publication as part of the scientific literature in the field.

If the thesis consists of several interrelated minor pieces of work, the candidate must document the integrated nature of the work and the adjudication committee must decide whether the content comprises a coherent entity. In such cases, the candidate must compile a separate part of the thesis that not only summarizes but also compares the research questions and conclusions presented in the separate pieces of work. This summary should provide a comprehensive overview to document the coherence of the thesis. This summary is of great importance both for the doctoral candidate and for the committee's assessment of the work submitted.

If the thesis includes one or more joint publications, the doctoral candidate must obtain declarations from his/her co-author(s), documenting their consent to use the work as part of the thesis. The committee must consider to what extent the candidate's contribution to the joint publication can be identified and whether the candidate is solely responsible for a sufficient part of the thesis. The summarizing part of the thesis must be written solely by the candidate. If the documentation submitted by the candidate is insufficient, the committee may take steps to obtain further information.

In special cases, the committee may require the submission of source material and supplementary or clarifying information.

If the thesis is submitted as a joint publication, it is reasonable to expect the scope of the research project and/or thesis to be more extensive than that of the work of an individual. Each of the doctoral candidates must, as far as possible, be assessed and tested in accordance with the requirements for the assessment of work submitted by one person.

The conclusion

The conclusion of the committee's report should comprise an assessment and a discussion of the strong and weak points of the thesis. This assessment leads to a conclusion as to whether the committee finds the thesis worthy for public defence, or whether the committee recommends that the thesis be rejected. If there is dissent among the members of the committee, the reasons for this dissent must be stated.

The committee’s report (adapted for Hedmark University College)

The committee submits a substantiated report to the university college in the person of the programme committee. The committee should issue a joint report, with any individual statements enclosed. It shall be clearly stated whether the conclusion is unanimous. Grounds for dissent among the members of the committee must always be stated. Individual statements may be enclosed with the report even in cases where the committee's conclusion is unanimous.

In cases in which the committee concludes that the thesis should be approved for public defence, the committee should formulate a relatively brief recommendation. In cases where the committee recommends that the thesis be rejected, it would be natural to include more details stating the reasons for the decision.

If the conclusion of the committee is that the thesis should not be recommended for public defence in its present form, but that a satisfactory standard may be reached by revising the submitted thesis, a recommendation to this effect should be made. The committee should only recommend the submission of a revised version of the thesis if the committee considers it probable that a satisfactory standard can be achieved within a six-month period. In such cases, the committee should give some indication as to which parts of the thesis are in need of revision (methodology, relationship between material and conclusion, use of concepts, clarity of questions raised, etc.). This type of indication should not give the impression that a new evaluation will necessarily lead to approval of the thesis. If the committee concludes that fundamental changes to theory, hypotheses, material and/or methodology are necessary before a thesis can be recommended for public defence, the committee should not recommend resubmitting a revised version of the same thesis.

V Requirements for printed theses

      1. When a thesis has been found worth of defence, 50 copies of it are to be printed.

      2. The university college’s standard front page for doctoral dissertations is to be used.

      3. The university college pays for the printing of 50 copies.

      4. The thesis is to be publicly available at the latest two weeks before the public defence.

      5. The thesis must also be delivered in electronic form for inclusion in theBragearchive.

      6. The university college library staff provides assistance with the printed and electronic forms of publication.

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