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Follow-up during the PhD period

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Section 9 in the PhD-regulations determine that all PhD-candidates must hand in yearly progress reports and have regular contact with their supervisor. Other follow-up throughout your PhD period depends on your faculty/department. The requirements and deadline for the progress report may also differ between the faculties.

According to the PhD agreement and the PhD-regulations, you, your supervisor and the Faculty are obligated to keep each other continuously informed of any significant matters that may influence your project development. Violation of this obligation may ultimately have consequences for your affiliation with the PhD programme.

Candidates employed at NTNU are entitled to appraisal meetings with their immediate manager (this should generally not be your academic supervisor). There is a template check list for appraisal meetings with PhD-candidates. Any follow-up of you as an employee is up to your employer. At NTNU, this responsibility is usually placed with the department.  

Now follows more specific information about the procedures at the individual faculties.

Faculty of Architecture and Design #

Progress report: All PhD-candidates and main supervisors are to hand in yearly progress reports to the PhD-coordinator at the Faculty. The progress reports are dealt with by the PhD-coordinator together with the Head of the PhD Programme Board. If there are substantial deviations from the original plan or problems with completion, the Head of the Department is informed. Special cases may be addressed by the Programme Board.

PhD Hearings:The Faculty holds open PhD hearings for all PhD-candidates after the end of the first year and during the third/fourth year of their studies (depending on length of agreement). The supervisors and one external evaluator are present, as well as the audience. At the end of the first year, the candidate is given the opportunity to present their project. The external evaluator should comment, question, criticize, and advice the candidate on their project. Afterwards, the supervisors and the members of the audience can ask questions and discuss the project.

Candidates who are in the final phase of their project also have open hearings. The intent is to let the candidate present a draft of their thesis. The hearing is similar to the first year, the external evaluator comments, asks questions, criticizes and advices the candidate. The supervisors and the members of the audience can ask questions and participate in the following discussion.

Faculty of Engineering #

At the Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology introductory seminars are held in the form of the compulsory course IFEL8000 - Introduction to Research Methodology, Theory of Science and Ethics. The exam in IFEL8000 is a complete project description (8-10 pages) to be approved by the PhD Programme Board at the Faculty.

Candidates and supervisors at the Faculty should hand in yearly progress reports by June 1 of every year. The progress reports are handed in electronically and the Faculty sends out the forms by email. The replies are sent directly to the Faculty administration.

Faculty of Humanities #

The Faculty have annual start-up seminars for new PhD-candidates every autumn, usually in September. All candidates who have begun since the previous seminar are invited. The seminar lasts one day and contains practical information, sessions on writing, research ethics, supervision etc.

All PhD-candidates and main supervisors are obligated to hand in yearly progress reports by December 1 of each year. The supervisor’s report should be sent to the Faculty and the Department, while the candidate sends their report directly to the Faculty. The reports are confidential and any follow-up is done by the Faculty in agreement with the candidate and in accordance with NTNU’s code of ethics. After following up all the reports the Faculty writes a general report to the PhD Programme Board (Vice-Dean of research, heads of the PhD-programmes and representative for the PhD-candidates) and a brief overview for the Head of the Department.

About halfway into your PhD period (15-18 months) you will be invited to a midterm evaluation. The goal of the meeting is to charter your progress and see if anything can and should be done to secure the completion of your project in the nominal time period. The Vice-Dean of Research heads the midterm evaluation. Towards the end of the meeting, all parties agree on whether to implement any measures and sign the report.

The Faculty holds regular PhD-seminars for all PhD-candidates at the Faculty. The topics vary from career options, through how to write an article-based thesis to physical and mental health. There are also regular writing seminars for the PhD-candidates.

The individual PhD-programme, Department and research group can also hold seminars, workshops and other social and academic initiatives for their PhD-candidates, and the PhD-candidates are very welcome to inititate such initatives themselves. You may contact the PhD-candidates’ representative if you have any ideas. The PhD representative is part of the PhD Programme Board and is elected by the student body for one year.

The Faculty of Humanties has created a plan of action for PhD-studies. This is only available in Norwegian.

Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering #

The Faculty has introductory seminars for new PhD-candidates. The seminar is compulsory and should be completed at the first opportunity after what occurs first of the "start date for employment" or "admission" for the PhD education. Seminars are usually held every semester.

Candidates and main supervisors at the Faculty should hand in yearly progress reports. The reporting is handed in electronically and the Faculty sends out the forms via e-mail. The individual department is responsible for completing midterm evaluations.

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences #

PhD-candidates and supervisors at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are to hand in yearly progress reports.

The midterm evaluation is an evaluation of the individual candidate’s progress and usually takes place in the candidate’s third semester. At the mid-term evaluation the candidates are given feedback on their work so far and to further define their work going forward. At the same time, the midterm evaluation gives the Department an opportunity to follow-up the candidates in a structured manner and catch any situations that require further action. The Department is responsible for the midterm evaluation. More information can be found at each PhD programme.

Faculty of Natural Sciences #

All PhD-candidates and main supervisors at the Faculty should hand in yearly progress reports to the Faculty. The deadline is the beginning of December. The reports are in the form of exception reports and are handled and categorized by the Faculty. The Vice-Dean of Research sends a written summary to each Head of Department. The Head of Department is responsible for following up any deviations at their department. The Head of each PhD Programme Board is also given a report on any deviations. In special circumstances the Faculty may follow up reported deviations. Summary reports are also created to be used in the continuous work on quality development and improvement.

Faculty of Social and Educational Sciences  #

The Faculty wants to closely follow their PhD-candidates. Every year the Faculty holds an introductory seminar for all new PhD-candidates. The seminar includes relevant topics such as research ethics, the supervisory relationship, as well as Regulations and guidelines that apply for the candidates’ studies and employment.

The Faculty also holds a yearly writing/publication seminar. This is open to all candidates at the Faculty.

All candidates and main supervisors are to hand in yearly progress reports. The Faculty sends the forms, which are to be submitted electronically, to the candidates. The reports are handled and followed up by the Faculty and the Head of the Department. If anything is reported that requires further attention, this will be done in cooperation with the candidate/supervisor in question. Another measure is that the department holds yearly appraisal meetings with the candidates at their department.

Midterm and/or final evaluation are held at some departments. There will be variations in how this is implemented.

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