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PhD required duties

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At NTNU there are both three-year and four-year PhD positions. If you have a four-year PhD-position, required duties make up 25 per cent of your workload. We emphasize that you should have three year net time to work on your PhD itself and the required duties should not delay your doctoral training. Your required duties are regulated by the Regulations for the required duties and employment conditions for PhD-candidates at NTNU (official version only available in Norwegian).

Content of the required duties #

As far as possible, required duties outside the research activites should be relevant to your doctoral education. Generally the required duties should provide you with relevant and varied experience for your future career, but at the same time it will depend on the needs and possibilities within the department. Your responsibilities should be decided by your employer, in consultation with you and your supervisor. A separate plan should be set up and updated on a yearly basis. The department is responsible for making an overview and following up on your required duties.  

Relevant required duties may include:

  • Contribute to teaching, laboratory and practice teaching, supervision and exam work within your areas of expertise
  • Provide training in the use and operation of research infrastructure
  • Participating in dissemination, exhibitions and collection activities
  • Work associated with research administration in connection with organization of academic conferences or assistance in the preparation of applications for research projects
  • Courses in university teaching, training in health, safety and the environment (HSE), and similar, which are regarded as necessary for carrying out the required duties
  • Statutory elected positions in the university’s board and councils, as well as mandatory committee work without remuneration. A maximum of three months’ required duties in total may be approved for such tasks.

Allocation of required duties #

Your employer is responsible for ensuring that you are not given more than one work year of required duties during the four-year period. The last year of the PhD period should be dedicated to the doctoral education. If you must carry out required duties, these should be limited to 10 per cent.

Your required duties are generally credited in accordance with actual work time spent or the norms for the faculty/department. For original lectures PhD-candidates are granted an additional 50% compared to the standardized for academic staff. After an individual assessment extra hours may also be granted for other especially time-consuming tasks.

Administrative tasks should be limited and should normally not exceed 10 per cent of the total annual working hours.

Some faculties and departments have created their own guidelines for required duties:

Faculty-specific regulations on required duties #

Faculty of Humanities #

  • One work year equals 1680 hours
  • The Head of the Department is responsible for planning the required duties, along with the supervisor and the PhD-candidate. The Head of the Department may delegate the implementation of this, but is ultimately responsible. Required duties should be agreed upon in writing with the department beforehand, for the entire PhD period if possible.

Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology #

  • One work year (25 per cent required duties) equals to 1680 hours.
  • Candidates with required duties should send in a plan for their required duties including the content and distribution of time every semester.
  • Required duties should be minimised in the seventh semester and should not occur at all in the eight semester, so that the candidate may prioritize their research and thesis.

 Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management #

A written agreement concerning the required duties should be entered into between you and your unit.

Work for the department/faculty outside of required duties #

Sometimes PhD-candidates are asked to carry out work for the department outside of the required duties. This may also include PhD-candidates who do not have required duties as part of their position. Generally, you have no obligation to accept such requests, and we recommend that you discuss with your supervisor whether doing so would be beneficial as related to your time frame, progress in your doctoral project and your future career.

Leave of absence may be given to enter a short term temporary teaching and research position, overseas fellowships and the like as long as this does not delay your progress with more than six months. However, this is not an entitlement, statutory or contractually, and an application will be individually assessed by the appointing body. An application must include:

  • A confirmation from your supervisor that it is academically justifiable
  • An adjusted plan for completing your doctoral education
  • A confirmation from the Head of the Department that this is acceptable with regard to staffing and finances

For PhD-candidates without required duties statutory elected positions in the university’s board and councils, as well as mandatory committee work without remuneration, are approved as paid extension of time as long as the total time for meetings and preparation amounts to more than two weeks. Any extensions are to be funded by the level that has the position or committee work. If a specific fee is paid for the position or committee work, you are entitled to leave of absence or an extension without pay.

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