Procedure and time schedule for PhD defence


Lunch for the assessment committee. (Participants: The PhD student, the members of the committee, the main supervisor, possibly a secondary supervisor and the Head of the PhD  program)


Opening of the procedures by the Head of the PhD  program. The opening includes a brief presentation of the participants, and the quoting of the conclusion in the committee’s (preliminary) assessment.


The candidate is given up to 30 minutes for summarising the thesis and highlighting what s/he sees as the main achievements. Please note that the candidate is allowed up to 45 minutes, according to the university’s rules and regulations. However, it is not recommended by the department, and unless explicitly asked for by the candidate, 30 minutes will be allocated.


The first member of the committee is given 35 minutes for a short rendering of impressions of the work and raising principal queries. This includes time for the candidate’s answers.




The second member of the committee is given 35 minutes for a short rendering of impressions of the work and raising principal queries. As above, the period includes time for the candidate’s answers.


The internal member is given 25 minutes and usually comes last.


Open forum for possible contributions from the auditorium.

The final assessment will take place immediately after the defence. The committee will have to submit a recommendation according to the following criteria:

“The P.D.-degree shall be awarded in acknowledgment of the receiver’s satisfactory completion of a Ph.D.- program and a demonstration, through a publicly defended thesis, of a capacity to carry out a scientific project involving independent use of the scientific methodology of the subject hereby furthering research at a level corresponding to the international standard of Ph.D.-degrees within the subject area.” (Ministerial Order no. 114, section 3, no. 1).

The recommendation is solely the committee’s responsibility and is written and signed by the three members. (A letter will be given to the committee in advance for possible use for this purpose). Special rules will have to be followed if the members are not able to agree on the recommendation.

The last action will then normally be that the head of the committee presents the recommendation to the candidate and the auditorium.

After the defence the department will host a reception.