Follow-up during the PhD period

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As a PhD candidate you must submit annual progress reports and have regular contact with your supervisors (see Section 10-1 in the PhD regulations). All PhD candidates and their main supervisor must submit a progress report and via a separate form that you will receive from the faculty. The reports are confidential and will be followed-up by the faculty and the department. Supervisors will not have access to the reports of candidates they supervise.

A midway evaluation of the work shall normally take place halfway through the period (Section 10-2). The Faculty decides on guidelines for the content and form of the midway evaluation. Other follow-up throughout your PhD period, such as introductory seminars and final seminars, may vary depending on the faculty/department you are affiliated with.

According to the PhD agreement and the PhD regulations, you, your supervisor and the Faculty have a mutual obligation 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.

If you are employed at NTNU you are entitled to appraisal meetings with your immediate manager (this should generally not be your academic supervisor). 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. 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 midway 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 midway 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 aims for a close follow-up of the PhD candidates. The Faculty holds an introductory seminar for all new PhD candidates. The seminar includes relevant topics such as the rights and duties as a PhD candidate and employee, research ethics, literature search and supervision.

All candidates and main supervisors must submit an annual progress report. The reports are handled and followed up by the Faculty and the Department. If anything is reported that requires further attention, this will be done in cooperation with the candidate/supervisor in question.

Midway and final seminar are held for all candidates. The Faculty has guidelines for the midway seminar and final seminar (PDF). The seminars are arranged by the Department and there will be some variations in how this is implemented.