PhD Regulations

Regulations for the Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) at BI Norwegian Business School.

Chapter 3. Implementation

Section 3-1 Academic supervision

The work on the doctoral thesis must be carried out under individual academic supervision. Together BI Norwegian Business School and the supervisors are to ensure that the candidate participates in an active research group.

Section 3-2 Appointment of academic supervisors

The main supervisor must have been appointed at the time of admission.

The main supervisor has the primary academic-related responsibility for the candidate. The main supervisor must hold a position at BI Norwegian Business School.

Co-supervisors are experts in the field who provide supervision and share the academic-related responsibility with the main supervisor. The provisions on impartiality in Chapter 2, sections 6-10 of the Public Administration Act apply to the academic supervisors.

All the academic supervisors must hold a doctoral degree or equivalent in the relevant discipline and be working actively as researchers. At least one of he appointed supervisors should have previous experience and/or training in serving as a supervisor for PhD candidates.

The PhD candidate and academic supervisor may ask BI Norwegian Business School to appoint a new supervisor for the candidate. The supervisor may not withdraw before the new supervisor has been appointed. The parties may bring any disputes regarding the academic-related rights and obligations of the supervisor and the candidate to the attention of BI Norwegian Business School for review and final decision.

Section 3-3 Content of the academic supervision

The candidate and the academic supervisors should have regular contact. The supervisor is responsible for following up the candidate's academic development. The frequency of contact should be stated in the annual progress report, cf. Section 3-6.

The supervisors have a duty to keep themselves informed about the progress of the candidate's work and assess it in relation to the progress plan in the progress description, cf. Section 2-1.

The supervisors have a duty to follow up academic-related matters that may cause a delay in the candidate's progress so that training can be completed within the standardized period of time.

The supervisors are to give advice on formulating and delimiting the thematic area and research questions, discuss and assess hypotheses and methodology, discuss the results and the interpretation of these, including the outline, choice of language, documentation, etc. and provide guidance on the academic literature and data available in libraries, archives, etc. Furthermore, the supervisors should provide guidance on issues of research ethics related to the thesis.

Section 3-4 Purpose, content and scope of the coursework

The PhD education must be organized in such a way that it can be completed within the standardized time frame.

BI Norwegian Business School is responsible for ensuring that the required coursework and the work on the doctoral thesis constitute an education at a high academic level in accordance with international standards, including the completion of a research project, training in research dissemination and an introduction to research ethics, the philosophy of science and scientific methods. Together with the research project, the coursework must be designed to lead to the expected learning outcome in accordance with the national qualifications framework.

BI Norwegian Business School is able to offer the PhD candidate guidance on future career opportunities within and outside of academia, including making the candidate aware of the expertise he/she has acquired through the research project.

If BI Norwegian Business School does not provide all the required courses itself, it must facilitate the candidate's participation in equivalent courses at other institutions.

The required coursework must consist of at least 60 credits at doctoral level. Elements that are to be included in the required coursework must not have been completed more than five years prior to the date of admission. An application to include previously completed credits in the course portfolio must be enclosed with the application for admission. Approved previous credits may not exceed 18.

Doctoral-level courses completed at another institution must be approved in accordance with the provisions of Section 3-5, first paragraph of Act relating to Universities and University Colleges.

Section 3-5 The candidate's rights in the event of a leave of absence

PhD candidates on maternity/paternity leave from the PhD programme may attend classes and sit for examinations in courses that are to be included in the required coursework of the candidate during the leave period, in pursuance of Chapter 14, Section 14-10, fourth paragraph of the National Insurance Act and circular from the Norwegian labour and Welfare Administration relating to Section 14-10, fourth paragraph of 18 December 2006, most recently amended on 30 June 2009.

Section 3-6 Reporting

The quality assurance system of BI Norwegian Business School must include measures to uncover insufficient progress in the work on the doctoral thesis, inadequacies in the supervision, as well as routines for following up deficiencies that may arise. Normally, this system will include the submission of annual, separate reports from the PhD candidate and the academic supervisor and be designed so as to avoid dual reporting.

The candidate and the academic supervisor are equally responsible for submitting the reports. The lack of, or inadequate progress reports on the part of the candidate may lead to involuntary termination of the candidate's participation in the doctoral programme prior to the expiry of the period of admission, cf. Section 2-6. Academic supervisors who fail to comply with their reporting obligations may be relieved of their duties as supervisors.

BI Norwegian Business School may establish special reporting requirements, if needed.

Section 3-7 Midterm evaluation (pre-doctoral defence)

A midterm evaluation of the doctoral project should normally be carried out halfway into the programme, basically after the completion of the required coursework. The candidate will defend his/her preliminary doctoral project before an evaluation committee. The committee consists of the main supervisor, one external member and one internal member. The department with which the candidate is affiliated recommends the members of the committee and the committee is approved by the Dean.

The candidate must submit a written project. The evaluation committee must receive the written project no later than four weeks prior to the agreed date for the pre-doctoral defence. The evaluation committee must give its opinion of the academic status and progress of the research project and provide feedback to the candidate, academic supervisor and BI Norwegian Business School.

The committee will decide by simple majority whether the research project is approved or not.

Should the pre-doctoral defence of a candidate not be approved, either a new project to be defended anew, or a new project without defence must be agreed on.

If the evaluation committee reports major weaknesses in the research project, measures to rectify the situation must be implemented.

The doctoral thesis may not be submitted prior to the approval of the pre-doctoral defence.

Section 3-8 Thesis requirements

The doctoral thesis must be an independent research project or research and development project that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic level and methodology used in the research field.

The thesis must contribute to the development of new knowledge and be at a level meriting publication or public disclosure in a suitable format as part of the research-based knowledge development in the field.

The thesis may consist of a monograph or a compendium of several shorter manuscripts. If the thesis consists of several shorter manuscripts, an explanation of how these are interrelated must be included.

BI Norwegian Business School may decide whether a thesis that has been produced jointly by several contributors may be submitted for evaluation provided that the individual contributions can be identified.

If the thesis, or parts of it, has been produced in cooperation with other authors or cooperating partners, the PhD candidate shall comply with the norms for co-authorship generally accepted in the relevant academic environment and in accordance with international standards. If the thesis consists of articles, the candidate must be the only author of at least one of the articles. With respect to the rest of the articles, the candidate must be an important contributor.

Theses containing articles by more than one author or cooperating partner must include a signed statement that describes the candidate's contribution to each of the articles.

The thesis must be written in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish. BI Norwegian Business School recommends that the thesis be written in English.

Section 3-9 Manuscripts that are not be accepted

Manuscripts or parts of manuscripts that have been approved as the basis for previous examinations or degrees will not be accepted for evaluation unless they constitute a minor part of a thesis consisting of several related manuscripts. However, data, analyses and methodologies from previous degrees may be used as a basis for the doctoral research project.

Published articles cannot be approved as part of the doctoral thesis if more than five years have passed from the date of publication to the date of admission. In extraordinary cases BI Norwegian Business School may make exceptions from this rule.

The doctoral thesis may be submitted for evaluation to only one educational institution, cf. Section 4-3.

Section 3-10 Obligation to report on research results with commercial potential

The rights between cooperating institutions must be regulated in a written agreement.

The regulations of BI Norwegian Business School at all times shall form the basis for the obligation of PhD students employed by BI Norwegian Business School to report on research results with commercial potential that have been produced during the employment relationship.

For PhD candidates with an external employer, the corresponding obligation to report must be specified in a written agreement between BI Norwegian Business School, the PhD candidate and the external employer.

For PhD candidates without an employer the corresponding obligation to report must be specified in the admission agreement between BI Norwegian Business School and the PhD candidate.