Regulations for the Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD) at BI Norwegian Business School.
Chapter 4. Evaluation of the doctoral thesis, etc.
Section 4-1 Basis for the evaluation
The PhD degree is conferred on the basis of:
- an approved pre-doctoral defence
- an approved doctoral thesis
- an approved completion of the required coursework
- an approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
- an approved public defence of the doctoral thesis (disputation)
Section 4-2 Time from submission to disputation
BI Norwegian Business School must do what it can to ensure that the time between the submission of the doctoral thesis for evaluation to the public defence of it is as short as possible. It is normally the responsibility of the main academic supervisor to notify the responsible unit at BI Norwegian Business School that the doctoral thesis will soon be submitted so that the necessary preparations can begin.
Section 4-3 Submission of the thesis
The application for evaluation of the doctoral thesis may only be submitted after the required coursework and the pre-doctoral defence have been approved.
The following documents must be enclosed with the application:
- the doctoral thesis in an approved format and in accordance with the rules of BI Norwegian Business School regarding form and number of copies
- documentation of required permissions, cf. Section 2-1
- declarations from co-authors where this is required in pursuance of Section 3-8.
- a statement as to whether the doctoral thesis is being submitted for evaluation for the first or second time
- A statement that the doctoral thesis has not been submitted for evaluation at another institution.
BI Norwegian Business School may make an independent decision to refuse an application for evaluation of the doctoral thesis if it is evident that the thesis does not meet sufficiently high standards of scientific quality and would therefore be rejected by an evaluation committee. Unless it is agreed otherwise in writing in each case, this may also apply if the doctoral thesis is submitted after the expiry of the admission to the doctoral programme.
The doctoral thesis must be available to the public no later than two weeks before the public defence, cf. Section 4-14.
Section 4-4 Assessment of the application
BI Norwegian Business School assesses the application for evaluation of the doctoral thesis. Applications that do not meet the requirements specified in Section 4-3 will be rejected.
Section 4-5 Appointment of the evaluation committee
When BI Norwegian Business School has approved an application for evaluation of a doctoral thesis, it will appoint an expert committee consisting of at least three members that will evaluate the thesis and the public defence. The rules relating to impartiality in Section 6 of the Public Administration Act apply to the committee members. Normally, the composition of the committee should be determined prior to the time of submission of the doctoral thesis.
The evaluation committee will normally be comprised so that:
- both genders are represented
- at least one of the members is not affiliated with BI Norwegian Business School
- at least one of the members is not employed in his/her main position at a Norwegian institution
- all the members hold a doctoral degree or equivalent competence
- the majority of the committee members are external
In the event of a deviation from these rules, a special explanation must be provided. Appointed academic supervisors and others who have contributed to the doctoral thesis may not be members of the evaluation committee or administer the committee.
BI Norwegian Business School represented by the Dean is responsible for establishing procedures for the appointment of the evaluation committee. Grounds must be stated for the composition of the committee and it must be shown how the committee as a whole covers the field addressed in the doctoral thesis. BI Norwegian Business School will appoint one of the committee members or another person to serve as the chairperson of the committee.
If required, BI Norwegian Business School may appoint a substitute member to serve on the evaluation committee.
The candidate must be informed about the composition of the committee. Any comments must be made in writing no later than one week after the candidate has been informed about the composition of the committee.
Section 4-6 Gathering of supplementary information
The evaluation committee may require the candidate to submit the material that forms the basis for the doctoral thesis, as well as supplementary and explanatory additional information. The evaluation committee may ask the academic supervisor to give an account of how the supervision and the work on the doctoral thesis have been carried out.
Section 4-7 Reworking of a submitted doctoral thesis
On the basis of the submitted doctoral thesis and any additional material, cf. Section 4-6, the evaluation committee may recommend that BI Norwegian Business School permit the candidate to make minor revisions to the thesis before the committee submits its final report. The committee must provide a written list of specific items the candidate must rework.
If BI Norwegian Business School allows minor revisions to the thesis, a time limit normally not exceeding three weeks must be set for completing such revisions. A new deadline for submission of the committee's report must also be set. The decision of BI Norwegian Business School pursuant to this section may not be appealed by the PhD candidate.
If the committee finds that extensive changes related to the theory, hypothesis, material or methods are needed for the thesis to be deemed worthy of a public defence, the committee must reject the thesis.
Section 4-8 The report of the evaluation committee
The evaluation committee determines whether the thesis is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. The decision presented in the report and any dissents must be explained.
The report of the evaluation committee must be submitted no later than three months from the date when the committee received the thesis, and no later than four weeks before the planned public defence of the thesis. If the committee allows reworking of the thesis, a new period begins on the date when the thesis is resubmitted.
The committee's report is submitted to BI Norwegian Business School, which forwards the report to the PhD candidate. The candidate is given a period of ten working days to submit written comments to the report. Any comments from the PhD candidate are to be submitted to BI Norwegian Business School. BI Norwegian Business School will make a final decision on the matter in accordance with sections 4-10 and 4-11.
Section 4-9 Correction of formal errors in the doctoral thesis
A thesis that has been submitted may not be withdrawn before the evaluation committee has determined whether it is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree.
After submitting the thesis, the PhD candidate may apply for permission to correct formal errors in the thesis. A complete list of errors that the candidate wishes to correct (an errata list) must be attached to the application. An application to correct formal errors must be submitted no later than four weeks before the committee's deadline for submission of its final report, and may be submitted only once.
Section 4-10 Unanimous decision
On the basis of the report of the evaluation committee, BI Norwegian Business School will take a decision as to whether the doctoral thesis is worthy of a public defence. If the committee's decision is unanimous and BI Norwegian Business School finds that the committee's report should form the basis for its final decision, BI Norwegian Business School will take the final decision in accordance with the unanimous report.
If BI Norwegian Business School finds that there are grounds to doubt whether the committee's unanimous decision should form the basis for its final decision, BI Norwegian Business School must itself request further clarification from the evaluation committee and/or appoint two new experts who will submit individual evaluations of the thesis. Such additional clarifications or individual evaluations must be presented to the PhD candidate, who will be given the opportunity to make comments.
BI Norwegian Business School takes the final decision on the matter on the basis of the committee's report and the subsequent reviews.
Section 4-11 Non-unanimous decision
On the basis of the decision of the evaluation committee, BI Norwegian Business School will take a decision as to whether the PhD thesis is worthy of a public defence. If the committee's decision is not unanimous and BI Norwegian Business School finds that the opinion of the majority of the committee should form the basis for its final decision, BI Norwegian Business School will take the final decision in accordance with the majority's recommendation.
If the committee's decision is not unanimous and BI Norwegian Business School finds that there are grounds to consider using the minority's opinion as a basis for its final decision, BI Norwegian Business School may request further clarification from the evaluation committee and/or appoint two new experts who will submit individual evaluations of he thesis. Such additional opinions or individual statements must be presented to the PhD candidate, who will be given the opportunity to make comments. If both the new experts agree with the majority's opinion in the original report, this opinion must be followed.
The candidate is to be informed about the outcome after the procedures related to the statements by the new experts have been completed.
Section 4-12 Resubmission
A PhD thesis that has not been found worthy of a public defence may be re-evaluated in a revised version no sooner than six months after BI Norwegian Business School has taken its final decision. Re-evaluation may only be made once.
In the event of a resubmission, the PhD candidate must state that the doctoral thesis has been evaluated previously and not found worthy of a public defence.
If the doctoral thesis is resubmitted at another institution, the candidate must first be admitted to that institution, cf. sections 2-1 to 2-3.
Section 4-13 Requirements related to the printed doctoral thesis
When the doctoral thesis has been found worthy of a public defence, the PhD candidate must submit the thesis to BI Norwegian Business School in an approved format and in accordance with the rules of BI Norwegian Business School, cf. Section 4-3.
The PhD candidate must submit a brief summary of the doctoral thesis in English and Norwegian. If the thesis is written neither in English nor in Norwegian, a summary must also be submitted in the language in which the thesis is written. Like the thesis itself, the summary must be made available to the public.
Section 4-14 Publication
The doctoral thesis must be available to the public no later than two weeks prior to the date of the public defence. The thesis must be made available in the form in which it was submitted for evaluation or following revisions on the basis of the committee's preliminary comments, cf. Section 4-7.
No restrictions can be placed on the publication of a doctoral thesis except a prior agreement as to a delay of the date for publication. Such a delay may be allowed to enable BI Norwegian Business School and any external party that in whole or in part has provided funding for the candidate's PhD studies to determine their interest in any patents. An external party may not require that all or part of the doctoral thesis be withheld from publication, cf. Section 2-3.
In connection with the publication of he doctoral thesis, the candidate must follow applicable guidelines related to the crediting of institutions. The main rule is that an institution must be stated as the address in a publication if it has made a necessary and substantial contribution to or provided basis for an author's contribution to the published manuscript. The same author must also list other institution as the address if these in each case meet the requirement related to the institution's contribution.