Rules for PhD students at IDI
0. General info on rules for PhD study at IDI.
By the Research Committee at IDI, edited by Reidar Conradi, 30 Nov. 2004;
revised for midterm evaluation 30. nov. 2006.
1. Conditions of intake to a PhD study at IDI.
1A. All conditions C0, C1 and C2 must be fulfilled.
(RC: C2 has been modified by IME on 24.Nov.04):
- C0. Prior education/knowledge both in profile and depth
must be adequate ("sterk faglig bakgrunn") to undertake
the proposed PhD study.
This often boils down to a master degree from a recognized
university in a relevant area.
See paragraph #5.1 (formal competence of the applicant)
general PhD rules for NTNU.
- C1. The overall mark of the last two years of
a previous master study must be B or better.
Fill in this mark in point #3 of the PhD-study application;
it is not enough just to provide copies of exam certificates.
- C2. The overall mark of a previous
bachelor study (180 Sp) must be C or better (GPA > 2.5).
Fill also in this mark in point #3 of the PhD-study application.
Til info: Regler for omregning fra talllkarakter til bokstavkarakter.
For "borderline" applicants:
if there is justified uncertainty about the adequacy of an applicant's
formal competence or exam marks (conditions C0-C2),
the Research Committee at IDI/IME must be consulted to pre-accept
such an applicant.
That is, we cannot use the normal procedure of first letting
an applicant start as a PhD fellow, and then apply for intake
to the PhD-study -- with a high risk of being rejected for such a study.
This is especially relevant for applicants with foreign
exam papers or with possibly "non-matching" backgrounds.
For instance, IDI has earlier demanded at least 120 Sp (two years) of
informatics studies as a qualifying background.
1B. Plan for PhD qualifier courses ("Plan for opplæringsdelen"),
point #8 in a PhD-study application.
I.e. for IDI: usually three "DR" courses from the PhD course catalog,
one rather free course, plus the "DR" course DT8108 IT-emner.
- Must take at least 30 Sp, i.e. half a year of study.
- Must take at least 2/3 of the courses (at least 20 Sp) from
the official PhD course catalog,
i.e. usually three "DR" courses, all pre-scheduled ("timeplanlagt").
- The remaining, maximum 1/3 of courses (at most 10 Sp) can be freely chosen,
i.e. often one course from either the PhD course catalog ("DR"),
from the MSc-level course catalog ("ORD"), or
as a guided self study ("LS").
Remember to fill in a special form with planned curriculum for
each LS course, signed by the PhD student's main advisor.
- For IME's PhD program in ICT:
Must have at least 15 Sp with depth courses in ICT,
i.e. informatics for IDI.
This is mostly relevant for interdisciplinary PhD students.
- For entire IME: "DR" course HFAVS853 Scientific Publishing
cannot be part of the compulsory 30 Sp.
- For IDI: the "DR" course DT8108 Topics in IT (IT-emner) must
be taken in addition to
the mentioned 30 Sp, regardless of study program.
- Other supplementary courses beyond 30 Sp: after own choice!
The conditions 1A and 1B above shall be met in a PhD-study application,
ensuring that the Research Committee at the IME faculty can process the
application without delay.
2. Research plans and midterm reviews.
There are three steps:
- 2.1 Short research plan ("prosjektbeskrivelse")
in PhD-study application, often only 1 page.
In the PhD-study application, a short PhD research plan
must be given as Appendix 4.
This usually less than one page and very preliminary,
see point 2.2 below.
Remember to put your name, tentative title of
thesis, and date on such a research plan. :-)
- 2.2 Possible supplementary research plan ("prosjektbeskrivelse")
after 6 months.
If the research plan in Appendix 4 in the PhD-study application
is short (less than 5 pages), the Faculty will require
a more detailed research plan of 5-10 pages within 6 months
after PhD-study start
(reckoned after formal acceptance as a PhD student).
IDI add-on: This research plan will typically cover the following
research context and a short "state-of-the-art",
preliminary research goals/hypotheses,
preliminary research method with time schedule, and
a short reference list.
This research plan shall be approved by the advisor(s) before it is
sent to the Faculty.
IME add-on per 7. March 2005:
IME faculty decided to apply the IVT faculty's guidelines for this research
http://www.ivt.ntnu.no/studier/doktorgrad/ (see under
"Start", and prosjektbeskrivelse-"Trykk her"), or
http://www.ivt.ntnu.no/studier/doktorgrad/english (see under
"Admission", and Project description-"Click here").
- 2.3 Midterm reporting, paragraph #9 in NTNU's and IME's PhD rules.
IME rule: The PhD student may be required
extended reporting after two years, in order to quality-assure that study
progression and guidance are functioning satisfactorily.
A special review group shall be appointed,
when such extended reporting takes place.
(see decision of 23. March 2004)
- for all PhD study programs, and also for dr.ing. and dr.scient.:
To ensure and assess progress, each PhD student shall be followed
up by an internal PhD committee, being appointed at PhD-study start.
This committee consists of the main advisor, a scientist from the same
research group (knowing the actual PhD theme very well), and a more remote
scientist from another research environment, possibly from another
department. These two other scientists can be the existing co-advisors.
The midterm process in summary:
After half-finished study (i.e. 1.5-2 years),
each PhD student must prepare a PhD research plan
("PhD thesis proposal") of maximum 10 pages, and "defend" it
orally to a committee of 3 members. During the review, the student
and the committee must collaborate closely to clarify the
progression of the research and get a feasible plan for the
successful completion of the studies.
More in details:
- Students must prepare a short PhD research plan, clearly
specifying their progress (max 10 pages). The plan must be
written in the format of a scientific paper, and will typically
consist of the following parts:
- Preliminary thesis title, author, affiliation, and date.
- Abstract (max. 250 words),
- Research context
- A brief "state of the art"
- Preliminary goals/hypotheses
- Research method
- Expected contributions and results so far
- A time schedule
- Discussion and concluding remarks
- A short reference list
- Appendix: status of qualifying courses with exam marks,
remaining effort for teaching duties,
and a list of own publications.
- The research plan must be presented to the evaluation committee.
Other researchers can be invited, if this is judged useful.
- The evaluation committee shall return to the student a written
midterm review report,
clearly specifying weaknesses and strengths of
the proposal and specific actions for improvement. The committee might
ask the candidate to revise the proposal based on the feedback.
- A copy of the PhD research plan and the
corresponding midterm review
report must be delivered to IDI research committee (p.t. attn/ Ellen
Solberg). The research committee will discuss the proposed
documentation and send to the faculty a recommendation on continuation
or abortion of the PhD studies.
Such a review report be on max. one page in English, and
contain the following points:
- Midterm review report header, name of PhD student and proposd
name of thesis,
- concrete and short recommendations on
positive and negative aspects (not just saying that this "looks OK"),
- originality and focus:
impact on current research and possibly on applications,
- planned research: research questions/hypothesis and
approach/method including validation,
- realism vs. schedule and resources,
- preliminary results,
- overall structure and form.
- addendum: possible observations beyond the actual PhD student,
e.g. at the IDI level.
- date, names and signatures of committee members.
If general progress,
PhD research and ensuing discussion as a whole is not judged satisfactory,
the committee may request a revised PhD research plan with
a deadline of two months after the first review.
If also the revised plan is not judged satisfactory,
the committee can recommend to the Department/Faculty
to undertake appropriate measures.
These could be e.g. that the PhD study and associated scholarship
should be terminated, that the guidance from the main advisor
should be improved, or that a new main advisor should be appointed.
The midterm review report shall be conveyed with minimal delay
by the main advisor
both to the PhD student and - together with the PhD research plan -
to IDI's Research Committee.
The IDI Research Committee will later make its own evaluation of the
received material, and may propose further action points.
The review report is coordinated with preparation of the normal,
annual status reports for each PhD student to the Faculty.
Hint: The main benefit of such a midterm review is threefold,
and tries to achieve a "win-win" situation. The purpose is:
As in Total Quality Management (TQM)
by W. E. Deming et al., the main purpose
is long-term, organizational learning of IDI as a research
collective in order to produce high quality research,
not control of individuals.
- to give the PhD student constructive feedback on ongoing research.
- to homogenize and strengthen the guidance and
progress of our PhD students (cf. DT8108 IT-emner),
by allowing a broader audience to get
access to and comment on preliminary PhD plans and results.
- to carry out a minimum of
"control" on the progress of IDI's PhD students
(as done in most university departments).
3. Compulsory Web page for each PhD student.
Each PhD student shall have her/his own Web page (home page) at IDI.
This Web page shall be established within 1 month after the PhD-study
application has been approved, and by 20. Dec. 2004 for any full-time PhD
student at IDI.
The Web page shall be accessible in English, and at least contain
a short CV,
an updated publication list and
a research plan.
Hint: reuse some of the material under point 2 above.
Also look at your fellow PhD students's Web pages for inspiration.
We are not speaking of fancy presentations etc.,
just basic information for mutual benefit.
By Reidar Conradi, last changed 7.Dec.06.