Life as a PhD student, and the acceptance process for PhD scholarships.
Other sources of information:
The following three criteria must be met:
The primary contact regarding your status as a PhD student is your main supervisor.
Contact Anne Berit Dahl regarding formalities.
The application form should be filled out by the candidate and the supervisor. The employment offer employment usually states that it is conditional, and that it is given provided the candidate is accepted as a PhD student no later than 3 months after having started in the position.
Read the instructions (and footnotes) carefully when filling the application. All details for each course must be precicely specified (i.e. whether the course is on PhD or ordinary level, the number of credits, how the course is assessed etc). Please observe the following details with respect to the composition of the plan:
The rules stated above is only a selection of the complete set of rules, which is found in §4.2 in the regulations. The complete text (in Norwegian) is found in the Study Handbook for the PhD Studies at NTNU.
A temporary research plan (0.5 - 2 pages) must accompany the application. A complete plan (appr. 10 pages including references) must be available within the next 6 months. The plan shall be approved by the advisor(s) before it is sent to the Faculty, and consists of the following parts:
Each PhD student is required to have a committee of 2-4 persons following up on her/his studies. The default configuration is that the committee normally will have the following 3 members:
The committee will meet minimum once per year - preferably once per semester - to monitor the progression of the candidate, and to provide additional input to both the candidate and the supervisor, ref. section 2.2.2 below.
The internal committee is not the committee which will evaluate the final dissertation. The committee's purpose is to provide a mechanism for quality assurance throughout the study.
Any change of plans regarding courses you are expected to attend, estimated date of thesis submission etc., must be accepted by the faculty's Research Committee. Therefore, all changes must be applied for explicitly, with a positive recommendation from the supervisor accompanying the application.
Important: Changes involving withdrawing from one or more exams, must be applied for no later than November 1st and April 15th the semester in which the exam was originally planned. Students failing to withdraw in due time will have the exam count as a "Fail" if not attending.
The candidate is annually required to deliver a written progress report. Normally this is done in connection with the annual (or more frequent) meetings between the candidate and the internal committee.
After two years a more excessive progress report - a "thesis proposal" of appr. 10 pages, must be delivered. Generally it has the same structure as the research plan submitted with the application (ref section 2.1.2), but in addition it includes a description of achievements to this point and a revised plan for completing the studies. The plan and an oral presentation of the status, will be reviewed by the internal committee. Based on the review, a statement is made on whether progression is sufficient. The committee may reject the plan and require a revised plan to be produced within 2 months. If the revised plan is rejected, a recommendation can be made that the candidate's PhD studies are aborted.
Tentative templates for structuring the thesis:
PhD students are automatically registered for exams according to the semesters indicated on page 2 of their applications. It should be noted that one must apply for a formal change in plans (ref. section 2.2.1) to be able to skip (postpone) an exam scheduled for a particular semester.
PhD students at NTNU have their own organization to take care of their interests - much the same as a "trade union": DION.
Your primary contact regarding IDI employment is Norun Brembo.
Practical matters concerning salary and taxes are handled by Anne Sørvik.
To become an official employee, a residence and work permit must be issued. This is done at the Foreign Office at the police station. Bring your passport to the police station immediately upon arrival in Norway to have it stamped.
Living is expensive in Norway and there is no government organised housing.
The university has too few appartments to offer permanent housing for PhD students, but will try to aid with providing housing for a short time upon arrival.
Before foreign employees can receive their salary from NTNU, they must have a bank account in a Norwegian bank. You must also have a certificate ("Skattekort") from the Income Tax Authorities ("Likningskontoret"), stating how much tax you are required to pay.
To open a bank account and to have a tax certificate issued, you must first have been assigned your personal identification number ("personnummer"). This number is issued by the Population Registration Authority ("Folkeregistret"). This authority, however, only accepts applications after your passport has been stamped by the Foreing Office upon arrival in Norway. Please note: Expect up to 2 months processing time for having the identification number issued! Prepare to finance the stay in Norway for up to 2 months on your own, without having received the first salary. Calculate minimum 10.000 NOK/1200 USD/1200 EUR per month to cover rent, food and other expenses.
You will have your own work place, but PhD offices are usually shared with other PhD students. Desks in office landscapes with 2-4 colleagues may be used occationally.Practical information:
Pens, pencils, staples, ring leaf files, folders, hole punchers etc. are stored in room 224 (located in the southern stairway of the building). Paper is stored in the copy/print/fax-rooms located on 1st and 2nd floors (rooms 154 and 254).
Normally, PhD students are offered a 4 year employment period regardless of the fact that the PhD study is a 3 year program. The extra time of employment must be returned to the department in form of teaching services - normally in the form of being responsible for exercises and laboratory work connected to the department's undergraduate and graduate courses.
One man-labour year at NTNU equals 1735 hours, implying that the teaching loads for one semester, when this load is spread out evenly over all 8 semesters, is 217 hours. Candidates are encouraged to fulfill the teaching duties during the first 3 years of employment, to ensure 100% concentration on the thesis the last year.
In Norway, you are required to have 5 weeks of vacation each year. The Norwegian system has the following principle enforced for this:
You may not choose not to have vacation (e.g. with the excuse "I was to busy working on my thesis, so I didn't have time for vacation this year"), and then request the days "earned" the previous year to be payed in cash. If you choose not to have vacation, the benefit of a vacation with salary that year is generally lost. The exception to the rule: You may apply before November 15th every year, to have maximum 14 days of vacation (which you didn't have time to spend) transferred to the next year - for a total of 5+3=8 weeks of vacation with salary the following year. It is not possible to accumulate the number of days (i.e. 28 days if you have been busy for two years in a row). If vacation is transferred from one year to the following, you are required to spend the excess vacation during the five first months of the year. Vacation which isn't spent during this period, will be lost.
You may have periods of leave - with or without
salary - depending on the circumstances.
Common types of leave:
Contact Birgit Sørgård regarding bills, invoices, expenses, and economic information.
Annually each employee gets a fixed amount for general expenses ("Personal Annuum"/"PA"). For PhD students the amount is NOK 15.000 per year (proportionally reduced when arriving late or quitting early in a year). The PA may be used for any scientific purposes:
Important: The general allowance only applies to PhD students employed at the department. PhD students financing their studies by other means (private savings, employment at an external institution/company, loan, etc) will not be eligible.
At the Gnist Tapir bookstore, you may buy books and office/computer equipment you need for your studies/project without paying cash. Simply present your ID-card at the cashier desk and request the invoice to be sent to the department. The expenses will be drawn from your PA, or from the project's expenses account, if one is provided (only applies for externally financed projects).
When buying equipment or books elsewhere, and when buying tickets or paying conference fees, the normal procedure is that the vendor either sends the invoice to the department, or that you personally pay (cash or using your private credit card) for whatever goods you buy, and then brings the receipt and the amount refunded (it will be added to your salary the next day of payment).
New employees will normally be equipped with a new work station. It is expected to last for the duration of employment. You may choose between a stationary or a portable computer. The computer is the department's property, and must be returned to the department at the end of the employment.
Expensive and specialised equipment for research purposes may be applied for every year - normally once per semester. The department's Committee of Infrastructure and Research Equipment will announce this occationally on web, or by e-mail. Applications should be coordinated within each research group, and should be accompanied by a recommendation from your supervisor. Personal computer equipment (e.g. portable PCs, PDAs and their related add-on extras) will not be covered by these grants. Such expenses must be covered from your PA.
Computer equipment and software is normally ordered and installed by our technical staff. All requests and orders should be sent via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. When buying equipment, your primary contact is Birgit Sørgård.
You may apply for extra travel fundings. The department's Committee of Research decides once per semester who receives fundings, based on the applications received.
Normally the costs are covered by the Committee of Research if you contribute with a paper or with an invited talk at an international conference. Contributions to poster sessions do normally not qualify. Merely participating on a conference does not qualify, neither does contributions at national conferences - these should be covered using your PA.
Costs are normally covered if you are member of the program committee or have a similar function at a conference. Expect to have expenses for participation at a conference covered (contrary to what was just stated) as a bonus for having an article accepted in an international, refereed journal.