Application to the PhD Programme

Admission Requirements and Financing

The PhD programme in nautical operations is standardized to a 3 year full-time study. To be admitted to the programme, it is required that you have funding for the entire period (3 years full-time). Public universities in Norway (as is the case for all the four cooperating institutions in the joint programme) do not charge students tuition fees regardless of the student's country of origin.

There are three possible ways to finance PhD studies: self-financing, financing by employer or financing by the Norwegian Ministry for Education and Research.

If funding sources are private or come from your employer, admission is ongoing and has no particular deadlines. In case of funding from your employer, we recommend you and your company to explore the Research Council of Norway’s Industrial Ph.D. scheme. This scheme exists specifically for companies who wish to finance their employees seeking to pursue a PhD. Your company can submit the application to the Research Council of Norway (NFR) at any time (ongoing deadline for submission and short processing times). 

Under the Industrial Ph.D. scheme, companies receive an annual grant equal to maximum 50 per cent of the applicable rate for doctoral research fellowships (the full applicable rate is ca 1 095 000 NOK/year) for a three-year period. The candidate must be an employee of the company and be formally admitted to an ordinary doctoral degree programme.

For self-financed PhD students different financing requirements apply at the four cooperating institutions that are in the joint programme. The commonalities are that the candidate will have to cover all the expenses associated with general operating costs, overhead-costs, costs for travel and costs for use of the institution's infrastructure, such as offices, equipment or laboratories. Self-financed candidates will also have to document (by bank statement) the ability  to cover subsistence costs of around 20 000 NOK/month for the entire duration of the programme. A financing contract will have to be made between the self-financing candidate and the home institution before the applicant can be admitted to the PhD programme.

For positions funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, the admission process is twofold. Firstly, the candiate needs to follow the advertised PhD student-positions at the job boards of the four partner institutions (UiT job boardNTNU job board, USN job boardHVL job board). After that, a regular job application process takes place, whereby documents are submitted to the position, and the best qualified candidates are called to an interview. Secondly, the candidates who are then hired, based on the outcome of that process, can apply for admission to the PhD programme.

Admission requirements are the same for all candidates regardless of the source of funding.

Admission to the PhD programme in nautical operations requires that the applicant has completed a relevant 120-credit master's degree - based on a bachelor's degree of 180 credits - with good results, or an integrated master's degree of 300 credits. An individual assessment of the competence of applicants with a master's degree of less than 120 credits may be done. Other education equivalent to missing credits in the master's degree must be documented.

Examples of fields of study that qualify for admission include maritime management, nautical studies, occupational and organisational psychology, fire and safety, meteorology and oceanography, marine engineering.

Normally, a weighted grade average for the master's degree equal to B or better is required as a basis for admission. The candidate must normally also have a grade of B or better for the master's thesis. Applicants with lower grades might be considered for admission if it can be documented that the candidate is particularly suitable for a PhD education.

The application
The application for admission consists of the Application form for admission to the Joint PhD programme in Nautical Operations with attachments.

The following information must be included in the application:

  • Documentation of previous relevant education that will serve as the basis for admission to the PhD programme (bachelor's degree and master's degree diplomas and transcripts of records)
  • Project description, including topic, research questions and choice of theory and research methodology. The project description must be formulated in consultation with the main supervisor and be signed by the candidate's all supervisors. 
  • Progress plan for completion of education
    • Please, note that the progress plan must include information on in which semester you are planning to take your compulsory mid-term evaluation. Typically, the mid-term evaluation is conducted in the 3rd semester (for 3-year-contracts) or in the 4th semester (for 4-year-contracts). 
  • Financing Plan
  • Supervisors (the candidate must contact the chosen supervisors in advance and obtain from them a confirmation of their willingness to take on the role; profiles and contact details of senior academic staff at all four cooperating institutions in the joint programme can be found on this page)
  • Plan for compulsory residence duty and possibly a stay at another institution in Norway or abroad
  • Plan for the educational component
    • Please, note that, in order to be included in the educational component, the courses must be at PhD-level.
    • The plan must contain a list of all courses (totaling 30 credits) that will be included in the educational component of the programme. Of these, two compulsory courses totaling 15 credits - the HTOI-course and the philosophy of science and ethics course - must be included.
    • The courses for the remaining 15 credits can be chosen freely. It is recommended that you in the first instance consider the course catalogue of elective courses that have been developed specifically for this programme.  
    • Only in subject areas where no institutionally established PhD courses exist, an individual curriculum of 5-10 credits may be approved. If you intend to include an individual curriculum type of course in your educational component, you must at least specify the field of study in your application. (Eventually, you will have to write a more detailed course description and get it approved by your main supervisor before sending it for approval by the Programme Board.)
  • Scientific dissemination plan 
  • Information about any intellectual property rights restrictions (IPR) to protect the rights of others
  • Statement on possible legal and ethical issues that the project raises and how these can be resolved.
  • Description of possible special infrastructure that may be needed for the completion of the programme



Page administrator: Stephanie Ramona Hansen
Last updated: 11.02.2020 15:55