Doctoral degrees and career

Do you want to contribute to the development of new professional knowledge at an international level in your field? A doctoral degree from Nord University qualifies both for a further academic career and for other professions with high requirements for competence and scientific insight.

Nord University is a young university with strong regional connections and a global perspective. The research supporting the doctoral programmes is at the forefront of the university's research and is a central part of the university's strategic focus areas.

The research related to the doctoral programmes supports the overall study portfolio as well as the university's profile areas.

Through proximity and collaboration with stakeholders, the university meets the region's competence needs within the profile areas and contributes to transformation, innovation, and value creation in the public and private sectors.

A strong interaction between the doctoral programmes and the profile areas ensures that the university functions as a "total provider" of research and research-based teaching, and in this way, it is closely involved in and stimulates development in society and business.

A PhD education is a structured degree programme that is standardized to three years of full-time studies. Some doctoral positions include a fourth year of mandatory work (see Structure in the list below).

The education consists of a training component of 30-40 credits and an independent research work that should contribute to the development of new academic knowledge and be at an international level within the field. A PhD education requires a high degree of independence and ability to complete tasks.

Active participation in international conferences and publishing in international journals is expected. It is encouraged to conduct parts of the study abroad, either through research stays or by completing portions of the training component abroad.

  • To be admitted to the doctoral education, you must have a scientific master's degree of at least 120 credits or another completed higher degree equivalent to a Norwegian master's degree. It is expected that you have a strong academic background with a satisfactory grade point average.

    If you have education from abroad, an assessment will be made during the application process. The education must correspond to a Norwegian scientific two-year master's degree. The documentation must be translated into English or a Scandinavian language. Alternatively, you can contact HK-dir (Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills) for an assessment of your education.

    Our four PhD programmes have slightly different academic admission requirements. The other qualification requirements also vary between the doctoral programmes and depend on the specific doctoral positions to be filled.

    For more detailed information about the requirements, please refer to the respective PhD programme's website and job advertisements.

    In order to be admitted to the PhD programme, it is further required that you have sufficient funding (see the Financing section), an approved project description, and a schedule for completing the doctoral education.

    Admission to our PhD programmes is ongoing and is based on individual applications, which must include the following attachments:

    • Documentation of completed scientific master's degree (120 credits) or equivalent higher degree from abroad.
    • Project description.
    • Statement on any legal and ethical issues raised by the project and how they can be resolved.
    • Data Management Plan (DMP).
    • Proposal for at least one supervisor, and affiliation with an active research environment.

    For a complete list, please refer to the PhD regulations § 5-1. (pdf)

  • Only candidates with satisfactory funding for the entire doctoral education can apply for admission to the doctoral programme. The funding should cover both living expenses (salary) and operational costs related to the research.

    There are mainly two ways to obtain funding for a PhD project. First and foremost, you can apply for and secure a doctoral position at Nord University. Doctoral positions are advertised under Vacant Positions on our website. Private financing such as personal or family funds, pensions, or similar sources are not accepted as funding for admission to the organised doctoral education.

    You can also obtain a doctoral position or other type of PhD funding at another university, college, or research institute. Some of these positions will be advertised, while others may involve being released from your current employer in private companies or public institutions.

    It is also possible to seek funding through the Research Council of Norway's scheme for industrial PhD or public sector PhD, or educational scholarships from various national and international organisations.

    You can also approach potential employers in your field of interest and jointly seek funding for your project. Regardless of the form of funding, it is expected that all candidates who are admitted have normally competed for funds that have been openly advertised.

    In addition to salary, doctoral candidates employed at Nord University will receive an annual budget to cover the project's operational costs. It will also be possible to apply for additional funding, such as for international mobility. At the time of admission, there should be an understanding between the candidate and the employer/funding source that the planned expenses for the doctoral project do not exceed the available operational funds for the project.

  • A PhD programme is a structured and supervised degree programme standardised to three years of full-time study. The programme consists of:

    • A thesis based on independent research
    • A training component comprising relevant courses
    • Participation in national and international research environments
    • Relevant academic dissemination
    • Final doctoral examination, including a trial lecture and a public defense

    A PhD study programme requires a high degree of independence and the ability to carry out one's own research project. Some PhD positions include a fourth year with mandatory tasks, usually in the form of teaching or research and project assistance.

    PhD candidates are encouraged to conduct parts of the programme abroad, either through research stays or by taking portions of the training component in foreign institutions. PhD candidates are expected to actively participate in international conferences. Candidates who write an article-based thesis are expected to publish in international journals and co-publish nationally and internationally.

  • Nord University has a common regulation for the PhD degree across all doctoral programmes:

    All activities related to the PhD programmes are subject to these regulations. In addition, each programme has its own supplementary provisions. The supplementary provisions may be stricter than the regulations but cannot relax the provisions stated in the regulations. The PhD regulations shall apply in case of any dispute regarding the interpretation of the content on this website and the provisions in the regulations.

    Links to the supplementary guidelines for the programmes:

  • All PhD programmes have a training component. An overview of courses and seminars, including mandatory and elective ones, as well as the organisation of the training component, can be found on the respective program pages.

    Our PhD candidates can take PhD courses at Nord University. If the university does not offer the entire training component itself, arrangements will be made for the candidate to complete equivalent training at other institutions, nationally or internationally.

    Please note that it is possible to take courses from a different programme than the one you are enrolled in, but make sure to check in advance if the course can be approved as part of your training component.

    During the training period, it is expected that candidates enhance their knowledge of scientific theory, research methods, and research ethics. The development of skills in communicating research results is also required as part of the training.

    Most of our courses are open to external applicants enrolled in other PhD programmes both nationally and internationally. Refer to the programme pages to find out which courses are offered and contact the course coordinator to inquire about availability.

    Refer to each programme for requirements regarding the number of credits and the academic composition.

  • Form for application for admission:

    Application form for admission to a PhD programme at Nord University​ (pdf)

    Form for PhD candidates who have already been admitted:

    Standard Admission Agreement June 2022 (English, pdf)​

    The agreement is completed in collaboration with the faculty's PhD coordinator

  • PhD on Track (literature, references, publishing) is an online resource primarily aimed at PhD candidates and early-career researchers. Its goal is to provide easier access to information on searching and reviewing scholarly literature, academic writing, and sharing and publishing reports and data.

    The website consists of three modules: Module one focuses on effective ways to map and systematize research literature. Module two covers the publishing process, including topics such as submission for publication, copyright issues, and Open Access publishing. The final module deals with the evaluation and ranking of research based on the Norwegian model and citation indicators.

    Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) support researchers at all stages of their careers, regardless of age and nationality. Researchers working across all disciplines are eligible for funding.

    MSCA also promotes collaboration between industry and academia and provides innovative training to enhance employability and career development. MSCA is important for seeking and gaining experience in research projects, as well as facilitating international research stays.

    The Vancouver Recommendations, also known as the Vancouver Convention or Vancouver Guidelines, were developed by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE). They provide practical and ethical guidelines for authors. Among other things, the Helsinki Declaration must be followed, and the research project must be approved by an independent ethics committee. The convention is used by over 500 medical journals worldwide and serves as a guideline for co-authorship in all fields at Nord University.

    The Vancouver Rules are often used as the standard for determining co-authorship. Disagreements regarding co-authorship can be avoided by either explicitly agreeing on co-authorship in advance or providing a description of each author's contributions.


    As a PhD student, you are eligible to receive an Erasmus+ grant for a mobility period abroad. Erasmus+ is the European Commission's programme for mobility in education.

    Depending on whether you are registered as a student or as an employee ("stipendiat"), you can receive a grant either as a student or as an employee.

    If you are both a student and an employee, then you can choose either option. See Intranet (iNord) for further information or contact the administrative PhD coordinator at your faculty.

    The National Research Ethics Committees are independent bodies responsible for research ethics issues and investigations of research misconduct across all disciplines.

    Research ethics guidelines at Nord University emphasize respect for the human dignity and rights of research participants. The welfare and integrity of participants are fundamental and take precedence over the interests of science and society. Research ethics regulations are an essential aspect of conducting academic research at universities. These regulations are in place to ensure that research studies are carried out in an ethical and responsible manner.

    The National Research Course Portal provides an overview of PhD courses in the social science subjects offered at Norwegian universities. The website is the result of a national project on the coordination of PhD courses within the Social Sciences, initiated by the National Conference of Faculties of the Social Sciences.

    Vitae (Researcher careers) is a global organisation that supports the professional development of researchers. They work with institutions to achieve research excellence, innovation, and impact. Vitae collaborates with researchers, higher education institutions, research organisations, research funders, and other stakeholders to realize the potential of researchers.

    Nord Open Research Archive is the university's open digital repository. According to Nord's Open Access (OA) policy, all scientific journal articles should be made available in the repository through self-archiving.

    If you have published in a subscription-based journal, archiving the accepted manuscript version (green OA) is a pathway to open publishing (open access). The full text should be uploaded in the correct version in Cristin; the University Library (UB) checks the rights before making it accessible. Detailed information about article versions and self-archiving can be found on the UB's website.

    According to the university's PhD regulations § 17-3, all PhD theses should also be deposited in the research archive (read more about the publication of PhD theses).

    Cristin (Current Research Information System In Norway) is Norway's research information system. All scientific publications should be registered in Cristin, and other research-related activities (e.g., conference contributions, opinion pieces) can also be registered. In Cristin, you can also upload full-text scientific publications (articles, book chapters, books) and doctoral theses.

    The files are then transferred to the university's research archive, Nord Open Research Archive. The University Library checks the publisher's self-archiving guidelines before making the publication available in the archive.

    NDS Privacy Services' main task is to assist institutions in fulfilling legal obligations related to internal control and quality assurance of their own research.

    The General Data Protection Regulation requires that all processing of personal data should be documented. NDS offers:

    • Preliminary assessment of research projects involving the processing of personal data
    • Follow-up during project changes, expansions, and project completion
    • Guidance, training, and informational materials for researchers, students, administration, and management
    • Access to tools for managing and controlling the institution's processing of personal data, such as the Message Archive, to ensure internal control of research
    • Guidance to research subjects regarding their rights
    • Public overview of projects processing personal data.

    The Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) are authorized by the Research Ethics Act and the Health Research Act. REK assesses whether research is conducted in a responsible manner. This involves weighing the benefits and risks and assessing whether privacy is safeguarded.

    REK must grant prior approval for:

    • Medical and health research projects
    • General research biobanks
    • Waivers of confidentiality for other types of research

    If you are unsure whether your project requires prior approval, you can submit a preliminary assessment. This provides REK with a basis for further guidance.

    From Idea to Publication. The Research Handbook is a handbook for medical and health research developed by Oslo University Hospital in collaboration with Haukeland University Hospital, but it also provides advice and tips applicable to other disciplines.

    Euraxess is an international researcher mobility portal for job and funding searches, career development, international partnerships, and general information about living and working as a researcher abroad.

    Research Council of Norway's research programmes provide an overview of programs or activities that focus on targeted research efforts to generate new knowledge and innovation in a specific field. This can include a discipline, theme, and/or industry.

  • MUNI-HEALTH-CARE - The Research School for Municipal Health and Care Services. The research school aims to enhance the quality of research focused on municipal health and care services in Norway.

    NORSI - The Norwegian Research School in Innovation (NORSI) is a national research school for doctoral students in innovation. NORSI offers academic courses in innovation studies.

    NRSH - The Norwegian Research School in History (NRSH) is a collaboration between eight Norwegian educational institutions. The research school aims to offer relevant and ambitious courses and skill modules to doctoral candidates in history.

    PROFRES - The Research School for Practice-oriented and Profession-related Research (PROFRES) is a national research school for practice-oriented and profession-related research in the fields of health, welfare, and education.

    TBLR - The national research school Text, Image, Sound, Space (TBLR) – Interpretation and Theory Exchange was established in 2004 as a national network research school in aesthetic subjects. The school holds at least one national research education seminar annually with international guest lecturers. The school is both interdisciplinary and discipline-oriented at the same time.

    The Norwegian Graduate School in Mathematics and Science Education - National research school in mathematics and science education. The research school aims to equip doctoral students in mathematics and science education with the necessary skills for tasks both within and outside of research.

    The Norwegian Research School on Digitalization, Culture, and Society (DIGIT) - offers an academic and professionally relevant program to PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers at Norwegian universities. Here, you can be part of a larger network of researchers and professionals working at the intersection of digitalization, culture, and society.

    The National Graduate School Photosyntech - Photosyntech connects and unites the scientific community within plant and algae related research across Norway. We stimulate collaboration within the community and with industries. We will also stimulate transferable skills needed after the PhD, and for collaboration with companies.


The degree Dr. Philos. (doctor philosophiae) is awarded to academics who have qualified themselves for a doctoral degree without formal supervision. The degree has no normalised timeframe and candidates do not have a relationship with the institut​ion prior to having their doctoral examination approved.


Do you wish to continue your academic career at Nord University?

Contact information

At Nord University, the academic and administrative responsibility for the PhD education is delegated to the faculties. Therefore, questions regarding the PhD program should be directed to the faculty that administers the program you are interested in.

The program coordinator, usually a professor, has overall responsibility for the program, while the administrative coordinator provides administrative support.

PhD in Aquatic Biosciences

Academic responsible: Steinar Daae Johansen 
Administrative coordinator: Jeanett Stegen

PhD in Sociology

Academic responsible: Johans Tveit Sandvin
Administrative coordinator: Anneli Maria Watterud

PhD in Business

Academic responsible: Elena Dybtsyna
Administrative corrdinator: Steinar Stene-Sørensen

PhD in Science of Professions

Academic responsible: Anne Marit Valle
Administrative coordinator (FLU): Geir Øystein Fjeldavli
Administrative coordinator (FSH): Synnøve Dalmo Tollåli

Department of Research and Development

The Department of Research and Development assists the faculties with common administrative tasks.

Administrative contacts:

Sissel Marit Jensen
Grete Ingemann Knudsen