Doctoral education PhD


Employer responsibility

AHO is the employer:

PhD positions funded by AHO are normally advertised once a year, in January/February. The persons admitted start the Research School in the following autumn semester.
PhD positions connected to externally funded projects can be advertised throughout the year.

Another party than AHO is the employer:

PhD candidates funded by another institution can be admitted to AHO’s PhD programme if the project is relevant to AHO and there are available supervisors.  

Industrial PhD candidates work in a company and their project is partly funded by the Research Council of Norway.  More information about the industrial Ph.d scheme

Guidelines for admission to the PhD programme

Admission procedure for PhD positions where AHO has the employer responsibility

Prioritised research subject areas will be announced when the PhD positions are advertised in connection with admissions to the PhD programme at AHO. Institute affiliation and potential supervisors will be announced in the advertisement text. Applications for PhD positions must contain: 

  • The applicant’s CV and documentation of qualifications.
  • Documentation of the education that will form the basis for the admission.
  • A preliminary project outline and tentative progress schedule. This should give an account of the topics being researched, the issues the applicant wishes to explore through their research and the empirical data to be collected. An outline for the methodical approach and references to the knowledge status in the field must also be enclosed.
  • Information must also be provided of special supervision requirements and, if relevant, already established supervision contacts.
  • Any plans for stays at other, including foreign, research institutions or establishments.
  • If relevant: provide information about any immaterial property rights (IPR) restrictions connected to the project.

The Research Committee will appoint an expert committee to assess the applicants. The institute which the PhD candidate will be affiliated to shall propose members to the committee. The committee shall comprise three persons, two of whom should preferably be external. If possible, the committee should comprise both men and women. All members of the committee shall hold a doctoral degree or equivalent qualifications. Special reasons must be provided if these criteria are not met.

The most important criteria for prioritising between applicants shall be:

  • An assessment of the applicant’s general competence and the applicant's competence in relation to the project in question
  • The project’s relevance in relation to AHO’s prioritised subject areas
  • The academic quality of the project application and the project’s implementation potential
  • AHO’s supervision capacity

The expert committee's task is to consider qualifications for admission to AHO’s PhD programme. The committee shall differentiate between qualified and non-qualified applicants and make their assessments on the basis of submitted material. The committee shall present their assessment of each individual qualified applicant. The applicants shall not be ranked unless this has been explicitly requested.

The institute in question assesses the applicants who are found to qualify in consultation with the project manager and can invite the candidate for an interview if they so wish. The institute gives its advice on appointment and writes a recommendation. The Research Committee will consider the expert committee’s assessments and the institute's recommendation. The Research Committee is AHO's appointment body for PhD positions.

If possible, appointments and admissions to the PhD programme shall be handled at the same time, so that a decision to appoint someone means that they are also admitted to AHO’s PhD programme.

Admission procedures for applicants for whom AHO does not have employer responsibility

AHO only accepts students who can document funding for the entire admission period.
External applicants with funding from their own institution or external sources or who plan to fund themselves, must submit documentation of such funding when they apply.

Approval of admission to the PhD programme at AHO is conditional upon funding. Approval of admission is thus granted on the condition that the applicant can document that funding can be secured before they start the PhD programme.

The Research Committee considers all applications for admission to the PhD programme.

Admission can be refused if:

  • funding of the PhD work has not been clarified (Section 5-1 Conditions for admissions)
  • there are agreements in place with external third parties that are an obstacle to publication and public defence of the thesis
  • the immaterial property right agreements entered into are so unreasonable that AHO should not participate in the project
  • the applicant will be unable to meet the requirement for at least one year of the project to be carried out after they have been admitted to the PhD programme, cf. Section 5-1.

If the Research Committee approves the applications, it will appoint an expert committee, which will normally consist of three members, to assess whether the applicants are qualified. If possible, the committee should comprise both men and women. All members of the committee shall hold a doctoral degree or equivalent qualifications. Special reasons must be provided if these criteria are not met.

Admission decisions shall be based on an overall assessment of the application. The most important criteria for assessment of admission to the PhD programme are:

  • the applicant’s academic qualifications
  • the project’s academic quality
  • the project’s relevance to AHO
  • AHO’s supervision capacity

The expert committee's task is to consider qualifications for admission to AHO’s PhD programme. The committee will provide its recommendation based on the submitted material. The recommendation shall be sent to the Research Committee, which, based on this and the application, decides what candidate(s) to admit.

In the admission decision, at least one supervisor shall be appointed and the responsibility for other needs outlined in the application shall be assigned. The contract period shall be determined with a start-up date and end date. The start-up date shall be the same as the start-up date for the funding. Any extension of the contract period must be related to the candidate's rights as an employee or be specially clarified in relation to the candidate’s funding basis. The admission decision is only valid if a PhD contract has been entered into and signed by all parties.

The PhD contract

Upon admission, a written contract shall be filled in and signed by the candidate, supervisor and AHO.

The admission agreement is based on the Recommended Guidelines for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) approved by the Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR) on 29 April 2011 (updated and amended on 29 January 2015) and replaces the corresponding agreement from 2004. The purpose of the agreement is to supplement and specify in writing the decision on admission to a PhD programme taken by a faculty. The admission agreement is used throughout Norway. The binding agreement between the parties aims to ensure that candidates admitted to a PhD programme have working conditions that enable them to complete the programme within the specified period of time.

The agreement is intended to address and regulate the most crucial aspects of doctoral education. The agreement consists of three parts:
Part A. General terms and conditions
This part is to be filled out by all candidates admitted to a PhD programme. The parties to the agreement in Part A are the doctoral candidate and AHO, specifically the institute with which the candidate is affiliated.
Part B. Agreement on academic supervision in PhD programmes
This part of the agreement is to be filled out by all candidates admitted to a PhD programme. The parties to the agreement in Part B are the doctoral candidate, his or her supervisor and the relevant institute. Part B of this agreement is required for all candidate-supervisor relationships.
Part C. Agreement between an external party and AHO on completion of the PhD programme
Part C of this agreement must be filled out for candidates with external funding and/or an external workplace. Candidates participating in the Industrial PhD scheme must also sign a separate cooperation agreement; cf. the guidelines from the Research Council of Norway. If the candidate is affiliated with two or more institution, an agreement must be signed with each of the external parties.


Absence and extension of periods

In cases of approved absence, an extension of the research fellowship period may be granted.


  • Personnel regulations AHO 
  • Personnel regulations for research fellows

for information about what constitutes approved absence.

Annual amount

The research fellow will have an annual amount stipulated by the Board at their disposal (currently NOK 20,000 per year) for materials, books, travel etc. in connection with the research work and publication of the work. The annual amount rules are described in more detail in the personnel regulations for research fellows. 

Midway seminar

The candidate presents their thesis work in an open seminar. The annual PhD symposium will normally be part of the midway seminar. Ideally, the presentation should be given in the third semester and include:

  • A description of the research project, research questions and choice of method.
  • A description of the project's results so far.
  • An updated progress plan for the research project with dated sub-goals, as well as an assessment of which points in the plan have the potential to be the most time-critical.

Substantiation that the work will be completed as planned (as of now) and on schedule.
The candidate begins by presenting their work (approx. 20 minutes). The work will then be discussed by one/two opponents (internal/external opponents). They will have approximately 20 minutes for comments. Finally, the other participants at the seminar will have the opportunity to ask the candidate questions. 
The head of the PhD programme chairs the seminar. The candidates, opponents and supervisor(s) must also participate. The seminar is otherwise open to anyone who is interested.
The candidate shall send out a written supporting document for the presentation two weeks before the seminar. The supporting document shall contain an overview of the whole of the thesis work so far, including the key research questions, theoretical framework and methodology. The supporting document shall also contain a plan for the remaining work.

Progress reporting

All students admitted to the PhD programme at AHO must fill in an ISP (Individual Study Plan) each semester. An exception applies to candidates whose public defence has been confirmed or who are on long-term sick leaves/leaves of absence. The Research Administration and head of the PhD programme will send out a reminder prior to each scheduled report. The report must be submitted by 30 September in the autumn semester and 30 March in the spring semester.
The ISP is divided into three parts. Parts 1 and 2 are public and used to keep the school updated on the project’s content, activity plan and publications, as well as completed courses. Part 3 is confidential and will not be made public. This part will be filled in by the supervisor in cooperation with the candidate.
The updated ISP shall be submitted to the Research Administration by the deadline each semester. It will be possible to ask for a special progress seminar if the candidate and/or supervisor finds it necessary. In such case, the school must be informed about who should be present at the seminar and what topics the candidate/supervisor wishes to discuss.

The Research Committee will be informed about the progress reporting at least once a year and must initiate measures if there are major discrepancies.

Regulations for the degree Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)


This is a translation of the Norwegian regulation. If there is uncertainty about the interpretation of the various paragraphs, it is always the Norwegian regulation that is valid. Errors or deficiencies in the English translation may exist

Part I. Introductory Provisions

Section 1 Applicability of these regulations
These regulations apply to doctoral education culminating in the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD). The regulations pertain to admission to, participation in and completion of the doctoral education, including joint degrees and cotutelle agreements.

Section 2 Scope, content and objectives of the doctoral education
The objective of doctoral education is to qualify candidates to conduct research of international
quality and to perform other types of work requiring a high level of scientific expertise and analytical
thinking in accordance with sound scientific practice and established standards on research ethics.
Doctoral education is to provide the candidate with knowledge, skills and expertise in keeping with the national qualifications framework.
Doctoral education normally consists of three years of full-time study, and includes a training component comprising a minimum of 30 credits.
The most important component of doctoral education is an independent research project or a combined research and development project carried out under close academic supervision.
The PhD degree is conferred on the basis of:
- approved completion of the training component
-an approved doctoral thesis
- an approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
- an approved public defence of the doctoral thesis
Section 3 Responsibility for doctoral education
The board of AHO has the overall responsibility for the doctoral education offered at AHO.
Section 4 Quality assurance
Doctoral education is included under AHO’s quality assurance system.


Section 5 Admission
Section 5.1 Conditions of admission
To be eligible for admission to doctoral education, applicants must normally have a five-year master’s
degree in design, architecture, landscape architecture or other comparable qualifications that AHO has approved as the basis for admission.
Admission should normally not be granted if:

  • The funding plan has not been clarified
  • Copyright agreements with an external third party is an obstacle to the public defence and to making the thesis public
  • agreements on intellectual property rights are so unreasonable that AHO should not participate in the project
  • Less than one year of full-time work remains on the PhD project. An exemption is made for PhD candidates applying to submit a finished, or nearly finished, thesis after the admission period has expired, cf. Section 5.3 last paragraph.
An applicant who has already been found qualified for admission to doctoral education on another relevant PhD programme is normally qualified for admission to AHO’s PhD programme.
AHO may require applicants to undergo special courses and/or pass special tests before admission.

If the applicant plans to use a different language for the doctoral thesis than that approved in accordance with Section 10 of the Regulations, an application for approval of this must be submitted together with the application.
Applicants from countries outside the Nordic countries must be able to document English proficiency as follows:
  • TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language, with a score of at least 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test (TOEFL CBT) or 80 on the internet-based test (TOEFL IBT), or
  • IELTS - International English Language Testing Service, British Council, with at least 6.0 points (overall score), or
  • Certificate in Advanced English or Certificate of Proficiency in English from the University of Cambridge

Applicants with the following documentation are excluded from the English language requirement:
  • Citizens of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States
  • One year of university studies in one of the above-mentioned countries, where the language of instruction has been English
  • Completed university education where the subject English is the main part of the study programme
  • Bachelor's degree where the language of instruction has been English throughout the study programme
  • A-level in English with minimum C or better
Section 5.2 Infrastructure
 The candidate must have at his/her disposal the infrastructure necessary for completion of the PhD project. AHO has the decision-making authority in questions of what constitutes infrastructure ‘necessary for completion’. For candidates with external funding or candidates whose workplace is outside the university, AHO and the external party must enter into an agreement concerning the research project. As a rule, such agreements must be signed prior to the formal admission of the candidate or immediately thereafter.
Section 5.3 Admission period
The PhD period has a nominal duration of three (3) years of full-time study. Where work on the project is interrupted by statutory leaves of absence, the admission period will be extended accordingly. It is not normally possible to plan a doctoral education with a progress that entails a study period of more than six (6) years.

Candidates are normally required to apply for admission to the programme within three (3) months of the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. If less than one year of full-time work remains on the PhD project, the applicant shall be rejected, cf. Section 5.1.

The maximum admission period for a PhD programme is eight (8) years from the original start date.

Following expiry of the admission period, the parties’ rights and duties under the doctoral contract lapse, such that the PhD candidate loses entitlement to supervision, course participation and access to university infrastructure. The candidate may, however, apply for permission to submit his/her thesis for evaluation for the PhD degree.

Section 5.4 Voluntary termination before the agreed completion date
The PhD candidate and AHO may agree to terminate the doctoral education before the agreed completion date. In the event of such termination, the parties shall enter into a written agreement regulating issues such as employment, funding and the rights to research results.

In the case of voluntary termination due to the candidate’s desire to change project or transfer to another PhD programme or specialisation, the candidate must reapply for admission based on the new project.

Section 5.5 Involuntary termination
 AHO may decide to terminate a candidate’s doctoral education before the agreed completion date in cases of academic misconduct or when a candidate to a significant degree fails to fulfil his/her obligations. Examples of significant breaches of contract are:
  • Considerable delay in completion of the course and training component due to circumstances over which the candidate has control
  • Repeated or significant failure on the part of the candidate to provide information, meet commitments or report on progress, including a failure to submit progress reports, cf. Section 9
  • Delay in the progress of a research project of a kind that gives rise to reasonable doubt about the candidate’s ability to complete the project within the agreed timeframe. To be considered grounds for involuntary termination, the delay must be attributable to circumstances over which the candidate has control
  • Decisions pursuant to this section are taken by the agency determined by the board of AHO. Appeals are handled by AHO's appeals committee
Section 5.6 Involuntary termination in the event of cheating on examinations or tests during the PhD programme
In the event of cheating on examinations or tests during the PhD programme, AHO may decide to annul such examinations and tests, cf. Section 4.7 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges. If the circumstance(s) are so serious as to constitute scientific misconduct, cf. Section 4.13 (1) of the same Act, cf. Section 5, second paragraph, of the Research Ethics Act, AHO may decide to impose involuntary termination, cf. Section 5.7 below. Decisions pursuant to this paragraph are taken by the Board itself or by the AHO Appeals Committee. Appeals are considered by the Joint Appeals Committee, cf. Section 5.1 of the Act relating to universities and university colleges with pertaining regulations.

Section 5.7 Involuntary termination in the event of scientific misconduct
If a PhD candidate is guilty of scientific misconduct, cf. Section 4.13 (1) of the Act relating to universities and university colleges, cf. Section 5, second paragraph of the Research Ethics Act, AHO may decide to impose involuntary termination. Decisions on involuntary termination on grounds of scientific misconduct are taken by the body determined by the board of AHO. Appeals against such decisions are dealt with by the ministry or by a special appeals committee appointed by the ministry.

Section 5.8 Termination and dismissal
A PhD candidate may be dismissed from his or her position when there are sufficient grounds related to the circumstances of AHO or the PhD candidate, cf. Section 9 and Section 10 of the Civil Servants Act, or Section 15 of the Act regarding summary discharge.

Section 6 The PhD contract
Admission to AHO’s PhD programme will be formalised in a written contract signed by the PhD candidate, the supervisor(s) and AHO. The agreement governs the parties’ rights and duties during the admission period, and is intended to ensure that the candidate participates on a regular basis in an active research environment and that he/she is able to complete the education within the agreed timeframe.
When a PhD candidate is funded by, employed by or receives other contributions from an external party, a separate agreement must be entered into between the candidate, AHO and the external party.

If the PhD candidate will be affiliated to an institution abroad, the university’s guidelines for such cooperation must be adhered to and separate agreements must be entered into using the appropriate forms. As a rule, the signed agreement must be enclosed with the admission contract.

Research fellows employed at AHO are generally required to have AHO as their place of work for the duration of the contract period. Other workplaces may be agreed for shorter or longer periods.

As a rule, other PhD students must spend at least one year at AHO.
Part III. Implementation
Section 7 supervision
Work on the doctoral thesis must be carried out under individualised academic supervision. AHO and the supervisors must together ensure that the PhD candidate participates in an active research environment.

Section 7.1 Appointment of supervisors
As a general rule, the PhD candidate is to have two academic supervisors, of which one will be designated as the main supervisor. The main supervisor should be appointed by the time the candidate is admitted.
The main supervisor has the primary academic responsibility for the candidate and should be employed at AHO if the necessary expertise is found within the institution. If AHO appoints an external main supervisor, a co-supervisor who is an academic staff member at AHO must also be appointed.
Co-supervisors are scholars who provide supervision and who share the academic responsibility for the candidate with the main supervisor.
The rules on eligibility in Chapter 2 of the Administration Act (Sections 6 to 10) apply to the academic supervisors.
All academic supervisors must hold a doctoral degree or equivalent qualification in the relevant research field and must be working actively as researchers. At least one of the appointed supervisors must have previous experience or training in academic supervision of PhD candidates.
Both the PhD candidate and the academic supervisor may ask AHO to appoint another supervisor for the candidate. The supervisor may not withdraw before a new supervisor has been appointed.
Section 7.2 Content of the academic supervision
The candidate must have regular contact with his/her supervisors. The supervisor is responsible for following up the candidate’s academic development. The frequency of contact between the parties must be stated in the annual progress report, cf. Section 9. The supervisors have a duty to stay informed about the progress of the candidate’s work and to assess such progress in relation to the timeframe set out in the project description, cf. Section 5.1. The supervisors are required to follow up academic issues that may cause a delay to the candidate’s progress in his/her doctoral education so that it can be completed within the stipulated time period.
The supervisors are to give advice on the formulation and definition of the topic and research questions; discuss and assess hypotheses and research methods; discuss results and their interpretation, discuss the structure and work on the thesis, including the outline, choice of language and documentation; and provide guidance on the academic literature and data available in libraries, archives etc. The supervisors must also advise the candidate on issues of research ethics in connection with the thesis.
Section 7.3 Connection to research environment
The main supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the PhD candidate participates regularly in an active research environment with senior researchers and other PhD candidates.
For PhD candidates whose principal affiliation is to another institution, an agreement must be entered into between the degree-conferring and cooperating institution that regulates the working relationship, including ensuring that the PhD candidate participates in an active research environment.

Section 8 Training component
Section 8.1 Objective, content and scope 
The total workload of the doctoral education must not exceed the equivalent of three (3) years of full-time study. AHO is responsible for ensuring that the training component, along with the doctoral thesis, provides education at a high academic level and in accordance with international standards. The education must include research work, training in academic dissemination and an introduction to research ethics, theory of science and scientific method. Together with the research work, the training must contribute to the candidate achieving the expected learning outcomes in accordance with the national qualifications framework.

As part of their doctoral education, PhD candidates should receive advice on future professional and occupational possibilities within and outside of academia. This is also to increase their awareness of the expertise they have acquired through their research activities.

Together with the thesis, the training component shall provide research education at a high academic level. The training component and other required coursework must be equivalent to at least 30 ECTS.

The curriculum for the training component must be specified in a separate study plan.

Courses at doctoral level at another institution must be approved in accordance with the provisions of the Act relating to universities and university colleges Section 3.5, first paragraph.
Section 8.2 The candidate’s rights concerning leave of absence
 PhD candidates on parental leave may continue to attend classes and sit examinations that are a mandatory part of their training component, cf. the National Insurance Act, Section 14.10.
Section 9 Reporting, mid-term evaluation and reader
Section 9.1 Reporting
AHO’s system for assuring the quality of the doctoral education shall include procedures for uncovering insufficient progress in the candidate’s work on the thesis and the training component. In addition, the system includes procedures for detecting inadequacies in the quality of supervision and follow-up procedures for handling any such deficiencies. The system must normally include the submission of annual, individual reports by the candidate and the supervisor, and be designed to avoid dual reporting. The candidate and the supervisor have equal responsibility for submitting the required reports. All PhD candidates are to be invited to progress seminars if needed. A lack of, or inadequate, progress reports from the candidate may result in involuntary termination of the candidate’s participation in the doctoral education prior to the expiry of the admission period, cf. Section 5.5. Supervisors who fail to comply with the reporting requirements may be relieved of their supervisory duties. AHO may establish special reporting requirements, if needed.

Section 9.2 Mid-term evaluation 
A mid-term evaluation of the research project should normally take place in the third or fourth semester. AHO may draw up supplementary guidelines for the mid-term evaluation as needed.
Section 9.3 Reader or final seminar 
A ‘reader’ will normally be appointed or a final seminar arranged as a quality assurance measure before the thesis can be submitted for final assessment. The reader’s report or the final seminar should normally be approved by AHO before the doctoral thesis can be submitted for final assessment.

Section 10 The doctoral thesis
Section 10.1 Thesis requirements
The doctoral thesis must be an independent research project or research and development project that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic standards, methods and practice in the subject area. The thesis must contribute to the development of new scholarly knowledge and must achieve a level meriting publication in a suitable format as part of the field’s research-based knowledge development. The thesis may consist of a monograph or a compendium of several shorter papers/works. If the thesis consists of several shorter papers/works, clarification about how these are interrelated must be included.

The main component of the thesis may consist of a body of work, a systematised collection of data or another form of presentation (e.g. drawings, images, videos, sound or other electronic form of presentation) in which the theoretical and methodological basis is not apparent from the work itself. In such cases, the thesis must include, in addition to the work itself, a written description of the research problem and intention, choice of theory, and the method and assessment of the results in keeping with academic international standards and the academic level within the field.

If the thesis or parts of the thesis have been produced in cooperation with other authors or cooperating partners, the PhD candidate must follow the norms for co-authorship that are generally accepted within the academic community and in accordance with international standards. If the thesis consists mainly of articles, the candidate must normally be listed as the lead author on at least half of the articles. A thesis containing articles/works by more than one author or cooperating partner must include a signed declaration that describes the candidate’s contribution to each of the articles/works.
Section 10.2 Works that may not be submitted
Works or parts of works that have been approved as the basis for previous examinations or degrees may not be submitted for evaluation as part of the doctoral thesis unless they comprise a minor part of a thesis consisting of several related works. However, data, analyses and methodologies from previous degrees may be used as the basis for the doctoral research project. Published papers cannot be approved as part of the doctoral thesis if more than five (5) years has passed from the date of publication to the date of the candidate’s admission. AHO may grant exemptions from this requirement if warranted by special circumstances. The thesis may be submitted for assessment to only one educational institution, cf. Section 13.1.

Section 10.3 Rights relating to the use of results
The PhD candidate's right to use his/her own results, exploitation of patentable inventions, copyright etc. are governed by AHO's general rules that apply to this area as well as the rules laid down in the Act respecting the Right to Employees' Inventions.
Section 10.4 Language
The thesis must be written in a Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Swedish or Danish) or English. If the candidate wishes to use another language, he/she must apply for special permission to do so no later than the date of admission.
Section 11 Obligation to report on research results with commercial potential
The rights between cooperating institutions must be regulated in a written agreement. When a PhD candidate is employed at AHO, the institution’s regulations relevant at the time must form the basis for the PhD candidate’s obligation to report on the research results with commercial potential that he/she produced during the employment relationship.

When a PhD candidate has an external employer, the corresponding obligation to report must be stipulated in a written agreement between AHO, the PhD candidate and the external employer. For PhD candidates without an employer, the corresponding obligation to report must be stipulated in the admission agreement between AHO and the PhD candidate.
Part IV Completion

Section 12 Assessment
Section 12.1 Basis for assessment
The PhD degree is conferred on the basis of:
  • An approved doctoral thesis
  • Approved completion of the training component and any required coursework
  • An approved trial lecture on an assigned topic
  • An approved public defence of the doctoral thesis (disputation)
Section 12.2 Time between submission and public defence of the thesis
AHO must strive to ensure that the time between submission of the thesis and the public defence is as short as possible. Normally, the period from submission to defence of the thesis should not exceed five (5) months. It is the responsibility of the main supervisor to notify AHO that the doctoral thesis will be submitted soon so that the necessary preparations can begin.

Section 13 Submission
Section 13.1 Submission of the doctoral thesis
The application for assessment of the thesis may only be submitted after the training component and any required coursework has been approved.
The following documents must be enclosed with the application:
  • The doctoral thesis in an approved format, and in accordance with AHO’s regulations and in the form and number of copies stipulated by AHO
  • Documentation of required permission, cf. Section 5.1
  • Declarations from co-authors where required pursuant to Section 10.1
  • A statement specifying whether the doctoral thesis is being submitted for assessment for the first or second time
  • A statement that the doctoral work has not been submitted for assessment at another institution
AHO may, on an independent basis, reject an application to have the thesis assessed if it is evident that the thesis does not meet sufficiently high standards of scientific quality and would therefore be rejected by an assessment committee. The doctoral thesis must be made available to the public no later than two weeks before the public defence, cf. Section 18.2.

Section 13.2 Processing the application
AHO considers applications for the assessment of a doctoral thesis. Applications that do not fulfil the requirements set out in Section 13.1 will be rejected.
Section 14 Appointment of an assessment committee
When AHO has approved an application for the assessment of a doctoral thesis, the institution itself must appoint an expert committee comprising at least three members who are to assess the thesis, the trial lecture and the public defence. AHO will stipulate appointment procedures and select a chairman from among the committee’s members and, if needed, also a coordinator in addition to the members of the committee.

The provisions applicable to partiality in Section 6 of the Norwegian Public Administration Act apply to the members of the committee and to the coordinator, if any. The issue of partiality should be examined both in relation to the PhD candidate and the supervisors.
The composition of the assessment committee is normally to be such that:
  • Both genders are represented
  • At least one of the members should be from outside AHO
  • The main position of at least one member is at an institution outside Norway
  • All members hold doctoral degrees or equivalent qualifications
In cases where these criteria cannot be met, an explanation must be provided. The composition of the committee must be explained, and the question of how the committee as a whole covers the academic field of the thesis must be clarified.

Formal supervisors and others who have contributed to the thesis may not be appointed as members of the assessment committee or have an administrative function in relation to the committee. AHO may appoint a replacement member to the committee where required.

The PhD candidate must be notified of the proposal for the composition of the committee prior to any decision by AHO, and he or she may submit written comments no later than one (1) week after the proposal has been made known.
The period between approval of the application and appointment of the assessment committee should normally not exceed four (4) weeks.

Section 15 Activities of the assessment committee

Section 15.1 Gathering of supplementary information
The assessment committee may require presentation of the PhD candidate’s source material and additional clarifying or supplementary information.
The assessment committee may ask the academic supervisors to provide information about the supervision carried out and the work involved in the thesis.
Section 15.2 Revision of a submitted thesis
On the basis of the submitted thesis and any additional material, cf. Section 15.1, the assessment committee may recommend that AHO permits 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 that the candidate must revise.

The revised thesis shall, if possible, be assessed by the original assessment committee.
If AHO allows minor revisions to the thesis, a deadline normally not exceeding three (3) months must be set for completing such revisions. A new deadline for submission of the committee’s final report must also be set. AHO’s decision pursuant to this section may not be appealed by the PhD candidate.

If the assessment committee finds that extensive changes related to the theory, hypothesis, data or methods used in the thesis are needed in order to deem the thesis worthy of a public defence, the committee must recommend that the thesis be rejected.
Section 15.3 Report of the assessment committee
 The assessment committee determines whether the thesis is worthy of being defended for the PhD degree. The decision presented in the report and any dissenting views must be explained.

The assessment committee’s report should be submitted no later than three (3) months from the date on which the committee received the thesis. If AHO allows the candidate to submit a revised thesis, a new time limit runs from the date on which the thesis was resubmitted.

The assessment committee’s report is submitted to AHO, which forwards the report to the PhD candidate. The candidate is then given ten (10) working days in which to submit written comments to the report. If the candidate does not wish to submit comments, he/she must notify AHO of this in writing as soon as possible.

Any comments from the PhD candidate must be sent to AHO. AHO itself is responsible for taking the final decision on the matter in accordance with Section 16.

Section 15.4 Correction of formal errors in the thesis
Once submitted, a thesis cannot be withdrawn until a final decision has been reached as to whether or not it can be approved for the defence of the PhD degree. After the thesis has been submitted, the candidate will only be allowed to correct formal errors. A list of the errors that the candidate wishes to correct (an errata list) must be submitted no later than four (4) weeks before the public defence. The errata list must accompany the printed thesis.

Section 16 AHO’s procedures related to the assessment committee’s report
On the basis of the assessment committee’s final report, AHO itself decides whether or not the doctoral thesis is worthy of a public defence.

Unanimous committee decision
If the committee’s report is unanimous and AHO finds that the report should be used as the basis for its final decision, AHO will take the final decision in accordance with the committee’s recommendations.
If AHO finds that there are grounds to doubt whether the committee’s unanimous report should be used as the basis for its final decision, AHO must request further clarification from the assessment committee and/or appoint two new experts to make individual statements about the thesis. Such additional clarification or individual statements must be presented to the PhD candidate, who will be given the opportunity to make comments. AHO will take the final decision on the matter on the basis of the committee’s report and the statements obtained.

Non-unanimous committee decision
If the committee’s recommendation is not unanimous and AHO decides to use the majority’s recommendation as the basis for its final decision, AHO is to take the final decision in accordance with the majority’s recommendation. If the committee’s recommendation is not unanimous and AHO considers using the statements of the minority as the basis for its final decision, AHO may seek further clarification from the assessment committee and/or appoint two new experts to give individual statements about the thesis. Such additional clarification 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 recommendation of the majority in the committee’s original recommendation, this recommendation must be followed. The candidate must be informed of the outcome after procedures related to the statements from the new experts have been completed.
Section 17 Resubmission
A doctoral thesis that has not been found worthy of a public defence may be resubmitted for assessment in a revised version no earlier than six (6) months after AHO has made its rejection decision. A doctoral thesis may only be reassessed once. In the event of resubmission, the PhD candidate must clearly state that the thesis was assessed previously and not found worthy of a public defence.

For assessment of the thesis after resubmission, a new assessment committee comprising three (3) members must be appointed in accordance with the provisions in Section 14. At least one of the members of the original assessment committee should be appointed as a member of the new committee.
Section 18 Public availability of the thesis
Section 18.1 Requirements related to the printed thesis
When the thesis has been found worthy of a public defence, the PhD candidate must submit the thesis to AHO in the approved format and in accordance with AHO’s regulations, cf. Section 13.1.

The PhD candidate must submit a brief summary of the thesis in English or Norwegian. If the thesis is not written in English or Norwegian, the candidate must also submit a summary in the language in which the thesis is written. Both the thesis and the summary must be made available to the public.
Section 18.2 Public availability
The thesis must be made available to the public no later than two (2) weeks prior to the date of the public defence. The thesis should be made available in the form in which it was submitted for assessment, or following revisions made on the basis of the committee’s preliminary comments, cf. Section 15.2.

No restrictions may be placed on a doctoral thesis being made publicly available, with the exception of a previously agreed delay to the date of public access. Such a delay may be permitted in order to allow AHO and any external parties that have provided full or partial funding for the doctoral education to consider potential patents. An external party may not require that all or part of a thesis be withheld from the public domain, cf. Section 5.3.

The PhD candidate is obliged to publish a summary of the thesis in AHO's open access solution and sign AHO's agreement on electronic archiving of doctoral theses.

When publishing the thesis or other written work that is related to the doctoral education, including scientific articles, anthology articles and monographs, the PhD candidate must follow the applicable guidelines on the crediting of institutions.
Section 19 The doctoral examination
Section 19.1 Trial lecture
Subsequent to AHO’s decision to approve the thesis for a public defence, cf. Section 16, the candidate must give a trial lecture. The trial lecture is an independent part of the doctoral examination and is held on an assigned topic. The purpose is to test the candidate’s ability to acquire knowledge beyond the topic of the thesis as well as the ability to impart this knowledge in a lecture setting.
The title of the trial lecture is decided by the assessment committee and announced to the PhD candidate ten (10) working days before the date of the lecture. The topic of the lecture should have no direct connection with the topic of the candidate’s thesis. The trial lecture must be held in the language in which the thesis is written unless AHO approves the use of another language.
The assessment committee will notify AHO of whether the trial lecture has been approved. If the trial lecture is not approved, the reason for this must be explained.
Section 19.2 Public defence of the thesis
 The public defence of the doctoral thesis must take place after the trial lecture has been approved and normally no later than two (2) months after AHO has found the thesis worthy of a public defence. The time and location of the public defence must be announced at least ten (10) working days in advance. The committee that originally assessed the doctoral thesis must also assess the public defence. The public defence must be held in the language used in the thesis, unless AHO itself, on the recommendation of the assessment committee, approves the use of a different language.

There are normally two opponents. The two opponents must be members of the assessment committee and are appointed by AHO. The public defence will be chaired by a person appointed by AHO. The chair will provide a brief account of the submission and the assessment of the thesis and the trial lecture. The PhD candidate will then explain the purpose and the results of the scientific investigation. The first opponent will open the discussion and the second opponent will close the opposition. AHO may, if necessary, determine a different task distribution between the opponents, and between the PhD candidate and the first opponent.
Once the first opponent has concluded the arguments, members of the audience are given the opportunity to comment ex auditorio. One of the opponents will then conclude the opposition before the chair concludes the disputation.

The assessment committee submits its report to AHO in which it explains how it has assessed the public defence of the thesis. The report must conclude whether or not the defence is approved. If the defence of the thesis is not approved, the assessment committee must give reasons for this.

Section 20 Approval of the doctoral examination
AHO takes the decision on approval of the doctoral examination on the basis of the assessment committee’s report.
If AHO does not approve the trial lecture, a new trial lecture must be held. The new trial lecture must be held on a new topic and no later than six (6) months after the first attempt. A new trial lecture may only be held once. As far as possible, the lecture should be assessed by the same committee that assessed the original lecture, unless AHO decides otherwise. If AHO does not approve the public defence, the candidate may defend the thesis once more only. A new defence is normally held after six (6) months and should as far as possible be assessed by the original assessment committee.
Section 21 Conferral of the degree and diploma
On the basis of AHO’s statement that the training component, thesis and doctoral examination have been approved, the AHO Board will confer the title of Philosophiae Doctor on the candidate.

The diploma is issued by AHO and provides information about the content of the training component. AHO determines which additional information is to be included on the diploma.
Section 22 Diploma supplement
AHO will issue a PhD diploma supplement in accordance with the applicable guidelines.
Part V Appeals, entry into force and supplementary provisions

Section 23 Appeals
Section 23.1 Appeal of a rejection of an application for admission, appeal of a decision to terminate a candidate’s admission rights, and appeal of a rejection of an application for approval of part of the training component or required coursework
Rejection of an application for admission, a decision to terminate a candidate’s admission rights, or an application for approval of part of the training component or required coursework may be appealed pursuant to the provisions of the Public Administration Act, Sections 28 et seq. A substantiated appeal of a rejection must be submitted to the AHO Research Committee. If the rejection is upheld, the appeal is to be forwarded to the AHO board for final approval

Section 23.2 Appeals concerning assessment of the training component
In the event of an appeal concerning rejection of an application for approval of courses or other parts of the training component, Section 12 (1) of the Public Administration Act applies correspondingly. In the event of an appeal concerning the grading of an individual examination or test, the Act relating to universities and university colleges applies. The research committee will appoint the appellate examiner for appeals regarding the assessment of grades (pass/fail).

Section 23.3 Appeals concerning rejection of an application for assessment, and non-approval of a doctoral thesis, trial lecture or public defence
Rejection of an application for assessment of a doctoral thesis, and a decision not to approve a doctoral thesis, trial lecture or public defence may be appealed pursuant to the provisions of the Public Administration Act sections 28 et seq.

A substantiated appeal must be submitted to the AHO research committee, which may overturn or amend the decision. If the AHO rejects the appeal, it must be forwarded to the AHO board for a final decision. The board may review all aspects of the appealed decision. Should AHO find grounds to do so, it may appoint individuals or a committee to undertake an evaluation of the assessment and the underlying criteria or to undertake a new or supplementary expert assessment.
Section 24 Joint degrees and cotutelle (joint supervision) agreements

Section 24.1 Joint degrees and cotutelle agreements
AHO may enter into agreements with one or more institutions in Norway or abroad regarding cooperation in the form of joint degrees or cotutelle agreements. In agreements regarding joint degrees or cotutelle, AHO may grant exemptions from AHO’s PhD regulations if this is necessary due to regulations at cooperating institutions. Such exceptions must, both individually and collectively, be clearly justifiable.
Section 24.2 Joint degrees
The term ‘joint degree’ is defined as a collaboration between two or more institutions that are jointly responsible for admission, academic supervision, conferral of the degree and other elements described in these regulations. The cooperation is normally organised in the form of a consortium and is regulated by an agreement between the consortium members. For a completed joint degree, a joint diploma is issued in the form of: a) a diploma issued by the consortium members as a group, b) a diploma issued by each of the consortium members, or a combination of a) and b).

An agreement to issue a joint degree is normally entered into only if established and stable academic cooperation already exists between AHO and one of the other consortium members. The board is responsible for stipulating additional regulations for joint degree cooperation, including a template for consortium agreements, cf. first paragraph above.

Section 24.3 Cotutelle agreements

The term ‘cotutelle agreement’ is defined as the joint academic supervision of PhD candidates and cooperation on doctoral education for PhD candidates. A separate cotutelle agreement is entered into for each candidate and must be based on stable academic cooperation between the institutions.

Section 24.4 Requirements relating to joint degrees and cotutelle
The admission requirements, the requirement that the thesis must be made available to the public and the requirement for a public defence assessed by an impartial assessment committee cannot be waived.

Section 25 Supplementary provisions
AHO's board may authorise the research committee (FU) to prepare guidelines, instructions and procedures relating to these regulations. The research committee's supplementary guidelines and procedures must be submitted to AHO's management for approval.

Section 26 Entry into force
These regulations shall enter into force immediately and will replace regulation no. 1741 of 21 June 2006 relating to the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD) at AHO.



A supervisor will be appointed by the start of the study period. It is possible to apply for one or several co-supervisors

Appointment of supervisor(s)

The Research Committee (FU) will appoint a main supervisor for all PhD candidates. The main supervisor must confirm that he or she is willing to take on the assignment in advance. The main supervisor has the primary responsibility for the professional follow-up of the candidate, and should normally be employyed in a permanent academic position at AHO.

In special cases, an external supervisor may be appointed. AHO then covers fees within a given hour determined by FU. AHO does not cover travel expenses in connection with supervision. PhD candidates are entitled to the supervision of one or more co-supervisors. The hour is determined by FU. Co-supervisors are appointed by FU on the basis of proposals from the PhD candidate in consultation with the main supervisor. An application with CV must be submitted. AHO recommends that all PhD candidates have at least two supervisors. If possible, there should be a joint meeting between the PhD candidate and both / all supervisors  at least once a year. All supervisors must have a doctorate or equivalent research qualifications. In special cases, special emphasis on specialized, subject-specific competence can be permitted with co-supervisors. 

Rights and obligations with respect to supervision

The doctoral candidate and the main supervisor have a duty to keep each other informed about all factors of significance for supervision. The parties must actively deal with any circumstances that could prevent the performance of supervision as agreed in Section 5 below. The candidate and the main supervisor must submit progress reports as described in Part A of this agreement.

The academic supervisor is to:
  • give advice on formulating and delimiting topics and research questions;
  • discuss and assess hypotheses and methods;
  • help the candidate to become acquainted with the literature and relevant data (library, archives, etc);
  • discuss various aspects of the written presentation (structure, language, referencing, documentation, etc);
  • stay informed as regards the candidate’s progress and evaluate that progress relative to the plan for completion;
  • help to introduce the candidate into relevant research environments;
  • discuss results and their interpretation;
  • give advice on scientific dissemination;
  • provide the candidate with guidance in ethical matters related to the thesis. 
The candidate is to:
  • provide a draft of parts of the doctoral thesis to the supervisor as agreed and in accordance with the project description. Parts of the thesis may be presented in relevant seminars;
  • complete the required coursework in accordance with the progress plan;
  • uphold the ethical principles that pertain to his or her area of research.

The PhD programme

The PhD programme at AHO is a three-year full-time programme leading to the degree philosophiae doctor (PhD). When a candidate is awarded the philosophiae doctor degree, it demonstrates that they have acquired research competence in their field. Read more about the PhD programme.

The PhD thesis: template

All PhD candidates at AHO are obliged to use AHO’s template for PhD theses. If you are writing an article-based thesis, you are obliged to use the template for the introduction (‘kappa’). Published articles shall be printed in the same way as in the journal in question.

You are responsible for ensuring that the thesis complies with the template. AHO will not cover any expenses for this. PhD candidates entitled to an annual amount, i.e. candidates appointed as research fellows at AHO, may use this amount for text editing and work with the template. 

AHO's template for theses are available in two variants:

Contact The Research Administration if  you have any questions about the template

The Research School

The PhD programme's training component covers two semesters and includes lectures and student activities.
The Research School has its own website

Thesis formats

Detailed guidelines for § 10 in the Regulations for the degree of philosophiae doctor (PhD) at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO)

The thesis may be submitted in the following forms:

A monograph, a compilation of several written works (article-based thesis) or a compilation of written and performing works (work-based thesis). The level and scope of the work should be the same regardless of whether the thesis is a monograph, article-based or work-based.

A monograph is an independent research work or research and development work that meets international standards with regard to ethical requirements, academic level and method in the field. The thesis must contribute to developing new academic knowledge and be at a level that indicates suitability for publication, or being made public in a suitable format, as part of the discipline’s research-based knowledge development.

An article-based thesis should normally include at least three articles in addition to an accompanying binding text known as an exegesis (kappe in Norwegian). At least one article should be accepted for publication in an approved, peer-reviewed scientific publication channel. The publishing channels are selected in consultation with the supervisor(s). If one or several articles are co-authored, the candidate must be the sole author of at least one article, as well as the exegesis. The exegesis should highlight the entirety of the thesis, put the different parts into context and address relevant topics that are difficult to find space for in the articles themselves. The exegesis must also highlight and summarise the thesis’s contribution to the relevant research field and point out any relevant updates as necessary, depending on when the articles were completed.

A work-based thesis consists of both a written and a performing/creative part. The performing/creative part should culminate in a public presentation, exhibition and/or performance and must be documented for posterity. The form and scope of the documentation must be tailored to the individual project's nature, research questions and intention. Process documentation must be included to the extent that it is relevant with regard to the research question and intention. All the material presented in connection with the assessment of the thesis will later be filed in a publicly available archive. The candidate is responsible for obtaining an approved written agreement on such archiving when submitting the thesis for assessment. The scope of the written part of the thesis may vary according to the size of the performing work. If the candidate chooses to write this part in the form of several articles, at least one of the articles should be accepted for publication in an approved, peer-reviewed scientific publication channel. The publishing channels must be chosen in consultation with the supervisor(s).

Works published more than five (5) years before the time of admission cannot be accepted as part of the thesis. AHO may grant exemptions from this requirement if extraordinary circumstances so warrant.


Adjudication Committee

It is the main supervisors responsibility to contact relevant academics and submit an application to the Research Committee where he/she as to appoint of the adjudication committee. The application must state the reason for the selection of committee members and the CV of all committee members must be attached. The adjudication committee is made up of first and second opponent and a coordinator. The coordinator must be familiar with the Norwegian doctoral system and preferably be a academic employed at AHO. All of the three members shall have a doctorate and both genders must be represented. The reader cannot be a member of the assessment committee.
The adjudication committee will usually be given three-month deadline from when they receive the dissertation until they submit their report. Deviations due to holidays, illness or similar can be occur. The committee decides the defense date. All contact with the adjudication committee must go through the research administration.
The committee must hand in their report to the Research Committee at AHO at least five weeks prior to the date of the defense. The report must end up with one of these three conclusions:  
  • the dissertation is deemed worthy of defense in a public disputation,
  • the dissertation is not considered worthy of defense (rejection)
  • the committee ask for minor revision before the final decision is made

Confer the doctorate and diploma

The AHO Board confers the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) after a recommendation from the Research Committee. The candidate will receive a diploma in AHOs diploma ceremony, held every semester (June or January).


The trial lecture and the defense is arranged the same day.

The defense can only start after the trial lecture is approved. The defense starts with the candidate giving a 20 minutes presentation of the thesis and then the first and second opponent questions the candidate. The adjudication committee decides if the defense is approved.

Printing of thesis

You can start with the printing process when the adjudication committee has announced that the thesis is worthy of being defended in a public defense. It is important to start as early as possible, especially if you are interested in a preliminary test print of the book.  

Reader and Final seminar

The reader must have a PhD and is appointed by the Research Committee on the basis of a proposal from the doctoral candidate’s principal supervisor. The reader can be internal or external, but only external readers are given a honorarium.

The arrangement acts as an extra quality assurance, as well as providing the candidate with critical and constructive feedback on the dissertation before the final submission.
The reader is expected to submit a written report with specific advice on necessary changes and corrections. The closing remarks should conclude with a reasoned assessment of whether the dissertation is ready to be submitted for final evaluation or not. Overall, the report as a whole should be valuable for the candidate in the finishing stages of the dissertation.
The scope of a reader report will vary on the background of the character of the dissertation and the candidate’s individual needs. Normally the report will be a discussion of 3-5 A4-pages, where the following aspects are referred to:
  • the dissertation’s original contribution to the research field
  • the manner of working and the use of method
  • the selection and handling of the empirical material
  • theoretical insights and the level of reflection
  • academic craft, including reference apparatus and language
  • argumentation and structure
  • overall quality (is it ready for final submission)
The finished reader report is to be sent to the principal supervisor and the candidate, with a copy to the Research Administration at AHO. The candidate and supervisor have two weeks to present a response to the report to the AHO Research CommitteeThe reader report and the response from the candidate will be presented to the AHO Reserach Committee. The response should not be more than one A4 page, and state how they have recieved the report, which changes will be carried out in the dissertation and when one thinks that the thesis may be submitted to final adjudication.

Final Seminar

The candidate can choose to arrange a final seminar instead of a reader report. Contact the Reserach Administration for more information about the process. 


Submission of thesis and online archiving

The thesis must be sumbitted electronically as one PDF file. The thesis is submitted to the reserach administration in person. A sgined submission form must be submitted together with the thesis.

In addition AHO ask all PhD candidates to sign the agreement on online archiving of doctoral thesis. This form must be signed before the defense of the thesis.


Trial Lecture

The candidates receive the title of the trial lecture 2 weeks (10 working days) before the defense. The title of the lecture is sent from the Research administration to the candidate.

The trial lecture must last 40 to 45 minutes, but maximum 45 minutes.

Publication & dissemination

Copies and distribution of PhD theses


AHO pays for the printing of 70 copies. The candidate may pay for more copies. The printer will invoice the candidate directly.


The printed copies of the thesis are distributed as follows:

  • Ten free copies to the candidate
  • Seven copies to the National Library
  • Seven copies to the library (for lending)
  • Four copies to the committee and defence chair
  • Two to four copies to the supervisors
  • One copy to the chair of the PhD programme
  • One to five copies to the Research Committee
  • Four copies to the Research Administration
  • Around 20–25 copies are made available to the audience during the public defence of the thesis. 

The thesis is not for sale, but will be made electronically available in ADORA.

Crediting academic publications


Author’s addresses have an important function in relation to crediting the research institutions to which the authors are affiliated. It is very important that AHO’s researchers credit their affiliation to AHO in their publications in order for the publication to confer publication points in connection with DBH (Database for Statistics on Higher Education) reporting. If a publication has several co-authors, the publication points are divided between the authors. The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR) recommends that, as a rule, the address of the institution must be given in a publication if it has made an essential and substantial contribution to, or provided a basis for an author’s contribution to, the published work.

Main rule:

When an AHO employee is the author or co-author of a publication, the address ‘The Oslo School of Architecture and Design’ or ‘Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo’ should be used, provided that the publication is a product of work performed in his or her position at AHO. In addition, the name of the institute or research unit should appear.

The rule may also include works and design products (results of artistic research), provided that they are the results of work performed in the position at AHO. 

Secondary positions

AHO employees employed in secondary positions at other institutions should normally credit both AHO and the other institution for work carried out as part of the secondary position, and AHO alone for work carried out as part of their primary position. The same applies to persons employed in secondary positions at AHO.

Please note that if several institutions are credited as an author's address, the publication points shall be distributed equally among the institutions. This concerns both researchers in secondary positions at AHO and AHO employees who have secondary positions elsewhere.

Externally paid researchers affiliated to AHO

The author's address of externally paid researchers should be clarified when a contract is entered into with the individual researcher. Responsible party: the project manager

PhD candidates

PhD candidates at AHO shall comply with the main rule and state AHO as their author’s address. Unless otherwise agreed, externally financed PhD candidates shall give both AHO’s and the primary employer’s address as their author's address, provided that both parties have actually made an essential and substantial contribution (cf. UHR's Recommended guidelines for crediting academic publications to institutions). 

Open access to scientific publications

See the national guidelines for open access to scientific publications.

Publications by AHO

Design and quality assurance of bibliographic data

The Research Administration is responsible for the template for theses (Con-text thesis).
The library can help with quality assuring bibliographic data for publications that do not follow a fixed template.


ISBN (books) and ISSN (series and journals) are numerical codes for unique identification of publications and are particularly useful for sales and bibliographic registration. The number in itself does not convey any form of legal or copyright protection.

Publications by AHO can be assigned an ISBN if expedient for identification and sales/dissemination purposes. ISBNs are normally not assigned to student work.

The library administers ISBNs and ISSNs. ISBNs for theses are assigned to the Research Administration, not to the individual candidates.

Active ISSN series:

  • Con-text thesis (1502-217x)
  • AHO works (2387-5771)

Discontinued ISSN series:

  • Research magazine (0804-0729)
  • Con-text thesis (1503-217x)
  • Yearbook (0802-748x) 
  • AHO works (1890-8799)


The reception desk is responsible for selling AHO’s publications, by order or in person.

Legal deposit

For the library:
The library shall be given seven copies of all publications for their own collection and archive.
For the National Library of Norway:
The duty to legally deposit material is set out in the Act relating to the legal deposit of generally available documents. Seven copies of all AHO publications are sent to the National Library of Norway, the Mo i Rana branch.

Recommended Open access publication channels

Journals within design, architecture and landscape architecture that support open access publication.

AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology (OA)

AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology is an international, peer reviewed, open access journal devoted exclusively to Public Archaeology. Edited by JAS Arqueología, it is freely distributed online in order to enable easy access to research and debates, and to spread the growing realm that is starting to settle into everyday archaeological practice. The aim of this journal is to explore the multiple relations between Archaeology and Society. Archaeology is generally understood as the study of past societies from their remains, and Public Archaeology is the study of the relations between Archaeology and Society in every aspect of daily life (social, economic and political). We are talking about the present of Archaeology and the different issues that surround and affect it

Amnis (OA)

Amnis is a French journal with an international editorial board. It aims at providing researchers with a
tool that contributes to a thorough and diversified reflection on the recent past, present and future of
(East and West) European and (North, South and Central) American societies (19th to 21st centuries).

Amnis is scientific level 1.

Anglistica Aion (OA)

Anglistica Aion is a very diverse themes but high content (reflected in editorial board) see here for examples,
Anglistica Aion archive

Anthropology in Action (OA)

Anthropology in Action (AIA) is a peer-reviewed journal publishing articles, commentaries, research
reports, and book reviews in applied anthropology. Contributions reflect the use of anthropological
training in policy- or practice-oriented work and foster the broader application of these approaches to
practical problems. The journal provides a forum for debate and analysis for anthropologists working
both inside and outside academia and aims to promote communication amongst practitioners,
academics and students of anthropology in order to advance the cross-fertilisation of expertise and

Arbeiderhistorie (OA)

Arbeiderhistorie, årbok for Arbeiderbevegelsens arkiv og bibliotek, er det sentrale tidsskriftet i Norge for forskning i arbeiderbevegelsens og arbeiderklassens historie i en lokal, nasjonal og internasjonal sammenheng. Fra og med 2017 utgis Arbeiderhistorie med åpen tilgang (open access). Tidsskriftet inneholder vitenskapelige artikler og populærhistoriske tekster og er rikelig illustrert. Arbeiderhistorie henvender seg til folk i arbeiderbevegelsen, forskere, studenter og alle som er interessert i venstresidens historie i vid forstand. 

Arbeiderhistorie har utkommet med én utgave i året siden 1987. Arbeiderhistorie utgis av Universitetsforlaget på vegne av Arbeiderbevegelsens arkiv og bibliotek.

Arbeiderhistorie is scientific level 1.

Archaeology International (OA)

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is the largest centre for research and teaching in the fields of archaeology, cultural heritage, conservation and museum studies in Britain. It hosts events on many different aspects of archaeology and it is linked to a wide range of heritage organisations, museums and archaeological societies internationally, providing an outstanding research environment for staff, students and visitors.

Archaeology International, produced annually, combines news about Institute activities with reports on research, both on new and on-going projects, carried out by members of staff. Refereed articles reflect the broad geographical, theoretical and methodological scope of
research at the Institute. Reports and news items cover topics such as recent publications by Institute staff, current fieldwork and aspects of the history of the Institute. The intended audience is both academic researchers and those with a general interest in archaeology and

Architectural Histories (OA)

Architectural Histories is the international, blind peer-reviewed scholarly journal of
the EAHN that creates a space where historically grounded research into all aspects of
architecture and the built environment can be made public, consulted, and discussed. The
journal is open to historical, historiographic, theoretical, and critical contributions that engage
with architecture and the built environment from a historical perspective. For more
information and how to submit a paper click here.

Architecture MPS (OA)

AMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics, Society) is an international nonprofit research organisation. Its
journal is Architecture_MPS. The journal is published by UCL Press. Current issue here.
AMPS sees the definition, debates and concerns of the built environment as intrinsic to those at the heart
of other social, cultural and political discourses. The territory it seeks to explore is an overlaid terrain in
which the physical, material and the environmental are critically examined through the prism of the cultural,
the mediatic, the social and the political.

Its focus is cross disciplinary and draws on the media, politics and the social sciences. It invites participation
from all sectors: architects, planners, policy makers, artists, academics, the public and community activists.
It functions as an open access platform for publication, a forum for debate through conferences and
workshop, a conduit for book publications and also operates as an academic resource repository. Run by
information professionals, the repository offers up-to-date materials and listings for research.

AMPS is scientific level 1.

Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research (OA)

Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research publishes original research covering a variety of disciplines including ecology, climatology, geomorphology, glaciology, hydrology, paleoceanography, biogeochemistry, and social science to promote a better understanding of cold regions environments within Earth systems research.

Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine research is scientific level 1.

Cultural Science Journal (OA)

Cultural Science Journal is an interdisciplinary journal, taking advantage of recent advances in evolutionary and complexity sciences, to investigate cultural systems at micro (agent), meso (institution) and macro (network) scale. We are interested in the production of new ideas and knowledge, especially across disputed borders between systems, groups and identities.

Digital Medievalist (OA)

Digital Medievalist (DM) is the journal of the Digital Medievalist Community. It publishes work of original
research and scholarship, theoretical articles on digital topics, notes on technological topics,
commentary pieces discussing developments in the field, bibliographic and review articles, tutorials, and
project reports. The journal also commissions reviews of books and major electronic sites and projects.
All contributions are reviewed before publication by authorities in humanities computing. Submissions
to DM should concern topics likely to be of interest to medievalists working with digital media, though
they need not be exclusively medieval in focus. 

Digital Medievalist is scientific level 1

International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology (OA)

International Journal of Anthropology and Ethnology is an open access, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal.
It considers articles in the fields of Anthropology and Ethnology, concerning theory, policy and practice,
especially the critical global issues and challenges people are facing up to all over the world.

International Journal of Architectural Research (OA)

ArchNet-IJAR is an interdisciplinary scholarly open access journal of architecture, planning, and built
environment studies. The journal aims at establishing a bridge between theory and practice in the fields of
architectural and design research, and urban planning and built environment studies.

ArchNet-IJAR Objectives

ArchNet-IJAR objective is to establish a bridge between theory and practice in the fields of architectural and
design research, urban planning, and built environment studies. It reports on the latest research findings
and innovative approaches for creating responsive environments, with special focus on architecture and
planning in developing countries. ArchNet-IJAR is truly international and aims at strengthening ties between
scholars from different parts of the world with contributors and readers reaching across geography,
boundaries, and cultures.

Journal of Urban and Landscape Planning (OA)

Landscape and Urban Planning is an international journal aimed at advancing conceptual, scientific, and applied understandings of landscape in order to promote sustainable solutions for landscape change.

Reporting research results


Cristin is a national research documentation system that encompasses the higher education sector in Norway, as well as the institute sector and the regional health authorities. Data reported in Cristin is the basis for reporting publication points to the DBH database (Database for Statistics on Higher Education), reporting publication data for projects under the auspices of the Research Council of Norway, and for internal allocation of budget funds.

Furthermore, academic staff can use Cristin to keep an overview of their own publications, activities and results, and to link to and publish data on websites, for application purposes etc.

Who must report research?

Everyone who conducts research and/or produces scientific/artistic material as part of their employment relationship with AHO:

  • Academic staff in permanent positions
  • ​PhD candidates
  • Academic staff in project-based positions/temporary positions
  • Adjunct professor positions submit reports for their academic production as part of their employment relationships with AHO
  • Emeriti/emerita

Employees without research obligations (e.g. part-time teachers) are not obliged to report research.

Results and activities to be reported in Cristin

  • Research projects, including external PhD projects
  • Research results in the form of scientific publications (the Norwegian Scientific Index (NVI) categories in Cristin)
  • The results of scientific and artistic research in the form of design products, works etc.
  • Research dissemination to peers or the general public
  • Research stays abroad

Teaching and supervision should not be reported.
Project applications should not be registered in Cristin, but must be reported to the Research Administration.

How to report in Cristin.

Cristin is a self-explanatory system, and researchers enter their data themselves. Data are registered on a running basis throughout the year.

Personal data

The superuser (the library) creates profiles in Cristin on the basis of data from the payroll system SAP.
Researchers edit their own researcher profiles. Researchers and others who register in Cristin must enter all co-authors and the author's addresses for their publications.
Requirements for scientific publications
There are three categories of scientific publications:

  • articles in scientific journals
  • articles/chapters in scientific anthologies
  • scientific monographs

The publication must be published in an approved publication channel (see the Norwegian Centre for Research Data’s (NSD) Register for Scientific Journals, Series and Publishers). The criteria are described more closely in the Norwegian Association of Higher Education's report A Bibliometric Model for Performance-based Budgeting of Research Institutions. In order to qualify for publication points, AHO must be referred to as the author’s address in the publication itself; see the Guidelines for crediting academic publications to AHO. The year of publication shall be the same as the year of reporting and be stated in the publication. Only first editions count. Researchers must submit a copy of the publication (in hardcopy or as a PDF) where the title, author's address (institutional affiliation), the year and the source of publication is stated. Copies shall be submitted to the AHO library ( on a running basis.

Requirements for artistic research

Reported works, products, productions etc. must have been peer-reviewed and have been made available to the public/published. The heads of institutes are responsible for ensuring that everything reported as the results of artistic research meets these basic quality requirements. See also AHO’s guide for registering research in Cristin.

Training and user support

Cristin provides a general registration guide. If user support is required for reporting in Cristin, the Research Administration can help with the registration of projects, and the library can help with publications and other results.

Deadline for annual report

Data are registered on a running basis throughout the year. The annual deadline for registering data for the previous year in Cristin is 31 January. 

Quality assurance

The heads of institutes have special responsibility for ensuring that all academic employees report their research and for ensuring that the reported artistic research meets the quality requirements. The library is the institution’s superuser and quality assures all NVI (the Norwegian Scientific Index) items:

  • Compares the registered author’s address with that of the original publication
  • Compares the year of publication with that of the original publication
  • Keeps a regular overview of all NVI publications
  • Identifies any potential conflicts of interests in connection with co-publication with other institutions.

Approval and submission of NVI publications

The Cristin superuser (the library) reviews the NVI items and submits any questions and cases of doubt to the Research Committee for a professional assessment. It then presents the joint report to the Rector for final approval. The superuser approves via Cristin and submits the file. If AHO chooses to use the dissemination and works categories as a basis for internal performance-based budgeting, the Research Committee shall consider any questions of doubt. 

Self-archiving in ADORA via Cristin

Research ethics and data protection

The research at AHO shall comply with the relevant regulations for the handling of various data and research issues.

AHO has procedures in place in relation to guidance and internal control of student and research projects that fall within the scope of special legislation and/or process personal data.

Data protection official

The Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD) is the data protection official for AHO, and you must report any projects that involve personal data to NSD. NSD Data Protection Official provides information and advice and you can easily check whether you must report your project by visiting their website:

Responsibility for approval

The project manager is responsible for clarifying whether the project needs approval or must be reported to NSD and for ensuring that the necessary permits are obtained.


Guidelines for good research practice (AHO)

Under revision 

Researchers at AHO must:

  • Comply with the provisions in the Act relating to Universities and University Colleges that concern rights and obligations relating to academic freedom
  • Familiarise themselves and comply with AHO’s ethical guidelines and the guidelines that apply within their research field
  • Take into account that all research entails a responsibility for the knowledge the researcher gains access to, contribute to ensuring that this knowledge is not misused and that it benefits society
  • Must not keep any aspects of their research activities secret to other researchers at AHO, except in cases where there are good and publicly accepted grounds for confidentiality
  • Ensure that the scientific results for which the individual is responsible are sound enough to support the conclusions and that the raw data / sources used for the publications are available
  • Explain how funds made available to their research have been managed
  • Comply with the rules that apply to scientific publication in their field
  • Where possible, participate in collegial communities that analyse and communicate research methods and results
  • As an institution, AHO's handling of research ethics issues is subject to the same guidelines as its employees

The Norwegian National Research Ethics Committees

Here you will find both overriding ethical guidelines and the ethical guidelines that apply to the different subject and theory areas:

Apply for internal funds

Funds for Research Cooperation

The idea behind the fund is to stimulate research activity and develop projects in collaboration across AHO. Projects can be research applications, seminars, educational activities, courses, networking and other.  

Formal requirements:

  • All applications must include at least one collaborator from another institute at AHO. 
  • All applications must argue how their project will contribute to cooperation across AHO.
In addition the following advice should be taken into consideration when writing applications:
  • It should be as specific as possible, about the initiative’s timeframe, outcome and in particular regarding activities: describe how these are seen to contribute towards research stimulation and cooperation across AHO.
  • The project and the outcome of the project should be comprehensible also for researchers that are not part of the research field the project is situated in.
  • As the goal of this fund is to stimulate research and cooperation across the school we would ask that the relevance of the project is clearly described and articulated.
  • In addition, the budget must be realistic, clear and support the overall aim of the application.
Assesment criterias
  • Degree of collaboration across AHO
  • Expected results
  • Realism and specificity of budget
  • Accessibility of expected results
  • Expected value for AHO as a whole
  • Presence of external peer-review or funding
Application deadline and process
  • A total budget of 400 000 NOK is available for all applications per year.
  • A key issue concerning the budget is that it does not cover things that should be on the ordinary strategic budgets of the institutes/centres.
  • Application deadline are 1 February and 1 October each year.
  • FU processes and recommends applications to rector who has decision-making authority.
  • All granted projects must be reported to FU after the project period ends
Help and guidance 
For faculty planning to apply, please contact research administration well in advance. They will be able to guide and advise.
To give applicants an example of an exemplary application, please see the application from the research group urban digital living. Link to application

Research leave

Application form for research leaves

Research leave – guidelines for awarding leaves

1. General
The purpose of the Research Leave is to provide permanent employees in teaching and research positions exempt from teaching and administrative tasks in order to be able to concentrate on research activities (including artistic creative activities).

Research Leave is an offer that employees in teaching and research positions can apply for and be awarded according to specific guidelines, not a right employee accrues automatically after a certain number of years. It is a precondition that the employee has had normal teaching and administrative duties.

All permanent employees in a minimum 50% position can apply for 1 year of Research Leave after a minimum of 6 years of service, or ½ year after a minimum of 3 years of service.
2. Application
All applicants must complete the application form for Research Leave. The applicant shall provide a description of the research project, specify goals and outline the work plan for the Research Leave. Three main criteria shall be fulfilled and documented in the application.

  • The application should consist of a project with expected results that can be presented or documented. The project can be research project, teaching project or development project.

  • The application's professional quality and realism must be elaborated and explained

  • The application must document relevance to AHO

Furthermore, previous work efforts and previous research results should be discussed, as well as academic networks and any connection to major research projects. Applications for Research Leave should include a project that the researcher or employee will not be able to carry out in their regular working day.
3. Rights and duties during the Reserach Leave
The employee receives full pay during the Research Leave, and is exempt from the teaching obligation, attendance obligation and administrative duties unless something else has been agreed upon by granting a Research Leave. The person who is given the Research Leave is obliged to concentrate his / her efforts on the project that forms the basis for the application for Research Leave. It is not allowed to undertake other kinds of work or other things that may hinder the planned research tasks without the consent of AHO.
The department is responsible for arranging temporary temps for its employees.
4. Reporting
Anyone who has had a Research Leave, shall within one month after the termination of the term, submit a concise report to the FU about goal achievement etc. in the period. The report is public and will be made available to other employees at AHO. This is done to inform about what has been achieved, but to be used as inspiration for later applications for Research Leave.
5. Award criteria
When awarding a Reserach Leave, emphasis is placed on the following:
Assessment criteria

  • The application must contain a concrete project where the objective is a concrete result that can be described, documented or presented.

  • The application's professional quality and realism

  • The application must be relevant to AHO 

Additional criteria to be taken into account in the assessment of the applications

  • Competence building at AHO

  • Gender equality, including women's opportunity to qualify for promotion.

  • Special workload and effort for AHO

  • Service time and previous Research Leaves (and result of this) 

6. Service time
When calculating the service time for Research Leave, the number of semesters / years in ordinary service is based on the previous term. For permanent employees with reduced working hours, the time is converted to the entire earning year.
When calculating the service time, time in a temporary scientific position with teaching duties, which is followed by direct appointment in a permanent position same place, shall count on the same basis as service time as a permanent employee.

Leave without pay is not included in the service time, nor buy-out from all or some part of the permanent position. Sickness and pregnancy, welfare permits etc. in accordance with the wage regulations' common provisions are included in the service time period.

Reserach Leave with full pay is normally limited to one year's duration.

7. Procedure for application and case processing
Applications for Research Leave are processed once a year with a fixed application deadline on 1 February.
The earliest starting point for Reserach Leave is the autumn semester in the current year.

The institute leader conducts a professional and practical / economic assessment of each application and fills out a recommendation. If there are several applicants from the same department, the institute leader must prioritize.

It must be clarified in advance who covers any costs associated with the application before it is passed on to FU. This can be the cost of travel, infrastructure, equipment etc.

The institute leader prepares an overall recommendation to the Research Committee by 15 February.

The Research Committee makes a prioritized recommendation to the Rector who makes the decision in the case.

AHO has established a guiding upper limit of 3 full-time Research Leaves per year.

Project management and reporting

Creating a new project

The following has to in place before the Finance department can create a new project: