PhD-Night on the Trial Lecture and the Public defense

Have you heard the about the one student that failed his doctoral examination? Yet, no one really seems to know who this is? The doctoral examination is surrounded by myths. In order to prepare you for the big day, we invited three resources within academia to address our insecurities and share their experiences with the trial lecture and the public defense.

On December 10th, approximately 60 PhD-students gathered to our PhD night on the subject. With the help of Kim Henrik Ruud, Haakon Meyer and Jamie Johnston, we discussed the doctoral examination from an administrative, opponent and candidate’s point of view.

The formal setting

Together, the trial lecture and the public defense constitute the doctoral examination. While both the trial lecture and public defense are subject of approval, our guests assure us that it is the written thesis that is the main test.

While the doctoral examination is regulated by rules, there are differences between the faculties. For example, in some faculties, the committee presents your thesis. However, if you are among those who are expected to present it yourself, it might be wise to make the presentation two to three months before the examination. Be sure to check the regulations at your local PhD program.

Kim Henrik Ruud talking about the formal setting of the disputation.

Keep also in mind the errata list. You can apply to correct minor formal errors in your thesis, but this must happen no later than four weeks before the committee’s submission deadline. The assessment committee has three months to submit their assessment.

More information on the formal setting in Kim Henriks presentation slides.

The trial lecture

The main purpose of the trial lecture is to test your abilities to acquire and disseminate knowledge. Remember that the committee already knows your topic. The target group for your trial lecture is hence students, co-workers, family and the informed public. Define things carefully and make it interesting for them. Pictures might be helpful for the visual engagement of an audience.

The assessment committee decides the title of the trial lecture and announces it ten working days ahead of the doctoral examination. Often, the title is related to your thesis, but not directly connected. Upon receiving the title, it is important to find your focus (i.e. is this an overview, nuanced understanding or critical reflection?). Make the presentation meaningful for you and use it to obtain a new perspective of your work. Remember that the trial lecture should be held in the same language as your thesis is written in.

Jamie Johnston talking about the trial lecture.

The meta structure of your presentation will help build your argument. Thinking of the logical progression as similar to the structure of an article might be helpful. Reconsider how each slide contributes to your argument.

More information on the trial lecture in Jamies presentation slides.

The lecture lasts for 45 minutes. It can be a good idea to practice your presentation a couple of times before – to do a trial-trial lecture – nonetheless to ensure that you are able to keep to the timeframe. An extra tip is to add a couple of extra slides in the end, which you can use if you finish early. Before the trial lecture, it might also be wise to check and familiarize yourself with the technical equipment.

 

The public defense

Prepare for the public defense by looking at the assessment you have received with your supervisor. Some questions are common during the defense, which means that you can prepare an answer in advance. One example is: “what are your key contributions?”

Haakon Meyer talked about both the trial lecture and the defense.

Often, the defense takes the form of a conversation. Do not be afraid to ask questions back during to your opponent, but avoid too simple answers or hogging the stage. The point of the defense is after all to have a good debate. If you struggle with one or two questions, our experienced opponent finds it acceptable to answer “Good question. I do not have an answer right now, but I will consider it.”

The public defense lasts between two and four hours. When the opponents are satisfied, the defense is usually approved. This varies a little from program to program. The committee will sometimes gather after the defense, deliberate for a little while and then approve the defense.

The doctoral dinner

While it is tradition that the candidate invites the committee, chair, family and friends to a doctoral dinner, the dinner is not mandatory. In order to use your energy wisely before the doctoral examination, one tip is to let someone else organize the dinner, such as your family. Keep also in mind that some of the expenses for the dinner is eligible for a tax deduction.

We look forward to seeing you all at new PhD-nights next semester. Until then, we wish you a merry Christmas!

PhD-night: The trial lecture and the public defence

Welcome to the last PhD night of this semester on December 10th. This evening we will address the trial lecture and public defence. What happens between handing in your dissertation and the defence? How does the opponent decide the theme of the trial lecture? What does the opponent look for in the defence? Moreover, how did the PhD-student spend the last two weeks preparing for the trial lecture and defence?

We have invited an administrative facilitator, an opponent and a former PhD student to share their experiences with the trial lecture and the defence. Thus, providing you with the tips for a successful disputation!

There will be time for questions after each talk.

 

Time:  Tuesday December 10th, 16.30

Place: Deiglig Fyrhuset, Pilestredet 52

 

Program

16.30: Pizza (free)

17.00-17.20: Kim Henrik Ruud (senior advisor, research and development) – The formal setting for the trial lecture and public defence

17.20-17.50: Haakon Meyer (professor and experienced opponent) – The trial lecture and public defence from the opponent’s point of view

17.50: Short break

18.00-18.30: Jamie Johnston (associate professor and former PhD-student) – The trial lecture and public defence from the PhD student’s point of view

Also, check out the Facebook event in the group “PhD life at OsloMet”: https://www.facebook.com/events/510206202909960/

New members in PhD-forum 

We are happy to welcome three new members to our Ph.d.-forum!  

Anna Nishchyk is the first ph.d.-candidate to represent Engineering Science in our forum. Her research is on Augmented reality technologies and its use for fall prevention among elderly people.  

Karoline Madsen represents Health Sciences and is taking over the position in Ph.d.-forum after Runa Kalleson. Karoline is basing her PhD on user led research and her specific research topic will be decided in collaboration with patient, next of kins and municipal employees. 

Olga Serediak represents Centre for the Study of Professions (SPS) and takes over after Andreea Alecu. Olga’s research is on labour market outcomes of higher education undertaken abroad. 

To find out who is representing your program, look at the Members page.

Work life after the PhD?

– Do you ever wonder what you are going to do when you finish your PhD?

– Would you like career counseling at OsloMet?

– Do you wonder how to build a research career, and what transferable skills you actually have?

Next week, at the Research Career Day 2019 you might get some valuable input on that. More info and sign up for the event here: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/hva-skjer/-/aktivitet/phd-career-day. This event is planned by FoU, HR og OsloMet Career.

Time: 31st of October at 8.30-15.00

Also, check out OsloMet courses on transferable skills and career development this fall at OsloMet: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/kurs-generiske-ferdigheter

 

PhD-night on Mental Health

On September 23th the fourth PhD-night was arranged. Around 35 PhD-students and representatives from Human Resources (HR) gathered at Fyrhuset to learn more about mental health for PhD-students. The topic of balancing work and private life is a well known challenge for most of us and was mentioned by all contributors.

A series of presentations with different perspectives on mental health were held. Magnus Blystad (PhD-forum representative) had a brief introduction on the prevalence of depression and anxiety among graduate students. Afterwards, Anna Runesson informed about the work by the clerical services. PhD-students are welcome to discuss both low threshold themes and themes of more serious nature, regardless of philosophy of life or religious belief. She has shared a summary of her presentation.

Tone Vang from Stamina Helse.

Finally, Tone Vang from Stamina Helse (the occupational health service/bedriftshelsetjenesten) gave a presentation on the stressing factors PhD candidates meet and the importance of distinguishing between work and private life to give oneself some breaks. She also pointed out that stress and anxiety are normal healthy reactions, but if they take over too much of your life, you might want to seek help. OsloMet collaborates with Stamina to assist the employer, employee and safety representative in their work to create safe and healthy working conditions. Contact your leader, safety delegate (verneombud) or the union representative (tillitsvalgt)  if you need to talk to someone.

We look forward to seeing you on the next PhD-night themed “The public defence”.

October afterwork for Phd Candidates

Afterwork for Phd Candidates will return on the 11th of October.

Are you doing your PhD at OsloMet, and find yourself in need of a relaxing break? Perhaps you have just started and want to meet other people doing their PhD’s here? Want to exchange life hacks and advice? Or do you just want to start the weekend on an up-note?  Come and meet other PhD Candidates, and bring a PhD-colleague as well! This evening is all dedicated to frustration and complaining to peers who understand you, as well as relaxation and having fun while not thinking about your research. You decide!

– We provide place and time, and you buy whatever food and/or drinks you like while there.

– Coming alone and unsure of who to say hi to first? No worries! Find the woman with the purple and blue hair 😉

The Ph.d.-forum at OsloMet looks forward to seeing you there!

 

Date: 11th of October 2019

Time: From 15.30 (or when you’re done working)

Place: Eldhuset, Dahlsbergstien 19

Ph.d.-night: Mental health and the Ph.D student

Welcome to our first Ph.D.-night at OsloMet for the fall semester! At these evenings we address topics that are relevant for Ph.D. students across programs at OsloMet. The goal of these events is to mix academic refill with an opportunity to be social outside of working hours. The program for this event will be in English.

The theme for this evening is mental health and the Ph.D. student, which is a growing concern, and one that has garnered significant research recently. For this reason we have setup a program that hopefully can give options for who to contact should you need it, and good strategies to keep mentally fit!

There will be time for questions after each talk.

 

Time: September 23th 2019, 16.30

Place: Deiglig Fyrhuset, Pilestredet 52

 

Program:

16.30: Pizza (Free!)

17.00: Magnus H. Blystad – PhD candidates and mental health: Reported causes for concern

17.10: Anna Runesson – “Someone to talk to” at the clerical services

17.30: Short break

17.40: Tone Vang, Psychologist from Stamina (bedriftshelsetjeneste) – Prevention and counselling.

18.00: Mingling as you wish, the bar will be open for purchases until 21.00.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,

PhD-forum at OsloMet

 

Afterwork for PhD students!

Image: National Archives at College Park [Public domain]

By popular demand; Afterwork for Phd-students is now happening in august!

Are you doing your PhD at OsloMet, are almost finished, and find yourself needing a relaxing break? Or have you just started and want to meet other people doing their PhD’s here? Want to exchange life hacks and advice? Or do you just enjoy being social?

Come and meet other PhD-students, and bring a PhD-colleague as well. We provide place and time, and you buy whatever food and/or drinks you like while there.

Coming alone and unsure of who to say hi to first? Find the woman with the purple and blue hair.

Date: 27th of August 2019

Time: From 16.00 (or when you’re done working)

Place: Eldhuset, Dahlsbergstien 19

Going Abroad during your PhD

On the 21st of may we arranged our third PhD Night. This time the topic was “Going Abroad during your PhD”, a topic relevant to most of us. Tropical rain poured down outside Fyrhuset, but inside we enjoyed beer, pizza and the company of good colleagues. Representatives from the Section for Internationalisation at OsloMet kicked off the evening’s presentations. They held a very informative talk on different grants and support structures for teaching and research abroad. This presentation contained a great deal of relevant links and points of contact, and you can find the full presentation below.

Ph.d. forum presentation 210519

Then came a series of peer-presentations from kind PhD colleagues who kindly shared their own experience with the rest of us. The stories included animal research in Spain with continued collaborations, how to deal with sensitive data when crossing borders, and slice of life illustrations of family life abroad. It was both enjoyable and informative, and we are thankful for the presenters for taking time out of their busy schedule to talk to the rest of us.  

If you have questions regarding stays abroad you should check out the following link: https://ansatt.oslomet.no/seksjon-internasjonalisering

Ph.d.-night: Going abroad

For and by ph.d.-students at OsloMet

Time: May 21st 2019, 16.30

Place: Deiglig Fyrhuset, Pilestredet 52

 

Welcome to our third Ph.D.-night at OsloMet where we address topics that are relevant for ph.d. students across programs at OsloMet. The goal of these events is to mix academic refill with an opportunity to be social outside of working hours. The program for this event will be in English.

We have gone through all feedback from the last Ph.d.-night and hope we have managed to prepare a program that is both informational and entertaining.

The theme for this evening is Going abroad. We have invited speakers from the section for internationalization at OsloMet to give an overview of the possible funding sources. In addition, we will have ph.d. candidates who have been abroad tell us (in short) how they planned, financed and experienced their stay in Canada, USA and Spain.

There will be time for questions after each talk.

Program:

16.30: Pizza (Free!)

17.00: The section for internationalization at OsloMet: possible funding sources for a research stay abroad.

17.20: Espen SjøbergResearch on animal models of ADHD in Spain and maintaining the connection with the Spanish research group.

17.35: Short break

17.45: Maria BjerkFalls prevention in Canada and going abroad with your family.

18.00: Brittany DisantiTeaching Individuals with Autism Listener Skills in USA and how to bring sensitive data across borders.

18.15: Håvard AaslundCollective participation among the homeless in USA and going abroad with your family.

18.30: Mingling as you wish, the bar will be open for purchases until 21.00.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Sincerely,
PhD-forum at OsloMet

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