Norwegian version of this page

Guidelines for entering into joint supervision agreements (cotutelle agreements) between UiO and European universities

Approved by the Research Committee 6 December 2006, revised by the Rector 4 May 2009


The purpose of these guidelines is to promote development of academic cooperation between research groups at UiO and one or several European universities, and thereby also to encourage mobility among PhD candidates.


Joint supervision of a doctoral dissertation shall take place within the framework of a separate agreement signed by the cooperating institutions, and shall include:

The agreements shall be based on the principle of mutuality. Both agreements shall be governed by the Guidelines for entering into joint supervision agreements (cotutuelle agreements) between UiO and European universities and by the Regulations for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo.

The PhD candidate must be admitted to an approved PhD programme at both (all) institutions involved. The PhD candidates who enter UiO by way of a joint supervision agreement must fulfil all applicable requirements for admission to a PhD programme at UiO. Regulations and programme schedules at all involved institutions apply.

UiO and the cooperating institution shall mutually approve the PhD-level studies completed at the respective institutions.

The candidate shall have one supervisor at each institution.

In special cases, agreements for joint supervision of PhD candidates can be signed by UiO and universities outside Europe. The academic status of the institution concerned must be internationally recognized. An adapted version of the framework agreement and the individual agreement shall be used, but these adaptations must be compatible with the applicable guidelines for joint supervision between UiO and a European university.

Procedure for entering into an agreement

When there is an interest in establishing cooperation for joint supervision of PhD candidates, a framework agreement shall be signed at the institutional level by UiO and the institution(s) selected for such cooperation. The framework agreement shall be signed by the faculty director and the university director.

In addition, an individual agreement shall be signed for the individual PhD candidate who wishes to produce a jointly supervised dissertation. At UiO, the application to enter into an agreement for joint supervision shall be submitted to the faculty that coordinates the PhD programme to which the candidate shall be admitted. The individual agreement shall be signed by the head of department, the supervisor and the candidate.

The institutions that sign the agreement for joint supervision shall approve the validity of PhD dissertations defended within the framework of the agreement.

The individual agreement for the individual PhD candidate shall contain the following elements:

  • Title of the dissertation
  • Names of the supervisors at the respective institutions
  • Period of validity of the agreement and opportunities for extensions
  • The candidate’s period of residency at the respective institutions
  • Resources that are made available to the candidate at the respective institutions during the candidate’s period of stay
  • Special provisions/conditions that apply to the dissertation and its defence (language, use of logotypes, travel expenses, publication etc.)
  • Requests for term fees/tuition fees or for remission of such, if applicable
  • IPR agreements, if applicable

Requirements for the dissertation

The PhD dissertation shall normally be written and defended in English, if not otherwise decided pursuant to Section 6 above.

The PhD dissertation shall have the logotype of both (all) involved institutions printed on the cover, and the joint-supervision relationship shall be declared on the cover/title page of the dissertation.

Requirements for assessment and defence

An adjudication committee composed of at least three members shall assess the dissertation, the trial lectures and the disputation. The committee shall be appointed by the involved institutions jointly. The composition of the committee shall be in accordance with applicable rules and guidelines at the institution where the disputation takes place, but as a minimum, each institution shall have one representative in the committee. The committee shall work in accordance with the applicable rules and guidelines at the institutions where the defence takes place. Expenses incurred by foreign representatives in the context of their work in the adjudication committee shall be reimbursed by the university that arranges the disputation.

The PhD examination shall include a public trial lecture and a public defence of the dissertation (disputation).

The institution in which the disputation is held confers the PhD degree and the diploma to the candidate. The diploma and/or the supplement to the diploma shall state that the degree is the result of joint supervision.

Publication, copyright and IPR

Publication and use of research results as well as intellectual property rights shall be guaranteed by all involved institutions, and comply with applicable legislation and regulations in the countries concerned. In Norway, storage, authors’ rights and copyright are regulated by the Copyright Act of 1 July, 2018 ( (Norwegian) and other applicable statutes, as well as by prevailing rules for IPR.

PhD candidates employed by UiO have an obligation to inform the University about any inventions that may lead to patents, pursuant to the Act respecting the right to employees’ inventions of 17 April 1970 no. 2 (Norwegian text only).

Published Sep. 20, 2012 10:34 AM - Last modified Oct. 29, 2018 11:19 AM