Doctoral research fellows

Doctoral research fellows who wish to undertake teaching may have their contracts extended for up to a year, depending on the teaching load they take on. Such an extension will have to be agreed upon with the Head of Department, and will be subject to the needs of the Department.

Teaching is seen as part of the training of doctoral research fellows for an academic career and is meant to give experience with various tasks, including lecturing, preparing exercises, grading exams and interacting with students. Candidates are therefore given a variety of different tasks, often in collaboration with more experienced teachers.

Doctoral research fellows are in general not supposed to teach in their first term. Since the planning of teaching schedules starts a year before courses are given, it is nevertheless recommended that doctoral research fellows start thinking about whether they want to teach as early as possible.

The teaching load is regulated by a system of hourly accounts, where the teaching load is measured in hours. The table below shows the correspondence between teaching load and extension of the doctoral research fellows; for example, a doctoral research fellow who wishes to extend his or her contract by three months will have to take on tasks corresponding to 317,5 hours.

Be aware that the table shows suggested extensions, however this is a continuous scale, and the doctoral research fellow contract can be extended with the amount of hours actually taught. The maximum extension is 12 months.

Extension Hours teaching/administrating
3 months 317,5
6 months 635
9 months 952,5
12 months 1270

Teachers are credited hours for the tasks they undertake (the account systems also covers various administrative tasks, such as serving on committees). The number of hours credited depends on the task performed; see the regulations for working hours for more information. For example, one double lecture (of two times 45 minutes) is credited with 10 hours, while one double seminar (of two times 45 minutes) is credited with 7 hours.

Teaching plans

Teaching is planned two semesters ahead, once every semester. In February and September, respectively, tentative teaching plans are circulated to Course Group Leaders (emnegruppeledere) for comments; Course Group Leaders will consult with relevant teachers and suggest adjustments to plans accordingly. Revised teaching plans are subsequently circulated to the entire teaching staff for further comments. The final decision about teaching plans is made by the Program Council (Programrådet).

The decision of the Program Council is final for the up-coming semester, while the plan for the subsequent semester may be subject to adjustments in the next round of planning.

What to teach

Doctoral research fellows should inform the administrator responsible for the teaching schedule about what they would like to teach. This should be done as early as possible, but no later than the deadline for input to the planning process, 1 February and 1 September, respectively.

In the planning process, teachers’ preferences are accommodated as far as possible, although various restrictions, including availability of tasks and teachers, may limit choices; in practice, teachers' wishes are to a large extent accommodated. Teachers who have taught a specific course before, and want to do it again, are generally given priority.


As a general rule, doctoral research fellows can teach a maximum of two parallel seminars in the same course in the same semester (this is partly to ensure a diversification of tasks, as explained above, and partly to ensure that students have a choice of teachers).

Seminar teachers grade midterm papers of the students participating in their seminars. Such grading helps seminar teachers to assess how the group is doing and enables them to adjust their teaching if needed.