PhD Candidate

Ingrid and Frikk are PhD candidates at the Department of Economics.

Why did you apply for this position?

“I chose to apply because I like to study”, Frikk says. His work with a master's thesis and a yearlong stay at the London School of Economics made possibility of continuing as a researcher appealing.

Frikk already had an impression of life at the department through being a research assistant and seminar leader at UiO.  

Ingrid was a research assistant prior to becoming a PhD candidate. That way she had the opportunity to attend conferences and become well acquainted with the academic community.

The idea that I could become a PhD candidate didn’t register until I became acquainted with some really inspiring and cool female PhD candidates, she says. “To have role models I could identify with helped me set my own goals.”

What do you think were the most important factors for being offered the job?

Both agree that the combination of good grades and a good application with a project outline is important. Through a project outline, you have the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to ask interesting research questions. Frikk points out that experience as a research assistant may be relevant.

What are your tasks in your current job?

One important part of the work as a PhD candidate is research. “I am researching questions related to the issue of how one should allocate resources between generations”, says Frikk.  “I have a responsibility to make my findings public through publication in international journals and the media. Teaching is also a big part of being a PhD candidate.”

How is the knowledge you acquired through studying economics relevant to your current job?

Both use their education on a daily basis. Frikk says he uses theoretical and methodological knowledge in addition to applying a set of thinking skills learned through the study of economics when searching for answers. Ingrid adds: “when you are a PhD candidate, you are still a student.”

Do you have any career advice for new students?

Ingrid encourages students to plan early what kind of work they want to apply for, and work systematically to meet the requirements and qualifications required. As a research assistant, Ingrid found the courage and inspiration to choose optional master level courses aimed at a career as a researcher. Frikk adds: Sign up for voluntary work and try to get relevant part-time jobs as early as possible.

Ingrid advises those who wish to become PhD candidates to be passionately interested in the studies and the field.

It's an advantage to love studying. She explains: “when I finished my master’s thesis, I didn’t want it to end – I felt like I had just gotten started!”

They both agree that it is a privilege to be able to combine studies with paid work, even if it can be tiresome with the pressures of what feels like “a permanent examination period”.


(The interview was originally conducted in Norwegian, and is translated to English).


Published Feb. 1, 2019 10:31 AM - Last modified Feb. 1, 2019 10:31 AM