Application and admission - the road to MN PhD

In order to be admitted to the PhD programme, you must have funding and a Master's degree with good grades. There are several ways to procure funding of your PhD project and the two most common are described in more detail below (i. Funding).

All candidates and supervisors must familiarise themselves with the Supplementary Regulations at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences to the Regulations for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the University of Oslo. The relevant paragraphs are emphasised in the sections below.

Admission to the PhD programme at the MN Faculty takes place continuously throughout the year. The PhD candidate/supervisor must submit the application for admission to the PhD programme to the department within the first two months of the PhD employment contract. The initial assessment of the application is performed at your department and formally approved by the Faculty.

i. Funding

You can either

  • apply for a PhD research fellow position (stipendiat)


  • apply for external funding


PhD research fellowships (stipendiat)

All PhD research fellowships, independently of subjects, fields, projects or units, are advertised at the University webpages. As a PhD research fellow (stipendiat), you are an employee of the University of Oslo and have the same rights and benefits as other employees.


flow chart of admission process for internally funded phd candidates
Figure 1.1: Flowchart of the admission process for PhD candidates funded through PhD research fellowships.


Vacancy listings




External funding

As an externally funded PhD candidate, you must yourself procure funding of both salary, equivalent of a regular PhD candidate salary covering three years full-time studies, and research funds (when required for the project). All PhD candidates must be affiliated with a research community at our Faculty. You either secure funding first and then contact a potential supervisor or procure funding in collaboration with a potential supervisor.

The project funding may for example come from:

  • a position at a college or another university
  • a position at another scientific institution with time to do your own research
  • a position at an external enterprise or organisation
  • researcher's own funds (from foreign foundations, universities, or other sources outside of Norway); for the whole PhD period at minimum NOK 20,000 per month to cover both accommodation and living costs associated with the PhD candidate’s stay in Norway

See particular considerations for applicants to the Department of Informatics on external funding.


flow chart of admission process externally funded candidates
Figure 1.2: Flowchart of the admission process for externally funded PhD candidates.


External funding portals



ii. The PhD candidate's guide to the application form

Below you find instructions on how to fill in the application form for admission to the PhD programme at the MN Faculty. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the University's and the Faculty's regulations for the PhD degree. The regulations are referred to at particular relevant places. 

Admission requirements

The following criteria apply to admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences:


Applicants with completed degrees from the following countries must provide original diplomas of Bachelor's and Master's degrees supplemented with transcripts:

Cameroon, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, The Republic of the Philippines, USA.

The qualification documents must be sent directly from the educational institution to the Faculty administration. 


Paper copies

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
PhD office
PO Box 1032 Blindern
NO-0315 Oslo

Electronic documents 



Explanation to the application process

The application for admission to the MN PhD programme is digital, using Nettskjema. You may start the application and save your progress as you go along. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with the explanation to the the application below to get an overview of the information and attachments your need to acquire.

When you submit your application you will receive a confirmation e-mail with copies of your information and all attachments. A copy will also be sent to the PhD adviser at department/unit you are affiliated with. You do not have to perform any more actions and will be contacted if additional information is required. 

Your application will be evaluated by the PhD council and the head of the department before sent to the Faculty for final approval, after which you will receive a letter of admission. The confirmation letter functions as your agreement with the Faculty.  

Contact your local PhD adviser for any further questions not answered below.



Externally employed PhD candidates

Externally employed PhD candidates must be registered in the UiO systems to get a FEIDE login name and password in order to access the application form.

Your local PhD adviser will submit the application for you. You need to provide the following information:

  • First name
  • Family name
  • Norwegian ID number (11 digits) OR UiO employee number (8 digits)
    • If you have neither, provide
      • your date of birth (
      • passport number
      • country of origin from passport
  • Sex (female/male are the only options in the form)
  • Private address
    • Street name and number
    • Postal code
    • Town
  • Mobile phone number (will provide access to UiO's password change service by SMS)
    • Norwegian mobile phone number AND cititzenship
    • OR
    • Foreign mobile phone number (with country code) AND citizenship
    • OR
    • citizenship only (no mobile phone number)
  • Declaration of consent. By submitting your information you agree to the following:
    • I hereby confirm that I have read and understood the Rules for the Use of IT Services at the University of Oslo, and that I agree to abide by these rules. I understand that my personal information will be recorded in the personnel, admissions, and user administrative databases at the University of Oslo. I am aware of the limits and provision of data on my reserved personal space provided by opening this account.


You will be notified when you are registered and can access the application form.

When registered in the UiO system, we recommend you to spend some time on your UiO profile page as the UiO domain ranks very high in the Google search engine. 



The application form

Only PhD candidates associated with the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences may fill in the form when

  • funding of your PhD project is in order
  • you have started working on your PhD project 

Application form



Explanations to the application form

1. Affiliation 


  • The Natural History Museum



2. Personal information


Your FULL name.

Home address, Postal code, Town, Country

Your living address in Norway.

  • International candidates who do not yet have a Norwegian address must give their living address in their home country

E-mail address

The UiO e-mail address (will be the primary contact point from the Faculty).

Phone number

Voluntary but encouraged for cases where rapid clarification is needed. Will only be used in relation to administration of your PhD period. 



3. Employment

If you are in doubt of where you are employed or how your PhD project is funded, contact your local PhD adviser or principal supervisor. 

I am employed at

  • The department/unit

  • A centre at the MN Faculty

  • A centre at UiO

  • An external institution

    • PhD candidates who have a contract of employment with an institution external of UiO
    • Submit an agreement of cooperation with the external institution signed by the candidate, a representative from the external institution and the head of the department/unit
    • Residence duty. PhD candidates must generally spend 1 man-year at the University of Oslo. PhD candidates planning to spend less than 1 year at UiO must attach an application for reduced residence duty authored by the UiO associated main or co-supervisor arguing how the external institution provides a rigorous research environment and that the academic demands for supervision are sustained. Consult the Faculty regulations § Residency for details.
    • Particular considerations:
  • Stipend (without employment in Norway)

    • PhD candidates funded by international stipends must provide documentation of a granted stipend that secure funding for the whole PhD period at minimum NOK 20,000 per month to cover both accommodation and living costs associated with the PhD candidate’s stay in Norway

Finance source

If you have several funding arrangements of your PhD project, make sure to state all.

Mandatory duties

Only PhD candidates with 4 year contracts are to have mandatory duties, and it shall make out up 25 % of the PhD period. Consult the Faculty regulations § 5.3.4 Mandatory duties for details.



4. Educational background

Title of degree

Title of your highest academic degree.

Field of education

The discipline/subject you specialized in for your highest academic degree. 

Educational institution

The educational institution at which you completed your highest academic degree.

Country of education

The country in which you completed your highest academic degree.


The semester your completed your highest academic degree.

  • Spring semester: 1 January - 31 July
  • Autumn semester: 1 August - 31 December

Examination year

The year you completed your highest academic degree.

Working title of your PhD thesis

The preliminary title of your PhD thesis.

Field of study for your PhD project

The discipline/subject you are specializing in. 



5. The educational component

Consult § 8 The educational component in the MN Faculty supplementary PhD regulations on the objectives, content and scope of the educational component. 

PhD candidates with affiliation to Marie Skłodowska-Curie (MSCA) Doctoral Networks must have 5 credits constituting MNSES9100 – Science, Ethics and Society and upload a description of the MSCA courses as a special syllabus attachment. 

Regular academic course

Regular academic/scientific courses given by UiO or other educational institutions. Research courses with final exams arranged partly or wholely by the MN Faculty/Natural History Museum may be accepted as ordinary courses.

Research course

Up to 10 credits may be used on national or international research courses or special syllabus. All research courses must be concluded by an exam or seminar at the department/unit no later than 6 months of attending the course.  

  • Upload a description of the course for the department's/unit's PhD council to evaluate the content of the course

Special syllabus

Up to 10 credits may be used on national or international research courses or special syllabus.


6. Supervision

§ 7.2 Appointment of academic supervisors§ 7.3 The principal supervisor

Each PhD candidate shall have at least two supervisors who are actively involved throughout the candidate’s degree. 

Principal supervisor

An internal principal supervisor is either

  • permanently employed as associate professor or professor at the MN Faculty, the Faculty of Medicine, the Natural History Museum, or the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS)
  • a professor II position at the MN Faculty or Faculty of Medicine with an employment contract valid through the candidate's whole PhD project

An external principal supervisor is employed at one of UiO's centres or at an institution external of UiO.


  • Must hold a PhD degree
  • In the case of an external principal supervisor, at least one of the co-supervisors must fulfill the criteria stated above for an internal principal supervisor

7. Statements from the principal supervisor 

Consult § Principal supervisor's statement on the scope and content of the statement.

  • The statements must be authored by the principal supervisor and sent to the candidate to be included in the relevant fields in the application form. 

The principal supervisor's evaluation of the candidate's potential

  • The supervisor’s evaluation of the applicant’s ability to complete the research assignment

Resources situation

  • The funding of the project, travel expenses, residence abroad, laboratory facilities and similar

Possible professional associates or research network which the applicant will be in contact with

  • Collaborators, if any, or research networks with which the applicant may be affiliated

The candidate has had the induction conversation with the principal supervisor?

  • The induction conversation is important for calibrating your and your supervisor's expectations to each other, the project, working hours etc.



8. Confirmations

The supervisors must confirm that

  • they have familiarised themselves with the University's and the Faculty's regulations and the guidelines
  • they have obliged themselves to follow research ethical principles that prevail within the subject area
  • they have obliged themselves to follow ethical guidelines for supervision relationships at UiO
  • they support the outline of the project
  • the candidate and supervisor team shall keep one another informed on an on-going basis about all matter of significance for carrying out the supervision (the PhD candidate confirms this by submitting the application)

The supervisor team's approval of the above mentioned declarations

  • All supervisors must confirm that she/he supports the application using her/his work e-mail
  • When you receive the confirmations from the supervisors, save them as pdf and upload them in the application form

  • Make sure that time, date and e-mail addresses are included

  • ONLY confirmations sent from an official work e-mail (ending with or similar) will be approved by the Faculty

The candidate's approval of the above mentioned declarations

  • The candidate approve the above mentioned declarations by submitting the application of admission to the PhD programme. 



9. Mandatory attachments 

The total size of all attachments MUST NOT exceed 25 MB. This is due to the restrictions on file size in e-mails which is decisive when the application will be sent by e-mail to the Faculty for evaluation.

To reduce the size of large pdf documents:

  • Open the pdf document
    • Save as other
      • Reduced size pdf

Files name cannot include spaces. Make sure to use a hyphen (-) or underscore (_) as spaces in file names. File names containing space may result in an error when submitting your application. 


Project description

Consult § The project description for the scope and content of the project description. The project description (from 4 to 10 pages) must include a reference list. The project description will form the basis for the third semester reporting.

  • Nomenclature: project-description-[surname]
  • Make sure that all points in the project description template are addressed

Project description templates

Each ground unit has adapted the Faculty template to fit their own needs.

Curriculum Vitae (CV)

  • Nomenclature: cv-[surname]
  • Upload your CV

Documentation of Bachelor's degree

Bachelor's degrees issued by University of Oslo does not need to be documented. Applicants with non-UiO Bachelor's degree need to provide:

Bachelor's diploma

Bachelor's transcript

Documentation of Master's degree

Master's degrees issued by University of Oslo does not need to be documented. Applicants with non-UiO Master's degree need to provide:

Master's diploma

Master's transcript

    List of publications

    • If relevant, upload a list of your publication(s)
    • Nomenclature: publications-[surname]

    English language skills test

    Consult § 5.1.4 English language skills for details on the pass requirements for the different approved tests and applicants who are exempt from the test. 

    • The test can not be older than two years from the start date of the PhD project
    • Nomenclature: english-test-[surname]

    Do you have courses already taken that you wish to include in the educational component of your PhD study?

    • Upload the course description and transcripts/confirmations for courses already taken which you wish to include in the educational component for the PhD study
    • The courses included in the educational component must not have been included in any previously obtained degrees or have formed the basis for admission to the PhD programme


    • [title-of-course]-description


    •  [title-of-course]-transcripts


    • [title-of-course]-confirmation


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