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
  • funds from foreign foundations or from foreign universities; 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




Explanation to the application process

The application form must be filled out electronically and signed by all your supervisors. A complete application form and all required documents are uploaded and submitted to your Department through Nettskjema. 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. A copy will also be sent to the PhD adviser at the 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.



The application form and submission form

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

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

When you have filled out the application form and you have all your required documents, you submit your application to your Department through the submission form.


Explanations to the application form



  • The Natural History Museum



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

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




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 principal 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 plan

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.



Educational background

Title of academic 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.



Plans for your PhD study

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. The listed fields are based on the Norwegian Council for Higher Education's level of disciplines and are only of higher order. Choose the discipline closest to your field of study. 

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.



§ 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

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



Induction conversation

The induction conversation is mandatory for all new PhD candidates and important for calibrating your and your supervisor's expectations to each other, the project, working hours etc.


You and all your supervisors must sign the application before submitting it to the department. The PhD council, head of department and faculty director will sign sequentially as your application is being processed and approved. 



Mandatory attachments 

The size of the attachments MUST NOT exceed 30 MB due to restrictions on file size in Nettskjema. 

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. All project descriptions must adhere to the respective department’s project description template (below). The project description (from 4 to 10 pages) must include a reference list and 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



    Submission form

    Upload and submit your application form and all required documents here.

    Submission form