Ilisimatusarfik. The University of Greenland. Guidelines for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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1 Ilisimatusarfik The University of Greenland Guidelines for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Table of Contents 1. Preamble p Goal, structure, and organisation p Admission and registration p Supervision p The PhD programme p The PhD project p Completion of the PhD programme p The Thesis p Examination of the Thesis p Conferment of the degree of PhD p Publication p Diploma p Appeals p The coming into force of the guidelines and transitional rules p. 18 1

2 1. Preamble The guidelines for the PhD programme at Ilisimatusarfik have been defined according to the Departmental Order of the Greenlandic Home Rule no. 36 of October 9, 2001, on the Degree of PhD. 2. Goal, structure, and organisation 2.1 Goal The PhD programme is an education in research with the purpose of developing a student s ability to carry out original research, that is, the capacity and ability for independent thought and reasoning and the communication of scientific problems. In connection with this, the programme shall convey to the candidate familiarity with the research methods and theories of the relevant subject area. By virtue of this, successful completion of the PhD programme qualifies the PhD for attending independently to tasks of research, development, and education. 2.2 Structure The PhD programme is prescribed to the amount of 180 ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System), corresponding to three years of fulltime study. The three years are counted from the date of registration to the date of the submission of the thesis. Thus, the time span of examination, defence, and the conferment of the degree of PhD is not included. The main emphasis of the PhD programme is the carrying out of research under supervision. The PhD programme consists of the following elements: Completion of an independent research project under supervision and composition of a thesis on the basis of the PhD research project Enrolment in University courses matching 30 points of ECTS 2

3 Teaching and other forms of scientific outreach Participation in the research milieus of Ilisimatusarfik Stays at foreign research institutions. 2.3 Organisation The responsibility for the PhD programme of Ilisimatusarfik is held by the Rector in collaboration with the Academic Council. The Academic Council appoints a PhD Board at each Institute. The Head of the Institute proposes the members of the PhD Board. The Academic Council determines the number of members of the PhD Board with consideration for the representation of the research fields and the students of the Institute. The PhD Boards are appointed for two years. The PhD Board deals with matters of research education and Submits recommendations to the Head of the Institute on matters concerning registration, continuous assessment of the PhD candidate s study progress, as well as possible complaints Recommends the composition of doctoral examination committees to the Head of the Institute and the Academic Council Approves PhD courses Works with the development of study programmes and other activities of research education at Ilisimatusarfik and can submit proposals to the Rector and the Academic Council about new initiatives in research education Prepares suggestions for replies to hearings and for statements about overall questions concerning research education. PhD students cannot take part in discussions of personal matters. 3

4 The three PhD Boards will meet annually for the exchange of experiences and discussion of priciples and guidelines. The Chairs of the three boards agree mutually on the holding of the meetings. 3. Admission and Registration As a research milieu, Ilisimatusarfik is characterized by its focus on the study of linguistic, cultural (spiritual as well as material) as well as matters of learning, social affairs, and nursing/health sciences. A PhD student will be enrolled in one of the three Institutes of Ilisimatusarfik. Application for the admission to the PhD programme of Ilisimatusarfik is carried out by use of the special form which is available on the University homepage. The application shall be worked out in collaboration with the intended main supervisor. The application shall contain 1) a description of the project in which the problems and methods of the project are explained, 2) a proposal of a plan of research and study which meets the demands of the PhD Departmental Order 4, as well as a timetable. The description of the project including the study plan and the time table may not exceed 7 pages of 2,400 keystrokes each. Admission to the PhD programme is conditional on the following: That the applicant has completed a relevant graduate degree, a master s degree (120 ECTS points) or another graduation at a comparable level, or that the applicant in another way has obtained the necessary professional qualifications for completing a research education That the Head of the Institute certifies that the required resources are present so that the programme can be completed in a qualified way within 4

5 a time schedule comparable to three years of full-time study (180 ECTS points), cf. the Departmental Order 4 That the PhD Board can recommend an admission on basis of an assessment of the applicant s qualifications as well as a professional evaluation of the proposed thesis programme, the main supervisor s professional evaluation, and the statement of the University that the necessary resources are present. Provided that the above conditions are fulfilled, and after recommendation from the Academic Council, the Head of the Institute registers the applicant as a PhD student at Ilisimatusarfik. The registration is performed formally by issuing a study contract between the PhD student and Ilisimatusarfik. This document states: The Institute to which the candidate is affiliated The title of the PhD project The start and end dates of the PhD study period Names of the supervisors with specification of the main supervisor Schedule for the six-monthly evaluations The number of tasks (depending on the Institute, however at an extent comparable to half a year s work maximum (30 ECTS points)) Financial conditions, including other matters. 4. Supervision The PhD programme is completed under supervision. The PhD candidate is thus entitled to receive supervision and the supervisor is obliged to give such supervision. A minimum of two supervisors are assigned to each PhD student. The main supervisor shall be employed at or affiliated with Ilisimatusarfik at the 5

6 level of associate or full professor and be an active researcher within the field in question. The main supervisor is appointed by the Head of the Institute after recommendation from the PhD Board. As the chair of the group of supervisors, the main supervisor has the main responsibility for ensuring the student is on track to satisfying the requirements for completion of the study programme in accordance with the appointed plan. During the course of study, more supervisors can be attached to the project, just as change of supervisor can take place. Attachment of additional supervisors is approved by the Head of the Institute after recommendation from the main supervisor. Responsibility of the supervisor: The main supervisor is responsible for the preparation of the six-monthly evaluations of the project. However, all supervisors have a shared responsibility for the project and should among other things Be informed about current changes in the Departmental Order on the Degree of PhD and other regulations and guidelines for the PhD programme Render supervision regularly and read manuscripts in a timely manner Facilitate contact with other relevant national and international research milieus. The responsibility of the PhD candidate: It is the responsibility of the PhD student to keep the supervisors informed about the progress of the project, including All essential research results Drafts of abstracts, publications, and the PhD thesis External approaches, of relevance for the project. 6

7 5. The PhD Programme 5.1 The course part During the 3-year study period the PhD student shall complete courses to an extent comparable to 30 ECTS points. The courses, which must be of relevance in relation to the research plan, can also for example be summer schools, seminars, conferences, or the like. 5.2 Stays in other research environments It is recommended to let the study programme of the PhD student include a stay of one semester s length at an active research milieu outside Greenland. 5.3 Experience with teaching and scientific outreach The PhD student shall gain experience of teaching or other forms of scientific communication. The amount of teaching is determined at the level of the Institute but cannot surpass what is comparable to half a year s work (30 ECTS points), cf. 3. The teaching shall be within the field of the PhD project. During the period of study, the PhD student shall present a paper in at least two international conferences/workshops within the field of study. Other kinds of scientific communication may be assistance in editorial work or in the arranging of scientific conferences, seminars, or the like. The PhD student is obliged to participate in obligatory PhD seminars at Ilisimatusarfik. 6. The PhD Project 7

8 During the course of the PhD programme, the PhD student shall carry out and complete independent research under supervision (the PhD project). The PhD project shall form the basis for the PhD thesis. With registration the PhD student has received approval of a description of the project and an outline of a study and research plan. The description of the project must be revised continuously so that it can form the basis for the completion of the PhD project and the submission of a thesis at the end of the period of enrolment. The PhD student shall submit a final description of the project along with the first six-monthly evaluation. The final project description (7 pages maximum) must have been discussed with the supervisors and approved by the main supervisor. The purpose of the final description of the project is to create the highest possible clarity regarding the contents and completion of the project. The description should, therefore, include A clear and well reasoned formulation of the problem A statement of the research situation in the field and a delimitation or a profiling in relation to this An account of the main parts of the project and a realistic working plan (time schedule) in connection with this A statement of how a stay at another research institution (an international stay) would contribute to the contents and completion of the project. The final project description shall be approved by the Head of the Institute after recommendation from the PhD Board. 7. Completion of the PhD Programme 8

9 7.1 The six-monthly evaluation Every half year the supervisors must assess whether the research education of the PhD student is satifactory and in accordance with the PhD plan. At the evaluation, documented illness and maternity leave are taken into consideration. The initiative for the six-monthly evaluations lies with the main supervisor. The main supervisor contacts the PhD student concerning this about 1 month before the six-monthly evaluation. The evaluation report must be signed by the main supervisor and the PhD student and must be approved by the Head of the Institute after recommendation from the PhD Board. It is the responsibility of the main supervisor that the deadlines of the evaluations are kept and that the evaluation is forwarded to the PhD Board. In the event that the evaluation shows that the research education is not satisfactory, the PhD student shall be given the possibility, within a period of 3 months, of rectifying the situation. This possibility can only be allowed once. The supervisors will determine the task which the PhD student is to perform in this period. If the PhD student accepts the offer, there will, at the end of the test period, be an evaluation which must be finished within one month. This evaluation will not move or change the deadlines of the ordinary six-monthly evaluations. If the PhD student does not want to accept the offer of re-establishing the study, or if the evaluation after the test period is negative, the PhD Board recommends to the Head of the Institute that the study is terminated by the end of the month. The PhD student can require that the decision of the PhD Board is brought before the Academic Council for final ruling. 9

10 7.2 Duration The PhD study period is comparable to three years of full-time study work (180 ECTS points). The study period can, however, be spread over more years and can eventually be completed in a part-time capacity, but the total time of study must not exceed three years of full-time study. The study period is calculated from the date of registration. If the thesis has not been submitted by the end of the period of enrolment, the period of study can be extended on application. Application for extension of the study period is submitted along with a statement from the supervisor to the PhD Board which recommends to the Head of the Institute whether or not an extension should be admitted. During a period of extension of study the sixmonthly evaluations will continue. In the event that the PhD programme is discontinued, the Head of the Institute is notified. 7.3 Leave According to the existing agreement, PhD fellows are entitled to leave during pregnancy, childbirth, and illness. Leave regulated by law shall be reported to the Head of the Institute through the main supervisor. In addition, leave from the programme can be granted in special cases for a period of up to 1 year, divided into a maximum of two periods. Primarily, leave is granted if it is professionally relevant in relation to the project and will be able to improve this. Applications for leave, with a statement of the main supervisor enclosed, is forwarded to the PhD Board which recommends to the Head of the Institute whether leave should be granted. 8. The Thesis 10

11 The thesis shall substantiate the author s ability to employ the scientific methods of the field and to render a research contribution corresponding to the international standards of PhD degrees in the field. The thesis shall, in an independent way and by use of recognized theories and methods, deal with the texts, the materials, the field investigations or other data which form part of the description of the project. The materials shall be analyzed and interpreted methodically, and the secondary sources shall be interpreted and discussed in requisite measure. Materials from neighbouring fields and disciplines shall be dealt with with regard to the theories and methods of these fields. The thesis shall be written in Danish, Greenlandic, or English. If the thesis is submitted in Greenlandic, the PhD candidate shall, at the same time, submit a Danish or English translation of the text. The thesis shall include a summary in English and in either Danish or Greenlandic. In total, the double-language summary must be a maximum of 16 pages. The thesis can be submitted either as a narrative-style dissertation or as an article-based thesis, the various parts of which should be related in content and/or method and in which the results acquired during the PhD study are presented and possibly published. If the thesis consists of articles, an independently composed concluding summary is required, which includes: A brief general description of the present problem within the field of research comprised in the submitted works A presentation of the acquired results including an evaluation of the applied methods. If the articles have been written in collaboration with others, statements from the other authors about the PhD candidate s share in the work must be enclosed. The thesis shall be accompanied by a summary of the acquired scientific results. 11

12 If the thesis includes materials from extended essays, prize essays, or other dissertations which already have provided a basis for academic degrees, the author shall give an account of how the submitted thesis differs from the formerly assessed works. A thesis cannot be submitted by more persons jointly. The deadline for submission of a thesis is the date of the expiration of the period of enrolment. Five copies of thesis shall be submitted to the University administration including: A statement from the main supervisor confirming that the course of study has been satisfactory and that the requirements of the Departmental Order have been satisfied regarding participation in courses, scientific communication, and stays in other research milieus A statement from the PhD candidate declaring the originality of the thesis in its present form and that it has not been assessed earlier. 8.1 The final advisor statement At the same time of the submission of the thesis to the University administration for the examination, the main supervisor submits a statement about the entire course of the PhD study. The statement shall include an evaluation report about the course which concludes with a declaration of whether the main supervisor can approve the course. Attached to the main supervisor s statement shall be a survey of the activities included in the PhD programme. The survey of acitivities is prepared by the PhD student and is signed by the main supervisor. The thesis can only be taken under examination if the PhD programme as a whole has been completed satisfactorily. 12

13 If the main supervior in the statement recommends that the PhD programme has not been completed satisfactorily, the author shall be given the possibility of commenting on the main supervisor s statement within at least a two week period. On the basis of the main supervisor s statement, the PhD Board assesses the possible remarks of the PhD student and the submitted six-monthly evaluations whether the PhD programme as a whole has been completed satisfactorily. 8.2 Submission of a thesis without previous registration as a PhD student A thesis can be submitted for examination for the degree of PhD even if the author has not, or only for a short time, been enrolled as a PhD student. In this event the author must have acquired in another way qualifications comparable with the requirements in the Departmental Order 2 and 4. The application, including the author s account of the acquired qualifications as well as a copy of the dissertation, is submitted to the Rector. The Rector obtains from the PhD Board a recommendation about whether the dissertation should be taken under examination. If the recommendation of the PhD Board is affirmative, the Board proposes at the same time the composition of a doctoral examination committee. In other respects, the same rules and procedures are followed as for theses submitted after a PhD study course. Persons who have not been enrolled as PhD students at Ilisimatusarfik and who submit a dissertation for examination according to the Departmental Order 5, shall pay a fee to cover the expenses in connection with examination and defence. The fee can be paid either by teaching 30 lessons or by paying 30,000 Danish Crowns (at 2010 prices, the fee is regulated according to the level of prices). 13

14 9. Examination of the thesis 9.1 Appointment of the doctoral examination committee For the assessment of the thesis, a committee is appointed consisting of three members who shall be full professors, associate professors, and others with similar qualifications. At least two of the members should be external to Ilisimatusarfik. Supervisors cannot be members of the committee. The main supervisor participates in a non-voting capacity in the committee s work. If there is a local member of the committee, this person is normally appointed the chair of the committee. The PhD Board submits a proposal of the examination committee which is approved by the Academic Council or by the Rector by concrete order from the Academic Council. The PhD candidate shall be given an opportunity to raise objections to the composition of the committee within a period of at least eight weekdays. Possible objections are dealt with by the Academic Council. 9.2 The preliminary assessment of the thesis No later than two months after the submission of the thesis, the examination committee submits a recommendation whether the thesis is suitable as the background for conferring the degree of PhD. A copy of the recommendation is forwarded as soon as possible to the author. The recommendation of the committee must be substantiated and end in one of the following conclusions: 14

15 The thesis is suitable for a public defence in its present form The thesis is not suitable for a defence in its present form, but it is the evaluation of the committee that the thesis after a revision can be accepted for a public defence. In its recommendation the committee shall mention a deadline for the submission of the revised edition of the thesis. The author and the main supervisor shall have an opportunity, within a deadline of at least two weeks, to comment on the recommendation The thesis is not suitable for a public defence in its submitted form and is not assessed to be able of being improved within a reasonable time. The author and the main supervisor shall have an opportunity, within a deadline of at least two weeks, to comment on the recommendation. If the thesis according to the recommendation is suitable for defence, the defence can take place. If the thesis according to the recommendation is not suitable, the Academic Council will, on basis of the recommenadation of the committee as well as the possible comments from the author and the main supervisor, make one of the following decisions: That the defence cannot take place That the thesis can be submitted in a revised form with a deadline of at least three months. If the thesis is submitted again it will be assessed by the formerly appointed examination committee unless exceptional circumstances exist. The chair of the committee can, to a limited extent, permit changes of the thesis before the oral defence which, however, cannot be delayed for this reason. The permission is given through Rector. 15

16 9.3 The defence In concert with the examination committee and the PhD candidate the Head of the Institute appoints time and place for the public defence. The University makes public the time of the defence by announcement on its electronic homepage and by advertising in one of the national newspapers. The defence of a thesis shall take place as far as possible no later than 16 weeks after the submission of the thesis. All members of the examination committee shall be present in person at the oral defence unless compelling circumstances make this impossible. The defence act is presided by the Head of the Institute or by another faculty member assigned by the Head, and the duration of this must not exceed three hours including a break in the middle of the act. After an introduction by the presider of the defence, the PhD candidate is given the opportunity to expound his or her work. Hereafter, the PhD candidate must let himself/herself be examined. This examination shall have the character of a critical dialogue between the doctoral examination committee and the PhD candidate. The members of the committee arrange by themselves the order of their contributions, however, the chair of the committee will normally be the last speaker. The presider of the defence act can allow others than the members of the examination committee an opportunity to make contributions to the defence act. Immediately after the closing of the defence, the examination committee will stand aside in order to assess whether the defence has been satisfactory. After this assessment the chair of the examination committee announces whether or not the committee intends to recommend that the PhD degree be conferred. Hereafter, the presider of the defence concludes the act of defence. 16

17 10. Conferment of the degree of PhD No later than a week after the act of defence the examination committee submits a joint recommendation whether the thesis and the defence of it satisfy the requirements for the conferment of the degree of PhD (cf. the Departmental Order 2.1). The recommendation shall include: A description of the thesis with a summary of its main points and an assessment of its methods and results An account of the oral defence, including the problems which were pointed out at the defence and the PhD candidate s defence of them. The main emphasis in the recommendation of the examination committee shall be on the description and the evaluation of the thesis. If the committee is not in agreement on submitting an affirmative recommendation, the preliminary work of the committee will be sent through the Head of the Institute to the author who shall have an opportunity to comment on the recommendation within a deadline of two weeks. Hereafter a final recommendation is submitted to the Academic Council. The Academic Council confers the degree of PhD if there is an affirmative recommendation from a unanimous committee or from two of the members, and if two thirds of the members of the Academic Council choose to follow this recommendation. The degree of PhD cannot be conferred if the final recommendation of the committee is unanimously negative. PhD students who are not conferred the degree can by request receive a certificate in Greenlandic, Danish, and English for the parts the PhD programme which have been completed satisfactorily. 17

18 11. Publication The Head of the Institute is responsible for making the thesis publicly available for interested persons at least two months before the defence. As a minimum two copies shall be available at the University. Unless quite special conditions might prevent an ordinary publication of the thesis, the Head of the Institute, after the conferment of the degree, arranges that copies of the thesis are delivered to: The University Library The National Library in Nuuk Relevant national and international research libraries. 12. Diploma A diploma for the conferment of the degree of PhD will be issued. The diploma will be composed in Greenlandic, Danish, and English and signed by the Rector and the Head of the Institute. 13. Appeals Complaints about supervision and the decisions made concerning the PhD programme are submitted to the Rector who, after having obtained statements from the Head of the Institute and the PhD Board, determines the case. The plaintiff can appeal the Rector s decision to the Academic Council. Complaints concerning the Departmental Order on the Degree of PhD 6.2, 12 or concerning juridical questions can be submitted to the Govermental Department for Research and Education (cf. the Departmental Order 13). 18

19 14. The coming into force of the guidelines and transitional rules These rules are in force from November 22,

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