Thesis Proposal Defence



Thesis Proposal Defence

​The purpose of the Thesis Proposal Defense is to let the Thesis Proposal Committee jointly judge whether the candidate is on a promising track, or whether a major shift is required.

The Thesis Proposal Defense normally takes place after the coursework is completed and approximately one year before the final defence. It is the supervisor who contacts the Doctoral Administration to arrange a time and date for the Thesis Proposal Defence. The Department will send a suggestion for a Thesis Proposal Committee to be approved by the Doctoral Committee (UUV-D).

Once the PhD candidate has a Thesis Proposal Committee approved and has found a suitable research topic to pursue for the dissertation, the candidate is required to write a formal dissertation proposal. The proposal is sent to the Doctoral Adminstration which will send this to the Committee one month before the announced Thesis Proposal Defence.

Information about the Thesis Proposal Defence will be sent to the Department about one week prior to the event.

The proposal should be a document of 20 to 30 pages (plus references) in length and should detail:


1) the research idea;

2) the aim or motivation for researching the topic;

3) related research and how the proposed research fits into the current literature;

4) the proposed methodology;

5) the sources for data collection (when relevant);

6) expected results or contributions to new knowledge in the field.


The proposal should use Times New Roman, 12 point with 1,5 line spacing

The proposal must be publicly defended by the PhD candidate and approved by the candidate's Thesis Proposal Committee.

This must occur prior to the candidate's final dissertation defence.

The Thesis Proposal Committee consists of the supervisor , one external and one internal member. The thesis proposal is a public document and can be obtained by contacting the PhD candidate directly.


Format of Thesis Proposal Defense

1. Brief introduction by the supervisor

2. Candidate presents proposal, maximum 45 minutes

3. Short break, 10 minutes

4. Questions from committee/candidate answers:
- external member: 10-15 minutes
- internal member; 5-10 minutes
- supervisor: 5-10 minutes

5. Questions from audience: 20-30 minutes
 Candidate and audience leave the room. Committee decides.

6. The candidate is informed of the decision
Entire Thesis Proposal Defence: Approximately 2 hours

7. Signed documents from the Committee are handed to the Doctoral Administration

In the cases where the Proposal Defence is not approved, the committee hands in a short report stating the reasons for not approving the proposal and setting a tentative date for a new hand-in. The committee must also state whether the PhD Candidate also needs to orally defend the new hand-in of the proposal, or if it is sufficient with a new written hand-in only. The committee reviews the new hand-in once it has been received. 

The supervisor informs the Head of Department and the Dean of the doctoral programme about the Committee's decision.

Please see the PhD regulations § 5.2.5 Pre-doctoral defence for further information.

Last Modified: 14/06/2016 19:13