Applying to the PhD programme with external funding

If you have funding and are affiliated to a relevant research community, you can apply for admission to the PhD programme with external funding.

What is external funding?

You can apply for admission to the programme if your PhD period of study is funded by another institution or enterprise. Admission to the PhD programme requires funding for the entire period. You must be affiliated with an active research community. External funding can be:

  • a doctoral research fellowship at a university college/other university,
  • other employment at an academic institution with time available for your own research
  • other source of funding

There is no tuition fee for PhD candidates at the Faculty of Theology, but funding must cover all living expenses for stays in Norway throughout the PhD period. The external funding must cover the necessary running expenses for the candidate and the costs of any research trips. Admission with external funding means that candidates can participate in research activities on the PhD programme and will be supervised by someone at the Faculty of Theology. You will also have access to the Faculty’s library resources. You will not receive financial support from the Faculty, and you will not receive office space.

The normal period of admission is up to 6 years, with a 3-year net organized research training period.

Application deadlines

There are two deadlines a year for applying for admission with external funding:

  • 15 April
  • 15 October

Applications that arrive after these dates will not be considered.

How do you apply for admission with external funding?

Four copies of your application for admission to the PhD programme with external funding should be sent to the Faculty within one of the aforementioned deadlines. An application must consist of:

  • completed application form
  • project description
  • CV, including a list of any publications
  • certified copies of relevant certificates and diplomas
  • documentation of funding

Project description

The project description shall be a maximum of 10 A4 pages, and shall demonstrate that the candidate has studied the academic literature in the field and is familiar with the key issues. Read more about the requirements in our template for project descriptions.

Application criteria

For admission to the PhD programme, a cand.theol. or a Master's degree is normally required from one of the study programmes at the Faculty of Theology, or an equivalent qualification. The degree must have been awarded before the date of application.

It is essential that the candidate has gained sufficient basic knowledge and skills in their previous studies to be able to carry out the relevant project. The relationship between the first degree, the project, the faculty's research portfolio and its capacity for supervision will be a determining factor in the faculty’s assessment of Applications.

Before applying, you should familiarize yourself with the following documents:


Successful applicants without a formal affiliation with and approval from a supervisor will be allocated a supervisor by the faculty. Admission to the programme is conditional on the faculty having the supervisory competence and capacity in the field your thesis relates to. Supervisors are normally faculty employees.

Read more about supervision

PhD programme

Successful doctoral research fellow applicants will automatically be admitted to the faculty’s PhD programme. The PhD programme comprises organized research training within the Faculty of Theology’s field of research. The programme is open to interdisciplinary projects based on one or more of the subjects covered in the programme.

Read more about the faculty’s PhD programme

How are applications assessed?

The PhD Coordinator will assess applications for admission from candidates with external funding with one or two other experts. The PhD Coordinator will consult the Dean of Studies  in relation to the capacity for supervision.

Applications are assessed in line with the following criteria:

  • Project quality: the academic quality of the project, relevance and innovation with regard to research, relevance for the academic environment at the Faculty of Theology and feasibility within the framework of the PhD programme and doctoral research fellowship.
  • Suitability: the applicant’s academic background, grades and completion skills.

The expert committee's report is confidential and no part of it is sent to the applicants. The individual applicant may, however, contact the faculty and ask for a copy of the assessment of their application. 

The application process can take up to 2 months.

What happens if I am accepted?

You will receive a letter of admission to the PhD programme as soon as the decision is made. Admission to the programme is formalized through the PhD contract, which is a written agreement that regulates the parties' rights and obligations during the admission period. It is signed by the PhD candidate, the supervisor and the faculty. A separate agreement is entered into between the faculty and the external employer, where relevant.


Published Apr. 22, 2015 8:22 AM - Last modified Dec. 21, 2020 10:41 AM