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Guidelines for conducting digital public defences at OsloMet when coronavirus measures prevent physical presence

The guidelines were approved by the Vice Rector on 31 March 2020 and apply from the same date. The guidelines shall be regarded as recommendations if the faculty/centre has already established its own guidelines for the purpose described in this document.

Instructions on how the coronavirus outbreak shall be handled change from day to day. Stay posted for up-to-date information from OsloMet.

The faculty/centre represented by the dean/head of centre decides, based on an overall assessment, whether trial lectures and public defences shall be conducted or postponed. It is not a requirement for trial lectures to be public, while a PhD thesis must be defended in public in order to be valid. This requirement cannot be waived, but a description of how the requirement can be met in the current situation is provided below under ‘Requirement for public defence’.

Fully digital public defence

  • A fully digital public defence can be conducted if physical presence is impossible due to the corona situation. The dean/head of centre decides whether the public defence shall be conducted digitally or physically on OsloMet’s premises. The faculty/centre shall organise and make arrangements for the public defence.
  • The number of people physically present at a public defence on OsloMet’s premises shall be limited to an absolute minimum. If you have any questions, please contact the Fire and Security Manager. The faculty/centre organises the presence of necessary administrative and technical personnel.
  • If a room at OsloMet shall be used for the public defence, the Auditorium Support service must be notified of the time and place of the public defence at least seven working days in advance, to leave time for necessary preparations and testing.
  • The following rooms are available for trial lectures and public defences: PA 329, P46.

Digital platforms:

  • The faculties decide which technical conference solution to use.
  • Various solutions are suitable for this purpose, for example Zoom, Skype and Teams. To ensure that the most appropriate technical conference solution is chosen, the faculties/centres should contact Auditoriehjelpen.
  • If the need for technical assistance arises during the public defence, please contact Auditoriehjelpen.

Participation and presentations:

  • The PhD candidate, the defence chair and the other three members of the assessment committee must participate in the trial lecture and public defence.
  • If OsloMet’s internal member is unable to participate, the faculty/centre must appoint a replacement member (a new internal member) to the assessment committee. If one of the external members of the committee is unable to participate, OsloMet’s internal member will serve as his/her deputy and fill the role of opponent.
  • It must be possible to share digital presentations with all participants and the audience. The same applies to the final, approved PDF version of the thesis.

Requirement for public defence:

  • The requirement that the defence must be public can be met by giving the public access to the defence via the digital platform.
  • It must be possible for the audience to ask questions (ex-auditorio) via the digital platform or by email.
  • For capacity reasons, it may be necessary to limit the number of participants in the digital space where the public defence is conducted. To reduce the risk of technical problems, please contact and follow the advice of Auditoriehjelpen.

The public defence announcement must contain the following information:

  • Information about restrictions and limitations on physical participants during the public defence, as a consequence of the coronavirus epidemic.
  • Information about digital access to the (trial lecture and) public defence, including the digital platform that will be used.
  • How the thesis will be made available. Reference is made to the requirements set out in OsloMet’s PhD regulations relating to the publication of the thesis. This can be done, for example, by sending the PDF version of the approved thesis by email or by sharing the document via Office365 OneDrive with registered participants.
  • How to oppose ex auditorio.
  • Who can answer questions before the (trial lecture and) public defence.

The public defence must be postponed if one of the following occurs:

  • The PhD candidate is unable to attend.
  • OsloMet’s internal member/replacement member on the committee is unable to participate.
  • One of the external committee members (or the internal member filling the role of opponent) is unable to participate in the public defence.
  • If technical problems or other problems arise (in consultation with the user support service).