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Recommended guidelines for midway evaluations

The PhD programme in Educational Sciences for Teacher Education.

Candidates taking the PhD programme in Educational Sciences for Teacher Education are to be evaluated halfway through the funding period. The midway evaluation is compulsory. The time frame during which the midway evaluation should take place, is indicated below. This will vary between PhD candidates depending on the extent of any required duties.

It is recommended that the midway evaluation takes place in the following time frame:

  • Three-year PhD programme: Between third and fourth semester
  • Four-year PhD programme: Between fourth and sixth semester
  • PhD programme over six years, including 50 % R%D time: Between sixth and seventh semester

The midway evaluation comprises an academic assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to allow PhD candidates to present and evaluate the progress oftheir own projects, and provide an opportunity for PhD candidates to raise issues of importance for supervision and future progress. An external researcher (opponent) will be appointed, and constitute a panel together with the supervisors, and the head of the PhD programme.

Preparatory work

The PhD candidate submits his/her prepared material (see below) and midway status to the external researcher (opponent) who will be assessing the work. The material must be submitted four weeks before the midway evaluation with a copy to the supervisors, head of the PhD programme, and the administrative coordinator. In addition, the PhD candidate may choose to write a separate memo explaining what she/he needs particular feedback on.

  • Candidates writing an article-based thesis are expected to present an outline of 1–2 articles, and an outline of the methodology chapter in the introductory chapter. The main research question and the research design must be clearly described in the text submitted.
  • Candidates writing a monograph are expected to present a text (approx. 100 pages). This may be a draft of partial or entire chapters that present theory, previous research, methodology, etc. The main research question and the research design must be clearly described in the text submitted.

Technical considerations

In some cases, the midway evaluation must be held as a video conference. The administrative coordinator must be notified of this as soon as possible so that a room with the suitable equipment can be booked in time. If no notification is sent to the administrative coordinator, an ordinary classroom with access to a laptop and projector will be booked.

Seminar

The midway evaluation takes the form of a seminar, with a duration of approx. two hours. The PhD candidate, the external researcher (opponent), the supervisor, and the head of the PhD programme all participate in the seminar. The head of studies with personnel responsibility for the candidate will also be invited to attend. The candidate chooses whether or not the other PhD candidates in the programme are to be invited to the seminar. If other PhD candidates are invited, they attend as audience. The seminar will primarily consist of a dialogue between the PhD candidate and the opponent. The supervisor may participate in the dialogue as he/she pleases. The head of the PhD programme chairs the seminar. The opponent is requested to write a summary/list of points of a maximum of one page –or alternatively a presentation –that is handed out to the PhD candidate.

  1. The PhD candidate should begin the seminar with a short presentation, including any questions to the opponent regarding the project. The candidate should first explain how far he/she has come in the writing process, which challenges and issues he/she faces, etc. The candidate should also state the courses he/she has taken, and, if applicable, which courses in the researcher training component are yet to be completed. (Max. 15 minutes)
  2. The opponent then presents his/her assessment. The opponent makes a prepared critical, but constructive opposition, beginning with a general assessment of the textual material the candidate has presented, and continuing with a section where the candidate answers the opponent’s questions.
  3. The midway evaluation ends in an oral assessment, which should advice the candidate on how he/she should structure the remaining work on the thesis. The candidate must be provided feedback on his/her progress in relation to the programme.
  4. The supervisor follows up the feedback in cooperation with the candidate after the midway evaluation is completed.

Practical information

  • The opponent is paid for 20 hours in accordance with his/her pay grade.
  • The PhD programme pays for one day of travel for opponents (within a reasonable distance: the Nordic countries/Europe).
  • Supervisors are responsible for initiating informal contact following the approval of the head of the PhD programme. The PhD programme then makes contact to formalise the arrangements.
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