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Rules for the approval of opponents for doctoral defenses

Rules for the approval of opponents for doctoral defenses - Available at University of Iceland
  • Opponents (i.e. external examiners) must be recognised experts in the subject of the doctoral thesis. They must have published material related to the student’s project in an outlet that makes rigorous academic demands. They must also be capable of participating in scientific debates on the topics of the doctoral research.

  • Opponents must have a doctorate or equivalent. Professorial competence may stand in lieu of a doctorate.

  • Opponents must not have been members of the doctoral committee for the project in question and must not belong to the same research team.

  • When possible, one opponent shall be a specialist or member of teaching staff at another university or research institute.

  • Opponents must not have professional connections to the doctoral student, supervisor or doctoral committee that could call the opponent’s appropriateness into question. The standard guideline is that opponents must not have published a scholarly article with the supervisor or members of the doctoral committee in the previous five years. In addition, working in the same faculty as the supervisor is generally considered too close a relationship.

  • If a nominated opponent works at the same university as the doctoral student or has other connections to the student, supervisor or doctoral committee (e.g. has collaborated or co-authored a scientific article with them), these connections must be disclosed. A reasoned argument must be presented for the choice of nominated opponent as well as the reasons that the aforementioned connections do not disqualify the opponent. The board of the Graduate School shall evaluate whether there is any doubt over the eligibility of the opponents and request new nominations if this is the case.

  • Other connections that may disqualify opponents are outlined in the Administrative Procedures Act no. 37/1993.

  • The administrative supervisor submits a request to appoint an opponent through the PhD Portal. The Faculty standing committee nominates the opponents that fulfill the abovementioned requirements.

The Graduate School shall answer the request within two weeks of receipt.