Last week, the Institute had a dialogue meeting with the medical faculty about the research education at the institute. It turns out that there is a minority of fellows who complete their doctorate within 4 years (36%), while a little more than half complete within 6 years (55%). K2 is thus below the average at the medical faculty, which is 65% (by the way, the target number of the Ministry of Education and Research is 80%). No one can say a lot about the reasons or what is more important, to finish the thesis within a given time frame or to deliver a work of good quality. But we do see that there are some fellows who struggle to finish their PhD.
It is always difficult to predict the results of experiments or clinical trials, but it is possible to make life at the end of the PhD period considerably less stressful if you start planning mandatory courses and dissemination points well in time. For example, MEDMET1 (Basic Course in Medical and Health Related Research) is one of the courses that is compulsory for all PhD fellows at the Faculty of Medicine, and it should be taken at the very beginning of the doctoral thesis to have some benefit. For those unfamiliar with MEDMET1, the purpose of the course is to provide an overview of the various stages of the research process including formulating a research question to be addressed, data collection, analysis methods, written and oral presentation of research data as well as research ethics. The course is given every semester. K2 also offers 8 different researcher courses under the umbrella of the two research schools at K2 (Research School in Clinical Medicine and Bergen Research School in Inflammation). Also the mid-term evaluation is compulsory and can be a good control checkpoint if one is on track with the project, and a possibility to ask for help. And remember that one can always contact Irene Hjelmås or me if there is anything one needs help with.
Last deadline for submitting your thesis before summer is set to 21.6., after that, the institute cannot guarantee that everyone who needs to sign anything is in place.
Lastly, I just want to mention that there will be a K2 PhD retreat also this year which I strongly recommend to participate in, not only to get to know your fellow PhD candidates, but not least for the feeling of not standing in everything alone, so stay tuned for more information!
I wish everyone a happy May 17!