PhD mobility

As a PhD student at USN, you have the opportunity to take part of your PhD abroad with one of our international partners. The period abroad must be of professional relevance, and ideally, you should use the network with which your research group has an established cooperation.

International mobility will often require some extra work, and it will not always be easy to find the appropriate time. Still, it will afford perspectives, networks and experiences you do not obtain at home, and of course increased language skills. Additionally, you will be able to add new impulses to the academic environment at USN. A research stay abroad will primarily help establish and further develop international research cooperation, and it will give new impetus to the work of the dissertation. It is therefore important that the visiting institution and the current research community are chosen carefully, and in cooperation with the supervisor. Currently, USN are developing good exchange arrangements with relevant agreements for the PhD programs at all faculties.

Some of USN's PhD students choose to go to institutions the university does not have an agreement with. If you choose to do so, you are responsible for all the preparation of the stay. The program administrator for your PhD program must approve it.

Who does what?


  • The supervisor and/or research groups have good international networks that the PhD candidates should make use of. They should also be able to convey direct contact with relevant professionals or academic environments. The contact concerning the mobility should take place between professors at the institutions, but the Section for Internationalization will help in the formalization of if needed.

  • If the PhD candidate has chosen an institution USN has no agreement with, it is the PhD candidate who must make the contact, with the support of his/her supervisor.

  • The PhD coordinator must be kept up-to-date on the process, and know the purpose and time perspective of the stay abroad. The coordinator is responsible for updating the Educational Plan. A Learning Agreement must signed, which will clarify the academic arrangement of the stay.


Tax exemption for stays in the United States

  • You are invited to conduct research and / or teaching by a university or other recognized educational institution

  • The invitation must be real and have a official quality

  • It must be stated that the invitation entails certain obligations of the host institution and that it contains a specification fo the research and/or teaching areas the PhD student will work on

  • Visa if applicable 

  • Insurance

  • Norwegian PhD fellows in the United States can be granted up to 2 years tax exemption. The exemption may be granted under the following conditions:

    It is a prerequisite that it is research and / or teaching at a certain level. In this connection, PhD fellow students have generally been accepted as researchers.

    For more information, click here. 

    Checklist for a stay abroad

    Besides the academic program, you will need to fix the most important things ahead:

    USN has a checklist for the practical things that will need to be sorted before the mobility, you can find it here.

    As a PhD student, you may need special arrangements regarding practical preparation, such as housing, possibly kindergarten and/or school arrangements if traveling with family. Some of USN's partners will have an infrastructure to take care of this, but the vast majority are based on international students and research candidates arranging this privately. However, most people will have a contact at the institution who can support you in the process.

    International Relations Section can assist you in finding the right contact person at the host institution.

    If you are traveling for a shorter period (less than 3 months), it is likely that the host universities do not have housing available in many cases and you will have to arrange housing privately.