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Chronology of the PhD Study

Chronology of the PhD Study

The following information describes a standard phd process following enrollment as a PhD student.

PhD plan

No later than 2 months after the date of enrollment the student must upload the PhD plan. The PhD plan is prepared by the PhD student in co-operation with the main supervisor. This provisional outline of the PhD program must satisfy the requirements of the general program for the particular field of research in which the applicant wishes to participate. It is a precondition that research in the chosen area takes place within the Faculty. The PhD study plan must follow the template found here.


Before submitting an updated PhD study plan (see below) you must participate in a pre-defense where you present your work. An opponent will be appointed and you must include the opponent's comments when you submit the updated PhD study plan to the Head of the Doctoral Program.
Preparation of an updated PhD plan
11 months after enrollment and updated PhD plan must be uploaded for approval. The following elements must be included in the updated plan:
Co-operation with an external research environment.
Communication of scientific knowledge, e.g. in the form of teaching and presentation of one's own results at international conferences or in a periodical.
Presentation of the academic research project that forms the basis for the thesis.
Course activities equivalent to one half of an academic year. This is converted by the Faculty to 30 ECTS credits.

Updated PhD Plan (11 months)

The updated PhD plan must comprise a description of the academic progress and a precise indication of the undertakings during the remainder of the program.

Evaluation of the PhD study program

According to the Ministerial Order, the Doctoral School must ensure that the PhD student is making progress according to the approved PhD plan. This requirement is met by the six months evaluation. The evaluation is conducted by means of the principal supervisor and the PhD student by submitting a declaration to the Doctoral School stating that the performance of the PhD student is satisfactory and that the program is expected to be completed within the scheduled three years.
If the performance during a study program is not satisfactory, this must be declared to the Doctoral School. This declaration must be accompanied by an explanatory statement. Together with the principal supervisor, the PhD student prepares a detailed plan of action in order to ensure that her/his performance becomes satisfactory after a 3-month period. Subsequently, it is the duty of the principal supervisor to judge whether the performance progress has been re-established. If the PhD student does not accept the offer or is unable to recover lost ground, the registration of the student will be cancelled at the end of the 3-month period.

Completion of the PhD study program

The PhD program is completed with the preparation of a PhD thesis. The thesis is submitted, in VBN, it must be publicly presented and defended. The thesis and its defense must be evaluated by an assessment committee.
Before the appointment of the assessment committee, the principal supervisor must fill out a declaration that all other components of the program have been successfully completed. A detailed description of the procedure for the finalizing of the PhD program is available in The Doctoral School's Rules.
The assessment committee is appointed by the Dean upon endorsement from the PhD Board and consists of 3 members, of which 2 must be extramural. Supervisors do not participate in the assessment committee with voting rights, but the principal supervisor should nevertheless always participate in the committee's evaluation. The assessment committee performs its recommendation in two stages. Prior to the assessment committee deciding on the date for the public defense, it must have formed an opinion as to whether the thesis qualifies as suitable for defense. Should the assessment committee view the thesis negatively, the assessment committee shall state in the recommendation whether the PhD thesis may be resubmitted in a revised version. After the defense of the thesis, the assessment committee sends a general evaluation of the thesis and its defense to the Doctoral School as well as a recommendation as to whether the degree should be awarded or not.

After the Academic Council has awarded the PhD degree, the secretariat will prepare a PhD diploma in Danish and English. The diploma will contain a description of the program, the title of the thesis, the composition of the assessment committee and other relevant information.
A figure illustrating the process can be downloaded here.

Contact Information

E-mail: aauphd@adm.aau.dk

Niels Jernes Vej 10, 1st floor

9220 Aalborg East

Phone: +45 9940 9638