PhD Plan and Pre Defense

the phd plan

The PhD plan is a crucial step in any PhD study and its importance must not be overlooked. The plan is created in collaboration with the PhD student and the PhD supervisor. It must be uploaded through PhD manager no later than 2 months after the enrollment date. 

The template for the PhD plan contains additional information regarding the scope and the content required in the PhD plan. It is imperative that the plan follows the template. Find it here.

The Updated Phd plan

The updated PhD plan must ensure a feasible and realistic research approach in line with fulfilment of general rules such as course portfolio and external collaboration. Typically the PhD student uses many resources on the updated PhD plan. However, some PhD projects still lack adequate research strategy planning of the remaining two years. In addition, many updated study plans are delayed making corrections of research strategies difficult. The pre-defence initiative intends to improve the outcome of the updated PhD plans and hopefully also the final achievement of the PhD degree.

The PhD student must prepare the updated PhD plan for approval by the supervisor(s) no later than 11 months after enrolment. Apply the same template as for the initial PhD plan.

Before the deadline for the updated study plan (11 months after enrolment), it should be presented (pre-defence) at a suitable meeting in the various research groups (e.g. internal research meetings). The form is a 20 min presentation followed by 20 min discussion. If it is not possible to present the PhD plan at a suitable scientific forum due to logistics, the supervisor must organize a meeting where the presentation and discussion can take place.

The supervisor appoints an internal opponent (eligible as PhD supervisor, but not directly involved in the project) with expertise within the field. The intention is not to invite externals.Based on the presentation and the written study plan, the opponent should challenge the PhD plan with focus on scientific content, feasibility, novelty, flow of studies, etc. Questions and comments from the participants of the meeting are also encouraged. If required, the updated study plan is revised accordingly.

A short written evaluation (5-10 lines) is prepared by the opponent and must accompany the updated PhD plan in one file when it is submitted for approval to the head of the doctoral programme. A positive recommendation is a prerequisite for further processing. In case revisions are requested the PhD student also submit a cover letter describing the revisions done based on the suggestions from the opponent.

ony one file ca be uploaded for each phd plan.

If you have questions in relation to the upload process contact Maria Bredvig.

Contact Information


Niels Jernes Vej 10, 1st floor

9220 Aalborg East

Phone: +45 9940 9638