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Graduate School management and committees

This page has information on the management of the Graduate School of Natural Sciences (GSNS). The management has overall responsibility for the graduate school and the education of PhD students within the school’s research fields.

The organisation of the Graduate School committees is listed below, along with information on among other things election/appointment procedures, committee responsibilities and committee members. 


The GSNS Head of Graduate School is the overall responsible for the organisation of PhD studies at GSNS within the legal framework laid down by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Ministerial Order no. 1039 of 27 august 2013) and the GSNS Rules and Regulations.

The Head of Graduate School consults with the PhD committee and the Programme Chairs on the GSNS PhD education.

Head of School responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the admission of PhD students.
  • Responsible for regular quality assurance evaluations of the Graduate School.
  • Responsible for the individual PhD study programmes.
  • Makes recommendations to the dean regarding the appraisal of the PhD programmes and supervises the implementation of suggested changes.
  • Appoints the PhD supervisors.
  • Appoints chairs and members of the programme committees.
  • Reports to the dean on all matters of significance for the PhD students, such as fellowships and scholarships awarded, paid employment, examinations, etc.
  • Reviews complaints concerning PhD study matters.

PhD Administration

GSNS is administered by the PhD Administration at Health, Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences, which is an integrated part of Administrative Centre Health.

The PhD Administration is responsible for administration of PhD programmes at GSNS and provides services related to among other things:

  • Application procedures
  • Enrolment and employment
  • Study permits for international PhD students
  • Information events
  • Study-related and employment-related counselling
  • Evaluations
  • Transferable skills courses
  • Qualifying examinations
  • Defence of PhD theses
  • Issuing PhD certificates
  • Extensions, leaves, maternity/paternity/sick leave, etc.

PhD Partners:
Each programme has its own PhD Partner, who is contact person in the administration for both PhD students and supervisors. Please don’t hesitate to contact your PhD partner, if you have any questions or experience any problems in connection with the PhD studies. You will find your PhD partner's contact information on your PhD programme page or on the contact page.

The GSNS admissions committee

Appointment procedures of admission committee members:
The GSNS admissions committee consists of the Head of Graduate School and eight top researchers. All researchers are appointed by the Dean (after consultations between the Head of Graduate School and the relevant Departments/Centres) and have a broad knowledge of natural sciences. As a rule, members are appointed for a 4-year period and can be re-appointed.

Admission committee responsibilities:
After each GSNS application round – and based on input from the programme committees (see further below) – the admissions committee prepares a list of applicants recommended for admission to the GSNS PhD studies and for those receiving partial funding by the GSNS. This list is forwarded to the Dean for approval with respect to the amount of funding from the Faculty of Natural Sciences. 

Current members:

The GSNS PhD committee

Agendas and minutes:

Agendas and minutes from PhD committee meetings can be found here

Rules of procedure:

The GSNS PhD committee is subject to the Rules of procedure for the PhD committee at the Faculty of Natural Sciences.

Rules of procedure for the PhD committee (English version)

Rules of procedure for the PhD committee (Danish version)

The PhD committee:

  1. Approves PhD courses*
  2. Discusses matters related to PhD studies in general and forwards recommendations to the dean via the head of graduate school
  3. Advises the head of graduate school in matters pertaining to supervision and appraisal of PhD studies
  4. Advises rector about the composition of assessment committees
  5. Reviews applications for credit transfers and requests for exemptions

* In matters regarding transferable skills courses for PhD students, the GSNS PhD Course Committee functions as an advisory committee to the GSNS PhD Committee. The GSNS’ representatives in the Course Committee must be members of the GSNS PhD Committee and are appointed by the GSNS PhD Committee.

To increase involvement, it was decided in 2023 to change the areas of representation structure from 2024. Thus, in the current PhD committee, four members of the GSNS PhD committee have been elected from among the permanent academic staff, and eight members from among the PhD students. If there is no elected member for an area of representation, an observer (with no voting rights) has been sought appointed.

PhD student description of the GSNS PhD committee work

Areas of representation:
Areas of representation for the permanent academic staff members of the PhD committee:

  • Molecular Biology and Genetics, and Biology
  • Chemistry and Nanoscience
  • Physics and Astronomy, and Geoscience
  • Computer Science and Mathematics

Areas of representation for the PhD student members of the PhD committee:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Geoscience
  • Mathematics
  • Molecular Biology and Genetics
  • Nanoscience
  • Physics and Astronomy

Current members, substitutes and observers in the PhD Committee are:

The GSNS programme committees

Appointment procedures of programme committee members:
Each programme has a programme committee composed of members of the permanent academic staff and PhD students. The number of members of the permanent academic staff is determined by the number of enrolled PhD students at the individual programmes. Academic staff members of the programme committees and their chairs are appointed by the Head of graduate school after consultations with the relevant departments/centres. As a rule, the Chairs of the programme committees are appointed for a 4-year period and can be re-appointed. The academic staff members are appointed for a 3-year period and can be re-appointed. The PhD student members are appointed at programme level.

Programme committee responsibilities:
They discuss matters related to PhD studies at departmental level and forward their recommendations to the Head of graduate school. The PhD student members  are excluded from participating in any items on the agenda that pertain to personal issues, such as the evaluation of incoming applications.

Further responsibilities of the academic staff members of the programme committees:
They evaluate incoming applications and submit their recommendations to GSNS and the admissions committee. Their evaluation involves a thorough assessment of each applicant’s qualifications, in accordance with the criteria listed in paragraph 3.4 of the GSNS Rules and Regulations and of the recommendations provided by the GSNS.

Furthermore, they take part in qualifying examinations and thesis evaluations as described in the GSNS Rules and Regulations.

Chairs of the programme committees:
The Chairs meet regularly (3-4 times a year) with the Head of graduate school to discuss matters relating to the PhD studies at GSNS.

Current Chairs of the programme committees are:

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