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Why do a PhD at GSNS

Aarhus University is a leading international university where in-depth, cutting-edge research is combined with interdisciplinary collaboration, a focus on talent development and strong ties to business and industry.

At Graduate School of Natural Sciences, we are determined to attract the most talented PhD students in the world. We offer you an international research environment and the best possible conditions for developing your special talents.

Join an ambitious, dynamic research environment

As a PhD student at GSNS, you will be part of a diverse body of researchers. Aarhus University employs more than 2,500 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers and approximately 2,000 senior researchers, lecturers and professors, which means that the research environment is young and dynamic. The work environment at Graduate School of Natural Sciences is characterised by a culture of collaboration and openness combined with high academic ambitions. The atmosphere is informal and there is an emphasis on open dialogue, which leads to a working culture that strongly encourages creativity and independent decision-making.

Great working conditions

PhD students at GSNS are usually employed by the Graduate School and receive a monthly salary. As employee you are subject to the rules that apply to all scientific employees at GSNS. You also enjoy access to the Danish social security system including, for instance, health care and parental-leave insurance.

The standard of living in Aarhus is high and the economy performs above the European average. Accommodation, food, transport and leisure are therefore relatively expensive in Denmark compared to many other countries. However, salaries are correspondingly high, and many services such as medical treatment and schools are paid for via taxes and the Danish welfare system, so that no user fees are charged.

If you want to know more about the salary levels and PhD study structure, you can find it here


During PhD studies in Denmark you are required to:

  • Take relevant courses or similar educational modules equivalent to six months of studies.
  • Attend active research environments away from the institution to which you are admitted,  by study trips to other, mainly foreign institutions.
  • Gain experience in teaching or in other types of research dissemination.

Career opportunities

The PhD has become an extremely attractive qualification for careers outside academia, for example in large companies in the consulting sector, the financial sector, international organisations and public administration.

With a PhD degree from GSNS, you will be able to independently undertake high-calibre research, development and teaching projects in both the private and the public sectors. The majority of PhD students from GSNS find employment before graduating or in immediate continuation of their PhD studies.

Find more information about career paths at the websites Scientific careers at Natural Sciences and AU Career PhD & JR.

GSNS Programmes

The GSNS has eight PhD programmes within the research fields listed below. You can find further information on the PhD programme by clicking one of the research fields e.g. which thematic areas the programme includes, geographic location, contact persons, research facilities, etc.

Life as a PhD student at Aarhus University
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