In connection with submission of a PhD thesis to GSNS, an expert assessment committee consisting of three experts is appointed, based on a recommendation from the relevant PhD programme. According to the Ministerial Order on the PhD programme, all members must be recognised experts within the relevant scientific area – i.e. Professors, Associate Professors, Senior Researchers or equivalent. Two of the members must be external, and at least one member must be from outside Denmark. The third member must in general be a member of the respective GSNS programme committee, and he/she acts as chair of the assessment committee. The PhD student's supervisors cannot be members of the committee - the main supervisor, however, assists the committee (without the right to vote).
1. Members of assessment committees must comply with general administrative practice concerning impartiality, for instance they may not have a personal or financial interest in the outcome of the PhD defence. Furthermore, the specific rules below concerning publication must also be observed (these correspond to the rules of the Danish Research Councils).
2. Members of assessment committees may not have prepared, submitted or published any publications with the PhD student. Neither may they have any publications currently under preparation.
3. External members of assessment committees may not have prepared, submitted or published any publications with main supervisor or co‐supervisor(s) within the past five years. Neither may they have any publications under preparation.
4. The head of PhD school can grant exemption from the above rules under very specific circumstances.
As specified in the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities, the role of an assessment committee is
The PhD thesis must document the research conducted by the PhD student alone or in collaboration with co-workers. The PhD thesis may include a number of manuscripts in different stages of completion that are related to the topic of the PhD project. For all such manuscripts, statements will be provided by co-workers indicating the proportional contributions by the PhD student (co-author statements). If the thesis is composed mainly of manuscripts, it must include a summary chapter at the beginning summarising the overall contributions.
In case of disagreement amongst the committee members, simple majority prevails.
The Recommendation (see point 1 in the section 'The Role of the Committee') must be sent to GSNS no later than three weeks before the defence and at the latest two months after submission of the dissertation.
The Recommendation has three possible outcomes:
The Recommendation must be reasoned, and in its final conclusion clearly state one of the above three outcomes, that is "whether the PhD thesis fulfils the requirements for the award of the PhD degree", and in case of (2) give detailed specifications with respect to the resubmission.
Furthermore, the Recommendation should contain all relevant formalities on the thesis (author, title, supervisors, language, number of pages, number of publications, etc. as well as the names and affiliations of assessment committee members). The Recommendation should normally not exceed five pages.
Currently the Recommendation is submitted on paper and approved by the committee members. Approval takes place as stated below:
The two members of the assessment committee sends an e-mail to the chair of the assessment committee stating that they give him/her the authority to sign the Recommendation on their behalf.
The chair of the assessment committee thereby signs the Recommendation on the authority of all three members of the assessment committee.
In the event of a favourable outcome, the chair of the assessment committee suggests to GSNS a time and place for the defence. The chair of the assessment committee will chair the actual defence, which consists of a presentation by the PhD student followed by questions from the assessment committee.
The Final Recommendation (see point 2 in the section 'The Role of the Committee') takes the form of a signed standard one-page document.
The Final Recommendation must be signed on the day of the defence by all three members of the assessment committee.
However, if an external assessment committee member attends the defence online and the defence is conducted as a hybrid solution, the chair of the assessment committee signs the Final Recommendation on the authority of all three members of the assessment committee. The two members of the assessment committee shall therefore send an e-mail to the chair of the assessment committee stating that they give him/her the authority to sign the Final Recommendation on their behalf.
Please note that if the assessment committee wishes to add any comments on the PhD defence, these must be written in the Final Recommendation.
Under normal circumstances, the PhD defence is concluded by a Final Recommendation that the PhD be awarded.
In the case of a negative outcome, the assessment committee will submit a detailed assessment in writing to the Graduate School within two weeks following the PhD defence.
All Hotel bookings must be made via our Travel Team (PhD.firstname.lastname@example.org).
For travel assistance, we refer to the information provided to you directly by the Graduate School. You should always travel by the cheapest means of transportation.
In order to protect your personal details, please refrain from using postal services to forward any documentation.
Please send an e-mail to Phd.email@example.com and we will take care of the booking. All hotel bookings must be made via Phd.firstname.lastname@example.org, as Aarhus University has purchasing agreements with certain hotels. The hotel will charge us directly.
Graduate School of Natural Sciences/GSNS will pay up to three nights of accommodation for foreign assessors and one night for Danish assessors.
You are welcome to extend your stay at the same hotel at your own expense.
We kindly request that you book and pay your own transport (flight, train, etc.). After the defence we will reimburse your travel expenses, see information below. Please observe Aarhus University’s travel policy:
Journeys > 24 hours: Official trips lasting min. 24 hours and involving overnight stay(s) in Denmark entitle you to receive per diem allowance. If you receive free meals in connection with your trip, the per diem allowance will be reduced accordingly.
Journeys < 24 hours: You will only receive reimbursement of actual documented expenses, including reasonable expenses for meals.
The standard honorarium for an external assessor at a PhD defence corresponds to 16 hours of work, approx. DKK 8,700. Please be aware that the honorarium may be taxable in the country where you reside.
After the defence you must claim your honorarium and reimbursement of your travel expenses:
Please visit either ”For assessors with a Danish CPR number” or ”For assessors without a Danish CPR number”
For any questions relating to expenses and honorarium, please contact Phd.email@example.com
All claims should be made within the current fiscal year – claims relating to PhD defences in December, however, no later than by the end of January the following year.
You must claim your honorarium as well as reimbursement of your travel expenses by using our online settlement system – please use this link: Submit information online
As a foreign assessor it is possible for you to have your employer issue an invoice for the honorarium.
The invoice should be issued per details below and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org:
PhD Administration, Natural and Technical Sciences
8200 Aarhus N, DK
Att.: Helle Reichl
V.A.T. number 31119103
Text on the invoice must include name of the PhD student, name of assessor, and date of the defence.
The honorarium amount is currently DKK 8.700.
In order to receive reimbursement of your travel expenses please fill in the Information form and send it to email@example.com. Remember to attach documentation of your expenses, i.e. invoices, receipts, etc.
If your employer has paid your expenses, an electronic invoice can be issued per details below. All receipts should be attached, and the name of the PhD student, the name of the assessor, and the defence date must be stated:
PhD Administration, Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences
8200 Aarhus N, DK
Att.: Helle Reichl
V.A.T. number 31119103