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The onboarding programme

The onboarding programme will introduce you to different work tools all relating to the process of initiating and doing a PhD project in the best way possible. These will be introduced through peer-mentoring groups and workshops with different topics. By participating in the onboarding programme you will be offered an insight into handling ups and downs during your PhD, and how to develop as a young scientist. The onboarding programme will also give you an opportunity to meet fellow PhD students and expand your network – both socially and academically.   

The onboarding workshops are offered for PhD students enrolled at GSNS on part A. GSNS PhD students on part B are welcome to join but should be aware that the workshops are addressed primarily to PhD students on part A.

Find information on and descriptions of the various workshops you can attend below.

Introduction day

Three times a year, the GSNS invites new PhD students to a mandatory one-day introductory course. It’s a day filled with important information about being a PhD student at the Faculty of Natural Science.

The Head of Graduate School will give an overall introduction and you will be able to meet your fellow PhD students and representatives from a range of AU units that will be relevant for you to know during your PhD programme.

The introduction day will provide you with:

  • A welcome and introduction from the Head of PhD School, Ole Bækgaard Nielsen
  • An introduction from the PhD Administration
  • A crash course to MyPhD
  • Information about AUPA (Aarhus University PhD Association)

You will automatically receive an invitation from the Graduate School via e-mail.

Peer mentoring groups


Through the Peer Mentoring Groups you will meet PhD students from other Programmes. The aim is that you will support each other with sparring, ideas and inspiration. The purpose is to enhance the well-bring for all PhD students. The Peer Mentoring Groups consisting of 6 PhD students from different Programmes will be formed by the PhD School and announced on the Introduction day. 

Structure and roles

At your first meeting you schedule meetings for one year, 2-3 hours once a month. If you are abroad you can join in virtual via Zoom. You take turns leading the meetings. Schedule this at your first meeting too. Agree on level of confidentiality: What from the meetings can be shared outside the group?

Agenda and themes

At your first meeting you brainstorm and make a list of themes and good ideas for your agendas.

We propose an agenda for the meeting. Please adjust it so it brings value to your group:

Example on how to structure a meeting



15 min

The person leading the meeting opens the meeting, presenting todays agenda.
Invite to a brief check-in round the table: What are your hopes and wishes for the meeting?

45 min

Take turns: Where are you now? What are you working with? What gives you energy? And what is difficult? Which Inner Development Goals can be helpful for me right now?

The person in focus can get ideas, inspiration or questions from the others. The person leading the meeting makes sure the time is spent equally (7-8 min each)

15 min


1,5 hour

Today’s theme
Bring up today’s theme. Examples: How to create a good network? How to overcome struggles? How to collaborate with a person you don’t agree with? How to get a good relation to your supervisor? How to deal with procrastination? How to maintain motivation?

Maybe a brainstorm is helpful? Maybe sharing experiences? Maybe a third way?

15 min

Rounding of
The person leading the meeting closes the meeting, e.g. asking: What was important for me in today’s meeting? Listen to learn. Brief chech-out round the table.

Calculation of ECTS

ECTS division

The ECTS is divided as follows:

  • Research integrity = 0,5 ECTS
  • Becoming a scientist = 0,5 ECTS
  • Well-being and Work-life balance = 0,25 ECTS
  • International mobility = 0,25 ECTS
  • Getting the most out of your PhD – a career perspective = 0,25 ECTS
  • Literature, data management and publishing = 0,25 ECTS

Mandatory events and workshops

The following events/workshops will be mandatory for all GSNS PhD students to participate in:

  • Introduction day
  • Workshop: “Research integrity”
  • Workshop: “Becoming a scientist”

Optional workshops

Furthermore, you can attend the optional workshops:

  • Workshop: “Literature, data management and publishing”
  • Workshop: “Getting the most out of your PhD – a career perspective”
  • Workshop: “International mobility”
  • Workshop: Well-being and Work-Life Balance

“Light version”

By attending the “light version”, you will receive 3 ECTS points. The light version includes the following:

  • Introduction day
  • Workshop: “Research integrity”
  • Workshop: “Becoming a scientist”
  • Peer Mentoring Groups

“Full version”

By attending the “full version”, you will receive 4 ECTS points. The full version includes the following:

  • Introduction day
  • Workshop: “Research integrity”
  • Workshop: “Becoming a scientist”
  • At least two of the optional workshops
  • Peer Mentoring Groups

Expected participation in the peer mentoring groups is 2-3 hours every month for 12 months.

In conclusion, you can obtain 3 or 4 ECTS by attending the mandatory introduction day, two to four workshops (two of them being mandatory) and participating in the peer mentoring groups.


After participation in the Introduction Day and any of the workshops, you should enter it under the Course section in My PhD.

After having completed the Epigeum module in connection with the workshop on Research Integrity, you must upload the end-of-module confirmation in My PhD. You must choose the category ‘PhD course’, name the element ‘Epigeum online course’ and choose 0 ECTS.

Mandatory workshops

Research integrity

The aim of this workshop is to provide PhD students with an opportunity to reflect upon research integrity, responsible conduct of research, and freedom of research in relation to their own research. The course will enable you to understand and incorporate issues concerning research planning, data management, publication and communication, authorship and contributorship, collaboration, and conflicts of interests into your own research practices.

Read more and sign up below:

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024

Becoming a scientist

In this workshop, we make the objectives of the PhD education explicit and equip students with strategies and tools to develop as independent scientists. In session 1, we discuss the skills and competences of a PhD – and their importance to society. In session 2, students present their research projects in small, cross-departmental groups and for each project discuss the opportunities for developing independence. Session 3 has a focus on the collaboration with supervisors and presents ways to negotiate roles and address progression during the education.

Read more and sign up below:

Autumn 2023

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024

Optional workshops

Well-being and work-life balance

This workshop seeks to answer questions on well-being and work-life balance. It is divided into two session concering: four sessions concerning: What does science tell us about the benefits and challenges of living a busy life?, Building your psychological tool box, what is good life in academia? and imposter phenomenom.

Read more and sign up below:

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024

Getting the most out of your PhD – a career perspective

A PhD is a time to submerge into interesting research and exciting new contexts, but it is also a time to tend to your future career. Your PhD is a step towards your next job regardless of your professional background and your thoughts on career direction. This workshop will aim at encouraging you to build career management skills during your PhD: strengthen your knowledge and understanding of how adding a career perspective to your PhD is beneficial both for your professional development as a researcher and for ensuring that you have the skills, knowledge and experience necessary for your next career step.

Read more and sign up below:

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024

Literature, data management and publishing

In this workshop, AU Library will introduce you to the task of working with data and publications, both your own and that of others: How to find data and publications, manage them, and what to be aware of, when you want to publish your results, including copyright and Open Access.

Read more and sign up below:

Spring 2024

Autumn 2024

Efficient Writing

At this course you will practice a number of writing tools that will make your daily writing practice more efficient. There will also be time to write on your own text, so it is very important that you bring a computer and a text along that you are writing on. This can be your PhD plan, an article, a protocol, a funding application, your thesis or even a more popular text.

Read more and sign up below: 

Spring 2024 

Autumn 2024

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