The most common procedure to follow towards a PhD degree is to enrol as a PhD student and complete a 3-year study programme supervised by a senior researcher. In practice, it is possible to distinguish between various options:
Appointment on the basis of advertisement is by far the most frequent procedure. The university advertises a scholarship which everyone with the relevant master’s degree may apply for. The advertisement may be broad, i.e. European Studies, or more specific, i.e. Activities of European Structural Foundations in Denmark since 2000.
Appointment without advertisement may be effected in situations where there is a wish to launch externally financed projects and where a candidate, who is considered extremely well qualified as regards the implementation of the particular project in question, is available. The name of the candidate must appear in the application and grant letter. The candidate must be described as qualified by a specialist in the academic field.
Enrolment as an external PhD student with self-financed admission or a tuition fee scholarship may take place if a candidate has financial means at his/her disposal, typically from an external sponsor, which may finance AAU’s expenses in connection with the PhD studies. In 2016 the tuition fee was 406,250 DKK which covers supervision (300 hours), expenses in connection with assessment of the PhD thesis, office space, computer and an annual grant covering books, travels etc. The candidate must be declared qualified for enrolment, and a collaboration agreement must be drawn up as regards the conditions for enrolment, including financial conditions.
In rare cases, a PhD thesis may be submitted for assessment without any prior enrolment as a PhD student. The candidate must document participation in active research environments and in PhD courses and conferences corresponding to 30 ECTS points. Finally, the candidate must document teaching experience as well as experience the communication of research. An academic specialist will be appointed who will prepare a report. If this report is positive, the Academic Council will then appoint an assessment committee with a view to determining whether the thesis is acceptable for a defence, cf. Assessment procedure.