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Programme funding

The doctoral school is not administratively involved in the funding of PhD fellowships, but here you can find a brief overview of the most common funding options. For more information, please contact research support at the Faculty of Humanities.

PhD fellowships advertised by departments or faculty

PhD fellowships are usually advertised on SDU’s website under vacancies and are generally available as from 1 February and 1 September. Most often, the positions are advertised in connection with externally funded projects, but in some cases, departments will advertise their own PhD positions. Employment is pursuant to the collective agreement between the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations and the Ministry of Finance.

External funding

Enrolment with external funding at the Doctoral School at the University of Southern Denmark means that your application is not based on a fellowship posting from the Faculty of Humanities. Instead, you will need to find funds from other sources to cover the enrolment fee as well as supervision, assessment and other project expenses, including any travel costs. You must also secure funds for your own salary so that you can support yourself during the standard 36 months of the research training programme. However, in the case of external employment, an individual collaboration agreement will be drawn up with the place of employment, the department and the doctoral school.


You can apply for funding from private foundations or you can enter into a partnership with a company, institution or organisation. The Danish Council for Independent Research also implements a special grant in the Danish Finance Act that is earmarked for research training at public research institutions outside universities (including museums). 


Industrial PhD

The industrial PhD programme is aimed at people at master’s level with the qualifications to complete a PhD project, as well as universities, companies and public institutions that can professionally support a three-year business-oriented research and education project. The industrial PhD student is employed with salary by the company for the duration of the industrial PhD programme and divides their placement between the company and the university. The industrial PhD fellowship can be applied for from Innovation Fund Denmark.

Read more about the rules for externally funded projects in Legal framework, rules and practice.

Self-funded programme 

There is also the option of a self-funded programme. You must be able to document that you have funding for a three-year full-time study programme and enrolment is subject to the department setting aside DKK 30,000 in fees for courses at the doctoral school and a basic travel pool of DKK 30,000 for travel in connection with courses outside SDU, conferences and changes of environment, which you as a PhD fellow must have at your disposal. It is up to the departments to decide whether they will assign you to the department and request your enrolment at the doctoral school.