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Defence of the PhD thesis

Place and time

PhD defences from the Faulty of Health Sciences must take place in one of the SDU campus'. If you are affiliated with the department of Regional Health Research, the defence may also be held in connection with the hospital where you have completed your PhD programme. When advertising the defence at other locations, there must be a clear statement that the defence is held under the auspices of the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.

The defence is held on weekdays and often begins at 2 pm.

The main supervisor is responsible for booking the location for the defence and the preparatory meeting room. At the Odense campus, you should book the room through the booking system that all university employees have access to. Suitable defence rooms include the Auditorium in Winsløwparken 25, the Grand Auditorium in Winsløwparken 15, the Emil/Aarestrup lecture theatres in the Clinic Building at Odense University Hospital, and the lecture theatres on Campusvej 55. The Auditorium in WP 25 can be booked on Thursdays and Fridays from 1pm to 6pm - see what to do here. The defence room is booked so that it is available at least 30 minutes before the defence to allow time for setting up PC equipment, Powerpoint projector etc.

The Graduate school needs to approve the time and venue for the public defence.

The PhD student is responsible for ordering refreshments, bottles of water and floral arrangements for the defence room at the expense of the PhD's department.

Advertising the defence

The Graduate School secretariat prepares a notice that is advertised in the University's calendar and on the Graduate School's website. The notice is also sent to the assessment committee, the PhD student, the main supervisor, the research unit and the department. 

Practical information concerning the external members of the committee

Members of the external assessment committee receive a fee of about DKK 6,600 for the assessment work. Travel expenses are refunded. Forms for payment of fees and reimbursement of travel expenses are enclosed with the official information sheet. Payment only occurs after the University administration has received the completed and signed forms, together with the original travel receipts.

International adjudicators make their own travel arrangements, but the Graduate School Secretariat can reserve rooms in a hotel that has a State agreement. The Faculty will pay for up to two overnight stays. 

Preparatory meeting

The assessment committee and the PhD student have a preparatory meeting one hour prior to the oral defence.  


The defence is normally conducted in Danish/Scandinavian if the assessment committee and the PhD student are Scandinavian. In all other cases, it is conducted in English.

The chair of the assessment committee acts as chair for the defence. 

The oral defence consists of

  • A lecture of 30-45 minutes by the PhD student to present his/her work
  • Examination of the student by the two specialist adjudicators(maximum 1 hour in total). The chair of the defence may also allow questions to the student from the audience, but must ensure that the oral defence does not last longer than two hours.

The final recommendation is made immediately after the defence examination (and any questions from the audience). If the oral defence is considered to be satisfactorily completed, the assessment committee signs the Faculty’s PhD register. The result is announced to the student prior to the official conclusion of the defence.

It is common for the PhD student to host a reception immediately after the defence. The Faculty does not finance these receptions.

Last Updated 01.04.2019