Skip to main content

Digital PhD defense

Physical or online defense

Please make sure to follow the current COVID-19  restrictions.

We recommend that you plan your defence via Zoom, where you and the assessment committee particpate equally in the online session, but still be in the same room, if possible.

This setup does not require much equipment, except from a  projector and a computer for you and each of the members of the assessment committe. An additional computer can be used for questions from the audience.

If you plan to book a room, please be aware to follow the current rules regarding distance and number of particpants (currently no more than 10 people), and allow room for outside opponents to participate, as all PhD defenses must be public. 

If the defense takes place at one of SDU’s locations, you may contact SDU IT-service for assistance with setting up the technical equipment just before the defense session starts. Please be aware when planning your time and date, that SDU IT-service closes at 14.00 on Friday afternoons.

Planning your digital PhD defense

To conduct a digital PhD defense, you need to set up a link for  the preparatory meeting and the defense. 
We recommend that you also book test meeting, involving all members of the assessment committee and you, to make sure the system works.

If you plan on using Zoom, the Graduate School offers to provide a Zoom supporter, if available. Please see more in the section 'Zoom support' below. 

Once you have the link for the preparatory meeting, please send it to We will then compose and send out the official invitation

Zoom support

The Graduate School offers to provide a Zoom supporter, if there is one available at the time of your defense. 

Here you can see when a Zoom supporter is available.  Please send an e-mail to, to book the supporter. 

The supporter will help you by setting up the relevant links, and will be available for a test meeting and during the preparatory meeting and the defense. 

If there is not an available supporter, and you need help, please contact the Graduate School, and we will make sure that you will get the relevant information, in order to conduct the defense yourself. 


Conducting your digital PhD defense

On the day of the defense, please follow these steps: 

  • The assessment committee will login to the meeting room and have the preparatory meeting. The PhD student is allowed to access the room for the last half hour and can stay as long as they wish. 
  • Shortly before the defense starts, all participants must have accessed the link, and all microphones (except from the PhD student and the members of the assessment committee) will be muted. 
  • The chairman will introduce the participants and will start the session. 
  • The PhD student will give a presentation of 30-45 minutes, sharing their presentation on the screen. 
  • The external members of the assessment committee will question the student (max. 30 minutes pr. assessor). 
  • Members of the audience can ask questions by sending a chat to the moderator with the question. The moderator will then open the individual microphone. 
  • There will then be a break while the assessment committee enters a confidential break out room and conferrer.
  • The PhD student and the audience will wait in the meeting room. 
  • The assessment committee will return to the meeting room and give their verdict. 
  • The defense is completed. 
After the digital defense

After the digital defense session has been completed the chairman of the assessment committee will have to organize the signing of the protocol. 

The Graduate School accepts scanned and e-mail signatures, but if this is impossible the individual members of the assessment committee can also send an e-mail with their approval of the defense session to the chairman, who will then send a pdf-file with all signatures and e-mails to the Graduate School.  

Using other systems than Zoom
If it is not possible for you to use Zoom for your digital defense, you may choose another system, but please note that the Graduate School cannot offer any IT-support.

When you have a link for the preparatory meeting and defense, please send it to the Graduate School immediately, as we need to include link and other information in the invitation, on our website, and on Facebook.

The defense must follow the guidelines stated above in “Conducting your digital PhD defense” and “After the digital defense”.
Digital defense held in WP25

If you choose to have your PhD defense in WP25, please be aware that the area outside of the auditorium can only be used if

  • there is no more people than allowed in the auditorium
  • all participants are informed about SDU's current regulations
  • hand sanitizers are available 


Please be aware that it is not allowed to conduct PhD defenses with physical presence at SDU's locations