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PhD defence


As soon as possible after the submission of your PhD thesis, the PhD student and the main supervisor are responsible for arranging a date for a public defence. The date is preliminary, until the thesis is approved for defence. 

When the thesis is accepted for defence, the Graduate School must be informed about time, date and place for  the preparatory meeting and defence.

Please find more information regarding digital PhD defences here.

If the defence will take place at one of SDU's campuses, rooms can be booked through the booking system, which 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 theatre in the Clinic Building at Odense University Hospital, and the lecture theatres on Campusvej 55.

The Graduate School can book the Auditorium in WP 25 on Thursdays and Fridays from 13:00 to 18:00.
Below, you can see when the Auditorium is  available. I you want to book the Auditorium for your defence Thursday or Friday, please send a e-mail to with your name, project title and time and date for your defence.

Please note, that when booking the Auditorium in WP25, room 25.140 and the café area will also be booked. 



When the PhD thesis has been approved for defence, and a date has been settled, please let the Graduate School know as soon as possible. 

The Graduate School will send an official invitation to the assessement committee, the research unit and department, as also send practical information to the assessment committee and the chair.

The invitation will be postet the University's calendar and on the Graduate School's website and Facebook

Before the defence, refreshments and a flower arrangement for the defence can be ordered at the expense of PhD student's department.

Flowers can be ordered via Bloomits website. Remember to fill in name and occasion under comments.

Catering can be order through Pronestor, SDU and usually consists of 2 pots of coffee, 1 pot of tea, cake and a little chocolate for the preperatory meeting, and water for the actual defence session.

Please consult the department secretary for more information.

Before the oral defence, the assessment committee and the PhD student have a preparatory meeting. The meeting usually starts one hour before the defence, and the PhD student is allowed to participate in the last 30 minutes of the meeting. 

The defence can be 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 external members of the assessment committee(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 protocol. 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 after the defence.

After the defence, one printed issue of the thesis must be send to the Graduate School at the following adress:

Ph.d.-skolen, SUND
J. B. Winsløws Vej 19, 3. sal
5000 Odense C.

The printed PhD thesis is made publicly available after the defence. One copy is given to the Gradate School – for forwarding to the SDU Library. The PhD thesis is the author's property and cannot be loaned or disseminated without the author's written consent. This can be given by the author on a 'Permussion to lend'-form that is sent to the SDU Library, along with the PhD thesis.

Last Updated 06.04.2021