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Digital defense

You can choose to conduct your defense digitally or physically, or both.
If you plan your defense digitally, we recommend using Zoom. More information can be found in the sections below. 

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

To conduct a digital PhD defence, you need a link for  the preparatory meeting and the defense. 
The Graduate School recommend planning a test meeting, involving the PhD student and all members of the assessment committee, to make sure the system works.

If the defence is held through Zoom, the Graduate School offers to provide a Zoom supporter, if available. Please see more in the section 'Zoom support' below. 

Once the link for the preparatory meeting and defence has been made, please send it to The Graduate School will then compose and send out the official invitations.

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

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

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

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 defence yourself. 


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. 
  • Shortly before the defence 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 PhD student (max. 30 minutes per member). 
  • Members of the audience can ask questions by sending a chat to the moderator with the question. The moderator will then open the individual's 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 defence is completed. 

After the digital defence session has been completed, the chair 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 defence session to the chair, who will then send a pdf with all signatures and e-mails to the Graduate School.  

If it is not possible for you to use Zoom for the digital defence, other systems can be used, but please note, that the Graduate School cannot offer any IT-support.

When a link for the preparatory meeting and defense has been made, please send it to the Graduate School, as it is used for the the invitation, on our website, and on Facebook.

The defence must follow the guidelines stated above in “Conducting your digital PhD defence” and “After the digital defence”.

If you choose to have your PhD defence 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 

Last Updated 07.10.2021