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No later than two months before submitting the PhD Thesis, the student and you as main supervisor submit a pre-submission form (find it here) to the Graduate School by e-mail, which we need in order to appoint an assessment committee. You should enclose the index and an abstract of 2 pages maximum (in Danish or English) as appendix.

Submission of PhD Thesis

Submit the PhD Thesis to the Graduate School, and enclose the following:

  • Your evaluation of the total PhD course, including a short mention of the co-supervisors' role (if any) in the supervision. You should clarify to the Graduate School whether the programme has been completed satisfactorily. The PhD student will have an opportunity to make a remark to your evaluation within two weeks.
  • The completed programme, inclusive documentation for passed courses (along with a copy of the course certificate), teaching and  knowledge dissemination, contact with other research environments. If the course programme has been accepted by the Graduate School before submission, it is not necessary to enclose a copy of the course certificates (However a copy of the acceptance letter should be enclosed).
  • Information on how to write/design the PhD thesis (review text + manuscripts or monograph).

Please submit the PhD thesis and appendix as pdf-files (scanned are allowed) by e-mail to the Graduate School.

On the basis of the information of the completed programme, the Head of the PhD School draws up a statement, establishing that the PhD student has completed a PhD programme that meets the requirements of the PhD Order. This statement is sent to the assessment committee and enclosed to the PhD Diploma.

The Graduate School only accepts PhD theses for assessment if the author has been enrolled as a PhD student at the faculty, prior to the submission.

Preliminary date for the defence

The PhD student's main supervisor is responsible for the establishment of a preliminary date for a public defence, as soon as possible after the submission of the PhD thesis, and to inform the Graduate School of this date. The defence must be conducted no later that three months after the submission of the PhD thesis.

If the recommendation results in a revision of the PhD thesis, a new date for the defence must be established.

The Assessment Committee

The Committee of Academic Theses will make the final decision regarding the composition of the assessment committee. The main supervisor can't be a member of the assessment committee, but is a delegate without a right to vote. This means that the chairman of the committee can contact the supervisor with regard to answering clarifying questions, e.g. of a scientific nature or regarding the preceding PhD course. Furthermore, the faculty has decided that the main supervisor should be able to see and comment on the preliminary recommendation before it is sent to the Graduate School secretariat. Please be aware that it is the main supervisor's responsibility to inform the chairman of the assessment committee of the members of the entire supervisor team.


The main supervisor is responsible for the booking of rooms for the defence and the preparatory meeting. At Campus Odense you can book rooms via the booking system "TimeEdit", which is available for all employees of the university. Appropriate rooms for the defence is i.e. the Auditorium, Winsloewparken 25; Great Auditorium, Winsloewparken 15; Emil Aarestrup auditoriums, "Klinikbygningen", Odense University Hospital; along with the auditoriums at Campusvej 55. Please book the room for defence at least 30 minutes before the defence so that the computer, power point etc. can be ready.

The Graduate School accepts time and place for the public defence.

The defence of the PhD thesis can take place in all of the campuses of the University of Southern Denmark. Regarding the Institute of Regional Health Research, the defence can also take place in the region, where the student has been situated during the PhD programme. Please state clearly in the announcement of the defence at the hospital in question, that the defence is conducted under the auspices of The Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark.

The defence can be conducted on all weekdays and is often placed at 2pm.

Announcing the defence

The Graduate School draws up a notice that is announced at the university calendar and the Graduate School's website. In addition, we send the notice to the assessment committee, the author, co-supervisors, the research unit and the department.

Preparatory meeting and the defence

A preparatory meeting is held 30 minutes before the defence, in this meeting the assessment committee and the author are present. The Graduate School orders coffee, tea and cake along with a flower arrangement and water to the room, where you conduct the defence.

The defence itself consists of:

  • a 30-minute lecture, in which the author accounts for his/her work and

  • the examination of the author by the two expert adjudicators (maximum of 1 hour).

Furthermore, the chairman of the assessment committee can allow questions from the audience to the author and must make sure that the entire defence does not last for longer than two hours.

The final recommendation is submitted immediately after the examination of the author (and questions to this from the auditorium, if any). This happens when the assessment committee sign the PhD protocol, if they find the oral defence satisfactory. They inform the author about their decision, before the defence is officially completed.

It is standard for the author to have a reception straight after the defence. The faculty doesn't pay for these receptions.

For further information on the completion of a PhD programme.


Last Updated 26.02.2020