Become a PhD student

At The Faculty of Engineering you will get a research education at the highest international level.

We inspire our students and researchers to innovate and nurture their desire to become entrepreneurs. Work with top experts within e.g. nanotechnology, robots or drones and become part of our international research environment. 

Please find below the information and forms you need in your  first step towards becoming a PhD student at our faculty.  Vacant PhD positions at the Faculty of Engineering at SDU are posted here.

How to apply for a vacant PhD position

Your application must be uploaded through the link “Apply Online”. The application must be in English.
Please read the general SDU guidelines for applicants. 

Attached files must be in Adobe PDF files. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb.
All pdf-files must be unlocked and allow binding and may not be password protected.
In case you have more than one file per field you need to combine the pdf-files into a single file, as each field handles only one file.

The applications must include as enclosures:

  • Completed  TEK PhD application form
  • Motivated personal application. Upload in the field called “Project description”
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Copies of the official bachelor diploma and master’s diploma and transcripts of exams in professional English translation or in Danish
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculating grade point average. Upload in one of the fields called "publication"
  • An official document describing the educational structure and the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish). Upload in one of the fields called "publication"

For applicants from programmes that evaluate thesis/examination project by approved/not approved. Please submit an official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.

If required in the advertisment please include:

  • A  brief research plan.  Upload in the field called “Other relevant material”
  • References
  • List of publications and relevant examples of publications
  • Other required documents specified in the advertisment of the individual PhD position

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated.

TEK forms for PhD application and grade calculation

Application for advertised scholarships must be made through"vacant positions" using:

this application form for 5+3 applicants and 
this application form for 4+4 applicants

Form for appendices to application forms:
Form for reference letter (letter of recommendation) 
Form for calculating grade point average

Ways to enter the PhD Programme

Admittance to the PhD programme at the Faculty happens either on the basis of employment via a PhD scholarship at the faculty or through the Industrial PhD Programme with the involvement of a company and the Faculty of Engineering. It is also possible to be admitted to the PhD programme if the PhD student is able to finance the PhD study via external resources.

The tuition fee for students is DKK. 120.000, - (2018 level) per year. The fee will be charged by University of Southern Denmark as the institution deems it expedient in relation to the securing of funds for University of Southern Denmark's expenses for the PhD study. Enrolment happens at the 1. and the 15. of a month. Retroactive enrollment is, as a general rule, not possible.

Application for advertised scholarships must be made through vacant positions at the SDU website.

The Industrial PhD Programme
Deadlines for Industrial PhD programme are published at the homepage of The InnovationFoundation.

Self-financed students
If you wish to enter the PhD school as a private student (self-financed) you must reach an agreement with one of the faculty's departments, centres or sections to host you. The arrangement is contingent upon the PhD schools acceptance of the candidate. It is the department, center or section that request the enrolment.
Enrollment

The head of the PhD school approves admission to the PhD school. The head of the PhD school can consult selected members of the academic staff representatives of the PhD committee in his evaluation of candidates.

Admission to the PhD programme is based on a successfully completed Danish master’s degree or equivalent, except for admission under the 4+4 programme. The PhD programme is equivalent to 180 ECTS-points, i.e. three years of full-time studies from the date on which PhD studies begin until the PhD thesis is submitted for assessment, at which point the enrolment expires.

Enrolment is either for a three-year period (students with a master’s degree) under the 5+3 programme or a four-year period (begun after four years of full-time master’s studies) under the 4+4 programme. Prior to enrollment as PhD student the 4+4 student must be enrolled under a relevant master's programme at the faculty. The PhD programme normally takes the form of a full-time study.

Faculty criteria for admission to the PhD programme

Enrollment into the faculty’s PhD school happens on the basis of a Master´s degree Kandidatgrad or a university education, in length and educational level equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree, kandidatuddannelse. The Danish master’s degree is obtained after successfully completing a bachelor’s education of 180 ECTS-points (3 years of study) and subsequently a master’s education, of 120 ECTS-points (2 years of study).
To be eligible for enrollment in the faculty’s PhD programme a candidate must:

  • Have a master’s degree, kandidatgrad, that is relevant to the proposed PhD project and the PhD study at The Faculty of Engineering
  • Provide:
    1. Copies of the official transcripts of exams in professional English translation or Danish
    2. Copies of the official bachelor diploma and master’s diploma in professional English translation or Danish
  • Meet one of the two levels for grade point averages:
  1. for the entire master's programme (ie both bachelor and master's programme or equivalent) have achieved a weighted grade point average of at least 8.2 on the 7-point scale or 9 on a 13 scale
  2. For a Danish two-year master’s degree alone: A weighted average of at least 9.5 on the Danish 7-step scale or 9.4 on the Danish 13 scale
  • At least have attained a grade of 10 (Danish scale) for any final thesis/examination project.

    Applicants from programmes that evaluate thesis/examination project by approved/not approved must submit an official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution. The statement must clearly state that
    the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • Attach to the application a calculation of the weighted average converted to the Danish 7-point grading scale. The PhD school’s special form for calculating must be used for this purpose.
  • Attach an official document describing the educational structure and the grading scheme of the awarding university if the education is not Danish.

It is possible for candidate whose final thesis/examination project has not yet been graded to apply. If the candidate meets all other requirements, approval can be given on the condition that the candidate attains a grade of at least 10 for the thesis.

In some cases where it is not possible to gain an accurate calculation of point grade average from the calculation form, the PhD school Instead may choose to take into account an official statement from the grade giving university that the candidate has graduated among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme for the master’s and bachelor’s degrees combined. The application must include documentation for the ranking of the candidate. The documentation must be signed by the institution where the education was carried out.

Exemption from grade requirements
A candidate with a slightly lower grade average or thesis grade than required can be considered for enrollment if the candidate has other relevant qualifications. In order of priority, these are:

  • Peer-reviewed articles published in acknowledged scientific journals or other relevant
    research experience
  • Significant professional experience with the project subject
  • Improved grades during the education or high grades in project relevant subjects

The qualifications are assessed relative to how far the candidate is from the required grade averages and how relevant the qualifications are for the project.

Retroactive enrollment

  • As a general rule retroactive enrollment is not possible
  • Retroactive enrollment is therefore only possible if special circumstances apply
  • Each request for retroactive enrollment is processed and evaluated individually

Retroactive enrollment can only take place if the head of the PhD school assesses that the PhD student, despite the retroactive enrollment:

  • Will get a PhD education in the total of 180 ECTS-points
  • Get optimal supervision in the beginning of their PhD education

- and

  • that the head of the PhD School and administration have sufficient processing time for the quality assurance of:
  1. the admission of the candidate (assessment of qualifications) and
  2. the PhD plan, so that it can be processed and approved within 3 months from the starting date of the enrollment.

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