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The PhD School at The Faculty of Engineering

Please see below for information on the roles, assignments and responsibilities in connection with the PhD study. For more information please the ministerial orders, the statute for the University and the collective rules for the PhD study at The Faculty of Engineering.



The head of the PhD school approves the requests from the departments for enrollment of individual PhD students. Students admitted to the PhD school are affiliated with a department and part of a research group in a center / section within the faculty. The department has the overall managerial and financial responsibility for the PhD students. The daily responsibility is delegated to the center / section. The department cooperates with the PhD School regarding enrollment into the PhD school and the completion of the PhD programme as well as regarding extraordinary factors related to applications for leave and extension of the study period. Each department has a PhD contact person who cooperates with the PhD school regarding the individual course of study for each of the department’s PhD students. The department PhD contact person is each center/section's  key person in relation to cooperation between departments (including centers / section) and the PhD school administration.  The center/section, principal supervisor and the student work directly together with the PhD school administration regarding matters of concerning the PhD plan, evaluations during the study and applications for the PhD committee.

The PhD school

The PhD school is responsible for the PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering being conducted in accordance with the Ministerial Order concerning the Act on Universities, the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programmes at the Universities, and the internal rules of the faculty set by the PhD committee. The PhD school was established in 2008.


The Faculty of Engineering confers on to its students the PhD degree in Engineering Science / Ingeniørvidenskab.


The PhD school educates PhD students and deals with issues relating to the PhD study, its legal aspects and quality assurance.

The PhD school does not handle matters concerning employment and economy, however the PhD school advertises the faculty PhD scholarships and has knowledge of and insight into matters regarding the employment of its PhD students and the economy related thereto. The PhD school has no independent budget and is not the provider of PhD courses. PhD courses at TEK are offered by the departments and approved by the PhD committee and put in the national and Nordic PhD course database by the PhD school administration.  The PhD School deals with matters concerning the TEK PhD programme, the individual study and other questions related to the PhD study at the faculty. 

The Head of the PhD School

Is appointed by the dean

  • Is elected chairman of the PhD committee and functions as the management's representative in the committee
  • Approves requests for enrollment submitted by the departments
  • Approves the rules for the PhD study as per recommendation by the PhD committtee
  • Approves PhD supervisors, PhD plans, individual evaluations of the PhD students and leave of absence
  • Has the overall responsibility that each individual PhD study is conducted according to the existing law and regulations
  • Assesses student progress  half way through the study and  conducts interviews with the students regarding this
  • Is available to students and supervisors for  guidance as well as confidential meetings
  • Has the responsibilty, by agreement with the  Dean, to initiate evaluations of the PhD school and follow up on the evaluations
  • Represents the PhD school in the PhD committee and the SDU PhD Coordination Committee (PhD-K) and in national and international contexts
The PhD school administration

The Vice Head of the PhD School: 

  • Has the overall administrative responsibility of the PhD school
  • Handles the legal aspects and quality assurance of the PhD school
  • Hearings, memorandums and survey
  • Has introduction meetings with all new students
  • Is responsible for the quality assurance of the individual PhD plans
  • Is available to students and supervisors for  guidance as well as confidential meetings
  • Is responsible for the drafting of international cooperation agreements on PhD study, including double PhD degree cooperation
  • Is responsible for drafting the rules and guidelines for the TEK PhD study
  • Handles the administrative cooperation with the central SDU administration, HR-development and SDUB
  • Is secretary to the PhD committee
  • Handles administrative matters regarding internal and external cooperation agreements concerning PhD study
  • Represents the PhD school administration in the PhD committee and the SDU PhD Coordination Committee (PhD-K)
  • Represents the PhD school in the SDU PhD administrative group
  • Is responsible for optimizaion of web and administrative systems for the PhD school administration of PhD studies
  • Is the facilitator for the PhD school management of the GDPR guidelines and proces description of the school administration
  • Is responsible for evaluations of the PhD school and follow-up on the evaluations
  • Facilitates the cooperation with the network of department PhD contact persons

The PhD administrators:

  • Posts TEK PhD scholarships
  • Screens qualified applicants
  • Screens private students
  • Handles the paperwork concerning the request for enrollment to the PhD committee and in that connection: The request for employment to the personnel office upon the committees approval
  • Are responsible for the processing of applications to the PhD committee
  • Are responsible for the administrative follow-up on PhD plans and evaluation deadlines
  • Handles the day-to-day contact with the PhD students and supervisors regarding the above
  • Handles administration regarding the approval of the department courses
  • Meet the individual student for a follow-up on completed study elements, on year before submission
  • Are responsible for the administrative processes regarding submission and evaluation of PhD theses and award of degree 
  • Cooperation with the network of department PhD contact persons

The PhD coach:

  • Is responsible for providing coaching sessions to the PhD students
  • Is available for further coaching sessions if needed
The PhD committee

The PhD committee at the Faculty of Engineering consists of one representative of the scientific personnel per department and up to 4 representatives of the PhD students. Election of members to the PhD committee takes place every autumn; when the election for the collegial body is conducted at SDU. The PhD committee meet approximately every 3 months.

The committee's tasks are set by the University Act.

  • Approves courses offered by the departments
  • Responsible, in cooperation with the head of the PhD school, for deciding the internal rules for the PhD study at the faculty
  • Recommends to the  Dean approval a competent assessment committee the evaluation of PhD theses
  • Approves PhD student applications for exemption and credit transfer
  • Discusses evaluations of the PhD school and makes recommendations to the head of the PhD school on the basis of the evaluations
  • Discusses and comment on all matters relevant to the faculty PhD study both at its own initiative or by assignment from the  Dean
The Head of department
  • Advertises PhD positions
  • Employs the selected candidate as a member of staff
  • Hosts private PhD students who are not employed as PhD stipends
  • The department has the overall managerial and financial responsibility for the PhD students. The daily responsibility is delegated to the research unit
The department PhD contact person
  • Handles the daily PhD administrative questions from PhD students, supervisors, heads of department and units
  • Cooperates with the PhD school administration regarding administration of the department PhD students
  • Handles the practical matters concerning the PhD defense
  • Cooperates with the network of all department PhD contact persons and the PhD school
The Head of unit

Is delegated by the head of department to handle the daily managerial and financial responsibility for the PhD student normally assigned to the head of department.

  • Receives new PhD students as members of the center/section and secures their optimal integration in relevant research environments and research teams
  • Nominates PhD supervisors for the students
  • Co-signs the PhD plan before submission to the PhD school
  • Assigns teaching and knowledge dissemination tasks to the PhD student
  • Signs the evaluation forms filled in by the PhD student in connection with progress assessment
  • Approves PhD student expenses
  • Approves the principal supervisors suggestion for the composition of the evaluation committee for the thesis and defense
The Principal Supervisor

The PhD programme is to be completed under supervision. The PhD student is entitled to receive supervision and is obliged to receive supervision.

A principal supervisor and up to three project supervisors or co-supervisors are to be appointed. The principal supervisor has overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with all formalities relating to the PhD programme, as described in the PhD Order, as well as with any local faculty rules. The principal supervisor must stay up to date on the PhD Order, on any of the Faculty of Engineering’s rules concerning the PhD programme under the PhD School.

  • Is activily involved in planning the PhD study
  • Assists the student in the preparation of the PhD plan
  • Is actively involved in the student's choice of coursework and change of research environment
  • Is actively involved in determining the nature of the student’s teaching/knowledge dissemination tasks (to be approved by the Head of Unit)
  • Is responsible to the PhD school for the student fulfilling all study requirements
  • Offers project-specific supervision and general academic advice
  • Contributes with detailed progress report to the PhD school in connection with the stipulated written evaluation half way through the phD study
  • Submits a detailed supervisor's statement about the student's overall progression, including his or her fulfilment of the PhD plan, to be included in the assessment of the dissertation
  • Recommends members of the evaluation committee
  • Assists without voting rights the committee appointed to evaluate the PhD thesis
The PhD Student
  • Is approved for enrollment by the head of the PhD school
  • Carry out independent research work under supervision (the PhD project)
  • Must have a PhD plan approved by the PhD school
  • Must have 30 ECTS course activities in the study
  • Must gain experience with teaching activities or other forms of knowledge dissemination in the amount of 300 knowledge dissemination hours
  • Must have a change of research environment of minimum 3 consecutive weeks
  • Must participate in the PhD school's regular assessments of their study
  • Complete a PhD thesis on the basis of the PhD project