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Leave of Absence, Illness and Termination

Parental leave and adoption
Employed PhD students are covered by the obligations and rights for parental leave and adoption stipulated in the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The personnel department must be contacted for further details in this respect.

Enrolled PhD students who are not employed by University of Southern Denmark must use the relevant form to notify the PhD school about the leave no later than three months before the expected date of birth to:

a) the department in which the student is based,
b) the PhD school administration office

The enrolment can be extended relative to the leave. Pregnancy-related illness must be reported  to the PhD administration office. Special rules apply to parental leave for students under the 4+4 programme during the first two years of the programme. Students are recommended to contact the personnel department for further details.

Agreement-based leave
In special instances, it is possible for a student to be granted leave of absence without salary from their PhD study. Regardless of whether a student is employed by SDU or elsewhere, substantiated applications for leave must be signed by the principal supervisor and the head of department/research unit. The leave is subject to the approval of the vice head of the PhD School.

If the application concerns a period of time that is within the last year of the study, all study elements i.e. 30 ECTS courses, knowledge dissemination and change of research environment must have been completed before the application can be processed.

During a period of leave, the student is not allowed not work on the PhD project, be enrolled in PhD courses or take an examination, perform knowledge dissemination or have a change of research environment.

The provisions of the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) on leave of absence shall apply in all other matters.


Long term illness that could influence the course of the PhD study must immediately be reported to the PhD school administration office by email. When you return to the study, you must submit documentation for the period of illness in the form of a doctor’s statement.   The statement must include the starting date and the end date of your illness. The PhD student must pay for the doctor's statement as is the case with all students at SDU. The doctor’s statement must be sent to the PhD school by email.


Termination of enrolment
If a PhD student wishes to terminate their study programme, they must notify the vice head of the PhD School and the PhD school administration office of this in writing, indicating the date of withdrawal and the reason for the withdrawal. Student ID must be returned to SDU. If the PhD student is employed by SDU, a notification of resignation must also be sent to the head of the department/research unit. Employment as a PhD student will be terminated pursuant to the collective agreement between the Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC). Enrolment as a private PhD student can be terminated by giving one week’s notice.

Administrative termination
If a PhD student does not comply with the rules of the PhD study and if a PhD student fails to observe the obligation to submit a PhD plan and participate in the evaluations of the programme, the PhD student will be released from the PhD programme without being entitled to a three-month deadline for re-establishment of the PhD study, as specified in Section 10 of the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD Order).

Industrial PhD students
Special rules apply regarding leave of absence and termination of the Industrial PhD study. The rules can be found at Innovation Denmark’s webpages.

The PhD School at The Faculty of Engineering University of Southern Denmark

  • Campusvej 55
  • Odense M - DK-5230
  • Phone: +45 6550 7433

Last Updated 16.11.2023