Information for PhD-students – how does the corona situation affect you PhD?

The current Corona situation is also influencing your work as a PhD-student. At the PhD school we are well aware of this! We are in uncharted territory, and it is not possible to find all possible answers here and now. Most issues will need to be decided on when we reach the other side of the lock-down. How everyday working life will look like at that time, will influence possible decisions and solutions.

It is important to note the following:

First of all, every PhD student is as always very welcome to contact the PhD School and the Head of the PhD school directly with questions and concerns.

Second, the PhD school cannot decide on extensions of employment or changes in employment (part-time or leave). This is solely a department level decision. The Dean emphasizes that extensions will only be decided after the Corona-crisis and the termination of the current lock-down of the Faculty. When decisions are made, this will be based on an individual case-by-case assessment, taking into consideration also the financial situation of the departments.

However, the PhD school can agree to extensions of enrollment. Historically, it is more the rule than the exception that the PhD school accommodates applications for enrollment extension.

Thirdly, the Faculty management and SDU Executive Board are continuously discussing the situation - also from a PhD perspective. Moreover, the PhD school is in constant contact with the other PhD schools at SDU and at other Danish universities. We share ideas, opportunities and experiences - both in everyday life and during the Corona-situation.

Please find further information concerning the Corona situation for PhD students at the Faculty of Social Sciences below. Please also note, that the information may be updated, due to developments in the current situation.

 

The PhD school is open

The PhD school is open.

Please contact phdsek@sam.sdu.dk

PhD defense

During the COVID-19 lock-down, the PhD defense will happen digitally, or be postponed  by agreement between the PhD school and the author of  the thesis. The deadline for handing in the thesis for the evaluation and defense is unchanged.

The PhD school will have direct communication with PhD students, whose evaluation and defense are scheduled to take place during the lock-down.

As stipulated in the PhD order, the PhD student or author must be given the opportunity to present the PhD thesis to the members of the assessment committee and the general public. The faculty rules and procedure for the evaluation and defense apply

The defense is advertised by the PhD school via e-mail to the members of the assessment committee, principal supervisor, PhD student and all Faculty members with information on how the general public can gain access to the digital defense. The department advertises the defense via the usual distribution channels  and include information on how to gain access to the digital defense.

A digital defense must be held  the following way:

  • The defence must be live-streamed and be accessible via a secure IT platform.
  • The assessment committee must be given the opportunity to put questions directly to the PhD student/author via the video meeting.
  • The audience must also be given the opportunity to participate actively in the defence, i.e. put questions to the author, e.g. via a chat function.
  • The chair of the defence is to ensure that the digital defence  adhere to the faculty rules and procedure. If not, the defence must be paused or suspended.

These stipulations will apply until the end of the lock-down. The department is responsible for assigning one person (e.g. the chair of the defence) to be in charge of moderating the defense on the chosen platform, e.g. switch on/off of the microphone and camera and tend to the comments/questions in the chat feed. For questions regarding technical issues please contact SDU IT service.

Please consult the various online guides for using Zoom or Skype  for the purpose.

N.B. The directorate has decided the following about physical PhD defense:

  • West of Great Belt: The physical PhD defense can happen from June 15.
  • East of Great Belt: The physical PhD defense must still be happening digitally until the opening of public workplaces.

Please note: If an arrangement is conducted physically, the organizers must be aware of the current guidelines, requirements for distance and good hygiene, etc. The current ban of loitering must be followed as an indication of the size of physical arrangements at SDU.

After concrete permission from the dean, the physical PhD defense can happen from June 2.

Status seminar and Mid-term evaluation

Until May 15 - and maybe longer - Status seminar and Mid-term evaluation will be digitally.

Please contact the PhD School if you would like to discuss the possibility to postpone your mid-term evaluation to be able to meet physically with the appointed assessors.

Research stays

The PhD school guidelines state that your research stay should have a 3-6 months duration at a foreign research institution, academically relevant to the PhD study.

However, based on the requirement for research stay in the ministerial PhD Order (section 7 (2), no. 3) the PhD school will positively review applications for alternative solutions based on an individual assessment.

Funding for travelling, data collection etc.

At the Faculty of Social Science every department has the discussion making authority concerning funding for travelling, data collection etc. Please contact your supervisor and head of department, if you prepaid e.g. flight tickets or a stay abroad that cannot be reimbursed.

Course requirements: ECTS & approval of other activities

As always, approval of course activities is granted based on individual application to the PhD committee.

Due to the current situation, the PhD committee will be flexibility in course approval (within the limits of applicable law and regulations). We encourage you to find constructive solutions as an alternative to courses canceled or postponed: self-study, small study groups, online workshops or the like.

The PhD school encourages PhD students to submit application for completed course approval on an ongoing basis.

The PhD school's interpretation of the requirements of the PhD Order (section 7 (2), no. 2) on completion of courses is that a total course portfolio corresponding to approx. 30 ECTS may be considered approved under special circumstances.

Potential delays (postponed data collection, teaching etc)

If your data collection is delayed or postponed, please contact your supervisor to discuss alternatives and possible adjustments in your research design and project.

Converting classroom to online teaching may take up extra hours. Please contact your supervisor and potentially also your head of department, if you need assistance e.g. for adjusting your workload.

Extension of employment

The decision-making power to extend employment as a result of the Corona situation lies solely with the departments. The PhD school will look favorably at applications for extended enrollment.

Extensions of enrollment

The extension of enrollment is based on an individual assessment following a reasoned application.

Leave or part-time employment

The decision-making power on leave or part-time employment as a result of the Corona situation lies solely with the departments. The PhD school will look favorably at applications for changed enrollment.

Document about PhD course activities during the Covid-19 lockdown

Please read this document about PhD course activities during the Covid-19 lockdown.