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Double degrees

The PhD Ministerial Order (PhD Order) provides the opportunity to enter into cooperation agreements regarding joint/double degrees with foreign universities regarding PhD degree programmes.

In connection with the department’s considerations of entering into a cooperation agreement with a foreign university regarding PhD degree programmes, the PhD School’s secretariat must be contacted to clarify the formal requirements.

Contact person
This task is the responsibility of Research Support. The contact person must, on an ongoing basis, consult and inform the PhD School about PhD cooperation agreements. The contact person has the responsibility to create and maintain a list of the Faculty's cooperation agreements that oblige the Faculty's PhD School to cooperate with foreign universities. The list must be accessible on the PhD School’s website.

Approval of agreements
In order to ensure the managerial and strategic anchorage of the cooperation agreements regarding PhD programmes entered into by the Faculty, all future cooperation agreements must be pre-approved by the Dean before preparing a framework agreement for cooperation regarding PhD programmes. The Dean shall consult with the Head of the PhD School.

Process
To initiate a process that will result in a PhD cooperation agreement, an academic staff member must address the Faculty’s contact person with his/her request to enter into a cooperation agreement with a foreign university. The contact person shall obtain information about the university and will research the place. The academic staff member shall provide details about the requested cooperation: is it a request for a double or joint degree or just ordinary exchange (change of environment), key persons/research groups at the university, how many people are to be included in the agreement per year, as well as an in-depth description of why the Faculty will benefit from entering into a cooperation agreement with the foreign university. A standard form for the start-up of the cooperation agreement must be filled in by the relevant department.

The contact person shall ensure, in cooperation with the academic staff member and the PhD School/Legal Office, that the framework agreement is drawn up and signed by the Dean, and that the foreign partner has read and approved, in writing, the agreement that will be used for the course of study.

Cooperation agreements will be announced on the internet, and documents needed for PhD cooperation agreements with foreign universities concerning double degrees will be uploaded. If a request is made to set up a cooperation agreement in the field of PhD education, Research Support must be contacted to clarify any formal requirements. Cooperation agreements must be pre-approved by the Dean before any active considerations and preparations of contracts may take place.

Cooperation agreements regarding joint/double degrees must be based on SDU's PhD-Council’s agreement and The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences’ PhD School’s agreement for framework agreements and individual agreements, which must be drafted in English or Danish. 

Agreements on binding cooperation regarding PhD programmes with foreign institutions – double/joint degrees

The PhD School at The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences can award joint and double PhD degrees to PhD students who have acquired qualifications which can be equated to a Danish PhD degree if a mutually binding cooperation agreement has been signed with a foreign institution regarding a PhD programme, including agreements about study visits, assessment, defence, awarding of degrees, etc. (cf. ministerial order 15 (3) and 23 (3-5). This applies when the PhD School at The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences is the main institution and the PhD student is on a study visit at the cooperation institution, as well as in cases when the foreign cooperation institution is the main institution and the PhD student is on a study visit at The University of Southern Denmark.

The PhD School at The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences is the main institution

For PhD students who have SDU as their main institution, a mutually binding cooperation agreement concerning PhD degrees can be entered into with a foreign institution, including matters of assessment, defence, awarding of degrees, etc., which means that the PhD student gets a joint PhD certificate (joint degree) or two PhD certificates (a double degree). The PhD student must complete the PhD programme in accordance with the Danish PhD Order, and if it turns out that there is a need for deviations in key areas, such as course requirements in section 7 (2), no. 2 or the PhD programmes prescribed period of study in section 4, it is possible to apply the Ministry for exemption. The cooperation agreement must be signed no later than six months after the start of the programme. The agreement relates to supervision at the foreign institution, duration of the study visit at the foreign institution, agreement on assessment and defence, as well as the awarding of PhD certificates. Standard form can be found here.

The foreign institution is the main institution

For PhD students who have a foreign institution as their main institution, a mutually binding cooperation agreement concerning PhD degrees can be entered into, including matters of assessment, defence, awarding of degrees, etc., which means that the PhD student gets a a joint PhD certificate (joint degree) or two PhD certificates (a double degree). The PhD student must, as a general rule, complete the PhD programme in accordance with the guidelines and rules applicable to the foreign institution, possibly supplemented by additional requirements from the PhD School. The student must, as a minimum, complete a period of study of six months duration at the PhD School at The Faculty of Social Science; be assigned to a supervisor from SDU; pass the Faculty’s course in good scientific practice; and the PhD School must deem the overall study programme to be comparable to a Danish PhD programme. The cooperation agreement must be signed no later than six months after the start of the programme. The agreement relates to supervision at the foreign institution, duration of the study visit at the foreign institution, agreement on finances and planning of assessment and defence, as well as the awarding of PhD certificates. Standard form can be found here.

Agreement on assessment committee, defence and PhD certificate

The following conditions concerning assessment committees, defence and PhD certificates are applicable to all PhD students who complete a PhD programme in binding cooperation between the PhD School at The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences and a foreign institution. The cooperation agreement between the PhD School, the foreign institution and the PhD student must state how the procedure for the completion of the PhD programme will be planned, including the composition of the assessment committee, cf. PhD Order 26 (1); when the preliminary assessment must be ready, cf. PhD Order 26 (2); as well as when the defence will take place, cf.  PhD Order 26 (3). The cooperation agreement must also state whether the thesis will be defended in a joint defence, or if two separate defences will be held, before the PhD student can be awarded the PhD degree from the cooperating foreign institution, cf. PhD Order 15 (3) and 26. It must be agreed if the PhD student is awarded a joint degree, cf. 23 (3-4) or awarded certificates from each institution (double degree), cf. 23 (5).  

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