The thesis is defended at a public defence. The defence must take place no earlier than two weeks after the assessment has made its recommendation and within three months after submission of the thesis, see PhD Order § 20 paragraph 2. The chair of the assessment committee agrees on a time for the defence with the committee members, the principal supervisor and author, and notifies the PhD School Secretariat.
If exceptional circumstances exist, the Head of the PhD School can decide to postpone the defence. A postponement of the defence requires an agreement between the author, chair of the assessment committee and Head of the PhD School, including an agreement on the time period of the postponement of the defence, see PhD Order § 20 paragraph 3.
The defence is held at the University of Southern Denmark. In exceptional circumstances, the Dean may allow the defence to take place elsewhere than the University of Southern Denmark.
It is the duty of the chair of the assessment committee to ensure that a room of adequate size is reserved for the defence. This is arranged with the departmental secretary. The Department is in charge of the practical tasks associated with the defence (reservation of a room for the defence, the sending of any invitations and reception, etc.).
The PhD School Secretariat sends notification of the defence and possibly the lecture topic to the author and the members of the assessment committee.
The Department has the responsibility of advertising the defence under Upcoming events on the University of Southern Denmark's website. The PhD School Secretariat is responsible for the popular scientific abstract of the thesis being announced on the PhD School website. The PhD thesis is publicly available at the PhD School Secretariat in good time before the defence.
Procedures for the Defence of the PhD thesis
At the defence the author has an opportunity to set out his or her work and to defend the PhD thesis before the members of the assessment committee. Prior to the defence, the assessment committee has notified the author about the lecture topic.
The defence may not exceed 3 hours, of which 30-45 minutes is devoted to the author's lecture.
The defence will be based on the following plan:
Introduction by the Dean or his designated representative (moderator), with a presentation of the PhD student as well as the members of the assessment committee. The moderator conducts the defence proceedings.
A 30-45 minute presentation by the PhD student.
The moderator may allow questions from the audience with specific reference to the lecture given.
The three members of the assessment committee comment on the thesis and put questions to the author. The moderator shall ensure that this opposition is limited to 1 hour and 30 minutes divided among the members according to internal agreement. The opposition must include specific questions on key topics in the thesis.
The moderator concludes the defence proceedings. Before the conclusion, he or she may allow the student to make a brief comment.
It should be noted that it is not expected that the principal supervisor or the co-supervisors should make a contribution. The moderator may waive this rule upon the request of the committee. In such case the speech of the supervisor(s) will be limited to 30 minutes.