Assessment

Your mainsupervisor will be asked to submit a proposal for the composition of the assessment committee five months before the PhD student submits his/her PhD dissertation.

It is the main supervisor's responsibility to make sure that all suggested members have agreed to participate in accordance with the schedule and to inform the proposed persons about the scope of the task and the conditions associated with it (deadlines for submission, payment of honorarium, travel rules etc.).

The proposal is approved by the PhD Committee after recommendation by the Head of the Graduate Programme. The composition of the committee may be changed upon the processing by the PhD committee and graduate school.

As a PhD student you need to approve your main supervisor’s proposal for the composition of the assessment committee, before it is submitted to the graduate school. The proposal needs to include a brief presentation of the PhD project and a time schedule.   

 

Composition of the assessment committee

The requirements for the composition of the committee are as follows:

  • The assessment committee needs to consist of three renowned researchers within the academic area in question
  • The members should be scientifically active. This should be documented via publications in internationally recognized journals and conference proceedings with peer-review produced within the last five years
  • The members should have experience with teaching and/or supervision at PhD level.
  • The members of the committee should be at associate professor level or higher
  • One member needs to be employed at Health and act as the chair of the committee
  • Two of the members need to be employed at another institution than Aarhus University
  • At least one of the members need to be from abroad
  • In connection with industrial PhDs, at least one of the members need to have business-related research experience.
  • Preferably, the members of the committee should represent both genders
  • The main supervisor assists the assessment committee without voting rights

The composition of the committee is subject to the rules on disqualification laid down in the Danish Public Adminstiration Act (forvaltningsloven). This means, for instance:

  • The members of the committee cannot be close colleagues of the main supervisor or the student
    They are also not permitted to:
    • Have previously supervised the student, for instance in connection with the Master’s degree project
    • Be co-authors of articles or manuscripts forming part of the dissertation
    • Have recently (within the last three years) published material together with the main supervisor or the student

The role of the assessment committee

The role of the assessment committee is to:  

  • make a preliminary recommendation to the university as to whether the PhD dissertation can be accepted for defence
  • take part in a public defence and subsequently make a final recommendation as to whether the PhD degree should be awarded

The outcome of the assessment

 There are three possible outcomes of the assessment of a dissertation:

  • The dissertation is recommended for defence
  • The dissertation is returned for revision
  • The dissertation is rejected

Accepted for defence

If the recommendation is positive, the PhD student will receive an e-mail with the assessment attached and the defence of the dissertation can take place.

Returned for revision

If the assessment committee recommends revision of the dissertation, the PhD student needs to submit a new, revised dissertation together with a point-by point reply where he/she comments on the assessment committee's remarks. 

The graduate school needs to receive any comments to the assessment committee’s decision no later than two weeks after the date where the PhD student received the assessment.

Unless special conditions apply, the same assessment committee will reassess the dissertation. The new assessment consists of a free text assessment of the revised dissertation stating the background, a listing of the changes made as well as an assessment of these changes and a recommendation as to whether the dissertation can now be accepted for public defence. 

If the committee approves the changes, the defence can take place, and the PhD student and the assessment committee need to agree on a new date for the defence. 
 
The PhD student’s changes need to be included in the final (printed) dissertation.

Rejected

If the assessment committee recommends rejecting the dissertation, the graduate school needs to receive any comments on the assessment committee’s decision no later than two weeks after the date where the PhD student received the assessment.

The graduate school management will review the assessment committee’s recommendation, including any comments from the main supervisor and PhD student.  

The management then makes the final decision on whether the PhD student is asked to resubmit the PhD dissertation to the assessment committee, resubmit to a new assessment committee or whether the dissertation is rejected completely. 

If the disseration is in fact rejected, the PhD student will be disenrolled from the PhD prgramme without obtaining a degree.