Evaluations

It is mandatory for the PhD student to complete three evaluations during the enrolment period. 

The evaluation should focus on:

  • Collaboration between the PhD student and the main supervisor
  • Whether the PhD study follows the PhD plan
  • Project feasibility
  • Project progression
  • Collaboration with international/external parties

Below, please find information on how to do the three evaluations during a PhD programme, and what to do if an evaluation has a negative outcome.

How to do an evaluation

The PhD student will receive an e-mail when it is time to begin the evaluation. Evaluations are carried out in the PhD Planner and should be written in English. Please make sure not to complete evaluations ahead of time. 

The PhD student starts by updating the PhD plan and then answers a set of questions related to the evaluation. When done, the student indicates whether he/she expects the plan to lead to timely completion or whether he/she is concerned and forward the evaluation to the main supervisor.

The main supervisor now has access to both the updated PhD plan and the evaluation. He/she answers a set of questions. 

Passed evaluation
If the evaluation is passed, the main supervisor will conclude the evaluation by expressing that he/she expects the plan to lead to timely completion. 

Failed evaluation
If the evaluation is failed, the main supervisor will conclude the evaluation by expressing concern that the plan might not lead to timely completion or recommend a three month trial period.

When the evaluation is completed
When the main supervisor is done, the PhD student has two weeks to comment on the evaluation, before it is automatically forwarded to the head of graduate programme for approval.   

When the evaluation is complete, both student and main supervisor can access the evaluation, including comments made by the head of graduate programme and the graduate school.

It is not possible to update the PhD plan before the evaluation is complete.

More information?
See guidelines (right sidebar) for further information on how to do the evaluations.

The three evaluations

Dates for the ordinary, three year full time study (including Industrial PhD):

  • A written evaluation six months after enrolment
    • This evaluation focuses on project progression, the PhD students research competence, plans for the student's change of research environment/stay abroad and plans for teaching and knowledge dissemination
  • 18 months after enrolment - An oral midterm evaluation with the main supervisor and an evaluator, based on an approximately five page scientific report and a written evaluation with questions for both the PhD student and the main supervisor made in PhD Planner
    • The evaluation serves as a status of the project and the student's development and focusing on ensuring that learning outcomes for doctoral education are well on the way to be achieved. Secondly, the evaluation should warrant the general feasibility of the project leading to a PhD degree, and provide the student an opportunity to get a second opinion and feedback on the project
  • A written evaluation six months before enrolment end
    • In addition to (once again) evaluating the progression of the project, the evaluation focuses on whether the education will be completed in due time and contains all planned and mandatory elements (change of research environment, courses, teaching etc.). Also, the student's plans for post graduate career are addressed. 

 

Three months trial period

What is a three months trial period?

If an evaluation has a negative outcome, the main supervisor can conclude the evaluation by indicating that “the plan will not lead to timely completion, three month trial period necessary”.

If a trial period is initiated, the PhD student will - during a three month period - follow a plan outlined by the student and his/her supervisors (and approved by the graduate school).

After the three months, the student’s PhD will be evaluated again. If the re-evaluation is positive, the PhD study continues. If the re-evaluation is negative the PhD student’s enrolment will terminate immediately as will employment (if any) at AU. 

An offer of a three months trial period can only be offered once, and will not cause extension of enrolment period or employment.  

Initiating a trial periode

The PhD students has 14 days to comment on the main supervisor’s negative evaluation. If needed, the graduate school can summon the main supervisor and the student to a clarifying meeting.

If it is decided to recommend to the Head of the Graduate School that the PhD student should be offered a three months trial period, the main supervisor must prepare a suggestion for an action plan. The action plan should clearly state exactly which steps the PhD student needs to take to get back on track, and the situation can be regarded as restored.

The PhD Administration sends the evaluation, action plan and any comments from the PhD student to the Head of the Graduate School together with a recommendation stating that the PhD student should be offered three months trial period.

The Head of the Graduate School can decide not to offer a three months trial period. In such case, the PhD student continues the PhD degree programme without any changes, except perhaps minor adjustments, until the next ordinary evaluation deadline.

The offer of a trial period

The Head of the Graduate School  can decide to offer the PhD student a three months trial period to get back on track, cf. §10(2) in the PhD order, the student has one week to consider the offer, including the action plan.

If the PhD student does not wish to accept the offer, both the enrolment and the employment will terminate immediately.

If the PhD student accepts the offer, the time limit of three months will come into force, and the trial period will take place in close collaboration between the PhD student and the main supervisor. Acceptance of the offer implies that the student is obliged to follow the action plan.

After the three months

After the three months, the main supervisor conducts a new evaluation stating whether the deficiencies have been properly addressed and the PhD is back on track.

In case of positive outcome, the PhD education will continue according to the most recently approved plan.

In case of negative outcome, the enrollment of the PhD student will terminate immediately as will employment (if any) at Aarhus University. Any external employer (if any) must be notified right away that enrolment has been terminated.

Negative evaluation outside an evaluation deadline

A negative evaluation can be initiated by the main supervisor outside the evaluation deadlines.

The evaluation must cover the period starting from the most recent evaluation until the present date. The evaluation must prove that the PhD student does not follow the PhD plan, including any adjustments made.