Supervisor and the assessment committee

As a main supervisor you 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. It is expected that the proposed persons are aware that the composition of the committee may be changed upon the processing by the PhD committee and graduate school.

Find the requirements for the composition of the assessment committee below and the form for suggesting an assessment committee in the right sidebar.

Composition of the assessment committee

Requirements to the composition

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

Satisfactory reasoning

Satisfactory reasoning should be provided for each of the proposed members, which form the basis for the PhD committee’s decision for the appointment of the committee.

It is possible, for academic reasons, to deviate from the requirement that at least one assessor must be foreign and/or the wish for both genders to be represented. It must be stated clearly in the reasoning if this is the case.

Special rules on disqualification

Special rules on disqualification

Part 2 of the Danish Public Administration Act (Forvaltningsloven) contains provisions on the disqualification of persons employed by or acting on behalf of a public administration body. These provisions therefore also apply to members of expert assessment committees.

The purpose of the provisions on disqualification is to prevent a person employed by or acting on behalf of a public authority from taking part in the consideration of a case if the person in question is related to the case and/or the parties involved in such a way that there are doubts as to whether he/she will be able to ensure an impartial assessment of the case (without letting subjective or irrelevant considerations become more or less decisive in the decision-making).

According to a statement from the ombudsman, it should also be taken into account when determining the scope of the provisions that the purpose of the rules on disqualification is not only to ensure that the individual case is handled correctly, but to prevent a weakening of the confidence in the public administration.

Examples of situations where greater attention should be paid to possible disqualification:

  1. Particular personal interest in the outcome of the case
    a. Collaboration on the scientific research forming the basis of the dissertation 
    b. Co-authorship of the articles included in the dissertation 
    c. Have recently (within the last three years) published material together with the main supervisor or the student 
    d. Professional or job related dependency between a proposed assessor and the main supervisor 
    e. Other conditions, e.g. if the proposed assessor and the main supervisor are close colleagues, which may lead to the common practice of assessing dissertations by each other’s PhD students 
  2. Marriage and family relationship etc. 
    a. It is clear that a person is disqualified from assessing a dissertation submitted by his or her spouse, children, siblings, nieces or nephews. The same should apply to ‘other relatives’, including cohabitants or foster family members. In the case of ‘other relatives’ who are not immediate family, a concrete and individual assessment should always be made of whether such relationships are a matter of disqualification. 
  3. Friendship/enmity 
    a. A particularly close friendship or distinct enmity can lead to disqualification. Normally, disqualification should only be assumed to be an issue if the friendship or enmity is obvious and is not insignificant. However, a mutual sense of conflict is a precondition for being disqualified on account of enmity. A party cannot cause somebody to be disqualified by claiming that a personal conflict exists or by trying to spark off a conflict. General collegial incompatibility cannot lead to the disqualification of a person. Nor can academic differences of opinion within the framework of academic practice.

Decision on disqualification

 

Everyone is obliged to notify the graduate school of any circumstances in which there are doubts about the impartiality of a person who is being suggested as a member of an expert assessment committee.

The question of the potential disqualification of a person is assessed by the PhD committee, who makes its recommendation to the graduate school who has the final say in the matter.

The person in question must not be involved in the processing and determination of the disqualification issue.

As a rule, a decision is invalid if a disqualified person has been involved in the processing of the case.

Role of the chairman and the committee

The assessment committee assesses the academic quality of the PhD dissertation, draws up a preliminary assessment and participates in the defence.

The chairman directs the work of the committee and should provide guidance to the other members to ensure the following:

  • That the provisions laid down in the PhD Order are followed,
  • That the wording of the preliminary assessment indicates that the graduate school's requirements of international standard are met
  • That a high academic level is maintained to provide the best possible basis for award of the PhD degree.

The chairman must therefore:

  • Contact the other members immediately after receipt of the dissertation to distribute the responsibilities in the committee
  • Ensure that the preliminary assessment drawn up by the committee appears as a cohesive and harmonic whole in terms of linguistic, stylistic and graphical consistency, and that the wording is accepted by all members of the committee. For this reason appendices to the assessment will not be accepted
  • Ensure that the committee will meet in case of disagreements
  • Contact the graduate school if practical or formal problems emerge in relation to the assessment
  • Ensure that the other members of the assessment committee are provided with the necessary knowledge of how the defence will be conducted
  • Supervise the other members of the assessment committee regarding the required academic level and the practical issues concerning the defence, including providing guidance to non-Danish members on travel, stay, hotel, etc.
  • Ensure that the documents required for assessment and defence are signed and returned to the graudate school

Travel, accommodation and honorarium

If you, as an assessor, need help with travel arrangements, accommodation, hotel booking etc., please contact the chairman for guidance. The graduate school does not handle booking of travel, accommodation etc. 

Reimbursement and honorarium

When arranging your journey, the graduate school reimburses up to DKK 8,000 for journeys within Europe and up to DKK 15,000 from countries outside Europe. We also reimburse your expenses regarding meals – if you send us a copy of the receipts.

As an assessor from outside Aarhus University, you are entitled to an honorarium of approximately DKK 7,000.

Travel and accommodation

Please follow these rules for travel and accommodation:

  • Use public transportation during your trip (find information about timetables, prices and tickets at Billund Airport and Aarhus Airport).
  • Use only economy class when travelling
  • If you need to use taxi, please make an agreement with the graduate school beforehand

Aarhus University has made special agreements with several hotels. We encourage you to use these hotels. See the hotel list here.

When booking a hotel room, please be aware that the graduate school only reimburses up to 2 nights (DKK 1000 per night, incl. VAT). 

When possible, please have the invoice sent directly to the graduate school using our EAN-no.: 5798 000 418370. Make sure the following information is on the invoice:

  • Address: The Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, Katrinebjergvej 89 F, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Att: Annette Madsen
  • CVR (VAT): 31119103
  • Sag: 12073, Sagsopgave: 35201
  • Your name and the name of the author of the dissertation

The paper work

Returning from the defence, please fill in, sign and return the following forms to graduateschoolhealth@au.dk

We need your signature on both forms, so we kindly ask you to print the forms, sign them and email a scanned copy along with the copies of your receipts.