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Application guide: for applications for the ordinary open calls

This is the application guide for the ordinary open calls. We have two ordinary open calls - see the timeline

All applications have to be submitted through our online form. You find the application form at the page open calls.

The online form has to be filled out in one session. It cannot be saved and completed on a later date. It will however stay open for filling out as long as the browser window is open.

Below you can find some information on what you need to be aware of before you apply and how you fill in the form.

If you are an international applicant you should also consult this page before you apply. 

Before you apply

Contact supervisors

Before you apply, you must find a main supervisor. Contact the department where you wish to study and discuss your research interests with a supervisor. A main supervisor must be on at least associate professor level and employed at the Faculty of Health, Aarhus University. A recommendation from your main supervisor is mandatory and has to be a part of your application.

Your PhD project needs to have at least one co-supervisor and no more than three. The co-supervisors cannot be enrolled PhD students themselves. One of the co-supervisors should ideally be international and from a research institution outside of Denmark. Please fill out the relevant information on the form "Motivation and competences".

You can search for relevant AU employees here and read more about supervision here.

The project description

You need to prepare your application including the project description together with you main supervisor and co-supervisor(s) before applying for enrolment.

The project description should be no more than five standard pages in English (one standard page is 2,400 characters), and should include:

  • background
  • hypotheses
  • materials and methods
  • research plan
  • perspectives

The project description should clearly state the applicant’s part in the research.
Not included in the five pages are:

  • tables
  • pictures
  • front page (if desired)
  • references

Your application will be rejected if your project description is not in English and/or you do not have a recommendation from a main supervisor.

Please note, if you already have a PhD, your application will not be taken into consideration and will be rejected

English language skills (mandatory)

During your PhD you will become part of an international network through presentations at conferences abroad and publications in English journals. It is therefore important that you have profound English language skills. To develop your language skills and to accommodate international PhD students, the PhD short courses are taught in English.

Required proficiency in English

To have an application processed the applicant must document English language proficiency identical or comparable with an 'English B level' in the Danish upper secondary school ('gymnasium').

If you do not have English B level from the Danish upper secondary school, you must document your English language proficiency by passing one of the below mentioned tests at the levels required (exemptions mentioned below). 

Please upload your test results in the application form. 

If the applicant does not meet the requirements, the graduate school administration will reject the applicant.


English B – Test result of at least 560 (paper-based) or 83 (internet-based). Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935.


English B – IELTS Academic test result of at least 6.5 points.

Cambridge ESOL examinations

English B – Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) (from 2017 only grades A, B or C are accepted) or First Certificate with grade A as a minimum.
Applicants must upload their Confirmation of Entry stating candidate ID number and candidate secret number (which are not stated on the test result itself).

Please upload your test result in the application facility together with your application.

Applicants who are exempted from submitting an English test are:

  • Applicants holding a Nordic/Duborg/International Baccalaureate (from the IB diploma programme)/European Baccalaureate (from the “ScholaEuropaea”) entrance examination with an English level the Danish Agency for higher Education considers comparable to a Danish B/A level in English.
  • Applicants holding an English taught Bachelor’s or a Master's Degree from USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Scotland, or Ireland. The applicant must document that the programme was taught in English.

If you have an undergraduate or master’s degree from Denmark or the Nordic countries for which the admission requirement was English B-level or equivalent, your master’s diploma serves as documentation.  

How to fill in the online application form

Choose a GP

When you access the application form, you need to choose the appropriate Graduate Programme (GP) – ClinFO (Departments of Clinical Medicine, Forensic Medicine and Dentistry), Biomedicine or Public Health. Choose the GP that reflects the department of your main supervisor.

Grade point average

Enter your unweighted grade average calculated and based on your transcripts’ grading scale, BSc and MSc separately.

If you hold a Danish degree you can, if you wish, use this form (Excel)  to calculate both your weighted and unweighted grade average and upload it together with your diplomas and transcript of records. If you have grades from the 13 point scale, you can use this table to convert you grades to the 7 scale


The application form and all the mandatory forms for attachments (see below) are in English and should be filled out in English. Your CV should also be in English.
There are no requirements in regards to neither font nor type size.

What are you applying for/the fellowship plan

Here you need to choose whether you are applying for a fully financed fellowship or not.
You can choose both types if you want, i.e. enrolment only and fully financed PhD fellowship. To do so, press the Ctrl+Alt (windows)/cmd ⌘ (Mac) button(s) and click on your desired options.

Abstract and summary

In the application form you will be asked to write an abstract and a summary. Both are meant as brief versions of the project description.

The abstract has to be under 1000 keystrokes in total, and the summary has to be under 5000 keystrokes in total. All keystrokes are included in the 1000/5000 count.

Other information to consider

In addition to the mandatory attachments, you can upload other relevant documents in the upload field "Other information to consider".

We strongly recommend that you upload a budget for your PhD project. You are welcome to use this form (Excel). The form is meant as an inspiration and it is not mandatory to use the form.

You can only upload one file - so if you want to include different documents, you need to combine the files into one PDF.

The financial statement is not a mandatory part of the application. If you want to include it (filled out and signed), please upload it under "Other information to consider".

Main supervisor/referee #1

A recommendation from this main supervisor is mandatory. The recommendation should be uploaded under referee #1 in the application form – main supervisor and referee # 1 are the same.

Mandatory attachments

Please note, attachments mentioned in brackets ( ) are not mandatory for all applicants.

Ordinary PhD

  • Five pages project description (Word) (five standard pages/2,400 characters, incl. spaces, per page. Extra pages will not be considered)
  • Bachelor's degree and Master's degree diploma and transcripts of records (if you hold another degree than Danish, the documents must be in the original language accompanied by a certified translation into Danish or English)
  • CV*
  • Motivation and competences (Word)
  • Initial PhD plan (Word)
  • Recommendation from main supervisor (Word)  - upload under Referee # 1 in the application form.
  • (Names and contact information of two people who will be willing to provide a recommendation if asked can be included under "Referees".)
  • (Documentation of language skills**)
  • (Agreement for industrial PhD study***)
  • (Plan for part time study  or leave ****)
  • (A Budget. We strongly recommend that you upload a budget for your PhD project. You are welcome to use this form (Excel). The form is meant as an inspiration and it is not mandatory to use the form.)

Integrated PhD ("kandidat-ph.d.")

*Your CV must include (if applicable):
A complete list of publications with title, journal, publication year and number of pages.
An outline of your research experience, i.e. Research Year, clinical experience etc.
Dissemination; i.e. teaching and oral/poster presentations
An outline of your stay(s) abroad including; purpose, country and time spent abroad.
Organizational skills, e.g. planning, focus and time management.

** Applicants must document adequate English skills – see above under “English language skills”.

*** Only for applicants who have been accepted for an Industrial PhD by the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

**** Only for applicants who plan to have a PhD study programme with fixed periods of leave and/or part time.