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Application guide: ordinary open calls

To be considered for a PhD, you must meet our requirements for enrolment:

  • You must have a relevant higher education degree. Access to the graduate school’s PhD programme requires a Danish Master’s degree (“kandidatgrad”) of 120 ECTS credits or a similar relevant five-year degree programme.  Your educational level will be assessed to determine whether it comply with entry requirements. If you hold a degree other than a Danish Master’s degree, it can be advisable to get your degree assessed by the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education before you apply
  • Excellent communication skills in English are considered essential, and the applicant must be able to read, write, and speak academic English fluently. English language requirement is comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6,5. See the requierements below. 
  • You must submit a project description in English (see below). Your application will be rejected if your project description is not in English  
  • You must have a main supervisor from the Faculty of Health, and a recommendation from your main supervisor is a mandatory part of your application (see below). Your application will be rejected if 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.   

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

English language skills (mandatory)

Updated 24 October 2022 - applicable from the ordinary PhD call opening February 2023.

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

Excellent communication skills in English are considered essential, and PhD students must be able to read, write, and speak academic English fluently. English language requirement is comparable to a minimum of TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6,5.

Documenting required proficiency in English is mandatory at the time of enrolment. This means, you can apply without documenting required language skills, but you cannot be enrolled without submitting the required documentation.

To ease the processing of your application, you can upload documentation at the time of application.

How to document required proficiency in English

For Danish applicants, TOEFL 83 or IELTS 6,5 correspond to passed English B from upper secondary school ("gymnasium") – please submit your diploma (“eksamensbevis”) as documentation.

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 tests mentioned below at the levels required. 

We only accept below tests as documentation.

TOEFL:

English B – Test result of at least 83 (internet-based) or 560 (paper-based - please note, we only accept paper-based tests taken in 2020 and earlier. From 1 January 2021 tests must be internet-based to be accepted)

Aarhus University accepts the TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition test.

Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP (this includes the TOEFL ITP Plus for China Solution). The Aarhus University TOEFL code is 8935.

IELTS:

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

Cambridge English Qualifications

English B – Cambridge English Advanced (grades A, B and C) or Cambridge English First (grade A) or 180 points as a minimum on the Cambridge English Scale.  

Main supervisor and project description

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 your 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 incl. spaces). Extra pages will not be considered.

You should use our project description form and in the form, you must type number of characters incl. spaces.

The project description must include:

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

The project description should clearly state the applicant’s part in the research.

You can include a front page if you wish (not included in the five pages)

Table, figures, pictures and/or references should not be part of the project description but must be included in an appendix.

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.

How to fill in the online application form

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.

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.

Language

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.

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".

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".

Budget

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

The budget is not used during the initial assessment of your application (allocation of fully funded stipends). It is used by the departments -if applicants do not receive a fully funded stipend. The departments can grant relevant PhD projects financial support according to their own guidelines. If you have questions to how to make the budget and/or the department process, please contact the relevant department.

If you chose to upload a budget, it should be uploaded under "Other information to consider". You can only upload one file - so if you want to include different documents, you need to combine the files into one PDF.

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. All forms and attachments to your application MUST BE UPLOADED IN PDF.

Ordinary PhD

  • Project description (word). The project description should be no more than five standard pages in English (one standard page is 2,400 characters incl. spaces). Extra pages will not be considered. You must type number of characters incl. spaces. The project description must include:
    • background
    • hypotheses
    • materials and methods
    • research plan
    • perspectives

Table, figures, pictures and/or references should not be part of the project description but must be included in an appendix. The project description should clearly state the applicant’s part in the research. You can include a front page if you wish (not included in the five pages)


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

  • Project description (word). The project description should be no more than five standard pages in English (one standard page is 2,400 characters incl. spaces). Extra pages will not be considered. You must type number of characters incl. spaces. The project description must include:
    • background
    • hypotheses
    • materials and methods
    • research plan
    • perspectives

Table, figures, pictures and/or references should not be part of the project description but must be included in an appendix. The project description should clearly state the applicant’s part in the research. You can include a front page if you wish (not included in the five pages)


*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.

** All applicants must document adequate English skills – see above under “English language skills”. You can apply without documenting required language skills, but you cannot be enrolled without submitting the required documentation. To ease the processing of your application, you can upload documentation at the time of application.


*** 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. Part-time employment requires a minimum of 18.5 hours per week. Be aware that your enrolment period cannot exceed six years in total.