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Guidelines for Integrated PhD

The Graduate School of Health offers young talents an opportunity to start their PhD studies while being Master’s degree students. To become an Integrated PhD Student the applicant must have completed a relevant Bachelor’s degree programme and be enrolled in a Master’s degree programme. The Integrated PhD degree programme consists of 3 years full-time PhD study (180 ECTS), where the first year is completed before obtaining the Master’s degree.

The student postpones finishing his/her Master’s degree with 12 months, by taking one year of PhD studies while being a Master’s student. Thereby, the student acquires the necessary qualifications during part A to complete the Master’s degree programme and finish part B of the Integrated PhD study within 2 years.  

Admission requirements

Students who wish to apply for enrolment as an Integrated PhD student must have completed a relevant Bachelor’s degree programme and be admitted in a Master’s degree programme at the time of application.

It is a prerequisite that the Master’s study programme in which the student is enrolled allows doing an Integrated PhD and qualifies for enrolment in the PhD degree programme.

Enrolment can commence at any time during a Master’s study, as long as the student has at least one semester left of the study.

Students who are not admitted/enrolled in a Danish Master’s degree programme needs to have their Master’s degree programme assessed to make sure it is equivalent to a Danish Master (120 ECTS). This procedure will take place simultaneously as the assessment of the application for enrolment (and scholarship). If the Master’s degree programme is not equivalent to a Danish Master’s degree programme, the applicant will be asked to submit an application for equivalence assessment.  

Application

As a general rule, the graduate school issues calls for applications for fellowships four times a year; with deadlines medio February, May, primo September and medio November. The call and application form is available 4 weeks prior to the deadline. In connection with these four rounds, candidates can apply for both admission and fellowship.

All current requirements for application material are available on the website.  

Master's study plan

As part of the application, the student must complete a Master’s study plan which shows how part A is structured. On this plan, the student must indicate how the 12 months of PhD study will be planned along with the remaining course(s) of the Master’s degree programme.  

Examples of Master's study plans

Credit transfer

It is possible to apply for credit transfer, in case the student has previously done research which is relevant to the PhD Study. It is, for example, possible to apply for up to 6 months credit transfer when having completed a Research Year.

To apply for credit transfer the applicant has to indicate the number of months he/she is applying for credit transfer of in the application form. A reason for the credit transfer also has to be stated in the application form.

If applying for credit transfer, please be aware that credit transfer will always be deducted from part B.  

Funding

Full funding of the Integrated PhD study is a prerequisite for enrolment.

When applying for enrolment as an Integrated PhD student it is also possible to apply for funding. The graduate school offers fully financed integrated PhD fellowships in some rounds. In every round the candidate can (also) apply for a ‘research training supplement’ of DKK 550,000 which is transferred to the integrated PhD student’s department (‘Institut’ at Aarhus University).

Integrated PhD studies can be financed by means of a faculty fellowship and/or external financing, such as a grant from a research council or private foundation, or by employment at a hospital.  

Part A

Part A is generally financed by means of an SU PhD fellowship of up to 48 SU PhD grant units. An SU PhD fellowship can be externally financed, but can only be paid out through Aarhus University. 

SU PhD grant units can only be granted while being a Master’s degree student and it is not possible to receive SU PhD grant units after having finished the Master’s degree programme, and thereby completed part A. It is not possible to convert any leftover SU PhD grant units into salary for part B. It is required that the integrated PhD student completes the last course of the Master’s degree programme during the final months of part A.

During part A it is permissible for the PhD student to be employed in other ways, e.g. as a staff member at a hospital department. If the PhD student is paid by other means than with the SU PhD grant units, it might affect the ordinary SU payment. Make sure to check with the SU office.

Part B

Part B, which requires that the integrated PhD student has completed a Master’s degree and submitted documentation (diploma or transcript of records) for successful completion of the examinations to the graduate school, is financed by external means or a faculty fellowship. Salary and employment are in accordance with the relevant collective agreement.

The Integrated PhD Programme

The general rules regarding courses, research environment, and dissemination etc. for the PhD study also applies for Integrated PhD students. For more information, please see the website.  

Part A

During part A, the Integrated PhD student is both a PhD student and a Master’s degree student and has to complete one year of full time PhD studies. Regardless of the planning of part A an integrated PhD degree programme will always prolong the Master’s degree study with one year. If the student has Master’s courses of 30 ECTS in one semester, it is not possible to work on the PhD at the same time.

It is the Integrated PhD student’s own responsibility to make sure to follow and complete the Master’s degree programme and follow the guidelines for the Master’s degree study programme.  

Part B

Part B consists of 2 years of PhD studies unless credit transfer has been granted, as any credit transfer will be deducted from part B. Upon request it is possible to do Part B as a part time study or to combine it with periods of leave to do for example clinical basic education (‘KBU’).

The PhD degree is awarded after satisfactory completion of part B – a total of three years of full-time PhD studies.  

Transition from A to B

Part A is completed when having finished 12 months of PhD study and the Master’s degree is obtained. Part B starts on the 1st of the following month after passing the final exam of the Master’s degree.

If you have begun your final semester per 1 February 2019 and onwards, integrated PhD students from Health, except medical and odontology students, will do  a mandatory qualification exam instead of a Master’s thesis at the end of part A.
This also includes integrated PhD students who are part of the  Molecular Medicine PhD programme.

Please submit documentation (diploma or transcript of records) to the graduate school via graduateschoolhealth@au.dk as soon as having finished the Master’s degree in order to start part B. 

Please consult the academic regulation (studieordning) of your Master's degree programme for more information. 

Molecular Medicine integrated PhD students

As a part of the Molecular Medicine Integrated PhD degree programme, the student’s Master’s degree thesis will be replaced by a Qualification Exam. The Qualification Exam is initiated by the Graduate School of Health. Please find more information under "Types of PhD".  

SU PhD grant units and salary

SU PhD grant units – part A

SU PhD grant units are not related to, or affect the ordinary SU and can only be paid out through Aarhus University. Be aware that any other type of employment/payment during part A might affect the ordinary SU, so make sure to check with the SU office if payment is from outside of Aarhus University.

Integrated PhD students paid via Aarhus University can get up to 48 SU PhD grant units during part A, maximum 2 per month.

SU PhD grant units can only be granted while being a Master’s degree student and it is not possible to receive SU PhD grant units after having finished the Master’s degree programme, and thereby completed part A. It is not possible to convert any leftover SU PhD grant units into salary for part B.

Read more about the rules regarding SU PhD grant units in the executive order on SU - see section II, chapter 12 (only available in Danish.)

Salary – part B

During part B, the Integrated PhD student has to be employed either as PhD fellow at Aarhus University or elsewhere in accordance with collective and other agreements.  

Sickness

Sickness during part A

Absence due to illness must always be reported to the main supervisor and the department. The rules that apply for the PhD student’s place of employment have to be complied with.

In case of long-term illness (more than 30 days), the graduate school must be informed by email: graduateschoolhealth@au.dk as soon as possible. Also make sure to inform the Master’s study office if the illness affects the Master’s study course work.

During part A, it is possible to get additional SU PhD grant units in case of long term illness. It is possible to extend part A for up to 4 months if the student is absent up to 4 months within a 12 months period. Please note, if you are absent for more than 4 months, part A can only still be extended for 4 months.

If the PhD student is paid with SU PhD grant units, the same SU PhD grant units as prior to the leave will be paid out during the long term illness. During the extension of enrolment the payment of SU PhD grant units will also be extended for up to 4 months, with the same number of SU PhD grant units per month as before the long termillness.

If the PhD student is employed elsewhere the local rules at the place of employment has to be complied with.

Sickness during part B

In case of long-term illness (more than 30 days), the graduate school must be informed by email: graduateschoolhealth@au.dk as soon as possible. Students enrolled in part B can apply for extension of the PhD study in case of long term illness.  

Leave

Maternity/paternity/parental leave during part A

Extensions due to absence can only be given in the part in which the student is absent. Extension due to absence during part A cannot be transferred to part B. Read more about the rules regarding SU PhD grant units in the executive order on SU (only available in Danish).

For expecting mothers

Integrated PhD students who take maternity/parental leave during part A can get their enrolment extended for up to 12 months. If the PhD student is paid with SU PhD grant units, the same SU PhD grant units as prior to the leave will be paid out during the leave. During the extension of enrolment the payment of SU PhD grant units will also be extended for up to 12 months, with the same number of SU PhD grant units per month as before the leave.

If the PhD student is employed elsewhere the local rules at the place of employment has to be complied with. It is important to keep the graduate school informed of all absence related to maternity/parental leave.

For expecting fathers

Integrated PhD students who take paternity/parental leave during part A can get their enrolment extended for up to 6 months. If the PhD student is paid with SU PhD grant units, the same SU PhD grant units as prior to the leave will be paid out during the leave. During the extension of enrolment the payment of SU PhD grant units will also be extended for up to 6 months, with the same number of SU PhD grant units per month as before the leave.

If the PhD student is employed elsewhere the local rules at the place of employment has to be complied with. It is important to keep the graduate school informed of all absence related to paternity/parental leave.

Maternity/paternity/parental leave during partB

Rules regarding maternity/paternity/parental leave are the same as for all other PhD students, and depend on the place of employment. Find more information in the section "Leave, extension and absence".  

Holiday

All holiday must be arranged in agreement with the main supervisor and the department.

All registration regarding holiday, ‘care day’ and ‘child's first sick day’ is handled by the department.  

Holiday during part A

Integrated PhD students on part A paid with a SU PhD grant unit are considered students and not employees, and therefore do not earn holiday pay. The SU PhD grant are paid out continuously also during holiday. If the PhD student is employed elsewhere the local rules at the place of employment has to be complied with.

Holiday during part B

During part B, the Integrated PhD students are employed, and must therefore follow the holiday rules and regulations of the place of employment.

Read more about the rules regarding holiday for PhD fellows employed at Aarhus University in the section "Leave, extention and absence".  

Evaluations

All PhD students and their main supervisors are asked to do 3 evaluations during the PhD study. The evaluations of the PhD student and his/her project focuses on the completing of the PhD project and educational elements (PhD courses, dissemination, research environment change, journal clubs and PhD Day participation) as well as the collaboration with the main supervisor and co-supervisor(s).

The PhD student will receive an email, when it is time to begin the evaluation. Evaluations are made in the PhD Planner. Both PhD students and main supervisors will receive a login for the PhD planner at the time of enrolment at the latest.

For integrated PhD students with a Master’s degree which is concluded with a thesis of a minimum of 30 ECTS and an oral exam the scientific report and the oral evaluation are optional. This also includes integrated PhD students who are a part of the molecular medicine PhD programme.

Read more about the different evaluations in the section "Evaluations"

Extension

The period of enrolment and employment may generally be extended in case of childbirth, adoption and illness, but always based on an application and an individual assessment made by the graduate school.

PhD students may also apply for an extension for other professional reasons, e.g. if the project has experienced unforeseen delay of some kind.

Enrolment and employment may be extended by a period corresponding to the leave of absence held. If the enrolment period expires during the leave, extension is only granted for the period of the first day of leave until the last day of enrolment.

Furthermore, part A will be extended if the final exam of the Master’s degree programme is failed.