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FAQ -Corona and PhD

Below you find some answers to some of the most common questions concerning ”Corona and PhD”. The list is updated on a regular basis.

The situation regarding The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is escalating, and new safety measures are taken by Danish Authorities on a daily basis.

AU is monitoring the situation and is regularly updating information about the coronavirus outbreak on the website: www.au.dk/en/corona.

Research Environment Change

I have received money for a research stay abroad, but my stay has to be postponed. Should I apply for funding again?

You do not need to submit a new application, just send us an e-mail with the new dates for your stay abroad. 

Can I go abroad on my research environment change?

Aarhus University strongly advises not to travel abroad.

All PhD Students must stay informed via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s guidelines for travel abroad.

Special circumstances may apply for international PhD students travelling to or from Denmark. Please keep yourself updated on the International Academic Staff Service (IAS) website.   

Should I come home from my stay abroad?

We want to encourage PhD students abroad to carefully consider their situation. 

Aarhus University strongly encourage all members of staff who do not live abroad to return to Denmark as quickly as possible.

Please stay informed at AU’s corona website and via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s guidelines for travel abroad.

Special circumstances may apply for international PhD students travelling to or from Denmark. Please keep yourself updated on the International Academic Staff Service (IAS) website.

I have prepaid for parts of my stay abroad (a deposit for rent, flight tickets etc.) that cannot be reimbursed.

Lost deposits and flight tickets will be covered by the Graduate School of Health. 

Please contact the PhD administration via e-mail, graduateschoolhealth@au.dk.

Dissertations and PhD defences

I would like to postpone my PhD defence for now, can I do that?

Yes, we await further developments and a new date for the defence.

I would like to maintain the date for my PhD defence, can I do that?

All PhD defences until and including 27 March are postponed.

PhD defences after 27 March can be cancelled, moved to a later date or be conducted digitally/online (if a digital solution is ready).

OBS! We are evaluating different solution to conduct PhD defences digitally/online at the moment.
Monday 30 March we will update the FAQ with recommendations to digital platform(s).

Is it possible to extend my enrolment period (and thereby hand in my dissertation later) equivalent to the period the university is closed?

If you have been unable to work on your project during the university lockdown, you can apply for an extension.

We recommend that you, in consultation with your main supervisor, assess how you can approach the PhD project and what parts of the project you can work on during this period and in the given circumstances.

Find more information on extensions here.

Please wait to apply until the lockdown is lifted.

Can I hand in my dissertation even though the graduate school is closed?

Yes, you can hand in your dissertation. As always, please hand in via e-mail: graduateschoolhealth@au.dk

The three hard copies of your PhD dissertation, you can hand in when AU is open again. 

Crisis response

I want to participate in the crises response at the hospital.

There are three ways to participate in the crises response as a PhD student. 

  1. You are asked to stay prepared, but you are not yet active. 

Your PhD continues unchanged.

2.  You are prepared and active with some extra shifts in the clinic. 

Your contribution in the crisis response is considered as an extra job.
The Graduate School of Health has extended the rule about max. 20 hours per month of additional work to a max. of 50 hours per month.

3.  You are active full time in the clinic.

You can apply for leave from your PhD.
The Central Denmark Region (Region Midt) employs you in the period of your participation in the crisis response.

In this case, please send an email to the Graduate School of Health containing the following information:

  1. Your full name
  2. Your AU ID

Send the email to graduateschoolhealth@au.dk and cc. your main supervisor.


NB! When your work is done in the clinic please contact the Graduate School of Health to re-activate your enrollment. 

Your enrollment and scholarship will be extended accordingly.

If you need documentation for your extension to funding providers, you can use this template (in Danish). Please fill it out yourself, and put the graduate school cc. (graduateschoolhealth@au.dk) when you forward it. 

PhD courses

Are PhD courses cancelled or postponed?

PhD courses scheduled to be held before March 27 will in general be cancelled or postponed.  

Due to the circumstances related to COVID-19, you may experience slight delay in our response regarding application- and cancellation deadlines. We kindly ask you to be patient and know that we will let you know if the course will be held normally, as remote learning or postponed.  

We are working hard to prepare digital solutions in order to offer distance learning. We are currently testing the technology and expect to be able to offer distance learning on some PhD courses.

The university has never before had to apply this technology on such a large scale. Therefore, we ask for your patience.

Can I register hours for preparation in the PhD Planner even though the class/teaching hours are cancelled?

Yes, you can register hours for preparation.

It is expected that teaching obligations are carried out if there is a digital solution (Blackboard/Zoom)

What will happen to my qualifying exam? (for flexible/integrated PhD enrolled at Nat or Tech)

Some PhD Students have scheduled Qualifying exams before March 27. As far as possible, all exams will be rescheduled for when the university is no longer closed.

In the rare cases where rescheduling is impossible, the exams can be conducted digitally during this period. In this case, you will need a written acceptance from the head of the graduate school.

Please find more information regarding educational activities on the AU website: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/corona/faq-and-chat-for-students/

Meetings in scientific committees

It is expected that PhD students continue to work from home.

If you get sick or in other ways are prevented from doing your job, you need to let us and your work place know.