Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

FAQ -Corona and PhD

All employees at AU must work from home, with the exception of employees who perform essential functions.

Essential functions are defined as functions necessary to the operation of labs, clinics, research infrastructure and so on. With regard to research, there may be research projects which require the physical presence of essential employees to prevent the loss of critical research data. 
No one may access the affected locations without prior agreement with their manager/supervisor.

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

Please keep yourself updated! AU is monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is regularly updating information about the coronavirus outbreak on the website: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/corona.  

Be aware of travel restrictions. Find rules and guidelines and keep yourself updated at IAS' webpage and coronasmitte.dk (the Governtment's official website)

Research Environment Change

I have received financial support from the Graduate School 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?

The Graduate School is following the current travel guidelines from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
Please find more information regarding trips and stays abroad on the AU Corona-website and stay informed via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark’s guidelines for travelling abroad

The decision as to whether an employee may travel to an ‘orange’ country on business is up to the head of the department.

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. 

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.

If you have received financial support from the Graduate School for a research stay abroad,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

My defence is coming up soon. What are my options?

If your defence has been planned to take place in the periode from 9 December 2020 to 5 April 2021, your defence must be conducted online.

We recommend that you use Zoom when conducting your PhD defence digitally. If you are more comfortable using one of the other AU-supported platforms, you are of course welcome to do so.    

Digital platforms

Aarhus University has licenses for the following platforms and can provide IT-support if needed.

within meeting
Notes, chat,
Zoom xxxxxZoom login
for Business
xxxx Skype login
Microsoft Teamsxxxx Teams login

Please read the guides and FAQ’s carefully (links in table).

If you have any questions regarding functionality and setup of the system, please contact your local IT-support for technical support.

If you plan to conduct your PhD defence at AUH please be aware, that Health IT-support has limited access to provide technical support. In this case, we recommend that you contact the local IT-support at AUH.

The defence must be publicly available - the press release
All PhD defences must be publicly available. Therefore, please make sure to include a link to the defence in the press release, or add a name and e-mail address on a person who can send interested parties a link for the defence. 

Is it possible to extend my enrolment period equivalent to the period the university is closed?

AU has agreed on a joint procedure for handling the challenges PhD students are facing as a direct consequence of COVID-19, including the physical shutdown of AU.

Please see the joint procedure for extension of PhD project deadlines in the cross-faculty FAQ.

The joint procedure is based on the political agreements on the phased reopening of the country, in addition to the ‘Circular on the agreement on the possibility of extending temporary employment contracts, as a consequence of delays occurring in connection with COVID-19’ (in Danish)

If the lockdown has led to a delay you may be able to get an extension of your PhD. The nature of the delay in the PhD project must be clearly described, and an application for extension will be based on an individual assessment by the graduate school.

An application for extension will not be relevant if you have worked from home taking online courses, written articles or thesis chapters, and been able to continue with parts of your research. If you are in the early stages of your PhD studies, re-planning may allow you to catch up.

If you are in the final phase of your studies and have been significantly delayed due to the lockdown, discuss the possibilities for completing in due time with your supervisors.

Industrial PhD and extension

Industrial PhD students can apply for up to three months extension and additional funding if their project has been delayed due to Covid-19. Please find further information at Innovation Fund Denmark’s website.

If you get an application for funding approved by the Innovation Fund Denmark, you apply for an extension of your enrolment period by submitting an application for extension to graduateschoolhealth@au.dk .

An application for extension will be based on an individual assessment by the graduate school.

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 and Vaccine-assistance

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

There are three ways to participate in the crisis 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. 

I want to participate in the Vaccine-assistance

The Graduate School of Health wish to support the efforts of the healthcare service to fight corona, and we can do so by being flexible, so as many people as possible can help with the vaccination programme, if they wish to.

However, please remember to make sure you have an agreement in place with your immediate supervisor if this will affect your working hours.

PhD courses

Are PhD courses cancelled or postponed?

PhD courses will in general be conducted as planned. Some courses are require physical attendance while others are conducted online.

You can find more information in the Course calendar.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we have made it easier for you to find online courses.
Below you will find a list of online courses provided by some of our partner Institutions in the NorDoc network

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)

I have participated on a PhD Course with physical attendance (not online) and have tested positive for COVID-19, what do I do?

If you have participated on a PhD Course with physical attendance (not online) and you have tested positive for COVID-19, it’s important that you:

  1. self-quarantine at home and follow the healthcare authorities’ recommendations. You can only come back to campus after you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.
  2. e-mail the following information to graduateschoolhealth@au.dk (Cc. damian@au.dk):
  • Full Name
  • Course title and/or course no.
  • Date for your participation
  • Date for your positive COVID-19 test

Aarhus University respects and protects the confidentiality of your data.
Read the Danish Health Authority’s brochure for people who test positive for COVID-19.

AU encourages you to use the official contact tracing app smitte|stop, which is designed to support more distant/peripheral contract tracing. The app is available for Android and iOS devices but requires iOS 13.5 or newer on iPhones.

Find more information on the AU website: www.au.dk/corona


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

As far as possible, all exams will be conducted as planned.

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