As a main supervisor you will be asked to submit a proposal for the composition of the assessment committee five months before the PhD student submits his/her PhD dissertation.
It is the main supervisor's responsibility to make sure that all suggested members have agreed to participate in accordance with the schedule and to inform the proposed persons about the scope of the task and the conditions associated with it (deadlines for submission, payment of honorarium, travel rules etc.).
The proposal is approved by the PhD Committee. It is expected that the proposed persons are aware that the composition of the committee may be changed upon the processing by the PhD committee and graduate school.
Find the requirements for the composition of the assessment committee below and the form for suggesting an assessment committee in the right sidebar.
The requirements for the composition of the committee are as follows:
Satisfactory reasoning should be provided for each of the proposed members, which form the basis for the PhD committee’s decision for the appointment of the committee.
It is possible, for academic reasons, to deviate from the requirement that at least one assessor must be foreign and/or the wish for both genders to be represented. It must be stated clearly in the reasoning if this is the case.
Part 2 of the Danish Public Administration Act (Forvaltningsloven) contains provisions on the disqualification of persons employed by or acting on behalf of a public administration body. These provisions therefore also apply to members of expert assessment committees.
The purpose of the provisions on disqualification is to prevent a person employed by or acting on behalf of a public authority from taking part in the consideration of a case if the person in question is related to the case and/or the parties involved in such a way that there are doubts as to whether he/she will be able to ensure an impartial assessment of the case (without letting subjective or irrelevant considerations become more or less decisive in the decision-making).
According to a statement from the ombudsman, it should also be taken into account when determining the scope of the provisions that the purpose of the rules on disqualification is not only to ensure that the individual case is handled correctly, but to prevent a weakening of the confidence in the public administration.
Examples of situations where greater attention should be paid to possible disqualification:
Everyone is obliged to notify the graduate school of any circumstances in which there are doubts about the impartiality of a person who is being suggested as a member of an expert assessment committee.
The question of the potential disqualification of a person is assessed by the PhD committee, who makes its recommendation to the graduate school who has the final say in the matter.
The person in question must not be involved in the processing and determination of the disqualification issue.
As a rule, a decision is invalid if a disqualified person has been involved in the processing of the case.
The assessment committee assesses the academic quality of the PhD dissertation, draws up a preliminary assessment and participates in the defence.
The chairman directs the work of the committee and should provide guidance to the other members to ensure the following:
The chairman must therefore:
The professional qualifications of the committee members and their affiliation with the faculty are regulated by §16 of the PhD order.
Deadlines for submission of the preliminary assessment of the PhD dissertation and the defence are regulated by §18-20 of the PhD order.
It is stated in the PhD order that within two months of submission of the PhD dissertation, the assessment committee makes its recommendation to the university as to whether the PhD dissertation can be accepted for defence.
The recommendation must be reasoned, and in the event of disagreement, the majority will prevail. If the recommendation is not favourable, the university may decide that the PhD dissertation may be resubmitted in a revised version within a deadline of at least three months.
The PhD defence is public and must be held, at the earliest, two weeks after the assessment committee has made its recommendation and, at the latest, three months after submission of the PhD dissertation. The date and time must be agreed with the PhD student.
According to Aarhus University’s rules on the PhD programme, the faculty lays down the rules on the appointment of assessment committees and the conducting of the defence (PhD programme (AU rules) in Danish)