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Criteria for assessment of Research Year applications

A Research Year gives medical and dentistry students at Aarhus University a unique opportunity to learn and become acquainted with relevant research methods, scientific literature and research in general.

Research Year students must apply for 1-2 semesters of special leave for completing a Research Year.

These guidelines are for the use of designing and assessing applications for enrolment and scholarship for the Research Year.

Assessment procedure

All applications are assessed individually by a member of the Research Year/Student Research Committee and the Head of Graduate Programme. Applications for enrolment and scholarship are assessed on three general points:

  1. The scope of the project
  2. The applicant’s qualifications
  3. The research environment

The Head of Graduate Programme assesses if the project can be approved for a Research Year (Approved/not approved). Furthermore, a score from 1-6 (6 being the best and 1 being not qualified) is assigned for the applicant’s qualifications and the research environment. The scores are added up to one total score, and all applicants are then ranked, according to the score.

The Research Year/Student Research Committee makes recommendations for approval for enrolment and granting of scholarships to the Vice-dean of Education, Health, based on individual assessments and the applicant’s score.

Only two applicants from each main supervisor can be approved in each application round.

The applicant, in cooperation with the main supervisor, is expected to incorporate and document relevant information from the above mentioned assessment points (elaboration below) into their application.

The scope of the project (approved/not approved)

The scope if the project must be appropriate for a Research Year in relation to workload and scientific level.

It therefore needs to be considered to what degree the following questions are satisfactory illustrated in the project description:

  • Is the scope of the project appropriate for 12 months of research?
  • Is the feasibility of the project accounted for, e.g. through calculation of strength?
  • Is the scientific level of the project appropriate?
  • Have all relevant permits been obtained?  

The applicant’s qualification (50% of the total score)

The applicant must be medical or dentistry student at Aarhus University. It is furthermore expected that the applicant is engaged, eager to learn and has the ability to make an effort, as well as being interested in research.

It therefore needs to be considered to what degree the following questions are satisfactory illustrated in the applicant’s motivation and CV:

  • Does the applicant have research experience, e.g. participation in journal clubs, congresses or similar?
  • What other activities has the applicant participated in, e.g. relevant elective courses, the course ‘introduction to Research Training in Health Sciences’, summer school, organisational or voluntary work?
  • What grades has the applicant achieved?
  • What is the applicant’s motivation for applying for a Research Year?
  • Has the applicant taken part in the planning and designing of the project?
  • Has the applicant been selected through an open call?  

The research environment (50% of the total score)

The applicant’s main supervisor must be employed at the Faculty of Health at Aarhus University, at minimum at associate professor level within the relevant research field. Furthermore, up to three cosupervisors can be affiliated to the projects. Co-supervisor must have at least a Master’s degree within the relevant research field.

The research environment must be supporting, broadly put together and at an international level. The supervision is considered, as well as if the main supervisor has the needed time for supervision.

The Research Year must support the Faculty’s strategic work. It will therefore be an advantage if the applicant will be a part of an industrial or international corporation during the Research Year.

It therefore needs to be considered to what degree the following questions are satisfactory illustrated in the main supervisor statement and the motivation:

  • How are the main and co-supervisors contributing to the completion of the Research Year?
  • How are the supervisors present?
  • How many Research Year and PhD students are currently being supervised by the supervisors?
  • How is the planned supervision described?
  • How is the match of expectations between the applicant and the main supervisor?
  • Which learning goals are set, e.g. participation in national or international conferences?
  • Is international cooperation possible, e.g. going abroad? What is the applicant’s role?
  • Is industrial cooperation possible? What is the applicant’s role?
  • How is the composition of the research environment? Are there international researchers with whom the applicant can network with and are there researchers with other academic backgrounds to support the research?
  • Does the main supervisor’s short CV indicate a strong scientific research environment within the field?
  • What is the main supervisor’s supervision history?