During the PhD programme each PhD student is assigned to supervision. The supervisor(s) must help the PhD student acquire the methodology of the discipline, become acquainted with relevant Danish and international scientific and academic environments within the discipline, meet the formal requirements for course participation and change of study environment and write a PhD dissertation that meets the academic requirements for approval.  

Approval of supervisors

In general, faculty members holding permanent tenure at the rank of full or associate professor at one of the departments are potential supervisors to PhD students enrolled in their academic field. However, all supervisors must complete the training course for supervisors,  which is offered at the Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, in order to increase the quality of the supervision. Course contents are approved by the dean, and the course is offered in Danish and English (in connection with the establishment of Aarhus BSS Graduate School, in replacement of the main academic areas two former graduate schools, already established agreements on supervision will continue.)

The training course is mandatory for tenured faculty at the rank of associate professor and above at the Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, and the course (or corresponding course) must be completed no later than 2 years after employment. Corresponding courses must be approved by the head of the graduate school.

In special cases, faculty who do not hold tenure at Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, may qualify to serve as a co-supervisor at the graduate school. The head of the graduate school must approve such arrangements on the basis of the recommendation by the chairman of the field committee.

Allocation of supervisors

The head of the graduate school must allocate supervisors to all PhD students on the basis of a recommendation drawn up by the chairman of the relevant field committee and the formal approval of such recommendation by the head of the department. 

To ensure the best possible supervision process, each enrolled student at the graduate school will be allocated two supervisors: a principal supervisor and a co-supervisor. The principal supervisor must be a recognised researcher within the academic field in question, must be a faculty member at the rank of associate or full professor at Aarhus University and must be affiliated with the graduate school. Co-supervisors may be at the rank of assistant professor. 

An additional co-supervisor may be appointed, possibly from another research institution, if deemed appropriate. For the industrial PhD programme, the co-supervisor must be affiliated with the external partner where the student is employed.  

Role and responsibilities of supervisors

The principal supervisor has the overall responsibility for the PhD student toward the graduate school and for the individual PhD degree programme as a whole, including the responsibility for ensuring that the planned course activities correspond to at least 30 ECTS. The co-supervisor must provide supervision in the academic field to the PhD student.

The exact distribution of supervision duties between the supervisors must be arranged in each individual case. The principal supervisor must offer thorough supervision to the PhD student on the dissertation as well as on other components of the PhD degree programme, including course participation, stay abroad and teaching duties undertaken by the PhD student.

The supervisors must in particular pay attention to the PhD student’s need for advice, interest and encouragement in regard to teaching duties. For instance, the supervisors must ensure that the PhD student is offered relevant courses, e.g. training courses on teaching and learning issues, and that these courses form part of the PhD plan.

Change of supervisors

Regular adjustments to a PhD project, such as change of supervisor on academic grounds, should be expected. Change of supervisor(s) generally occurs on the basis of prior agreement between the PhD student, the former supervisors and the head of the graduate school as well as consent to serve from the new supervisor(s) and adjustment of the PhD plan accordingly. If agreement cannot be made on change of supervisor, the head of the graduate school will determine the case after consultation with the chairman of the field committee and the head of department.