Dos and Don'ts when applying


  1. Carefully read all the general information available regarding the PhD programme of The Graduate School of Business and Social Sciences at
  2. Carefully read the announcement. There are two different types of position (announcements) posted: (i) a regular/general announcement and (ii) an ad hoc special announcement directly associated with a specific research project (i.e. a fixed topic/assignment). In the former case, you are expected to formulate a topic by yourself that corresponds with the strategy of the department and the research groups. You are also strongly encouraged to familiarize yourself with the ongoing research at the department while at the same time identifying a potential supervisor in the research area relevant to your interest. In the case of (ii) you are strongly encouraged to contact the professor mentioned in the special annoucement in order to obtain more information and guidance as to what the PhD scholarship is about and what will be expected from you.
  3. You are expected explicitly to state in your application which of the posted positions you are applying for.
  4. Do comply with all requirements stated in the announcement as well as guidelines, e.g. enclose a copy of all academic and relevant degrees and exams (translated to an English and international standard), a copy of your PhD proposal, your CV and a motivation letter. Failure to comply with all requirements stated in the announcement may well imply that your application will not be eligible.


  1. Do not add additional material unless explicitly stated in the general guidelines
  2. Do not use a ’generic’ application (used for multiple targets) – such an application will be discarded up front
  3. Do not apply if your average grades are not clearly above average and your thesis grade is not among the top 10% of your class (only about 10% of the applicants can expect to have a realistic chance of being offered a enrollment and/or scholarship)
  4. Do not consider plagiarism (we apply measures for checking for that – we do not tolerate plagiarism)
  5. Do not apply solely for funding ‐ as all awarded scholarships will require enrollment in our doctoral programme and a physical presence at our department. You may, however, apply only for enrollment ‐ with funding raised by yourself; in that case your application will undergo the same quality check as all other applications
  6. Do not believe that you can submit anything after the deadline stated in the announcement (the responsibility for meeting the deadline lies solely with the applicant)

What should be included in your PhD proposal?

A well‐developed PhD proposal (max. 12,000 characters incl. of spaces, for further details, check here) should frame the research problem in relation to its relevance to existing knowledge in the field (and for example identify a research gap/need or inconsistency) and its relevance to the business community. More specifically, it should

  • clearly state the overall objective(s) and research question(s)
  • document familiarity with state‐of‐the‐art literature in the field (substantiated by relevant references)
  • explicate how your thesis is intended to be executed including which theory and methods you are expecting to apply (general remarks about what might be considered is not sufficient); you should be very specific and clear in elaboration of the intended empirical design as well as in your argumentation for your choice of method(s) (details are indeed needed to inform about your sample, qustionnaire and/or case sampling in order for the committee to be able to assess the wider viability of your research proposal)
  • include an overview of milestones and deliveries 
  • include an account of your expected scientific and practical contributions and how you see your research proposal fit with and contribute to ongoing research at the department and its research centres and/or research groups 
  • supervisors will have to be affiliated with the department

Further information: in case you may have any specific questions related to the application process and/or our doctoral programme, please do not hesitate to contact the PhD administration at the Aarhus Graduate School.