PhD defence and certificate
Learn more about PhD defences during the Covid-19
The different types of oral PhD defences
As a PhD student can choose between three different types of oral PhD defences:
- A physical defence
- A fully digital PhD defence with a link open to the public
- A digital PhD defence with partly physical presence and a link open to the public
For all three types of defence, the PhD student must fill in the form "Information regarding the PhD defence and the PhD certificate" at least 3 weeks before the defence.
The principal supervisor is responsible for planning the defence, including booking a venue or assist with setting up a digital meeting room if relevant.
For venues at Panum please contact email@example.com
For more information about IT assistance from UCPH IT, please read this short guide on KUnet. The sections relevant for digital PhD defences are: Digital defence and Digital defence with partly physical presence.
For all types of oral defences these rules apply:
- The PhD student has up to 45 minutes to present the main findings of the PhD project. Afterwards the assessment committee examines the PhD student and facilitates an academic discussion based on the thesis and the PhD student's presentation.
- At the end of the defence, the audience is given the opportunity to ask questions.
- The defence should not take more than three hours in total, including all or any break(s).
- The PhD defence must always be publicly available
- The defence normally takes place in English. In order for the defence to be conducted in Danish, all members of the assessment committee must agree to this. In addition, it should be clarified whether anyone in the audience would prefer the defence to be held in English.
- Supervisors have no formal role during the oral defence. However, they should attend the event in order to support the PhD student and celebrate his or her achievements.
The PhD degree is awarded by The Academic Council after an obligatory consultation procedure.
A few weeks after the defence, you will receive an e-mail from the Graduate School confirming that the Academic Council has awarded you the PhD degree. This e-mail serves as temporary documentation of your degree.
You will receive your final PhD certificate approximately 1–2 months after a successful defence.
The Graduate School encourages the common praxis of inviting the assessment committee and the supervisors out for a dinner or lunch. The arrangements must be made in accordance with the university’s rules regarding entertainment expenses. This is usually the responsibility of the principal supervisor.
Here are the guidelines:
- The Graduate School reimburses the costs for one lunch or dinner for the assessment committee, the principal supervisor and primary co-supervisor (this does not include the PhD student).
- If you wish to apply for a reimbursement, please make sure to get a receipt for the expenses and email the receipt to the Graduate School along with a list of participants.
- The Graduate School does not reimburse a reception.