Guidelines for the author and the assessment committee – University of Copenhagen

Health > Research > The Doctoral Degree > Dissertation Guidelines

Niels Erik Gjerdevik

Dissertation Guidelines

The doctoral degree (a research doctorate) is the highest academic degree obtainable at Danish Universities. The doctoral degree is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated considerable scientific insight and maturity, and who has contributed substantially to the advancement of science through independent research.

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences can award the doctoral degree in:
 • Medical Science (
 • Odontology (dr.odont.) 
 • Veterinary Science (
 • Pharmacy (dr.pharm.)

Supplementary guidelines for the author and the assessment committee

Supplementary instruction to the Ministerial Order no. 750 of 14 August 1996 on Doctoral Degrees (the Doctoral Order) section 5, see:

To the Author:
In the compressed account of the thesis (Dansk: Den sammenfattende redegørelse), the doctoral candidate must present the research findings clearly and concisely in relation to the existing body of knowledge in the field of research concerned. This must include a discussion of the most significant challenges and unanswered questions in the field.
It is recommended that the structure of the compressed account conforms to that of corresponding review articles in peer reviewed international literature in the field.

To the assessment committee:
It is the task of the assessment committee to evaluate whether the thesis - including the compressed account (Dansk: Den sammenfattende redegørelse) - meets the criteria set out in the mentioned ministerial order (cf. the link above), and, to address this in the overall assessment. If the criteria are not met, however, the committee should not engage in advising on possible resubmission of a reworked thesis. Thus, phrases like "... the Thesis is not acceptable in its present form..." should be avoided.

Guidelines for the assessment committee

Guidelines for the assessment of a doctoral dissertation

Who can submit a dissertation?

As per the Ministerial Order, section 4, holders of master’s or PhD degrees within the most relevant academic field are entitled to submit a dissertation for consideration for the doctoral degree (however, see (2) below).

What dissertations can the Faculty decline to consider?

The Academic Council may, notwithstanding the Ministerial Order, section 4 (1), decline to consider a submitted dissertation if:

1. it is evident from the form or content of the dissertation that the degree cannot be awarded, or

2. the institution has no experts at professorial level in the subject area concerned, or

3. the dissertation has already been subjected to assessment for the doctoral degree at an institution of higher education without the degree being awarded. If this is the case, the author must provide this information when the dissertation is submitted.

Applications for exemptions

In connection with the Academic Council’s processing of applications for exemption, the following information must be presented:

Application for exemption accompanied by an explanation

Information sheet
Danish summary

Co-author declarations

Where applicable, the author’s explanation of the changes made, compared with the original dissertation
Where applicable, the assessment committee’s recommendation when the dissertation was submitted the first time