PhD Assessment and Information for Assessment Committees
In connection with PhD dissertations at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science, as a rule the below mentioned standards must be met by the members of the assessment committee:
APPROVAL OF AN ASSESSMENT COMMITTEE
The following documents must be enclosed in one pdf file in searchable format when an assessment committee is forwarded to the PhD Board for approval:
1.CV incl. an updated list of publications for all three members. The CV must reflect the above mentioned standards. The publication list must be exhaustive for the last five years. CV and publication list must be in Scandinavian or English.
2.For Industrial PhD students a confirmation must be enclosed from the Department stating that § 27 of the Ministerial Order has been met (at least one of the members shall have company-relevant research experience within the relevant field).
3. The name of the PhD student's supervisor (and co-supervisor(s) if any) must be noted on the recommendation from the department.
4. The department must account for co-authorships within the last five years between members of the assessment committee and the supervisor/co-supervisor(s) respectively. In case of co-authorships within the last five years the department must submit a statement explaining why this does not constitute a conflict of interests.
Concerning competence to act the regular competence to act regulations apply cf. The Act on Public Administration §3-6. Special attention must be shown to the following:
Members of the assessment committee cannot be in an up-downwards management layer compared to the main supervisor (example 1: The Head of Department/Section Leader cannot be a member of an assessment committee for a PhD student in his or her own department/section. Example 2: If the supervisor is Head of Department, the members of the assessment committee cannot be recruited from the supervisor’s department.) NOTE: If it is not possible to find other academically competent persons to replace the disqualified members, a permission to participate in the assessment committee can be given by special argumentation.
It is not possible to be a member of an assessment committee if there are joint publications with the PhD student, or if any are in preparation.
As a rule it is not possible to serve as member of an assessment committee if there are joint publications (within the last 5 years) with the supervisor or co-supervisor(s) if any.
If the PhD student or the main supervisor is fully or partly financed or has a sideline occupation at an external company, then assessors from the in question company cannot be used. This also includes subsidiary companies and branches in other locations.
The assessment committee shall submit a recommendation as to whether the PhD student, through the publicly defended thesis, has fulfilled the requirements laid down in the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Educational Institutions.
Within two months after the thesis has been submitted and not later than three weeks prior to the defense the assessment committee is requested to write a prelininary recommendation stating whether the thesis can be accepted for public defence. The chairman of the assessment committee forwards the preliminary recommendation to the Doctoral School who makes sure that the author receives a copy of the recommendation. If a majority of the members of the assessment committee accepts the PhD thesis, the chairman of the assessment committee, the other committee members and the supervisor(s) in co-operation set the date for the public defence of the thesis.
If a majority of the committee members cannot accept the PhD thesis in its present form, the recommendation must also include at least a majority recommendation that can form a basis for a decision by the institution as to whether the thesis can be re-submitted in a revised form within a time period of at least three months.
The supervisor is responsible for handling the practical matters in connection with the defence. This includes the booking of hotel rooms, the announcement of the defence, as well as the recommendation to the Faculty concerning the chairperson of the defence. The department of the the supervisor usually handle these matters.
Announcement of the defence and the recommendation for the chairperson should be forwarded via the Department to AAU PhD
In order to ensure an efficient process in relation to the preliminary assessment it is required that the following points are adhered to:
1. The preliminary assessment must be received at the Doctoral School no later than 3 weeks prior to the defence date. This timeframe provides a needed flexibility in relation to the 14 days required by the Ministerial Order.
2. The assessment committee cannot request any information from the PhD student. Should some material have gone missing or if something is unclear, please contact the Doctoral School.
3. The thesis must be assessed in its current form and the preliminary assessment must reflect this.
4. Should a thesis be at a level where it cannot be accepted for defence, the preliminary assessment must clearly state what needs to be corrected in order for it to be accepted for defence. It must also contain a timeframe for the student to implement these changes. This must be no less than 3 months according to the Ministerial Order.
5. When the assessment committee accepts a thesis for defence, the preliminary assessment must not contain any form of contingencies or demands in relation to the thesis and its contents. It is perfectly fine to address weaknesses and shortcomings, but a positive assessment must not demand changes. The assessment is just an assessment and not a review where an updated version can be made. A new/updated version would at least require a negative preliminary assessment.
6. It is possible for the assessment committee to enclose an appendix which is not part of the actual assessment. This is relevant if the assessment committee wishes to pass on recommendations concerning minor issues typically related to the presentation, should the author wish to use the material from the thesis in another context.
7. The conclusion of the assessment must reflect the general content and attitude found in the assessment. It should not be so that an assessment is very negative in its content and the conclusion is positive. A match between these elements is required.
The defence shall take place following the submission of the preliminary recommendation of the assessment committee and no later than three months after the handing in of the thesis.
Based on the rules in the legislation on inventions, or if special circumstances apply, the institution may decide to postpone the defence.
Prior to the defence, the moderator appointed by the PhD Study Director must arrange a meeting with the assessment committee and the supervisor(s).
This meeting usually takes place 1-2 hours before the defence. At this meeting it shall roughly be agreed how the examination shall proceed.
The total examination time (question time) must not exceed 2 hours and the members of the assessment committee and the supervisor(s) shall prioritize their questions in such a way that they confine themselves to this time limit.
The PhD student gives a lecture explaining the research work carried out. The duration of the lecture should be approximately 45 minutes.
The Department is responsible for appointing a qualified moderator.
The PhD Study Director is responsible for approving the moderater.
The following requirements must be met by the potential moderator:
The most significant role of the moderator is to ensure that the agreed upon plan is followed. This includes ensuring that all the members of the assessment committee get the opportunity to ask questions and that the PhD student's time to answer is limited in such a way that the assessment committee can obtain answers to their questions within the time limit.
Questions may be asked ex auditorio provided that the chairman is notified in the break after the lecture of the PhD student. Each person asking questions ex auditorio is given a maximum of 15 minutes including the necessary time for the PhD student's answer. If the chairman deems it suitable, the chairman may also allow questions ex auditorio that were not announced in the break.
Immediately after the public defence the assessment committee shall submit to the department its recommendation based on the PhD thesis and the public defence as to whether the PhD degree should be awarded. Afterwards the department forwards the recommendation to AAU PhD.
Aalborg University uses eforms for reimbursement of travel expenses. It can be found at
You should choose “50 fælles administration” and "Søndergaard, Katrine Eline" as recipient/contact person.
If the reimbursement is directed at an organisation/company an invoice must be forwarded.
We can only cover documented expenses. If you do not have a receipt for the expense (e.g. BroBizz), it is
necessary to submit another form of documentation (bank statement).
We are unfortunately not able to reimburse Uber or the like neither in Denmark or any other country.
We cover the costs of transportation (cheapest possible), and accommodation for 1-2 nights for a maximum of
DKK 1,000 per night.
In addition, reasonable expenses are covered for meals in connection with the trip.
If you choose to travel to the destination in your own car, this must be cheaper than other means of
Car rental must be documented as being cheaper than other means of transportation. All driven kilometers must
be documented either private or work related. We can only cover work related.
Points to pay attention to when filling out eforms:
You can only receive the low rate according to State rules.
When the form is completed and you are ready to “submit” you must scroll to the bottom and choose
“yes” to “I agree” under statement.