PhD assessment information
Establishing an assessment committee and information about the assessment process
PhD assessment information
PhD assessment information
PhD assessment information
In connection with PhD dissertations at the Doctoral School in Medicine, Biomedical Science and Technology, the below mentioned standards must be met by the members of the assessment committee.
Assigned professors cannot be members of the assessment committee as external members.
Diversity in the election of external members is desirable, so that one main supervisor does not repeatedly use the same assessor.
Concerning competence to act the regular competence to act regulations apply cf. The Act on Public Administration §3-6, pls. see footnote.
Special attention must be shown to the following:
The following documents must be enclosed when an assessment committee is forwarded to the PhD Board for approval:
Footnote: cf. The Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme §16 paragraph 2 the members of the assessment committees must be acknowledged scientists within the relevant academic area. Cf. the act on research counselling etc defines acknowledged scientists as "...persons who have been actively engaged in research at a scientific level for a number of years, and who are at a minimum level of associate professor- or senior researcher.
In order to ensure that the members of the assessment committee complies with the regulations, the department must apply the checkliste provided below. The list must be enclosed as the front page when forwarding the assessment committee for approval.
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.
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 preliminary recommendation stating whether the thesis in its preliminary form 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 accept 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 the assessment committee cannot accept the thesis for defense in its current form, this must be clearly stated in the preliminary assessment. A timeframe for implementation of the required changes must also be provided. This period must have a duration of no less than three months.
The main supervisor and the department are responsible for handling the practical matters in connection with the defence. This includes booking hotel rooms, announcing of the defence, as well as the recommendation to AAU PhD concerning the moderator for the defence. Announcement of the defence and the recommendation for the moderator should be forwarded via the department to the Doctoral School.
The defence shall take place following the recomendation in the preliminary assessment. This is done no later than three months after the thesis is submitted. 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, must arrange a meeting with the assessment committee and the supervisor(s). This meeting usually takes place 1-2 hours prior to 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 timeframe.
The PhD student gives a lecture explaining the research work carried out. The duration of the lecture should be approximately 45 minutes.
The most significant role of the moderator is to ensure that the agreed upon plan (cf. number 2 above) 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.
Immediately after the public defence the assessment committee shall submit to the department its 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 the Doctoral School
The assessment committee has three members and the AAU employee is the chairman. The chairman’s task is to ensure that the assessment takes place in accordance with the Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme and the local regulations at the Doctoral School. The chairman is responsible for ensuring that the deadlines are met.
If this is your first time as chairman for an assessment committee please contact The PhD Study Director Pascal Madeleine
After the committee has received the thesis: You must contact the external members and outline the tasks ahead, the deadlines and distribute the writing tasks.
Example: the thesis is composed of 3 papers and one overview. One opponent prepares the first draft of the critique on papers I+II and the other opponent prepares critique on paper III and the overview.
As chairman it is your task to compose the preliminary assessment based on written material from the opponents. You should follow the template for the preliminary assessment strictly and ensure an equal amount of critique of all papers. The preliminary assessment is a common statement that is signed by all three members.
3 weeks before defense date:
The chairman submits the preliminary assessment to the Doctoral School signed by all three members of the committee.
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.
The thesis must be assessed in its current form and the preliminary assessment must reflect a thorough reading of the thesis.
Should a thesis be at a level where it cannot be accepted for defense, the preliminary assessment must clearly state what needs to be corrected in order for it to be accepted for defense. It must also contain a timeframe for the student to implement these changes (according to the Ministerial Order, this must be no less than 3 months).
When the assessment committee accepts a thesis for defense, 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 cannot demand any changes. The assessment is an assessment of the submitted thesis and not a review leading to an updated version of the thesis. A new/updated version would require a negative preliminary assessment.
The conclusion of the preliminary assessment must reflect the general content and attitude found in the assessment.
Prior to the oral defense: You are responsible for the preparation of the final assessment. Follow the template for the final assessment strictly. Typically the two opponents expand the sections they
prepared for the preliminary assessment. It is a common document with no appendices. Do ensure that both opponents accept the final wording.
At the day of the defense: Meet with the opponents before the oral session to discuss the actual oral defense.
After the defense, a description and conclusion of the oral part is added to the final assessment document. The signed document is handed over to the Department that forwards it to the Doctoral School.
After the defense: The Doctoral School processes the final assessment. If changes are needed, the chairman is responsible for revising the document.
Academic Council: The Academic Council awards the degree
The Department is responsible for appointing a qualified moderator and forwarding it to AAU PhD for approval.
The following requirements must be met by the potential moderator:
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: