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For PhD Supervisors


The PhD Supervisor's Responsibilities

The supervisor is appointed by the PhD study director following an argued recommendation from the host department. The supervisor must be an academic member of the staff at the Technical Doctoral School of IT and Design.

The following prerequisites apply for the supervisors:

  • 20% Professors (industry employed with 20% university employment) can be assigned as main supervisors if a full time experienced PhD supervisor is assigned as co-supervisor.
  • The PhD study director expects all students to have an assigned co-supervisor. It is recommended to appoint motivated post-docs and assistant professors for this position.
  • In general the PhD supervisor has the primary academic responsibility for a successful implementation of the PhD study plan and for the formal conditions of the individual PhD project.
  • All new internal PhD supervisor must attend the first coming PhD supervisor course. Contact Sofie Pia Jensen to sign up.

In addition the supervisor must attend to the following:


  • Clarify the mutual expectations between the student and the supervisor. Experience shows that a precise clarification is a crucial element in a successful PhD education.
  • Ensure that both PhD plans er submitted throigh PhD manager later than 2 and 11 months after the commencement of the study. The supervisor must actively assist the student in creating the plans. Finally the plans must be signed and approved by the supervisor, the paradigm provided by the Doctoral School must be applied. If the study plan is not received in due time a reestablishment procedure may be initiated.
  • When supervising international PhD students, carefully consider how you are perceived as the supervisor. Read more here.

During the study:

  • Provide supervision of the research project such that the PhD student during the study becomes an independent researcher and has the skills as stipulated in the ministerial order.
  • Apply the progress reports from PhD manager. It is absolutely imperative that these statements reflects the current status of the project
  • Co-operate with the head of the doctoral programme and the relevant department on the PhD project in question.
  • Assess PhD plans through the PhD manager portal - Conduct the status seminar prior to the submission of the 11 month PhD plan
  • When the PhD student submits the thesis the supervisor must submit a supervisor statement concerning the contents of the PhD study and whether or not they have been completed successfully. The paradigm provided by the secretariat of the Doctoral School must be followed. The statement must be approved by the PhD study director before the assessment can be initiated.
  • Assess applications for leave of absence, excluding parental leave.
  • Ensure that the student follows good scientific practice.
  • If unresolvable problems arise, the supervisor must contact the PhD study director or the head of program. All problems must be addressed as soon as possible.

Finalisation of the study:

  • Ensure that the research project and the remaining elements of the study are fully satisfactory at the end of the study. This includes guidance in relation to all relevant elements such as courses, knowledge dissemination and research cooperation with foreign research institutions. Courses must correspond to 6 months of work (30 ECTS) and the course plan must follow the rules of the Doctoral School.
  • Organise the final assessment and the defense in accordance with the stipulations in the ministerial order.
  • The PhD Study Director and the PhD board expect the supervisors to regularly follow supervisor courses/workshops and to always be updated on the rules regarding doctoral education in Denmark and AAU.