The PhD programme takes place under supervision. The PhD student has the right as well as the obligation to be supervised. This is stipulated in the PhD order, section 8, subsections 1 to 6. For the duration of the PhD programme, every PhD student must have a principal supervisor. The principal supervisor is responsible for the entire PhD programme, which is planned in collaboration with the PhD student. The principal supervisor has a number of special obligations in this respect as described in the chapter concerning the PhD plan. Additional supervisors may be appointed if qualified within the relevant field of research.

The principal supervisor must have conducted several years of active research at academic level and must be, as a minimum, an associate professor or a senior researcher. The principal supervisor must be a researcher within the field of research of the PhD students PhD project, must be employed at the faculty in question and must have knowledge of the PhD programme.

The head of the faculty’s PhD school appoints the principal supervisor and any supplementary supervisors upon the recommendation of the superior of the person in question (usually the head of department). The PhD student may propose potential supervisors, but the head of the PhD school makes the final decision. The principal supervisor is appointed in connection with the enrolment of the PhD student.

PhD students whose research projects are mainly carried out at an institution or company outside the University should also have a supervisor from the institution or company in question.

The PhD student may apply for a change of supervisor. The application for change of supervisor must be in writing and motivated. Following consultation with the relevant head of department, the head of the PhD school makes the decision on any change of supervisor. The supervisor must be heard in connection with a change of supervisor. In special cases, the head of the PhD school may replace the principal supervisor without any request by the PhD student. 

Supervision when applying for grants financed by the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation 

A PhD student with a scholarship financed by the Danish Council for Technology and Innovation (industrial PhD students) must also have a supervisor who is affiliated with the company in which the PhD student is employed in addition to his/her principal supervisor. This supervisor is appointed by the head of the PhD school in consultation with the company, and must be qualified within the relevant field of research. Read more about Industrial PhD on the Ministry website