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The purpose of the onboarding programme is to ensure good social and academic integration within the PhD programmes and departments/schools. Some elements are mandatory, while others are optional activities provided by the university and the Graduate School.

As a new PhD student, we urge you to get overall acquainted with the information given on the website of the Graduate School: https://phd.arts.au.dk/

You can always contact the Graduate School’s administrative team, if you have any questions.

Before PhD study start

Onboarding e-mail from the Graduate School

Enrolment contracts will be sent prior to study start. Employed PhD students will also receive an employment contract. The Graduate School will also forward login information for the IT system MyPhD in which you must submit your PhD plan (educational plan) and updates every six months (semi-annual assessments).

Invitation to biannual Graduate School introduction meetings (mandatory)

The Graduate school, Arts will invite you by e-mail to a welcome meeting for newly enrolled PhD students before study start (around 1 February or 1 September).

You will meet other newly enrolled PhD students across the Faculty, supervisors, PhD programme directors, PhD administrators and the head of Graduate School/vice dean of research and talent.

There will also be local welcome meetings within the different PhD programmes and departments.

0 - 14 days after PhD study start

Access to relevant systems and office space

Your affiliated department secretariat will assist you with arranging an office space including a laptop, access to AU’s IT systems and networks, AU e-mail, AU Mastercard (for employed AU staff including 4+4 PhD students on part A), CWT travel profile, RejsUd etc.

Make sure to sign up for newsletters at your school (‘institut’). The newsletters include important news, messages and announcements aimed at all members of staff including PhD students, and are relevant whether AU is your employer or not.

Local introduction meetings

Information regarding local meetings will be sent to new PhD students by your affiliated head of department or by your PhD programme director/administrator.

Graduate School introduction meeting (mandatory)

Invitations will be sent to new PhD students by e-mail. The head of Graduate School will make an introduction, and you will be presented with an administrative presentation of the formalities regarding enrolment (approx. 20 minutes). The Power Point presentation will be shared by e-mail after the meeting.

After the introduction, all new PhD students will each give short 3-5 minutes presentations of their PhD projects in dialogue with supervisors and PhD programme directors. The meeting will finish with lunch given by the Graduate School. The welcome meetings are physical and will be carried out both at Campus Emdrup (Copenhagen) and at Campus Aarhus.

For further information on PhD rules and study related matters, please visit: https://phd.arts.au.dk/phd-students/phdstudies

If you are newly employed at AU, you are also welcome to sign up for an overall welcome meeting for all new members of staff employed across the university. Please read more here: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/administration/hr/recruitmentandonboarding/onboarding/introductionday

Alignment of expectations between PhD student and supervisor team (mandatory)

The supervisor agreement (pdf document) must be uploaded as part of the initial PhD plan (submitted in the IT system MyPhD).

The supervisor agreement should be assessed regularly as the need for supervision may change during the enrolment. Always make sure to contact the Graduate school’s administration if you wish to make any requests to change supervisors.

PhD supervision agreement for the initial PhD plan: Danish version - English version 
Assignment of a new/additional supervisor during your enrolment: Danish version - English version

0 – 3 months after enrolment

Make a draft of your PhD Plan

Your PhD plan must be submitted within the IT system MyPhD, and approved no later than three months after enrolment. The plan consists of your research project; courses, conferences, dissemination, thesis seminar and research stay abroad. It is not possible to plan all courses and dates at the beginning of enrolment, so just make sure to make an initial plan, which can be adjusted on an ongoing basis and approved by the Graduate School in connection with the semi-annual assessments (set deadlines for these are 31 August and 31 January).

During the enrolment period, PhD students must obtain courses of approximately 30 ECTS points on PhD level. Please note that MA courses on the 4+4 scheme on part A are not included in the 30 PhD ECTS points.

Three courses at Arts are mandatory to attend.

Read more here regarding course announcements and how to sign up: https://phd.arts.au.dk/phd-courses/courses-1

See this page for a guide to MyPhD.

Within the first part of PhD enrolment, make sure to sign up for the mandatory PhD courses

Introduction to PhD supervision for PhD students (mandatory)
Supervision is a key element of the PhD programme. Learn and discuss the issues, roles and challenges of PhD supervision in this mandatory course for enrolled PhD students at the Faculty of Arts, Aarhus University. 
Link: https://ced.au.dk/kurser/arts-introduction-to-phd-supervision-for-phd-students

Introduction to university teaching for PhD students (mandatory)
Introduction to University Teaching for PhD Students is a blended learning course mandatory for all PhD students enrolled at the Graduate School, Arts, Aarhus University. Based on applicable pedagogical theories and models, this course supports PhD students in planning, preparing and evaluating their own teaching. 
Link: https://ced.au.dk/kurser/arts-introduction-to-university-teaching-for-phd-students

It is beneficial to take this course whilst doing dissemination/teaching.

Research Integrity and Ethics (mandatory)
The object of the course is to give an introduction to the basic dimensions of responsible conduct of research in the humanities: freedom of research, research integrity and ethics as these concepts are defined in central documents and guidelines and managed in the institutional framework at Aarhus University.
Link: https://phd.arts.au.dk/phd-courses/mandatory-courses

Courses provided by AU Library (optional)


Courses are provided by the AU library within the following topics:

  • Open Science
  • Data management
  • Collection and organisation of literature
  • Text and data mining
  • Publication
  • Copyright

Responsible: AU Library. Courses will be announced via e-mail or here (‘PhD Course Management’): https://phd.arts.au.dk/phd-courses/courses-1

Departmental work/dissemination

Plans for departmental work during the PhD enrolment will be made in collaboration between the PhD student, supervisors and the head of department.

The rules differ whether PhD students are employed at AU or externally, so always make sure to read your individual contracts.

You can find more information in the rules for departmental work (for AU employed PhD students including 4+4 students): English version - Danish version  

Plans for research stays and conferences

Plans for research stays abroad must be made between the PhD student and the principal supervisor.

For help and inspiration: https://researchabroad.au.dk/ and https://phd.arts.au.dk/phd-students/goingabroad

Make sure to always notify your school (‘institut’) before leaving Denmark for a research stay/fieldwork abroad.

Ongoing activities during PhD enrolment

Social networking events at your department, PhD programme, research programme etc. (optional)

Often organised by PhD students and often supported by the PhD programme, e.g.:

  • Lunch meetings with fellow PhD students, sometimes with the PhD programme director present
  • Seminars  and meetings e.g. about work-life balance
  • Christmas lunches, summer parties etc.

Enrolled PhD students at AU have organised a PhD association (AUPA) that collaborates closely with the local PhD committees and Graduate Schools to address issues that are of relevance across Faculty divisions. AUPA also provides a number of activities, meetings and seminars.

Read more here: https://phd.au.dk/for-current-phd-students/aupa

Become member of the relevant research groups

To be planned with the supervisor.

Career planning

Discussions with supervisor team about career planning and possibilities.

Local career events/workshops.

Individual counselling offered by AU PhD Career counselling. See more at:  https://phd.au.dk/for-current-phd-students/career

Responsible: PhD programme (PhD programme director and AU PhD career counselling)

PhD networks

Local PhD networks

  • Lunches with all PhD students, sometimes with the PhD programme director present
  • Seminars  and workshops within the PhD programme, department, research groups etc.  
  • Christmas lunch, Summer party etc.

AUPA (Aarhus University PhD Association)

Find more information on AUPA and their events at: https://phd.au.dk/for-current-phd-students/aupa

GDPR and Responsible Conduct of Research

GDPR related issues

Learn more about how to deal with GDPR issues and onboarding/offboarding your project: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/informationsecurity/data-protection/for-scientific-staff

Do you need help? Please contact the legal advisor at Arts: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/informationsecurity/data-protection/for-scientific-staff/need-help

The Graduate School will introduce the Faculty’s legal advisor at the biannual welcome meetings.

Responsible conduct of research, read more here: https://phd.arts.au.dk/rules-and-forms/rules-and-regulations

Get involved politically

Committees, councils and boards

Being enrolled as a PhD student at Aarhus University, you can stand for election for a number of committees, councils and boards.

Do you want to have a say and gain influence regarding the management of the Graduate School or at the Faculty, schools and departments? Read more here about when the elections take place, and how you vote for your chosen candidate – or stand for election yourself: https://medarbejdere.au.dk/en/strategy/universityelection

Getting involved in committee work can give you useful experience and strengthen your CV.

The PhD Committee at Arts is facilitated by the Graduate School administration. Elected representatives, agendas and minutes are available here: https://phd.arts.au.dk/about-us/phd-committee

The Dean’s Office and schools (‘institutter’) and departments also facilitate a number of committees.

You are welcome to contact the Graduate School’s administrative team leader for further information regarding political work: https://pure.au.dk/portal/en/persons/anna-louise-dolan-plaskett(52accae6-7b6e-42b8-a2ae-7c86177be203).html