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New PhD fellowship scheme 2020

This site contains information regarding the new PhD fellowship scheme which took effect from 1 January 2020.

With the new PhD fellowship scheme the Graduate School of Health will go from 4 yearly application rounds to 2. In each of these two yearly application rounds the Graduate School will award 10 fully financed PhD fellowships, including study fee, these are called faculty PhD fellowships. The faculty fellowships will be awarded amongst applicants from all 5 departments at Health: Clinical Medicine, Biomedicine, Odontology and Oral Health, Public Health and Forensic Medicine.

In 2016 the 1/3 fellowships were discontinued for the benfit of the Research Training Supplement of 550.000 DKK for the department where the PhD student was enrolled. The Graduate School will no longer be awarding these supplements, but solely the 20 fully financed faculty PhD fellowships each year.

The five departments will receive the remaining funds for awarding. The amount of funds the departments receives are based on the number of enrolled PhD students over the past years.

At the bottom of this page you will find the FAQ section, which we will be updating continously.

Results from the first round of DCM fellowships

The Fellowship committee at DCM has just finished its awarding of fellowship funds for this round’s candidates. After the Faculty’s awarding of 10 fully financed PhD fellowships, of which 8 went to our department, we got 98 candidates for our funds which amounted to approx. 2 m. to be used in 2020.

The following funds were awarded to a total of 23 candidates, divided between:

  • 4 fully financed PhD fellowships
  • 3 fully financed integrated PhD fellowships
  • Co-financing for 6 candidates
  • Study fee for 10 candidates

Of the 23 candidates

  • There were 12 women and 11 men
  • 11 DM / medical students
  • 9 with a female main supervisor and 14 with a male supervisor

DCM’s fellowship committee choose to adhere to the original assessments of the candidates made by the Faculty Fellowship Committee. DCM’s fellowship committee chose to prioritize and select candidates amongst the highest-ranking candidates using the following criteria:

  • Fully financed fellowship for the 3 highest-ranking with a submitted budget
  • Fully financed fellowship for the highest-ranking candidate from a regional hospital
  • Co-financing to the highest-ranking candidates with a submitted budget and a Research training supplement
  • Funds for the highest-ranking integrated PhDs
  • Each main supervisor can only be awarded 1 fully financed PhD fellowship
  • Candidates amongst the highest-ranking without a submitted budget were awarded the study fee.

Application procedure

Following the Graduate School's half-yearly applicaiton rounds for faculty PhD fellowships the Department of Clinical Medicine(DCM) receives the applications which have not been awarded a faculty PhD fellowship. It is thus only the candidates who have applied in the Graduate School's two half-yearly applicatoin rounds and have not been awarded a faculty PhD fellowship that are considered for the awarding of DCM PhD fellowships.

The fellowship committe at DCM will then assess the applications: the applications are read and the committee will convene and make the final decision regarding the distribution of funds, cf. the criteria listed below. In case of any members being disqualified in connection to a specific candidate, the member will exclude him/herself from the discussion (step outside).

All applicants and their main supervisors will get an email with the outcome of their application as soon as possible after the committee meeting.

See an illustration of the timeline.


Distribution of funds for the department and target figures

The faculty has distributed the departments' funds for awarding based on previous years' number of enrolled PhD students. At the same time the target figures has been set for the number of enrolled PhD students per year, that is the number of PhD students starting at DCM per year to maintain the level of fellowship funds.

DCM has the following target figures (expected number of PhD students enrolling per year):

2020: 99
2021: 112
2022: 124
2023: 124

Funds to be awarded in 2020

Since the first application round of 2020 is in the middle of a transition where already awarded Research Training Supplements and fully financed PhD fellowships from the Graduate School are yet to be effectuated there are very few funds for awarding in 2020.

We have in 2020 only approximately 1,5 m DKK for awarding which has to be used in 2020.

Funds for awarding by DCM will rise steadily until 2023 where it is expected that the new scheme is fully implemented.


  • 12 months of salary (1 year) is fixed at 500,000 DKK and is based on an average salary for a PhD student employeed at Aarhus University.
  • Study fee is 3 x 40,000 DKK. Note that the study fee is reduced compare to previosly.
  • Integrated PhD, part A: 312,000 DKK equalling 48 SU PhD units.

Awarding of fellowship funds

The committe will primarily award funds in accordance with the amounts mentioned above. They do however have the possibility to award smaller amounts, if they find it necessary - like they also have the option of awarding a fully financed PhD fellowship.

Criteria for awarding DCM's fellowship funds

The fellowship committee will assess the applications based on the following criteria:

  • The candidate, i.a.:
    • Educational background and grades from the study
    • Publications; number and quality compared to the time of optaining degree
    • Research experience
    • Other relevant qualifications

  • The project, i.a.:
    • The rroject description's quality and originality
    • The scientific level
    • Use of strong and varied methods and techniques

  • The research environment, i.a.:
    • Supervisors (qualifications in comparison to the project as well as range of qualifications)
    • The scientific environment
    • Mobility/internationalisation
    • Cooperation with other research environments/companies/internationally

In addition the committee will take each applicant's financial need into consideration to make sure that DCM will be able to enroll as many PhD students as possible and to be able to reach our target figures.

Use of fellowship funds

The fellowship committee awards funds for salary and/or study fee. So The funds can not be used for running costs, conferences, equipment etc.

Employment of the PhD student via Aarhus University

If the PhD student is employeed at Aarhus University the candidate will be paid directly by the fellowship funds in an agreed period of time. The funds can be evenly distributed through-out the entire period or compacted for 1 calendar year - it will be agreed-upon for the individual.

If the PhD student is employeed at Aarhus University and the cost of the employment is billed to 'Region Midt' - the funds will be deducted from the bills for the salary cost - evenly distributed through-out the PhD study's 36 months.

Ansættelse af den ph.d.-studerende uden for AU - fx i regionen

The fellowship funds can be transferred to 'Region Midt' if the PhD student will be employeed there. In that case the fellowship funds has to be charges by 'Region Midt' via annual invoices. The funds will be evenly distributed through-out the PhD study's 36 months.

Please note that even though the salary in 'Region Midt' might be more than 500,000 DKK per year - DCM cannot grant further funds for one year's salary.

Starting date

The PhD student can be enrolled by 1 july at the earliest and no later than 1 December if he/she is awarded funds from DCM in the first application round of 2020.

FAQ - will be updated

We will be updating the FAQ as we receive questions. If you need an answer to a question - please send us your question.

Q: Will it be possible to use an "old" Research training supplement of 550.000 DKK in combination with any funds given in this new model? We have had the starting date of the supplement postponed to 1 june 2020 - so maybe we can have it postponed further so it can be used after the awarding from the department?
A: It is the Graduate School who needs to make the decision to postpone the starting date of the supplement. Please not that a dispensation for the starting date is extremely rare and are always based on an individual assessment by the Graduate School management. There is nothing  Det er op til ph.d.-skolen at dispensere for startdatoen for deres ph.d.-tilskud. It is possible to use both a supplement and any funds given by the department in the new scheme.

Q: Will it be an advantage for the candidate if he/she has financing for all running costs/equipment/laboratory animals etc. as far as the feasibility of the project is higher than if these costs were not covered by external funding and thus can have a more ambitious project? How does one inform the committee of this?
A: The project, applicant and scientific environment will be assessed based on the listed criteria – independently of any obtained funding. After the assessment, any existing funding will be taken into consideration when funds are distributed. The applicants were encouraged to submit a budget for their project – in that all expenses as well as already obtained funding should be included, so that the committee can consider everything.

Q: In the early mentions of the new PhD fellowship scheme it was mentioned that one of the reasons for the new model was that the funds could be used in a more stratic way, e.g. letting funds for a PhD student be included in a “starting grant” for newly employed researchers (cf. News letter from 11 December 2019). Is this still a part of the consideration in the awarding of fund? And how can the candidate/main supervisor point out that this criteria (main supervisor newly employeed as an associate professor) is relevant?
A: The PhD fellowship funds from the graduate school has been divided between the Head of Department and the fellowship committee at DCM. The head of department has been allocated a smaller part of the funds that he can use for a broader, strategic distribution. Those funds can be used for co-financing for larger foundations, “starting grants” etc.


Q: As far as the amount of funds for distribution in 2020 (1.5 m DKK) is it correct that DCM only will be distributing approx. 1 fully financed PhD fellowship (1.65 m DKK) in 2020? Or are the funds for 2020 only to cover salary and study fee for the remaining half year of 2020? So that there might be distributed funds for (1,500,000 \ (250,000 + 20,000)) = 5.6 students who will receive the remaining funding out of the following years’ budgets?
A: The 1.5 m DKK have to be used in the periode 1 July-31 December 2020. So if the committee will be distribution 1/3 fellowships only and they all chose to be enrolled by 1 August 2020 – 23 candidates will be awarded a fellowship.


Q: Is it possible for the candidate to submit an updated CV and publications list – if the candidate has achieved further qualifications relevant for the assessment criteria, e.g. new scientific publications, in the time between submitting the application for the faculty fellowships at the beginning of March and DCM’s committee meeting on 11 June?
A: No, it is not possible to add any further information to the application after the application deadline.

Q: When can I be enrolled if I am offered fellowship funds and/or study fee by DCM?
A: 1 July 2020

Q: Can I use some of the fellowship funds to buy a computer?
A: No the funds are exclusively to be used for salary and/or study fee

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