Research Year

A Research Year at Aarhus University gives you a unique opportunity to learn and become acquainted with relevant methods, scientific literature and research in general.

The Research Year at the Graduate School of Health consists of 6-12 months of fulltime research at one of the departments at the Faculty of Health. During the Research Year, the student completes a defined project under supervision. After the 12 months of research is completed, the student must write, and hand in the Research Year report.

The Research Year is a full time occupation and it is therefore strongly recommended that the student applies for special leave of absence from studies.

Please be aware that documents and mandatory attachment for assessment has been updated in September 2016. Make sure to use the right documents.




The first round of applications for the research year 2017 is now open.

While Health prioritises the coveted research year, financial conditions form the basis for expectations that 100 medicine and odontology students will be admitted in 2017, compared to 120 this year. Application is open from today (15 September). 


2016.09.15 | KIRSTEN OLESEN

Opportunities for students at medicine and odontology to enrol on a research year at Aarhus University, Health, will be slightly reduced next year. In the first round of applications, which opens today on 15 September, it will be possible to admit a total of 50 students. Expectations are for a similar number of places to be available in the spring.

This is the conclusion of work carried out by a committee headed by Vice-dean for Talent Development at Health, Lise Wogensen Bach, which has looked into the framework for admission to the research year 2017, including whether the number of students and the criteria for admission should be adjusted.

"There is no doubt that in-depth study of a specific area over a longer period of time improves your academic skills and knowledge. For this reason, the research year has many good aspects, as was shown by a report from CESU last year. Neither is there any doubt that the research year can be seen as an opportunity for securing the young research talents of the future," says Lise Wogensen Bach.

"However, calculations that take into account worst-case scenarios show that it could end up costing AU tens of millions of kroner if we admit 120 research year students. Based on an overall evaluation we have therefore decided to further reduce the number for this round."

Willingness to take risks

The calculations which form the basis for the estimate include e.g. the size of expected student FTE funding, completion bonuses and study progress reform fines, and the ongoing misalignment of the distribution of the total funds from the pool between these items.

The calculations operate with a high degree of uncertainty, among other things because the final amount is also dependent on the students' progress through the degree programmes at the other universities in Denmark.

While students will continue to be able to take a 12 month leave of absence for a research year at AU, Health, both the University of Southern Denmark and Aalborg University operate with a six-month flexible research leave and the possibility of a six month leave of absence, while the University of Copenhagen offers a six-month research leave without the possibility of a leave of absence. At AU, Health, it is also possible to make do with a leave of absence of six months during a research year, but the volume of the complete report must correspond to one year's work.

"But even though it is a difficult task to put a price on a research year, we as a faculty must ask ourselves, how many research year students we dare to enrol – and not how many we would like to enrol," says Lise Wogensen Bach.

Clarification and adjustment of the criteria

Applications must meet specific criteria for both the project and the applicants themselves, as well as for the research environment that provides the framework for the project. The criteria are the same as previously. However, there are a few clarifications:

  • The application guideline is clarified.
  • The student's role in the project must be clearly described in connection with the application.
  • The number of research year students and PhD students that a supervisor already supervises must be included in the assessment.
  • Approval of the project by the Danish for Independent Research Medical Sciences may qualify for admission.
  • The project must contribute with new knowledge and must be able to accommodate a hypothesis or a research question that is clearly formulated.

Find the application form and further information on the website for the PhD Graduate School.   


  • The working group behind admission to the research year comprises; Vice-dean for Research and Talent Development Lise Wogensen Bach; Vice-dean for Education Charlotte Ringsted; Department Head Thomas G. Jensen, Department of Biomedicine; Department Head Kristjar Skajaa, Department of Clinical Medicine; Special Consultant Inge Hougaard Ipsen, HE Studies Administration; and Division Manager Lise Terkildsen from HE PhD Administration
  • The working group behind the adjustment of admission criteria comprises: Vice-dean for Research and Talent Development Lise Wogensen Bach; Research Programme Director Kamille Smidt Rasmussen, ClinFO; Professor Per Höllsberg, Department of Biomedicine; Associate Professor Vivi Schlünssen, Department of Public Health; Associate Professor Mette Krogh Christensen, CESU; Associate Professor Sebastian Frische, Department of Biomedicine; Professor Vibeke E. Hjortdal, Department of Clinical Medicine; and in addition, PhD student Kasper Glerup Lauridsen, Department of Clinical Medicine, and Division Manager Lise Terkildsen from HE PhD Administration.

Read more:


Further information:

Vice-dean Lise Wogensen
Aarhus University, Health
Tel.: (+45) 8715 2012

PhD Administrator Katrine Lehmann
Aarhus University, HE Administrative Centre, HE PhD Administration
Tel.: (+45) 8715 3717