APPLICATION GUIDE

GSST calls for applications four times a year, please see the deadlines below. You can apply for a PhD position through either the GSST open call with your own project description or for a predefined PhD project listed under the GSST calls on specific projects.

Please read all the information below carefully before you apply. All applications have to be submitted through GSSTs online application facility. The online application has to be filled out in one session. It cannot be saved and completed on a later date. It will however stay open for filling out as long as the browser window is open.

Before you apply

Calls and deadlines

You can apply for a PhD position through either the GSST open call with your own project description or for a predefined PhD project under the GSST calls on specific projects. All predefined PhD projects will be announced here - please note that the list is regularly updated. The list will be complete approximately two weeks before application deadline.

There are four yearly PhD application deadlines. The deadlines are the same for both applications on open calls and specific projects:

Closing dates

Review of applications

Decision informed to applicants

Start date at the earliest*

1 February

February - March

End of March

1 May

1 May

May - June

End of June

1 August

1 August

August - September

End of September

1 November

1 November

November - December 

Beginning of January

1 February

*The start date depends on various factors, e.g. conditions met, getting a study- and residence permit (international students), etc.

NB:
 Deadlines are at 11.59 PM MET.

Within an application round you can apply for various projects, but please note that GSST only evaluates one application per applicant per project. If you submit more than one application for the same project, GSST reserves the right to evaluate only the latest received application.

If you have a Danish CPR number, documents relating to your admission to GSST will be delivered to your e-Boks. You are required to be able to receive digital mail from public agencies, and are responsible for checking your e-Boks. If you do not have a Danish CPR number, you will receive these documents by e-mail or by letter mail, depending on your geographical location.

Financing and prospective supervisors

GSST highly recommends that you contact a prospective supervisor before applying via an open call in order to discuss a potential project and inquire about possible financing. The likelihood of securing admission through an open call depends on the available resources of the supervisor and department that you apply to. Specific Calls are made on the basis of a secured research grant, and thus have greater likelihood of resulting in the admission of a PhD student.

To learn more about our programmes and to find a researcher to contact about possible supervision, please visit our website, look at the relevant department website or search for a researcher by subject here.

Admission to a PhD programme of study is contingent upon financing. Financing can come from a variety of sources such as public or private research foundations, private companies, EU programmes, etc. Some PhD students receive financing from their home country, or are employed in private companies, most often as part of the Industrial PhD programme.

Regardless of the type of call, a complete financing plan must be in place for each PhD students prior to admission. The plan covers all expenses for the PhD programme: scholarship/fellowship, tuition fee, running costs, incl. expenses for mobility plans, etc.

All accepted PhD students must pay a tuition fee, however, in most cases tuition fees are covered by PhD financing plan. If you are self-sponsored you must pay the tuition fee yourself.

Information and attachments needed for the application

Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded in one go. A partially completed application cannot be saved and completed later.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF document and upload this. GSST reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. You may consider indicating an URL where the information is available.

Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English. Attachments must be pdf-files, max. 20 MB, no zip.

You will be asked to enter information regarding:

  • Personal information. If any of the documentation bears a different name than the one used in the application, please provide proof of name change.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Academic background: submit diplomas and transcripts for all relevant, credit-bearing post-secondary education, such as Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees or equivalents.
  • Admission: information on desired starting date, credit transfer, ect.
  • Language skills (read more in the section “Documentation of language skills” below)
  • Financing: Here you can indicate sources and amounts of possible financial support if any.  GSST highly recommends that you contact a prospective supervisor before applying in order to discuss a potential project and inquire about possible financing.
  • Plan of study: If you apply for a specific project, please choose the project in question in the drop-down menu. If you apply for the general call, please choose this option and enter the title of your project.
  • Project description (½-4 pages):
    If you apply for a PhD position through the GSST open call you must write a project description in which you should describe your ideas and research plans for your project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that GSST reserves the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
    GSST highly recommends that you contact a prospective supervisor before applying via an open call in order to discuss a potential project and inquire about possible financing. If, however, you write the project description on your own, the PhD committee will use the information to find a potential supervisor for you or to match you with another research project that lies close to your field of interest.

    If you apply for a PhD position listed under the GSST specific, (predefined) projects, it will be stated in the project announcement if the project description must be copied from the announcement and uploaded as a PDF, or if you must write a project description yourself. If the latter, the description should describe your ideas and research plans for the specific project. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that GSST reserves the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. GSST highly recommends that you contact the relevant supervisor listed in the project announcement prior to applying.

  • References (as a minimum 1 reference must be uploaded) (template for references)
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Source (how you found out about the call)


As a minimum all applications must include the following attachments (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip): curriculum vitae, transcripts and diploma(s), documentation of language skills if required, project description (½-4 pages), one reference and motivation (max. 1 page).

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made.

Documentation of language skills

The English language requirement at Graduate School of Science and Technology is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” is documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. You must request that the test centre send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate  with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation: 
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case, documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application, the test result must be sent to sphd@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, or United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants able to document that English was the language of instruction during the whole period of their Bachelor’s and/or Master’s programme. This must be documented by uploading an official document from the institution clearly stating this under “language skills documentation”. The onus is on the applicant to provide this information as GSST will not pursue information regarding language of instruction for any programmes or institutions.

Template for references

GSST has provided an optional template for the reference (Word format), which you are welcome to send to your referee(s). Previously obtained letters of reference can also be uploaded as PDF documents.

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that all relevant references are received at GSST. You can either upload the reference yourself or ask the referee to send it directly to GSST via e-mail to gradschool.scitech@au.dk. If you choose the latter,  please upload a PDF document saying that you have done so. Please note that GSST will not contact referees regarding outstanding references. GSST will upload the reference to the application so it won't be visible to the applicant/you.

How to apply

Filling in an online application

  1. Go to the online application facility and find the application form by clicking on the current open call and the programme/field in which you wish to apply, e.g. “May 2017” and “Engineering”.
  2. Fill in information and upload your attachments. Some of the information fields in the application have a little number outside of them to the right. By clicking on the number, you can find further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.
  3. Application attachments:
    In the section "Information and attachments needed for the application" above, you can read about the different elements of the application.

    Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

    If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF document and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

    Please note that all information in the application must be in Danish or English.

After submission of the application you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed. The e-mail will also include a link to the application – GSST urges you to check that all mandatory data, marked with an asterisk (*), is registered correctly and all attached files are readable. In case of significant errors, you should reply to the confirmation e-mail with the correct details before the application deadline.

Please note: The programme committee may request further information or invite you to attend an interview.

After you have applied

GSST assessment procedure

All incoming applications are considered collectively by the GSST admissions committee, which draws on the recommendations supplied by the 13 programme committees at the Faculty of Science and Technology. The head of the PhD school admits new PhD students based on the recommendation of the admissions committee.

The main criteria used in evaluating incoming applicants are their documented qualifications (composition of previous course programme, grades, publications, motivation, study periods abroad, duration of study, recommendations, etc.). 
Secondary criteria are the scientific quality of the prepared research project for the PhD degree programme and the suitability of the research environment for such a study. 
Additional aspects that can be taken into consideration include previous activities outside the university, plans for mobility during the PhD study period, plans for collaboration with external partners, plans for dissemination activities, etc. 
When assessing applicants with a Master’s degree, more weight is placed on the secondary criteria and additional aspects than when it comes to applicants without a Master’s degree.

Members of the assessment committee at Science and Technology

Informing the applicants on the decision

After all applications have been evaluated you will receive an e-mail from GSST with either an offer of admission or a rejection. If you approve of the offered admission, you will be contacted by GSST in regards to the actual start date, study- and residence permit if needed (international students), etc.

If you have a Danish CPR number, documents relating to your admission to GSST will be delivered to your e-Boks. You are required to be able to receive digital mail from public agencies, and are responsible for checking your e-Boks. If you do not have a Danish CPR number, you will receive these documents by e-mail or by letter mail, depending on your geographical location.

Under the section “Calls and deadlines” above you can find a timetable for the application process including when you can expect to receive the response from GSST.