For PhD Supervisors

Supervising a PhD student

Proper supervision is pivotal in relation to creating a successful PhD Study. This entails a close collaboration between the supervisor, the PhD students and the Doctoral School.

This site contains information relevant for all current and future PhD supervisors. If you find the site is lacking specific information feel free to contact us.

Fold out the different topics below to read more.

It is mandatory to have at least one co-supervisor appointed

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    Establishing the assessment committee

    As a main supervisor you are responsible for finding members to the assessment committee and in collaboration with the department secretary forwarding it to the Doctoral School for approval. 

    There are very specific regulations in relation to the members of the assesment comittee - read more about them here.

    It is the main supervisor's responsibility to make sure that all suggested members have agreed to participate in accordance with the schedule and to inform the proposed persons about the scope of the task and the conditions associated with it (deadlines for submission, payment of honorarium, travel rules etc.).

    As a supervisor you are a member of the assessment committee - without voting rights (tilforordnet). 

    Find more information about the assessment committee, defense and the like here.

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    Introduction for PhD supervisors


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    Supervisor course

    It is mandatory for all new internal PhD supervisors to participate in the first coming course for PhD supervisors.

    The course ensures a commom frame of reference for all PhD supervisors at the Doctoral School and ensure that new supervisors are up to date with new rules and procedures.

    The course runs once a year with two course dates - find the full course description and signup at

    Questions regarding the coursedates and the like can be sent to Sofie Pia Jensen at

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    Supervisor task and responsibilities

    As a main supervisor you have overall responsibility for the sucessfull completion of the PhD study. The Doctoral School recommends that the first step is an allignment of expectations between the main supervisor and the PhD student. 

    The following describes the responsibilities af the main supervisor during the different phases of the PhD study:

    initial phase

    It is adviced that a discussion between the PhD student and the main supervisor clarifies the following topics as a minimum:

    • Aim and purpose of the project
    • Mutual expectations
    • Supervisor - student role

    It is expected that the supervisor plays an active role in relation to creating the 2 month PhD plan. This is a crucial step for any PhD project and furthermore presents a good opportunity for the PhD student and supervisor to clarify mutual expectations. The paradigme provided by the doctoral school must be applied.

    In general the PhD supervisor has the primary academic responsibility for a successful implementation of the PhD plan and for the formal conditions of the individual PhD project.


    The supervisor must take active part in the PhD study and ensure that a number of criteria are kept. This includes a good scientific level and good scientific conduct.  

    After 11 months the updated PhD plan must be uploaded. Please remember to include information regarding the pre-defense in the 11 month updated PhD plan. 

    As a supervisor you are obligated to complete a progress report for each PhD student. In addition to this you must take part in the 11 month pre-defense and the updated PhD plan. You are obligated to ensure that the PhD students progresses according to the timeframe provided in the initial and updated PhD plan.

    Should you encounter difficulties in relation to the supervision of a PhD student, that you cannot solve amongst yourselves, please contact the PhD Study Director. It is important that action is taken as soon as possible in order to risk that the PhD study is terminated. In addition the supervisor must attend to the following:

    • Assess applications for leave of absence, excluding parental leave.
    • Approve/sign applications for financial support.
    • Cooperate with the head of doctoral program and relevant department on the PhD project in question.


    Prior to submission the following elements must be attended to:

    • Approved supervisor statement (completed and signed by the main supervisor)
    • Approved co-auhtor statements
    • Approved assessment committee (established by the main supervisor in collaboration with the department)

    The thesis must not be submitted before these element are in order.

    You can find the required templates here

    Information regarding the assessment committe is found here

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    Who can be a PhD supervisor

    main supervisor

    The main supervisors has to be employed at Aalborg University (Faculty of Medicine) or at Aalborg University Hospital. Furthermore the main supervisor needs to associate professor as a minimum.
    The main supervisor is sucessfull for the completion of the PhD project.


    It is a requirement from the Doctoral School that the PhD project is assigned at least one co-supervisor that can provide academic/professionel feedback in fields where the main-supervisor may not be an expert.

    It is not required that co-supervisors are employed at AAU or at Aalborg University hospital. 

    There are specific requirements in relation to the Industrial PhD program. Here the company/organization needs to appoint two supervisors. Read more at Innovationsfonden.

    approving/changing supervisors

    Changes to the supervisor setup must be approved by the PhD Study Director and accepted by all the involved parties (department, supervisors, PhD student).

    Forward the requested changes to


Contact Information


Kroghstræde 1, 2nd floor, Room 3021

9220 Aalborg East

Phone: +45 9940 9638