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April 2008

PhD opportunities in Denmark

Attracting highly qualified students worldwide to study for a PhD in Denmark –
particularly in the fields of the natural, technical and health sciences - is a top
priority for the Danish Government.

As a knowledge-based society with a compre- Programme requirements

hensive welfare state and a bustling economy, The components of a PhD programme are:
Denmark provides an ideal environment for PhD
• independent research under supervision
studies. Danish universities, research institutions
and industry offer excellent research, library and • Participation in courses and seminars (ap-
laboratory facilities for researchers and PhD stu- proximately 30 ECTS)
• Teaching or another type of knowledge dis-
semination, which is, as far as possible, related
This fact sheet provides a general outline of PhD to the PhD project
opportunities in Denmark. Students interested in • Participation in research networks, including
studying for a PhD are often informed about placements at other, primarily foreign, re-
possible positions through their academic net- search institutions
works or by contacting potential research institu- • The completion of a PhD thesis (and the public
tions/supervisors directly. You can find a list of defence of the this)
universities, faculties or research institutions at
the end of the document. Students are attached to a graduate school and
a research programme in the subject area of
Admission requirements their PhD. Even though the official language in
A Danish PhD-programme usually lasts three Denmark is Danish it is possible to undertake a
years. The admission requirement is usually a full PhD programme in English.
Master’s degree, comparable to the Danish 2-
year Master’s qualification - the Candidatus Funding
Some faculties also offer 4-year PhD pro- A Danish PhD programme can be funded in a
grammes for students who have yet to complete variety of ways:
a Master’s degree.
In order to get admitted, you also need to have PhD Studentships
your PhD proposal approved by the institution PhD studentships (sometimes also called PhD
where you wish to undertake your PhD. Fur- scholarships or PhD fellowships) are three-year
thermore, funding arrangements for the entire full-time positions offered by universities, re-
programme need to be in place (please refer to search institutions, companies and public and
the Funding section for further information private foundations. Students are provided with
about funding your PhD). a work station, free tuition and a monthly salary.
In return, students in receipt of studentships
usually have teaching obligations.
Industrial PhD Fellowships Residence and work permit for non-
Industrial PhD fellowships are offered through a EU/EEA citizens
collaboration between the universities and in- At the Danish Immigration Service’s homepage
dustry. The purpose of the programme is to you will find detailed
educate researchers at the highest level with an information about how to apply for a residence
insight into business aspects of research and permit. You should also contact the institution
innovation. The PhD project is carried out as a where you have been admitted for further in-
traditional research project by the Industrial PhD formation about your residence and work per-
fellow in collaboration with a private enterprise mit. Please note that you should apply for the
and a university. Industrial PhD Fellowships usu- residence permit in your home country.
ally last three years.
The programme is open to recently qualified Can I bring my family?
post-graduate candidates as well as to young As a non-EU/EEA citizen you do not automati-
professionals with an educational background in cally have the right to bring your family with you
science, technology, health care or social sci- to Denmark. Your family is able to obtain a resi-
ence. dence permit and allowed to work full-time, if
Similar to the studentships, the Industrial PhD your residence permit allows you to stay in
fellows are treated as employees and are paid a Denmark for three years or more or can be ex-
salary throughout the study period. Industrial tended to three years. However, your family
PhD fellows usually divide their time between members must be able to support themselves
the university and the company. throughout the period and you have to live to-
gether in Denmark.

Self-funded PhD programmes Stay and work in Denmark – career

Most universities and research institutions have opportunities
places available for self-funded PhD students Denmark has a thriving economy and needs
with suitable PhD proposals. As a self-funded highly qualified professionals. It is therefore in
PhD student you are responsible for funding the interest of the Danish society that interna-
your own studies (tuition fees, accommodation tional students stay in Denmark after having
costs and living expenses). In some cases how- completed their higher education programme.
ever, universities may offer full or partial tuition If you complete a study programme in Denmark,
fee waivers. The tuition fees vary, but are usually
your residence permit will be extended by six
between 10,000 and 16,000 Euro per year. Read months to allow you to look for work in Den-
more about accommodation costs and living mark.
expenses on

International financial support

In addition to the opportunities outlined above,
your home country or international organisations
such as the EC research programmes, might
have funding schemes for PhD studies in place
(please refer to the section with relevant links).

Links to further information The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts,
Danish universities with PhD programmes: School of Conservation
University of Copenhagen
Faculties: Health Sciences, Humanities, Law, The Royal School of Library and Information
Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, Theology, Science
Pharmaceutical Sciences, Life Sciences The Royal Danish Academy of Music
Aarhus University
Faculties: Humanities, Health Sciences, Natural Danmarks Designskole
Sciences, Social Sciences, Theology, Agricultural
Sciences, Environmental Research Institute,
School of Business, School of Education Designskolen Kolding
University of Southern Denmark The Danish Mobility Centre for Researchers
Faculties: Health Sciences, Humanities, Natural The mobility centre offers foreign researchers a
Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences single entrance to information and personal counselling. Link to the mobility centre:
Roskilde University
Faculties: Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social
Sciences You can find more information about Denmark
and the Danish society, including practical in-
Aalborg University formation about residence and work permits,
Faculties: Engineering and Natural Sciences, health insurance, taxation etc. at
Humanities, Social Sciences
Technical University of Denmark An authority within the Danish Ministry of Sci-
Engineering and Natural Sciences ence, Technology and Innovation, CIRIUS sup- ports the internationalisation of education and
training in Denmark and promotes Danish edu-
Copenhagen Business School
cation abroad. CIRIUS also works with assess-
Faculties: Business Administration, Modern Lan- ment and recognition of foreign qualifications in
guages Denmark. Link to CIRIUS:
Link to information about studying in Denmark:
The IT-University of Copenhagen
Information Technology
The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation
The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, The Danish Agency for Science, Technology and
School of Architecture Innovation deals with research funding, research mobility and international co-operation in re-
search. The Danish Councils for Independent
Aarhus School of Architecture Research and the Danish Industrial PhD pro- grammes are also administered by the Agency.
Information on funding for research and PhD
projects can be found at

The National Danish Research Foundation
The Danish National Research Foundation is an
independent foundation working towards
strengthening Danish research, mainly through
the setting up and funding of Centres of Excel-

For information about the Industrial PhD


The European Researcher’s Mobility Portal

A web portal with information about mobility
for researchers and PhD students, including
funding. It is also possible to place your CV on
the portal.