PhD guidelines

Here you can find information about the PhD programme at the Department of Management:

Information for MGMT PhD students

Here you can download an overview of useful information for MGMT PhD students:

PhD Assessment Committees

MGMT procedure for appointment of assessment committees

The MGMT procedure for appointment of PhD assessment committees adheres to the BSS Graduate School’s Rules and regulations for the PhD programme, section 12: “Assessment and defence of PhD dissertation”. 

Please specifically pay attention to the “Conflict of interest” section 12.1: 

“There must be no conflict of interest between the members of the assessment and the PhD student and PhD dissertation, cf. the Rules on conflict of interest in Danish Public Administration Act. Thus, the members are not allowed to have: 

•   a personal or financial interest in the outcome of the defence

•   prepared, submitted or published articles with the PhD student.” 

A “personal interest in the outcome of the defence” can refer to instances where the committee member has already assessed significant parts of the PhD student’s later stage work in a formalized way as might be the case for e.g. 3rd year presentations. More informal feedback at earlier stages and on smaller parts of the PhD dissertation e.g. through research group seminars or informal individual meetings will normally not be considered as a conflict of interest. 

Please also keep in mind that the acknowledgement section of the dissertation needs to be formulated in a way that it does not leave any doubt about the impartiality of the assessment committee members. 

In reasonable time before the expected submission of the dissertation, the MGMT PhD administration contacts the main supervisor:

·       to confirm the expected submission date

·       to ask for a proposal for an assessment committee 

The proposal should list 3 internationally recognised scholars within the field of the dissertation with the rank of full or associate professorship. The chair of the committee must come from the MGMT faculty. The other two members must be from external institutions, at least one of which from an institution outside of Denmark. 

The main supervisor ensures (informally) that the suggested potential members of the committee are willing to undertake the assignment incl. coming to Aarhus University for the defence. 

It is important that the main supervisor reasons the proposal by writing 2-4 line as how the research of the proposed members specifically links to the PhD student’s project etc. The proposal must include links to the proposed members CVs and their email addresses. 

The main supervisor forwards the proposal for the assessment committee to the Head of the MGMT PhD programme, cc the MGMT PhD administration. 

In case of doubt, do not hesitate to get in contact with the Head of the MGMT PhD programme.

PhD students' max. level of costs

Being a PhD student at the Department of Management means that you have up to 30,000 DKK in your general PhD budget and  up to 30,000 in connection with stays abroad (for stays of 3 months or longer). Your general PhD budget can cover for e.g.:

  • PhD courses
  • conferences
  • travels
  • student assistant working hours
  • books
  • software
  • data collection
  • etc.

Within 3 months after enrolment, all PhD students should submit a budget for their PhD period to be worked out in collaboration with their supervisors. The budget must be sent to Birgitte Hellstern as she will control your budget throughout your PhD study. The general budget can be adjusted when necessary during the PhD study.

It is your own responsibility to settle your expenses in RejsUd. In order to keep your budget up to date with your actual spendings you must send a screen print of your settlement to Birgitte Hellstern. She will then compare the money spent with your budget and update your budget.

PhD students’ travel and expense applications and/or claims

Before any purchase you must obtain a signature on an Expense Form or a Travel Application.

Please read MGMT’s purchase guidelines here. Send the form to expensetravel@mgmt.au.dk. The signed form will be returned to you in an email.

The signed form must be uploaded to RejsUd when you do your expense/travel settlement.

How to apply for co-financing of stays abroad

The stay abroad (or deviations) must, apart from appearing from the individual PhD plan, also be approved by the head of the Aarhus BSS Graduate School, re. Rules and regulations for the PhD degree programme. 

You have to apply by sending an e-mail to the head of the MGMT PhD programme (cc the MGMT PhD administration): an overview of your PhD plan, a project description, a budget, a description of the expected outcome of your stay/contribution to your PhD study, an invitation from a university, recommendation from your supervisor. The conditions as stipulated below must be fulfilled: 

‘Head of department will co-finance stays abroad with up to 30,000 DKK based on refund of actual costs as reported in RejsUd. Application for co-financing must be submitted to the head of MGMT PhD programme prior to the stay abroad. Stays abroad must be of at least 3 months duration (in continuation). 

The MGTM co-financing is granted regardless of external funding. This implies that there is no requirement that external funding has been/will be sought to get access to this funding. 

When you want to use any of the granted money, you must follow the usual procedure and send your travel applications or expense forms to expensetravel@mgmt.au.dk for signature. Your  stay abroad grant will then be updated accordingly. Please always include “Stay abroad-grant” on the travel applications/expense forms – if you fail to, the money will be deducted from your ordinary PhD budget. The project number is 10569. 

You must comply with the rules and regulations of Aarhus University and it is your responsibility that the costs do not exceed the 30,000 DKK granted. 

Please note especially that your costs of living cannot be covered by the amount granted and you cannot have a refund for the same costs from two sources (e.g. the department and some external funding). Please also note that external funding has to be spent before your MGMT funding. 

In addition to the above, the MGMT department will as of 1 January 2016 guarantee a deficit of up to max. 30,000 DKK PROVIDED that you have applied for funding from at least five of the following funds: 

(please note that most of these websites are in Danish only) 

  • Oticon Fonden (aka William Demant Fonden)
  • Augustinus Fonden
  • Købmand Herman Sallings Fond og Købmand Ferdinand Sallings Mindefond
  • Aage & Yelva Nimbs Fond
  • Christian og Ottilia Brorsons Rejselegat
  • Julie von Müllens Fond
  • Niels Bohr Fondet
  • Thomas B. Thriges Fond
  • Rudolf Als Fondet
  • Otto Mønsteds Fond
  • Knud Højgaards Fond
  • Aase og Ejnar Danielsens Fond
  •  Familien Hede Nielsens Fond
  • Torben og Alice Frimodts Fond

Documentation in the form of applications and answers from at least five of the above-mentioned funds must be enclosed if the deficit guarantee is going to be in force.

MGMT PhD presentation guidelines

All PhD students at MGMT have to present their PhD project yearly (approximately after 1 year, 2 years and 3 years). The purpose of the presentation is to develop the PhD projects. 

1st and 2nd year presentations
The PhD students present their project to demonstrate progress and quality of the research project, and their ability to present research. The PhD students present in front of their supervisors (at least one has to be present) and two appointed discussants. The department faculty is invited.

The PhD students have 15 min. for their presentation. Two field committee members will act as discussants (max. 10 minutes each). The remaining time (10 minutes) is for Q&A from other presentation participants. 

Especially for the 1st year presentation
The PhD students are asked to hand in a short report (no more than 6-8 pages) containing a status of the thesis work, choice of theory and research design, collected/planned data and (if possible) preliminary results. 

The report should also be an update of the PhD project description and thus a finalization of the PhD plan addressing a thorough update of the key elements outlined in the BSS internal guidelines ‘Rules and regulations for the PhD programme’ section 8.2. 

Especially for the 2nd year presentation
At least one (draft) article or, if writing a monograph, a chapter has to be submitted. It makes more sense to provide feedback on a paper ready to be submitted (or a finished chapter), but the submitted work may also be work-in-progress. The presentation should be based on the submitted article/chapter but the presentation should also seek to establish the connection between the submitted paper and the PhD project as a whole. 

Also, to be handed in prior to the presentation is a one page account of the more administrative progress of the PhD project (i.e. courses, stay abroad, etc.). 

Deadline for submitting the material specified above: 10 working days ahead of the presentation.
Deadline for submitting ppt-slides: 2 working days ahead of the presentation. 

Submit to the MGMT PhD field committee + your discussants (if not a member of the MGMT PhD field committee) + your supervisors + Annette Hein Bengtson. 

Feedback
After the presentation the head of the programme does the final editing of discussant notes before handing in the MGMT PhD field committee’s report on the PhD students’ progress to the head of the Graduate School of Business and Social Sciences. The PhD students and their supervisors will be informed of what is written about the PhD students’ progress. 

3rd year presentation
The main supervisor is responsible that the 3rd year presentation is arranged and carried out prior to the handing in of the PhD dissertation. This involves to select two discussants and have their consent to act as such. In order to ensure that there is no potential conflict of interest in regard to the PhD assessment committee, please be aware of the following when selecting discussants for the 3rd year presentation: As specified in the PhD guidelines on assessment committees (see menu above), a personal interest in the outcome of the defence can refer to instances where the committee member has already assessed significant parts of the PhD student’s later stage work in a formalized way as might be the case for e.g. 3rd year presentations. More informal feedback at earlier stages and on smaller parts of the PhD dissertation e.g. through research group seminars or informal individual meetings will normally not be considered as a conflict of interest. 

When the discussants and a date and time have been decided upon, please send this information to Annette Hein Bengtson together with a title and short abstract from the PhD student. Annette will then send an invitation to the MGMT faculty.

4+4 PhD programme

From ‘MSc IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AT AARHUS UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL OF BUSINESS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES September 2014’ (pp. 77-78)

12. PRE-PHD - PART OF THE 4+4 PROGRAMME

To be considered for admission, students must hold a relevant bachelor’s degree and must have completed course work corresponding to 60 ECTS credits in one of the MSc specializations in Economics and Business Administration offered at the School of Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University. The 4+4 programme requires 4+4 PhD students to complete their Master’s degree within the first two years of the 4+4 PhD degree programme (i.e. during the first two years students are enrolled in the Master’s as well as the PhD degree programmes). On condition that all requirements are fulfilled, students will achieve the master’s degree. For the remaining two years, students are enrolled as PhD students only. Read more about application etc.

4+4 PhD programme

The evaluation method described below exclusively applies to students enrolled in the 4+4 PhD programme, i.e. in the ‘pre-PhD phase’.

For students enrolled in this programme at Department of Management, the remaining 60 ECTS of the MSc degree consists of the following three elements:

  1. complete PhD courses (from the Department’s or BSS' courses) amounting to 20 ECTS – the courses must be approved by the head of the programme;
  2. write an extended PhD project description for the entire PhD or alternatively a monograph chapter or an article for an anthology addressing the research question(s) and research design in question (10 ECTS); and
  3. write an MSc thesis consisting of a chapter or an article from the PhD thesis under development amounting to 30 ECTS.

For students enrolled in this programme at Department of Economics, the remaining 60 ECTS of the MSc degree consists of the following three elements:

  1. complete PhD courses amounting to 20 ECTS;
  2. write an extended PhD project description for the entire PhD or alternatively a monograph chapter or an article for an anthology addressing the research question(s) and research design in question (10 ECTS); and
  3. write an MSc thesis consisting of a chapter or an article from the PhD thesis under development amounting to 30 ECTS.

Based on the MSc thesis material and readings from the two PhD methods courses, an oral exam (involving a qualified 4+4 experienced external examiner) will take place at the end of the second year thus completing the MSc part of the 4+4 programme.  All in all, the two written assignments should not exceed 50 A4 pages (2400 characters incl. of spaces).

The objective of the Master thesis:
The student should be able to:

  1. draft a well-defined problem statement and argue for the relevance and usefulness of this problem statement;
  2.  identify relevant literature within economic and business administration, extract the essence and argue for its relevance to the problem statement, and reflect on its strengths and weaknesses on relation to the problem statement;
  3.  identify and apply relevant empirical and/or analytical methods and justify their relevance and limitations to the problem statement;
  4. adequately apply tools and methods from economic and business administration to analyze the problems involved, evaluate and synthesize the obtained insight and results in a comprehensible way;
  5. demonstrate an ability to differentiate between essential and not essential material;
  6. demonstrate critical reflections regarding the obtained results in relation to the problem statement, the methodology used and the literature and derive the most important conclusions of the analyses;
  7. apply a scientific, clear and concise language to present the analyses, both in the thesis and at the defence;
  8. at the defence, argue for the main premises and results in the thesis, and adequately respond to the comments made by the examiners

Method of instruction: Supervision as agreed with supervisors.

The subject for the Master thesis must be worked out individually. The oral exam will be the basis for assessing the thesis and the readings from the two PhD courses. The oral defence takes 45 minutes.